The Cliff Trail leads to awesome clifftop vistas on the wild and rugged back side of Monhegan Island in Maine. Carey Kish photo

With thousands of miles of hiking trails and walking paths rich in scenery, history and wildlife, New England is a hiker’s dream destination. And for trampers who appreciate beer, the region has the added appeal of being home to a burgeoning craft brewing industry that now includes more than 700 breweries, microbreweries, brewpubs and tasting rooms. Someone should write a book about hiking and beer, I’d thought many times over the years, and so finally I did.

The book, “Beer Hiking New England,” took several years of research and writing. It was a wonderful journey from beginning to end, and I hope you’ll enjoy the travels, the discovery, the hiking and the beer as much as I did.

Here’s a sample of six hikes near craft breweries – one from each New England state – with each featuring a different natural landscape.


Enjoy a salty ferry ride 10 miles out to sea, then meander along the margin of impressive rocky headlands where numerous clifftop lookouts reveal bold ocean views. When you’re done with your scenic sojourn, saunter through the harborside village back to Monhegan Brewing (you passed it earlier) to enjoy a fine brew outdoors in the Trap Room; built of stacked lobster traps, it’s one of the coolest tasting rooms anywhere.

Pig’s Ear Brown Ale, far right, is the flagship brew at the fun and funky Woodstock Inn Brewery in North Woodstock, New Hampshire. Carey Kish photo



Climb the 10th highest and most westerly of the 48 peaks over 4,000 feet in the White Mountains. Follow the trail across the mountain’s extensive and fragile Alpine zone, where the 360-degree panorama ranges east to Mount Washington and west across Vermont’s Green Mountains to the Adirondacks of New York. Slake your post-hike thirst with a Pig’s Ear Brown Ale, the flagship offering at the fun and funky Woodstock Inn Brewery.

The Pinnacle is the crown jewel of the 16-mile-long wooded hill known as Windmill Ridge in southeastern Vermont. Carey Kish photo


Featuring lovely vistas over the bucolic countryside to the west, the Pinnacle is the crown jewel of this 16-mile long wooded ridgeline. Over the last 30 years, local conservationists have painstakingly preserved 2,700 acres along the hill and built a 26-mile network of trails. Refreshment awaits on the upper patio deck at Whetstone Station in Brattleboro, Vermont, where you can hoist a cold beer overlooking the wide Connecticut River.

Enjoy dramatic views of Chesterfield Gorge on a wonderful walk along the wild and scenic Westfield River in west-central Massachusetts. Carey Kish photo

WESTFIELD RIVER, Massachusetts

Drink in dramatic views of Chesterfield Gorge and its walls of gneiss, schist and quartzite towering 70 feet over the Westfield River. Meander down the winding river – 78 miles of it are designated a National Wild and Scenic River – to the old Baker Mill and Dam site. Retrace your steps, then head east to the warm, friendly environs of Northampton Brewery, one of the oldest continuously operating brewpubs in the eastern United States.

Enjoy a Beer’d Brewing brew with a slice of Woodfellas pizza in the historic American Velvet Mill in Stonington, Connecticut. Carey Kish photo

BARN ISLAND, Connecticut


This state-owned property on Long Island Sound in Stonington, Connecticut, is considered the finest wild coastal area in the state. Follow old roads across the expansive, wildlife-rich salt marshes and through woodlands of oak, hickory and maple. An old homestead and cemetery add a touch of history to your stroll. At Beer’d Brewing nearby, sample the great beer lineup in the Beer’d Garden in the atrium of the restored 1891 American Velvet Mill.

Beautiful Tillinghast Pond is the central natural feature of the largest wildlife preserve owned by The Nature Conservancy in Rhode Island. Carey Kish photo


Located in the remote west-central region, this beautiful pond is part of the largest wildlife preserve owned by The Nature Conservancy in the Ocean State. Circle the pond, visit a cascading brook and stride through mature stands of pine, hemlock and oak. Later at Linesider Brewing in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, relax with a strIPAh in hand, the deliciously popular New England IPA that’s named for Rhode Island’s state fish, the striped bass.

Please hike safely, have lots of fun and always drink responsibly. Be sure to practice Leave No Trace. Remember to overtip your bartender or server, too. And maybe I’ll see you out on the trail or in a brewery somewhere along the way.

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island is an award winning member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. “Beer Hiking New England” is now widely available. Follow more of Carey’s adventures on Facebook and on Instagram @careykish

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