South Moat Mountain

Albany, New Hampshire
South Moat Mountain in Albany, New Hampshire, near the picturesque town of Conway, is a captivating gem that has an elevation of 2,760 feet.
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About This Location

South Moat Mountain, nestled in Albany, New Hampshire, near the picturesque town of Conway, is a captivating gem within the White Mountain National Forest. This region encompasses not just South Moat Mountain but also Middle Moat Mountain and North Moat Mountain, each offering its unique charm.

At an elevation of 2,760 feet, South Moat Mountain may not be the tallest, but its clean prominence of 60 feet over neighboring summits provides hikers with remarkable vistas. All of these views have led to the mountain being listed on the notorious New Hampshire 52 With A View list which covers the mountains with the best views in the Granite State. The panoramic views from the South Moat Mountains summit are truly exceptional:

  • Western Vista: Gaze upon the captivating Sandwich Range and the breathtaking valley of the Kancamagus Highway. In the distance, the sprawling forests unfold before your eyes.
  • Northwestern Panorama: As you look over the rest of the Moat Range, you’ll be drawn into the heart of the White Mountains, a sight that evokes a sense of wonder.
  • Northern Peaks: To the north lie the Middle and North Moat Mountains. Just to the right, the Presidential Range rises majestically, and further to the right, the Carter-Moriah Range stretches across the horizon.
  • Eastern Outlook: Turn your gaze eastward to behold the Baldface Range, the imposing Mount Kearsarge North, and the lush Green Hills. Beyond them lies the expansive plains of western Maine.
  • Southern Expanse: The view to the south extends far into southern New Hampshire, offering a sweeping panorama of the landscape below.v

To ascend to the summit of South Moat Mountain, hikers embark on the South Moat Mountain Trail, a challenging yet rewarding 5.8-mile out-and-back route. With an elevation gain of 2,132 feet, the trail promises a thrilling adventure that takes approximately 3.5 hours on average to complete. The popularity of this area for birding, hiking, and snowshoeing ensures that you’ll likely encounter fellow nature enthusiasts along the way. Dog owners will be pleased to know that dogs are welcome, and some areas even allow them to roam off-leash.

For those with extra energy and a desire to explore further, the Moat Mountain Trail continues onward, providing access to the Middle and North summits. This adventurous option offers a three-for-one hiking experience for those with the stamina to take it on.

When it comes to parking, a small dirt parking lot situated just off Passaconaway Road in Conway, New Hampshire, serves as the trailhead for the South Moat Mountain Trail. The best part? There’s no parking fee, making this natural wonder accessible to all who seek its breathtaking views and the tranquility of the great outdoors.

One of the unique aspects of South Moat Mountain is its accessibility throughout the seasons. Each season presents its own set of benefits:

  • Spring: As the snow melts, spring unveils a vibrant landscape with blossoming wildflowers and the return of migratory birds. Hikers can revel in the rejuvenation of nature and enjoy the tranquility of the trails before the summer crowds arrive.
  • Summer: With longer daylight hours, summer is the prime time for extended hikes to the summit. The lush greenery provides shade along the trail, and hikers can bask in the beauty of vibrant wildflowers. The reward at the summit is panoramic views of surrounding mountain ranges.
  • Fall: Autumn transforms the landscape into a picturesque canvas of red, orange, and yellow foliage. The crisp air and clear skies make this a favorite time for hikers. The breathtaking vistas from South Moat Mountain offer a unique perspective on the fall foliage.
  • Winter: For those who embrace the colder months, winter brings opportunities for snowshoeing and winter hiking. The pristine snow-covered landscape offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere. However, proper winter gear and precautions are essential.

Location

Address: Albany, New Hampshire
Place GPS Coordinates: 44.017556, -71.193556
Parking GPS Coordinates: 44.017556, -71.193556
Parking Notes: There is a small dirt parking lot located just off Passaconaway Road in Conway, New Hampshire. The trailhead for South Moat Mountain Trail is located right at the parking lot. There is no fee to park in the lot.

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