Oak Hill Tower Trail

• 4-star hike
• 3.8 mile out-and-back • Easy difficulty
• Elevation gain 650 feet (415 - 966ft)
• Merrimack Valley • Concord NH
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The view from the top of the fire tower steps is great even though the building is locked.

Popular with Concord residents, the trail up to the newly-restored fire tower atop Oak Hill is very pleasant, not too rocky and easy to navigate. Until you reach the top however views are mostly limited to the canopy of oak trees for which the hill was named.

The payoff is worth the 650 feet ascent. Be sure to climb the stairs to the underside of the locked fire tower hut for the best panoramic views.

The fire tower shares the summit with a picnic table, an ancient rusted grading machine and three ugly (but no doubt necessary) microwave and radio towers. I worked hard to keep them cropped them out of my photos, of course.

Previous visitors clearly weren't familiar with the meaning of 'leave no trace'.

We'd rate Tower Trail as a three-star hike, but if you add a couple more miles to your hike you'll find even better trails on a more circuitous return route - including Swope Slope Vista on the Dancing Bear Trail and Oak Hill Vista on Vista Way. We marked these on our map. These viewpoints provided great northerly views as far as Mt. Kearsage and Ragged Mountain, which is particularly impressive when still so close to the city of Concord.

The best views are at the Oak Hill Vista on Vista Way.

Our map marks both the 3.8 mile out-and-back tower trail and our own zig-zagging return route that adds a further 1.2 miles and turns the hike into a loop trail that includes the viewpoints.

Although we identify this trail as easy difficulty because the trail involves only a fair incline, and poses no rocky challenges, please be aware that there is still significant elevation gain which might be a little much for some.

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