Forest Society Begins Sustainability Upgrade at Mount Major

Anna Berry | May 15, 2024
Closed parking lot sign at Mt Major.

Visitors are asked to follow signage on site and park along the highway.

On May 13, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests began an ambitious trail project to greatly improve the sustainability of Mount Major's Main Trail, the most popular route up and down the mountain.

While construction is underway, the parking area and lower sections of the Main Trail will be temporarily closed. There will still be parking along the highway and marked routes to the summit. Portable toilets will remain available at the trailhead. Mt. Major is a carry in-carry out location so please take all your trash home with you, including dog waste. 

The work is expected to last 12 weeks. Visitors are asked to follow signage on site and keep dogs leashed during construction.

If planning to visit with a group of 15 or more, especially with a large van or bus, please register in advance and visit this page for more information.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions here.

The Forest Society is teaming up with Town 4 Trails Services and OBP Trailworks to construct the sustainable trail, which will take the place of about 1/3 mile of the existing Main/Blue Trail. The lower sections of the Main Trail include some extremely eroded sections, the result of steep grades on sub-optimal soil in a place that is visited by more than 80,000 people annually. That’s more than 240 million footfalls each year.

For decades, the soil eroding from these areas has been washing down the trail, into streams and directly into Lake Winnipesaukee across Route 11 from the Mt. Major parking area. The new trail section will also require much less maintenance over time and will reduce runoff and silting into Lake Winnipesaukee.  

Questions about the trail work at Mount Major can be directed to Dylan Summers, Stewardship Projects Manager, at

Sustainable trail construction is not a small undertaking. This reconstruction of about 1/3 mile of trail is a major investment. To support the project, the Forest Society must raise $300,000. 

Fortunately, we have been able to raise more than $200,000 to date thanks to a grant from the NH Recreation Trails Program and gifts and grants foundations and more than 100 individuals. Now, we have just $80,000 left to raise. Donations can be made on our website or deposited in iron rangers at the Mt. Major trailhead.