The peaks are beautiful, and a favorite among local hikers. But they are only the beginning when it comes to this area’s wealth of opportunities for outdoor fun. Stratford might be a small town, but it is a big destination for wilderness adventure. The town is surrounded by miles of pristine forests, mountains, lakes and rivers. It provides easy access to the best of the North Country, while still being close to popular White Mountain attractions (like Santa’s Village) to the south. That all makes Stratford an ideal basecamp for your North Country adventure.
Stratford is surrounded by some of the best wilderness areas in New Hampshire. It is bordered by two outdoor gems: To the east is the Connecticut River and to the west is Nash Stream Forest Natural Area, which is home to Percy Peaks. The summit of North Percy Peak is 3,430 feet high and is bare ledge. The peak of 3,234-foot South Percy Peak is wooded, but still offers some great views. A popular hike among local hikers is the Percy Peaks Trail, a 2.2-mile hike from Nash Stream Road up to the summit of North Percy Peak. For those feeling adventurous, a rough trail branches off of this hike and goes over to the summit of South Percy Peak.
Another fun mountain to hike nearby is Sugarloaf Mountain. Standing 3,710 feet high, Sugarloaf offers breathtaking views of Percy Peaks. Sugarloaf Mountain Trail begins on Nash Stream Road and climbs steadily for more than two miles to the summit. Nearby Long Mountain (3,661 feet) is trailless, but just to the south of it is Victor Head, which is 2,265 feet high, offers wonderful views and can be easily accessed from the Cohos Trail.
Paddlers who want to canoe or kayak along the scenic Connecticut River can use Stratford’s two river access points. One is located at Maidstone Bridge, and another is off Main Street in North Stratford.
Stratford is part of the Ride the Wilds trail system and offers easy access to miles of exciting ATV trails. Stratford’s own ATV club, North Country ATV, maintains more than 120 miles of their own trails, and they’re a great resource for local information.
Stratford also offers easy access to the North Country’s vast network of snowmobile trails. The local snowmobiling club is the Stratford Nighthawks. They help groom local trails and are a great source of trail information.
When it comes to lodging, Big Rock Campground and Cabins offers an unparalleled combination of wonderful amenities and easy access to the region’s best ATV and hiking trails. This full-service, family campground offers rustic cabins and beautiful campsites with picnic tables and fire rings. In addition to offering direct access to the region’s ATV trails, they also have a large swimming pool, playground and WiFi.
A favorite dining spot in Stratford is the Riverside Market & Deli, where you can enjoy delicious pizza, generously-packed subs and even baked goods. Located in the same building is the Back Room Tavern, which has a pool table and is a great place to grab a brew after a day on the area’s trails.