The Newfound Lake  area is popular for hikers. The 3,121-foot granite peak of Mount Cardigan offers a dizzying view of the lake below. The glaciers aid in the climb, having smoothed out one side into a moderate ascent, while leaving the other side a steep cliff. A fire atop the peak cleared out vegetation 150 years ago, affording a clear view from the Green Mountains to the Whites. Located on a 73-acre wildlife sanctuary, the hike up Bear Mountain (West Shore Dr., Hebron, www.nhaudubon.org ) is a two-mile hike through quiet spruce and balsam fir, with views of Newfound Lake  and Mount Cardigan visible through the trees. The trailhead is on West Shore Dr., about 4/10ths of a mile from the center of Hebron. Park on Cross Street, another 1/10th of a mile up the road.
In the Sunapee region, Mount Sunapee is better known for its ski area, but the 2,743-foot peak and its attached state park is also a great summer hiking destination. While the summit is built up with buildings, the trails to it are quiet and scenic. A favorite is the Andrew Brook Trail, which starts on Mountain Road in Newbury, a mile south of Route 103, and passes by the shores of the aptly named Lake Solitude on its way up the mountain. The hike is steep and strenuous, but not challenging in terms of footing.
A favorite hike for Dartmouth  students is Moose Mountain. The trail to the 2,300-foot peak is part of the Appalachian Trail. Views include the college far below. For an equally scenic, but less demanding, walk in the woods, try the Sugar River Recreational Trail, an eight-mile trail cut along the riverbank from Newport to Claremont . The trail passes by two long covered bridges as well as several smaller iron truss and girder bridges, along with lots of natural beauty. In addition to hikers, the trail is suitable for mountain bikers and cross-country skiers.