Lake Solitude is one of our go-to hikes when we don’t want to drive all the way to the White Mountains but still want a decent workout and some spectacular views. We’ve already posted about hiking Solitude in the Spring, but it’s one of those hikes that offers something unique in every season.
The Andrew Brook Trail (Trail Map)
The Andrew Brook Trail is only 3.8 miles round trip so it is shorter and steeper than reaching Solitude via the Newbury Trail. The trail begins on Mountain Road, just off route 103 in Newbury and they just added a new big sign so you can’t miss it. It was January 1, so it was no surprise that the trail was covered in a well-packed layer of snow, and while there were a couple of places where snowshoes could have come in handy, for the most part it was easily passable in microspikes. Unlike the Newbury Trail, there really aren’t any views to speak of until you reach the lake, but there was a canoe lying in the snow next to the trail…so the Andrew Brook Trail has that going for it…which is nice.
The Andrew Brook Trail brings you up the backside of Mt. Sunapee directly to the edge of Lake Solitude, and upon arriving, there was a group of people roasting marshmallows and hot dogs around a bonfire. Apparently this crew does this every morning on New Years Day so we might have to make a return trip next year.
From there, the trail branches off to the right of the lake and climbs for about 0.10 mile to reach the top of the cliffs that overlook Solitude and the surrounding area. There aren’t many other mountains in this area, so the views don’t compare to those you might get further north, but looking down on Lake Solitude is always a sight to behold. You can also continue on to the summit of Mt, Sunapee which is about 0.9 miles from the overlook. The summit has nice views of Lake Sunapee and the surrounding region, but Lake Solitude is really the main event on this hike. It’s a hidden gem that doesn’t require tons of time or effort to reach.