We stayed at the Mt. Washington Hotel last week for a few days, and of course had to do a hike while we were there. The trailhead for Zealand is just 15 or so minutes from the Mt. Washington Hotel. Its a longer hike distance wise, but only took us 6:30 to do! The Zealand Falls Hut is on the way, and past it you can see the falls. The falls are beautiful. Zeacliff has beautiful views on the way to Zealand. Zealand’s summit doesn’t have views, it is tree covered.
Interestingly, the Zealand Recreation Area you see off of 302 before the trailhead which is up the road a bit is where a small town used to be. Zealand was a town set up by J.E. Henry from Lincoln that had a boarding house, school, and a dozen homes. John Henry was into logging, and once they clearcut the entire wilderness in that area, they picked up and headed back to Lincoln leaving behind the town. The buildings all burned down between 1886 and the turn of the century, and the town faded into the past. There were many abandoned and now almost forgotten ‘company towns’ built for the logging industry in New Hampshire. Anyway, it was really cool leaving this hike and instead of just driving by the Mt. Washington Hotel, turning down the drive to our room!