Mount Major History

Mount Major Alton New Hampshire

History Pre-2000s

You can take a self-guided history, forests, and wildlife outing at Mt. Major. It includes details on an old cellar hole from a farm and information about Phippen's Hut, the remains of which can be seen at the summit of Mt. Major.

You can also learn more about the area from Belknap Range Trails.

2013: Everybody Hikes Mount Major

In 2013, a coalition of organizations, led by the Forest Society, including the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, and the Belknap Range Conservation Coalition, launched the "Everybody Hikes Mount Major" campaign to protect the trails and land surrounding Mount Major Reservation in Alton. 


2015: A conservation success story is completed

The campaign successfully raised more than $1.6 million to support the acquisition and stewardship of 950 acres and conserve key parcels of land on and surrounding Mt. Major. Since then, the Forest Society has purchased an additional 265 acres on the mountain. 


2019: Mt. Major named a Leave No Trace Hotspot

It was an award that wasn't cause for celebration


2020: First phase of trail improvement project completed

In 2019, the Forest Society contracted professional trail builder Erin Amadon, owner of Town 4 Trail Services, LLC, to provide a trail assessment and rehabilitation plan for the Main and Brook trails.

In September 2020, the first phase of the project began with Forest Society staff and volunteers developing a temporary re-route around the bottom 500 feet of the Main Trail and coordinating with NHDOT to close Mount Major’s parking lot during the project. 


Before and after photos of the trail work.

2021: New Kiosk Installed

Over the summer of 2021, with help from volunteers, we installed a covered pavilion in the parking area. The structure provides some protection from the weather, whether hot sun or freezing rain, and houses a kiosk with the trail map and other information. 

A group of volunteers poses after the completion of the covered pavilion at Mt. Major.

2022: Forest Society pilots Volunteer Trailhead Outreach Program

After two seasons of increasing visitors due to the COVID pandemic, the Forest Society launched a new program to connect trained volunteers with visitors to Mt. Major. 

The Volunteer Trailhead Outreach Program is modeled after the highly successful Trailhead Stewards Program in the White Mountain National Forest and the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Trailhead Stewardship Program. Volunteers have received training in visitor engagement, Leave-No-Trace etiquette, and the messages of HikeSafe & Recreate Responsibly


2024: Phase II of the project, delayed by 2023 record rains, to begin in May and fundraising continues

This spring, work will start on the long-planned upgrade of the Main/Blue Trail at Mount Major in Alton. Sounds familiar, you may say to yourself. We had planned to launch and complete this new stretch of sustainably built trail last year. But nature had other plans and the torrential rains of summer 2023 delayed the project.

Those very rains, however, validated our commitment to building the new Blue Trail. Stronger storms and increasing rainfall are further degrading the well-worn canyons of the trail, and yet the small stretch of sustainable trail near the trailhead – built in 2021 – stood up to the deluges beautifully.

The upgrade of the Main/Blue Trail is a significant investment of about $300,000, including material, equipment, and labor. Fortunately, we've raised more than $200,000 to date thanks to a grants and donations from the NH Recreation Trails Program, the Bafflin Foundation Meredith Village Savings Bank, and more than 100 individuals.

Now, as we prepare to break ground on the trail in May, we have just under $100,000 left to raise. 

Make a gift today and you can walk on your investment for years to come!