The 52 With a View is a Peakbagging List that features some of the best views available from New Hampshire’s mountaintops. This new guidebook (New Hampshire’s 52 With a View) is the first definitive guidebook for the list that and written by my hiking friend Ken MacGray, who’s also a talented photographer and author.
The “52” is a great list of mountains and hikes. It’s much more scenic than the White Mountain 4000 footer list which has 48 mountains on it. The peaks on the 52 list aren’t as high as the 4000 footers and the trails leading to them are shorter which makes the 52 a great “gateway” list if you’re trying to turn your kids or partner onto hiking in New Hampshire or the White Mountains National Forest but want to ease them into it.
The beauty of the 52 With a View is that there’s an obvious reward for climbing to the summit of each mountain, an awesome view. If you want to get someone hooked on hiking or expose them to the sublime grandeur of the outdoors, the views at the summits of these mountains really can’t be beaten. You can see other mountains and the long ridges linking them together, lakes full of islands and coves, towering cliffs, waterfalls, and deep mountain passes. It’s hard to pull yourself away and leave the views behind.
While the 52 With a View list is popular with beginner hikers, it’s not a complete cakewalk and there are some quite challenging hikes on it. Ken does a good job of describing those challenges and tells you the best trails to follow since there are often several alternatives. Each hike description includes a detailed description of the trail, what you’ll see its scenic outlooks and at the summit, driving and parking directions, overnight options if you want to backpack or camp, and advice about what to expect if you want to hike the peak in winter. Ken also does an outstanding job in describing the historical origins of each mountain on the “52” list which adds a richness to the guide and will be a delight for history lovers.
The nice thing about having a guidebook like New Hampshire’s 52 With A View is that all of the important information you need to hike these mountains has been provided by a qualified authority, so it’s trustworthy and you can count on its accuracy. While much of the information contained in this guidebook is obtainable piecemeal from other sources, including Facebook Groups or in the AllTrails App, it can be hard to assess its reliability and completeness. Ken, on the other hand, has hiked all the peaks on the 52 With a View list multiple times in different seasons and along the different routes, so he knows what he is talking about. That kind of hands-on expertise is hard to come by in such a clear and concise manner.
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