Mt. Moriah is part of the Carter Range in New Hampshire. It can be climbed on its own or done as part of the entire mountain range. The Carter-Moriah Trail runs the entire length of the range from Gorham, New Hampshire to Carter Notch. If attempting the entire trail some logistics will be needed ahead of time with regards to transportation from trailhead to trailhead. It is 13.8 miles from the start on Bangor Street to the end in Carter Notch. There are opportunities to use sections of the Carter-Moriah trail in combination with other trails for shorter day use hikes and various loops can be constructed to reach the other 4,000 foot summits of the Carter Range. These will be outlined in later posts.
The Carter-Moriah trail approached from the north begins at the end of a dead end street in Gorham, New Hampshire. To reach the trailhead travel on US 2 east from Gorham for .5 miles and take a right on Bangor Street. At the end of the road there is a turnaround and a small parking area on the left hand side of the road. Only park on the left side of the road, and be courteous because there is only room for several cars. This is a neighborhood so be mindful of your dog’s behavior and keep them on leash until safely on the trail.
The trail is next to a house and follows an old logging road steeply up. It climbs at a moderate grade through some beautiful second growth hardwood forests. This area has been clear-cut in the past and there is evidence of more recent logging activity near the trail. Forestry activity makes for an easy hiking approach since woodsmen used the trail in the past. It is also a reminder of the rich history of the Forestry Industry that played an enormous part of the history of economics in New Hampshire. At 2.0 miles there is a ledge to the right that affords views of Mt. Madison and Mt. Adams to the west. Once above tree line water can be scarce on the trail because it follows the crest of the ridgeline so be sure to plan ahead and pack extra for you and your dog.
As you gain elevation the trail becomes steeper and climbs over several ledges that provide views. The trail follows the ridge and winds from side to side and dips up and down. It is well maintained, easy to follow and very safe for humans and dogs. The summit of Mt. Moriah is located 4.5 miles from the start of the trailhead and 50 yards up a small side trail. Do not let the summit sign fool you, as it is located in a wooded area. Look for the sign directing you to the actual summit.There are sweeping views in all directions.
Mt. Moriah via the Carter-Moriah Trail from Bangor Street to the summit and back is a 9-mile round trip hike. It is a very enjoyable mountain without any dog challenging aspects. The trail is easy to follow and navigate. Rewarding views from the summit make this mountain a favorite fall hike for foliage viewing without the difficulties that other 4,000 footers impose. It is also a gorgeous spot to go hunt for blueberries on the ledges and Mt. Surprise (a small mountain you cross on your way to the summit).
Distance from Bangor Street Trailhead
Mt. Moriah Summit 4.5 miles