2018 Editors’ Picks for Outdoor Explorers

From solo hikes to guided adventures, here are some of our favorite ideas for foodies in New England.

By Yankee Magazine

Apr 13 2018


Clouds swirl over the summit of Mount Washington, seen from Mount Monroe along
the Crawford Path.

Photo Credit : Chris Shane

Yankee’s annual travel guide is filled with inspiration for the ultimate New England summer getaway. Here are some of our favorite ideas for outdoor adventurers, from Cape Cod to the White Mountains to the Maine coast.


2018 Editors’ Picks for Outdoor Explorers | The Hike That Has It All
Photo Credit : Chris Shane

In 1819, banking on a growing public interest in the White Mountains, a northern New Hampshire innkeeper named Abel Crawford and his son, Ethan Allen, blazed the first trail to the top of Mount Washington. Nearly two centuries later, the 8.2-mile Crawford Path—the nation’s oldest continuously maintained hiking trail—still delivers the rugged-but-accessible adventure its creators envisioned. It concentrates the White Mountains experience: steep ascents, sun-soaked plateaus, boulder-strewn peaks. Here is a sweeping view of the Ammonoosuc Ravine; there is a jaw-dropping shot of the Franconia Range. Challenging climbs give way to flat stretches where hikers can linger and take in those panoramics before making the push to reach the Northeast’s highest peak, whose majesty gripped an enterprising father and son so many years ago.


Ride the Kingdom Trails

Take in the sights (and the mud and the hills) on a one- or multiday trip with the pro pedalers at Kingdom Experiences in East Burke, VT, a bucket-list spot for mountain biking.

Explore the Allagash

Learn to paddle, set up camp, and cook over an open fire on a five-day river journey in Maine’s northern wilderness with Mahoosuc Guide Service’s founders, both veteran Maine Guides.

Zipline in the Whites

Fly among the treetops on a multihour canopy tour at New Hampshire’s Bretton Woods Resort, and enjoy spectacular views of the western Whites plus local lore from your savvy wingman.

Go Off-road up North

Of the four main ATV tours at Bear Rock Adventures in Pittsburg, NH, the full-day ride to Dixville Peak is the one that repays both beginners and advanced riders with million-dollar views.

Cruise the Shore

Itineraries abound at Art’s Dune Tours in Provincetown, MA, but our vote goes to the “Land ’N Sea”: an ocean fishing trip, a sunset off-road ride through stunning beachscape, and dinner.


2018 Editors’ Picks for Outdoor Explorers | Peak State Parks
Photo Credit : Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress

Franconia Notch State Park (NH)

The beauty of the White Mountains comes into vivid focus at these 6,692 acres in Franconia and Lincoln. Two superb lakes, the Flume Gorge, hiking trails, and even an aerial tramway all play starring roles in this natural showcase.

Baxter State Park (ME)

It’s a trek to reach this most spectacular chunk of wilderness, up in rural Piscataquis County—but so worth it. There’s Katahdin, of course, but also the Penobscot River, lakes, waterfalls, 215 miles of trails, and 337 campsites.

Colt State Park (RI)

Land and sea find scenic harmony along Narragansett Bay, as this 464-acre Bristol park beckons the recreation-minded with biking and walking trails, grassy spots that are ideal for picnicking or tossing a Frisbee, and a public boat launch on the threshold of the open Atlantic.

Nickerson State Park (MA)

Look past Cape Cod’s seaside charms and you’ll find an equally beautiful interior. Nickerson’s many trails and campsites nestle into a mix of deep woods, meadows, and freshwater ponds, while its bike path connects to the Cape’s famous rail trail.

Burton Island State Park (VT)

While many state parks are remote, this Lake Champlain island—reached only by private boat or a 10-minute ferry ride—is a true get-away-from-it-all experience. Hike, swim, and (if you planned ahead, which you should) camp out in tranquility.

Harkness Memorial State Park (CT)

Rugged, it’s not. But magical? Without a doubt. With its 1906 Italianate mansion, formal gardens, and expansive views of Long Island Sound, this seaside escape in Waterford takes state parks to a whole new level of sophistication.