Black Mountain

Benton, New Hampshire
Black Mountain in Benton, New Hampshire is a delightful 2,840 foot peak on the Benton Range in the White Mountains.
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Black Mountain, situated within Black Mountain State Park in Benton, New Hampshire, is a delightful peak that belongs to the Benton Range within the White Mountain National Forest. This picturesque mountain stands at an elevation of 2,840 feet and boasts a summit with a clean prominence of 660 feet.

The summit of Black Mountain offers an array of captivating views. Upon reaching the summit, one is immediately struck by a remarkable close-up perspective of the imposing Mount Moosilauke, with the somewhat indistinct outline of Mount Clough nestled in between. Moreover, the view extends over the surrounding forest to the northeast, revealing the stunning Kinsman Range, which in turn provides a backdrop to the Franconia Range. To fully appreciate these beautiful vistas, a bit of exploration may be required to find the best viewpoints. Thanks to these splendid panoramas, Black Mountain has earned its place on the esteemed New Hampshire 52-With-A-View (’52 WAV) list, a designation created by the Over the Hill Hikers group.

Hikers have two main trails to choose from when ascending to the summit of Black Mountain. The most commonly used route begins from the north, following the Black Mountain Trail. This trail spans a distance of 4.2 miles round trip, featuring an elevation gain of 1,260 feet. Typically taking around 2.5 hours to complete, this trail is generally regarded as moderately challenging. Despite its popularity among hikers, snowshoers, and runners, there are opportunities to savor the solitude of the outdoors, especially during quieter times of the day. The trail remains accessible throughout the year and showcases its unique beauty in every season. Dogs are welcome but should be kept on a leash. The trailhead is located at the end of Howe Hill Road in Benton, New Hampshire, where a dirt parking area awaits visitors, with parking offered free of charge.

For those seeking a more challenging ascent, the Black Mountain via Chippewa Trail provides an alternative route. Covering a distance of 3.9 miles round trip, this trail entails an elevation gain of approximately 1,600 feet. Typically, hikers can complete this route in about 3 hours. Rated as a challenging trail, it offers a unique perspective of the mountain. Similar to the Black Mountain Trail, it is a popular choice among hikers and is open year-round, allowing for year-round exploration of its stunning scenery. Dogs are welcome on this trail and may be off-leash in designated areas. Parking is available at the trailhead along Lime Klin Road.

Hiking Black Mountain during each of the four seasons provides distinct and captivating experiences.

In spring, the mountain comes alive with the budding of new growth and the songs of returning birds. The cool temperatures make for comfortable hiking, and the melting snow reveals rushing streams and vibrant wildflowers along the trail.

Summer offers lush foliage, vibrant wildflowers, and the opportunity to enjoy the summit under sunny skies. The warm weather allows for leisurely hikes and extended breaks to take in the views from the summit.

Fall is a particularly popular time to visit, as the foliage transforms the landscape into a brilliant tapestry of reds, oranges, and yellows. The crisp air and clear skies make for ideal hiking conditions, and the views are simply breathtaking.

Winter brings a different kind of beauty to Black Mountain. The snow-covered trails are a winter wonderland for snowshoers and winter hikers. The summit views may be frosty, but they’re equally enchanting in their own way.

Regardless of the season, it’s essential to follow Leave No Trace principles while hiking Black Mountain. This includes packing out all trash, staying on designated trails, and respecting the environment to preserve its natural beauty for generations to come.


Address: Howe Hill Road, Benton, New Hampshire
Place GPS Coordinates: 44.074833, -71.921889
Parking GPS Coordinates: 44.074833, -71.921889
Parking Notes: There is a dirt parking area at the Black Mountain Trailhead which is located at the end of Howe Hill Road in Benton, New Hampshire. Parking is free.

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