Near the top of Mount Sunapee, about a mile hike from the summit lodge, is Lake Solitude. This small isolated lake is in the crater of an ancient volcano. You can reach the lake with about a two hour hike from several trail heads at the base of the mountain.
There are four trails that lead to the lake from the base of Mt. Sunapee.
The Newbury Trail begins at Newbury Harbor for a steep 3 mile route to the Jack & June Junction, marked by a signpost, where you can turn left to the lake or continue up the hill to the White Ledges that overlook the lake, for one of the most spectacular views around.
The Andrew Brook Trail starts at a trail head about 3⁄4 mile up Mountain Road. This is the toughest trail to the summit because it crosses numerous streams that have eroded the trail so much that there are only piles of exposed rock for much of the trail.
The Province Road Trail starts at the top of Old Province Road, next to the top of the Mt. Sunapee South Peak chairlift. This is the smoothest and least-used of the summit foot trails. It leads to the summit ski lodge.
To get to Lake Solitude from there you have to go down the Porky’s Trail 2/10 mile to the Lake Solitude Trail on your right, and follow the trail for one mile.
You may also hike the Mt. Sunapee service road up to the junction of the Lake Solitude Trail. Just follow the campsite signs as you enter the Mt. Sunapee Ski Area. Half-way up the mountain, just after the camping area and near the base of the Sun Bowl chairlift, you will see signs for the Lake Solitude Trail. Continue up the service road to where it intersects with Porky’s Trail near the summit to find the junction of the Lake Solitude Trail on your left.
In addition to the unforgettable view from the White Ledges, you can make your way down to the lakeshore to the campsite where you will find a fire ring and a battered old rowboat that some very motivated hikers carried in. You could take it out for a row but the bottom has been patched many times and the craft will leak.
Tip: Allow at least 5 hours for the hike – 2 hours each way, and you will want to rest and spend at least an hour at Lake Solitude and White Ledges.
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