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- Driving Distance: 95 miles
- Hiking Distance: 4.6 miles
- Difficulty Level: easy
Mt.Hale (4054 ft.) is near Mt.Zealand and the Twin Mountains. It is one of the easiest 4000 footers to climb, with only a 2.3 mile trail to the summit. There is not much of a few visible from the summit because of surrounding trees, but you can see North Twin from the summit as well as the presis as you are hiking up. There are official (Zealand and the Sugarloafs) and unofficial camping areas near the base of the trail that are great for tenting.
Alternativey, you can hike the Mt. Hale loop, a more moderate 8.7 mile hike, described below.
There are two ways to go, the highway likely being much faster (included below)
Driving by highway 1:34
Take I-91 N for 53.2 miles to exit 19. Take exit 19 to merge onto I-93 S Go 22.0 miles on I-93 and take exit 40 for US-302/NH-10 E toward Bethlehem Twin Mt Turn right, heading east on US-302 for 13.3 miles Turn right onto Zealand Rd. The Hale Brook Trailhead will be on the right in about 4 miles.
Driving by state highway The trail can be reached from Lincoln, NH by heading north on I-93, taking Rt.3 (exit.35). From rt.3, take right on Rt.302 in the town of twin mountain and zealand rd. is on the right in two miles.
Mt. Hale Loop
- Total distance: 8.7 miles.
- Start: parking area for Hale Brook Trail along Zealand Rd (1770').
- Hike 2.3 miles to summit of Hale (4054'), then 2.8 miles down the Lend-A-Hand Trail and Twinway trail to Zealand Falls hut (2630'), then 2.7 miles down past Zealand ponds to the Zealand Trail parking area at the end of Zealand Road (2000'), and a final mile along the road to the Hale Brook trailhead.
- First section up Hale is moderately steep and strenuous, with most of the downhill before you reach Zealand Falls Hut.
- Last 2.7 miles to the road is pleasant walk through woods.
- Lunch at the top of Hale or Zealand Falls Hut.
- Great views over Zealand Valley, of the falls, and ponds. Reportedly great views of other 4000-footers during the hike down.
More information here, in the AMC white mountain guide, and in The 4000 Footers of the White Mountains (both in the DOC library).
NOTE: in the winter Zealand Road is closed. You can park along Rt. 302 and hike or ski up the road, adding a total of 6.4 miles to and from the Hale Brook trailhead, and 270 feet of elevation.
Advice & Anecdotes
Mt Hale Loop (8.7 miles) - Hale Brook Trail, Lend-A-Hand Trail, Twinway, Zealand Tr, Zealand Rd
Group: 5: Paige Wilson (Leader), Joby Bernstein (Heeler), 3 tripees.
Weather: Partly Cloudy in the low 50s. Quite windy on Mt. Hale Summit
Time: around 4:30 not counting breaks and lunch
Notes: Hale Brook Trail can be steep at times, summit does not have any views. Lend-A-Hand trail was very wet even when there was no rain. Good lunch spot at Zealand Falls, best view of the valley and cascading waterfalls from Zealand River. No foliage by mid-October.