Ragged Mountain, Andover NH


• 4-star hike
• 4.3 to 7.7 mile options
• Medium difficulty | Gain 1,120 to 2,040 feet
• Sunapee Region | Andover & Danbury, NH
• Driving Directions: Spear Mt | Andover


Climb one, or climb all of Ragged Mountain's peaks on these trails.

The sawtoothed Ragged Mountain known best for the ski slopes on its Northern faces also sports great hiking trails up and across the unspoiled Southern flanks. Note that there is a further option that we don't feature on our map - a 4.3 mile and 1,100 foot elevation gain walk up the ski slopes which can only be accessed out of ski season and doesn't offer much in the way of good hiking.

The two trailheads on our map take you to different peaks on either side of the mountain's long and jagged ridge, which can be connected by a 1.5 mile and 920 foot elevation gain ridge trail. The Spear Mountain route is the shortest and offers great views from a vantage point halfway up the mountain, as well as from the summit. However the New Canada Road trailhead to Spear Mountain is closed every year during spring mud season, while the Andover Trailhead remains open throughout the year.

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Phone Navigation:
Spear Mt | 4★, 4.3mi, Med, 1,120ft | AllTrails
Ridge Trail | 4★, 7.4mi, Med, 1,936ft | AllTrails
Andover Trail | 4★, 6.2mi, Med, 1,660ft | AllTrails

Trail Descriptions:

Spear Mountain | 4★, 4.3mi, Med, 1,120ft | Starting at a parking lot that accomodates around a half-dozen vehicles, the trail begins on a grassy path that leads on to a moderately easy narrow dirt trail and makes a couple of easy creek crossings. On the bottom half of this trail expect to find occasional muddy patches almost throughout the year. The second mile of the trail becomes more rocky but remains easy to traverse, and up here you'll begin to get some good views across Ragged Mountain and towards the taller mass of Mount Kearsarge to the South.

Make note of the junction where the trail splits between the short Spear Mountain summit trail heading upward to the left, and the ridge trail that immediately drops down a short rock face to the right and continues on to The Pinnacle. The Spear Mountain summit trail is around 0.15 miles and less than a hundred foot climb to the top, though you will have to negotiate a short and easy rock scramble to make it to the 2,128 foot peak. Here you'll find civilization has made it to the summit before you - this is the highest peak of the ski resort, but at least the removal of the forest for the ski runs gives you good views of the valley below and the distant White Mountains.


Chairlift on Spear Mt | Helpful ropes on the Ridge Trail

Spear Mountain & Ridge Trail | 4★, 7.4mi, Med, 1,936ft | Also beginning at New Canada Road and offering a little more of a challenge, this route involves scaling every one of Ragged Mountain's peaks. Take note that the ridge trail separates off and dives downward from the Spear Mountain trail just beneath the summit at an unmarked junction that can be easy to miss.

Following the mountain's forested ridgeline along this slightly narrower and fainter trail is a fun trip between summits - the most notable summit being the radio tower topped West Peak at 2,225 feet. Suprisingly the terrain up here remains wet and boggy well into the summer, so if you thought you'd be getting away from the bugs, think again. Thanks go out to the kind hikers who installed ropes on two sections of steep trail up here, which make them much easier to scale.

The ridge trail ends beyond the tallest peak known as The Pinnacle (2,286 ft) which is accessible by a very short spur. Be sure to continue West past this peak to reach the overlook where you'll find possibly the best views from Ragged Mountain.


Mt Kearsarge from the Ridge Trail.

Andover Trail to The Pinnacle | 4★, 6.2mi, Med, 1,660ft | Mostly climbing through the grounds of Proctor Academy school in Andover, this trail is freely accessible to the public all year round and begins by an enormous parking lot used mainly for school sports facilities.

Beginning with a gentle climb through typical deciduous New Hampshire forest, keep one eye on the trail and another on your map as this area is a network of trails and junctions. The trail becomes steeper and rockier around the two mile mark but the terrain never becomes difficult. Upon reaching the summit, remember to continue on to the Western most outlook that is a distance past the highest point on Ragged Mountain where you'll find the best views.

The college's network of trails include many others that are visible on the school's own trail map, and some of which are featured on a loop trail suggested by All Trails (we included the link below). We have marked a short side trip to a lookout with great Southern views, but although other maps show this trail continuing further and making a loop back to the trailhead, we recommend against it - this trail is faint, frequently non-existant and requires a lot of scrambling, wayfinding work, and some bushwacking. We know because we followed it all the way down and regretted it.



Don't miss the views if you're hiking the tallest, East peak.

Tangents:
• AllTrails Public: Spear Mt | Andover
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