Join us for a post-winter, shoulder season hike up North (4420 ft) and South (4319 ft) Hancock - named in honor of John Hancock, the first patriot to sign the Declaration of Independence. Although their summit views are partly restricted and the ridge between them is densely wooded, the mountains have long held an aura of mystery and inaccessibility that offers a wilderness flavor not found on the more popular White Mountain hikes.
This hike will begin from the Hancock Overlook parking area on the Kancamagus Highway (NH 112), just east of the hairpin turn and 4.7 miles east of the Lincoln Woods Parking area. We will take the Hancock Notch and Cedar Brook Trails for 2.5 miles, rising slowly while following the the North Fork River. At the junction with the Hancock Loop Trail, we will proceed to the Loop junction at 3.6 miles from where we will take the North link, a steep climb that parallels the Arrow slide, up to the North Peak and a broad wooded summit at 4.2 miles. From the North Peak, we will continue on the Hancock Loop Trail to the wooded peak of South Hancock at 5.6 miles and then back to the Loop Junction at 6.1 miles followed by 3.6 generally easy miles back to the trailhead. Total distance for the hike is 9.8 miles with 2700 ft of elevation gain.