Just south off the Kanacamagus Highway in the heart of the White Mountains, Hedgehog Mountain NH is a medium but steep hike that offer incredible views of region.
From the summit you get sweeping views towards Mountain Washington, the Tripyramids, Chocorua and more. In this guide we will share details for hiking to Hedgehog Mountain on the UNH Trail including how to get to the trailhead, a map of the entire trail and details of our hike up Hedgehog.
While Hedgehog is a great hike any time of the year, the fall is one of the best time to take in the fall colors from the ledges. You can see more suggestions for visiting the White Mountains in the fall.
Quick Look at Hedgehog Mountain NH
Distance: 4.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1400 feeet Difficulty: Moderate/difficult
Scroll down for a more detailed description of this hike. I hiked this trail in October just as the last of the colors were fading and found the trail enjoyable. It took me about 3 hours to complete the hike with time to enjoy the views in several overlooks.
We chose to hike up the steep section by going in a counterclockwise direction. Like most NH trails, the UNH trail up Hedgehog Mountain NH is rocky, steep, covered in roots and offers few views until you are close to the summit. Once you reach the first viewpoint, you will have many open ledges and rocks with views in every direction (including dircutly up to Mount Passaconoway.
The trail down is slightly more gradual after leaving the ledges below the summit.
This is an excellent trail for fall colors and one of the better medium hikes off the Kancamagus. It is very well marked with signs and yellow slashes. You can see any updates to the hike on the National Forest Site.
Map of Hedgehog Mountain
Below you can see a map of the hike. Note that this look can be hiked in either direction. We chose to hike in a counterclockwise direction to go up the steeper section and down the more gradual part of the trail.
Things to Know about Hiking Hedgehog Mountain, White Mountains National Park
How to get to the UNH Trailhead to Hedgehog Mountain?
The trailhead for Hedgehog Mountain via the UNH Trail is located on the Kancamagus Highway. It is the same parking lot to hike to Mount Potash and does get crowded on busy weekends.
To reach the UNH trail to Hedgehog Mountain, follow Route 16 north from Durham, New Hampshire, for approximately 10 miles until you reach the trailhead parking area on the right (or the Downes Brook Parking Area.
Are Dogs Allowed on Hedgehog Mountains?
Yes dogs are allowed on the trail but should be leashed. There are several open ledge sections and you should use caution near these areas with a dog.
Is Hedgehog Mountain good for kids?
This is a good family hike although it is relatively steep on the way up and you gain sigficiant elevation for about 2 miles to the summit. Use caution near the ledges and drop offs.
How tall is Mount Hedgehog NH?
Hedgehog Mountain is 2530 feet.
Details of the Hike up Hedgehog Mountain NH
I did this hike in October with a friend and our dog Calyspso (or Cali for short). We originally planned to hiked Potash from the same parking lot but changed our mind when we realized the UNH trail created a loop walk up Hedgehog Mountain. This trail is slightly longer than Potash but offers wonderful views.
We left the car around 11 for this hike on a Tuesday. The first part of the trail is completely flat and straight and very pretty in the fall. After following the well marked trail signs for the UNH Trail the path begins to ascend gradually.
After about 15 minutes, you will reach the split for the loop trail. You can hike this trail in either direction. We chose counterclockwise and found the footwork generally easier on the way up the steep section.
The trail quickly begins to ascend more steeply over the next 2 miles. Like most trails in NH, the trail is challending with few switchbacks.
The first overlook is found at Allen’s Ledge. The view from here is very open and you can see several mountains and rocky outcrops. Since we were visiting during the fall, the leaves were past peak but still beautiful.
After the view at Allens Ledge, the trail continues steeply uphill for the final climb to the summit. At the summit there are two viewpoints that provide views to the north and the south. We paused here for lunch.
Continue off the far side of the summit down the otherside of Hedgehog. This next 20 minutes of hiking are truly wonderful as you travel over several rocky areas and very large ledges.
After leaving behind the ledges, the trail descends consistently through the forest before rejoining with the start of the loop. This was a very pretty walk through the forest although there are no views once you get down into the trees.
As New Hampshire natives, we love to hike in the White Mountains and have extensive guides and experience in these mountains. Below are some of the our favorite hikes in the White Mountains:
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