Sunset Hill, Lake Sunapee NH


• 3-star hikes
• 1.8 to 3.5 mile options
• Easy & Medium difficulty | Gain 540 to 740 feet
• Newbury, NH | Sunapee Region
• Driving Directions: Hay, Kidder


The historical Fells estate includes over 80 acres of woodland trails and gardens.

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Two trails are better than one, and even more so if you can combine them into a loop, as we discovered at Lake Sunapee's Sunset Hill. Inset off the eastern shoreline of the lake, and part of the John Hay Estate at The Fells, we also present two separate out-and-back trails which feature differing terrain up to the shared summit.

Both trails to the summit are fairly wide and offer gradual climbs, though we consider the Kidder Tract Trail a little trickier due to the rocks and roots towards the top. Make sure to stray slightly westward of the true summit of the hill to find the best views, although they only offer a partial panorama of the lake.

Loop, Hay Trail, Kidder Trail. Expand Map

Hay Reservation Trail 3★
2.5 mi, Out & Back, Easy, Gain 550 ft | A gentle climb along a wide woodland trail, passing by the cellar remains of a farmhouse that once stood on this land by the intersection with Old Country Road. Park for free in the John Hay Estate lot.
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

Kidder Tract Trail 3★
1.8 mi, Out & Back, Medium, Gain 540 ft | Begins with an easy gravel walk through birch forest and small grassy meadows, before the trail becomes the more conventional but short New Hampshire rocky hillside climb. Parking is available for several vehicles by the trailhead.
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails


Partial Lake Sunapee panorama from the summit of Sunset Hill.

Loop Trail 3★
3.5 mi, Loop, Medium, Gain 740 ft | This part-loop combines both trails in their entirety, connecting them with a short stroll along the quiet Chalk Pond Road and a return to the Hay Trail along the remains of the Old Country Road South. As the old road is not maintained as a trail, expect some poor conditions; we found light mud here, despite the other trails being dry.
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails


Expect mostly gentle and easy trails. | Mourning Cloak butterfly.


Topography of The Fells and northern Lake Sunapee.

Tangents:
• Trail Links: Official Map
• Public Maps at AllTrails: Hay, Kidder
• Facebook Group: Comment on this article

Nearby Trails:
• 2 miles away: Mount Sunapee 4★ (1-10 mile hikes)
• 6 miles away: Simpson Reserve 4★ (4-8 mile hikes)
• Show on map: All nearby trails

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NH Forest Society
Trails in this article are maintained by the Society For The Protection of New Hampshire Forests.
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