Belknap Range Series: Introduction to the Belknap Range

Are you looking to break in your new hiking boots, start working on a hiking patch, or just want to get outside and enjoy all the beauty the Lakes Region in New Hampshire has to offer?  The Belknap Range offers all this and more.  The Belknap Mountain Range includes twelve prominent peaks located in the towns of Gilford, Gilmanton and Alton NH.  Mount Major is by far the most popular hike in the Belknaps and offers stunning views of Lake Winnipesaukee.  The parking lot is often overflowing with cars so getting there early is a priority!  If you are looking to get off the beaten path, exploring the 11 other peaks in the Belknap Range is a must.  The Belknap Range Trail Tenders (BRATTS) do an excellent job of maintaining the trails in the Belknap region.. The trails are well-marked and trailheads easily accessible.  The “unofficial” Belknap Range Patch can be obtained by hiking each summit individually, as a full day traverse hitting all twelve peaks, or “peak-bagging” summits over several hiking excursions.  If you have a trusty four-legged friend that joins you on your outdoor adventures, you can purchase a patch for them as well!  If you are looking for a challenge, BRATTS offers a Belknap Range Redlining patch. “Redlining” the Belknaps requires you hike all sanctioned trails around the range which is over 65.5 miles of trails!


View from Mount Major on a crisp winter day


  1. Belknap Mountain:              2382 feet
  2. Gunstock Mountain:           2245 feet
  3. Piper Mountain (North):     2044 feet
  4. Mount Klem:                        2001 feet
  5. Mount Mack:                       1945 feet
  6. West Quarry:                       1894 feet
  7. Straightback Mountain:     1890 feet
  8. Mount Rand:                        1883 feet
  9. Mount Major:                        1786 feet
  10. Mount Rowe:                        1680 feet
  11. Mount Anna:                         1670 feet
  12. Whiteface Mountain:           1664 feet


Trail system in the Belknaps

An excellent map of all current trails in the Belknap Range is offered in downloadable fashion through

If you wish to purchase a current paper map, libraries in Gilford, Gilmanton, Laconia, Barnstead, Meredith, Center Tuftonboro and Sanbornton have maps available to purchase.


Southern New Hampshire Trail Guide:  AMC guide that offers descriptions of many trails in the Belknap Range as well as a map  offers history of the Belknap range, trails and features in the Belknap Mountains, and a downloadable map  offers hiking list and links to photos and trail descriptions to each of the 12 peaks in the Belknap Range  :  current hiking conditions in the Belknaps  :  offers maps, history and information about the Belknap Range Conservation Committee (BRCC) :  offers a printable list of the 12 Belknap Range Mountains as well as a link and directions to apply for the hiker achievement patch : Belknap Range Trail Tenders are a group of volunteers that maintain trails in the Belknap Range; the site offers information and links to volunteer for work days, adopt-a-trail, redlining and resources for hiking


Sadie enjoying the view from summit of Straightback Mountain


This article is the first in a series of articles highlighting hiking and enjoying the four-seasons of beauty offered in the Belknap Range.  Let us know if you have explored any of these peaks in the Belknap Range!




Published by

Janice Landry

Janice is a 40-something-year-old, young at heart, avid lover of the outdoors, wife, mother, and nurse! In 2016, life circumstances allowed her to complete the 48 4000 footers in NH. 32 of these peaks were done as solo hikes. During those many miles of solo hiking, She re-connected with herself and found hiking became a form of meditation. Janice is currently enjoying her quest to complete the highest peaks in New England on the New England 67 list!

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