If last summer is any indicator of what this summer might look like, the odds of having to wait for a parking spot to open at New England’s most popular trailheads are high. As social distancing and remote work took hold as the new normal last spring, people throughout the Northeast and nationwide began to spend more time in rural destinations, paddling, hiking, climbing and enjoying our outdoor spaces.
While the heightened interest in outdoor recreation was largely welcomed, it did add a lot of stress to mountain towns and trail networks. Stories began to circulate about travelers waiting multiple hours for a parking spot to open up at the trailhead for North Conway’s Diana’s Baths, and “no parking” signs began to appear around other overcrowded spots in the Mount Washington Valley and beyond. Luckily, there are endless options for those looking to spend more time hiking and less time navigating crowds this summer. And just because there isn’t a line of cars waiting to get into the parking area doesn’t mean they are any less spectacular.
Mount Tremont, New Hampshire
Located just south of Crawford Notch, Mount Tremont often is overlooked for more popular destinations such as Arethusa Falls and Mount Willard. Reaching the 3,371-foot summit requires an elevation gain of 2,550 feet, making it a relatively strenuous hike. But the summit views of Sawyer Pond, Green’s Cliff and Sandwich Range make the effort well worth it.