Great Glen Trails Snowshoeing Report

If you live in the New Hampshire area, be sure to check out the Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center for snowshoeing adventures. Snowshoeing and Nordic skiing are two of the most popular wintertime activities at Great Glen Trails.

This was the first time snowshoeing using a new set of L.L. Bean Winter Walkers, so we did not need to rent snowshoes. However, this is an option from the main lodge for those who do not own snowshoeing equipment.

What is Great Glen Trails?

As mentioned, Great Glen Trails is located in Coos County, NH. During winter, the primary recreation is Nordic or cross-country skiing, but they also maintain dedicated snowshoeing trails, tubing, and fat-biking.

Great Glen Trails is a premiere snowshoeing destination in New England. Besides snowshoe rentals, trail passes, and guided snowshoe tours, they even offer competitive snowshoe racing through a program known as “Snowshoe Meisters”.

Trip report

We started the trip by checking into the Great Glen Trails Base Lodge to receive our trail passes. Here, I also received advice from the welcome staff that snowshoers should stick to the trail system on the eastern part of the map to keep on the dedicated snowshoe/backcountry trails.

With that in mind, I planned to start our route by tackling the 3 mile Aqueduct loop, which seemed like a reasonable challenge for two first timers. We setoff by accessing a trail from the parking lot that had a very steep initial incline.

The weather was not too cold, but winds were extremely gusty. Therefore, we were anxious to escape the exposed section of the initial climb and escape into the trees. Fortunately, the trail elevation became more gradual at this point. We immediately felt the peaceful solitude within the freshly covered backcountry trail system.

Great Glen Trails Snowshoe Aqueduct Loop
Seeking Shelter and Solitude on the Aqueduct Loop Trail

Eventually, we finished our route the Aqueduct Loop which deposited us back into the parking lot. This was a perfect time to seek shelter from the brutal wind and warm up with a lunch break in our car. Under normal circumstances, I would have loved to experience more of the Base Lodge.

After lunch, we wanted to explore some more of the snowshoe trails, and set off for a smaller loop at the southern portion of the trail system, targeting the “Bent Nail” and “Scramble” trails. This route also brought us close to the beginning of the Nordic Ski Track. We also decided to quickly venture through the tunnel underneath Route 16 keeping along the side of the cross-country skiiers.

Conclusion

I recorded the trip using Strava and recorded 4.32 miles of snowshoeing with 675 total feet of elevation gain. This was in just over three hours of snowshoeing, although our total moving time was around 2 hours.

I also noticed that Strava geo-tagged the trip location as Green’s Grant, New Hampshire instead of Gorham. Upon further research, I learned that this township had an official population of only one from the most recent 2010 Census, and that this was one of the last land grants made by New Hampshire governor John Wentworth during the French and Indian Wars.

Besides the history lesson, I would highly recommend visiting Great Glen Trails and would love to return for another snowshoeing adventure or to try my hand at cross country skiing.

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