Swett Mtn. Trail

Trail Name: Swett Mountain Trail
Gilford, NH
Trail Description and Photos: Killian Gallagher
Swett Mountain Trail Description 

The Swett Mountain Trail (blazed green) connects the summit of Swett Mountain to the end of the Vista Trail on the open ledges at the southern summit of Piper Mountain. The trail has been recently rebuilt following years of lack of use and disintegration. The summit of Swett Mtn. has several open, ledgy spots which offer fine views of thelocal area. Beginning at the eastern intersection of the Vista and Valley View trails just east of the southern peak of Piper Mtn, the trail heads southeast from that intersection directly to the summit of Swett Mtn. At the start of the trail is a laminated sign explaining the private ownership of the land through which the trail runs and the need for respect of the land owner’s wishes while on the trail.

The trail begins with a steady descent of about 75 yards, and opens up for about 120 yards across exposed rocks marked with cairns and blazes. There is a small foot path to your right shortly after re-entering the trees. Next, the trail bears right and makes a steep descent down a rockfall for approximately 70 yards. This section of the trail should be approached with caution if it is wet or icy. After another 50 yards the trail turns left and uphill and follows the ridgeline. At approximately 0.3 mi. from the trailhead, there is a large glacial erratic boulder deposited to your right (see photo). From there, the trail continues through open pine forest. At 0.5 mi. from the trailhead, the trail crosses a well-kept stone wall, where there is another sign denoting private property and begins a very gradual ascent to the peak of Swett Mountain at 0.7 where the best cover can be found on windy days.

After leaves fall in autumn and before they bud in the spring there are good views to be found ~70 yards east of the Mt. Swett summit: to the northeast of Mt. Suncook, Mack and Anna, and to the south, of Sunset and Manning lakes. Those with knowledge of more distant mountains will recognize Mt. Kearsarge, Mt. Monadnock, the Uncanoonucs, Parker Mt, Blue Job Mt, and many others.

Distances from the eastern intersection of Valley View and Vista Trails (~1660’):

  • to Swett Mtn. summit (~1534’): 0.7 mi. (1.1 km.), -125 ft., 45 min.