NH Family Hikes

Bald Knob

Length: 4.0 miles out-and-back

Difficulty (click for info): Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1140 feet (+70 feet on return)

Rating (click for info): 7/10

Elevation: 1798'

Prominence: 5'

Driving Directions:
Trailhead and parking area are on Rt. 171 in Moultonborough, NH. The large parking area is on the south side of Rt. 171, 2.3 miles east of its junction with Rt. 109 and just east of the entrance to Castle in the Clouds. The trailhead is on the opposite side of the road from the parking area. Click here for a Google map.

About the Hike:
Bald Knob is a ledge on the side of Turtleback Mountain, in the Ossipee Range. Sweeping one-directional views of Lake Winnipesaukee are found from this rocky outcrop, located within LRCT conservation lands. It's one of the most popular destinations in the reservation, being accessible from the Castle in the Clouds estate grounds. The trail begins at a parking area for the Shannon Brook Trail. Cross the road to the trailhead and follow this trail, a wide dirt trail that follows Shannon Brook. The brook is in a ravine far below the trail, but you can walk down a short spur path to access some small cascades. After just 0.7 miles of following the river, turn right to head uphill on Bald Knob Cutoff. This trail is moderately steep and winding. About halfway up, the trail passes a small clearing with a limited view.

When the trail ends in one mile, turn right onto Bald Knob Trail and walk a short distance along a former carriage road to the ledge. From the broad ledge is found a wide vista to the southwest encompassing the area surrounding Lake Winnipesaukee. There is a wooden viewing platform on top, but it is not needed to obtain the gorgeous view. Lake Winnipesaukee occupies a large portion of the landscape, with the Belknap Range in the background. To the right, on a small hill nearby, you can see the Castle in the Clouds. Red Hill is also seen to the right, in the distance.

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