Oak Hill is a classic hike in the Concord, NH metro area. This hill receives a lot of attention by locals at all times of the year due to close proximity to the city of Concord as well as to Interstate I-93. The summit itself has no views, however there is a fire tower on top of the summit that has commanding views of western mountains in the Monadnock region, Mt. Kearsarge, Mt. Cardigan and some of the White Mountains up north.
For a long time the principle trail to the top of Oak Hill was the Oak Hill fire tower road. This 2.5 mile round trip hike is a walk up and generally has no views until the fire tower is reached. This trail can be reached on Oak Hill Road roughly four miles from I-93.
However recently the Concord Conservation Commission has added a number of new trails on the other side of Oak Hill. One trail called the Tower Trail is a 1.25 mile one way hike to the summit of Oak Hill, is a much more desirable hike up to the summit. It is much more of a trail than a dirt road and feature a hemlock forest on the way up. Though slightly more challenging than the fire tower road, this trail is still very much a beginners trail. This trail be reached on Shaker Road roughly four miles north from I-93. Out of the two ways up I would highly recommend this way. There are plenty of other trails in this area, which make a loop hike very possible. Also there are some overlooks nearby.
Getting ThereTO OAK HILL FIRE TOWER DIRT ROAD TRAILHEAD: From Exit 16 on I-93 North make a right on to the road and head straight through the intersection on Oak Hill Road. Stay on Oak Hill Road roughly four miles through the hilly countryside until you see a silo on your right. You want to park just before you reach that silo because are no other areas to park around there. The fire tower road with be on your left.
TO TOWER HILL TRAILHEAD: From Exit 16 on I-93 North make a right and then an immediate left onto Mountain Rd. Take Mountain Rd roughly 2 miles until you reach Shaker Road. Make a right on Shaker Road and head up two miles on Shaker Road. There will be a sign on the right side of the road marking the trailhead to the summit.
Red TapeOn the Oak Hill Fire Tower Road there very few parking spaces. The trail is free however watch where you park.
The Tower Trailhead is also free and there plenty of parking available with a small parking area right at the trailhead. There is no fee on the trailhead
When To ClimbThis summit can be climbed at any time of the year.
CampingCamping is not permitted in the Tower Trail. There is also little need to camp on the summit due to the fact that the roundtrip hike from each side are under three miles.
Mountain ConditionsWeather Conditions are similiar to Concord, New Hampshire. Just subtract three to five degrees. Contact the Concord Conservation Commission for more information on the conditions of the trails at (603)225-8515.
For information on the history and other conditions check out these websites.
Lookout Tower History
Another Tower Website