Sunset Hill Scenic Overlook, Newbury, NH
The Sunlit Path to Sunset Hill
The Sunset Hill Path trail head is right across the street from the Fells Reservation main gate in Newbury and goes 2 miles to a stunning overlook above Lake Sunapee at the peak of Sunset Hill. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the top.
The trail is within the Hay Forestry and Wildlife Management area and is marked with yellow blazes. There is a detailed trail map and points of interest guide at the trail head.
The Sunset Hill Trail is a perfect hike for a hot sunny day as most of the trail is in shade beneath a thick canopy of tree cover, with many small patches of sunlight lighting your way.
The Well-Shaded Path up Sunset Hill
The trail follows along Rt 103 for the first half mile and then turns up the side of the hill, passing by the Hastings Cellar, the stone foundation remains of what was a large farmhouse last occupied in 1875.
The Hastings Farmhouse Cellar Hole
The trail gets steeper as it heads up the hillside, passing over what seems like an endless succession of large log erosion barriers.
When you reach the top of the hill at a granite outcropping, you might not even know you have reached the summit. The trees are blocking any view of the land below. You have to look for a narrow path down the granite outcrop to your right and follow it out to the overlook just past a large cairn surrounded by several boulders.
The stunning view overlooking Lake Sunapee faces westward over the center of the lake just south of Great Island with Sunapee State beach, then Sunapee Harbor, Dewey Beach and the mountains beyond.
Sunapee State Beach from Sunset Hill
The low flat boulders next to the cairn are perfect for sitting and having a drink or a snack before heading back down. Follow the signs labeled Main Gate to return to the parking area at The Fells.
The Kidder Tract
by Katie Salvatore
The Kidder Tract, which adjoins the Fells Estate, was once destined to be 37 acres of condominiums. Now, it houses two trails on Sunset Hill.
The trail rises from Chalk Pond Road (a sign is at the entrance) for 0.9 miles to the summit of Sunset Hill. There, it divides into two short trails for different views.
The trail is moderate because of the incline, not the terrain, and is blazed in yellow marks.
Before hitting the trails this summer please check out our page of hiking safety tips.