Estimated Time: 4.5-5.5 hours round-trip
Distance: 4.4 miles on trail round-trip (plus 2 miles on dirt roads to access the trailhead)
Mt. Hayes in Gorham makes for a wonderful 1/2 day hike to some tremendous views of the town of Gorham and the Northern Presidential Range. One of the trickiest parts of this hike is finding the trailhead! The best way to access the trail is by parking at the Trestle Bridge on Rt. 16 in Gorham, just past VIP Tires when you are heading north (see map below). From there, cross over the bridge and turn left of the far side. Follow the dirt path past the pond, until you reach a “T”. Take a right here to connect with the ATV trail and then a left to cross over the canal. Just on the far side of the bridge, look for a small trail on your right. Follow this until it connects with another dirt road, take a right and continue walking (about 10 minutes) until you reach the trailhead on your left. This route is indicated in red on the map below:
Once you reach the trailhead (shown by an orange star on the map above), you will begin hiking through the woods (yellow path on map). The route to the top of Mt. Hayes follows the Mahoosuc Trail and is marked with blue blazes. The route can be a bit wet in the spring and early summer. The trail starts off gradually and quickly crosses some power lines. After half of a mile, there is a spur trail on the right to Mascot Pond, which also makes for a very nice destination. Shortly after there is a short steeper section before the path levels out and crosses over a dirt road. On the far side the trail climbs moderately through some muddy sections before one last steep section to the top.
Before you reach the actual summit, there is a small path to the right which leads out onto some fabulous ledges with great views. This is a great place to have a picnic lunch, eat a snack or simply relax and take in the views.
From here, you can continue on the Mahoosuc Trail if you want. The actual summit is .3 miles further but doesn’t offer a view and is just marked by a cairn. For most people, the ledges are a good destination. Return to your car on the same route you took up.