Lake Solitude – NH
Mt. Sunapee is primarily known for being a family-friendly ski mountain in Newbury, NH. It is also a place where visitors can see Republican senatorial candidates melt people’s faces with their guitar solos at the annual fall pig roast (Scott Brown still lost…). But Mt. Sunapee is also home to a hidden gem of a hike that often gets overshadowed by more popular hikes like Monadnock, Kearsarge, or the big guys in the Whites. The views from the summit of Mt. Sunapee are impressive despite being only 2,726 ft, but the real draw of hiking Sunapee is Lake Solitude. We’ve hiked to Solitude countless times, and most of the time we forego hiking to the summit of the mountain since Solitude is a more rewarding terminus to the trail.
The two most popular routes to Lake Solitude are the Newbury Trail and Andrew Brook Trail (see trail map). The round-trip distance of the hikes are 4.8 miles and 3.8 miles, respectively, and both could be described as moderate in terms of difficulty. The Newbury trail can be accessed from Lakeview Ave and Andrew Brook Trail can be accessed from Moutain Rd. (both off of Route 103). Although it’s about a half mile longer each way, we usually prefer the Newbury Trail since it offers views of Lake Sunapee along the way (see below). The pictures in this post are from a recent hike in mid-April. Although it was in the 60’s and sunny, there was still some lingering ice towards the end of the trail but nothing we couldn’t easily sidestep.
Both trails give you the option to stop by the edge of Lake Solitude or to hike up the cliffs overlooking the lake and the surrounding area. The view from the cliff is not too shabby. Definitely worth the extra 0.10 mile. From here, it is another 0.9 mi to the Sunapee summit.
Where to Eat: There are a some good places to stuff your face near the trailhead. These are a couple of our favorites.
Marzelli Deli : If you can ignore the Yankees flag on the wall, their food is actually excellent. Hard to find good Italian food in the granite state.
Bubba’s Bar & Grill: Laid back lakeside dining. Exactly the type of food you’d expect from any place called “Bar & Grill”…burgers, lobster rolls, fries, beer…you know…healthy things.