Hi, I’m Sarah, and I’m hiking mountains.

Mt. Isolation in December… aka North of The Wall

Sarah Holman at the top of Mt Washington in the White Mountains, New Hampshire
The summit of Mt Washington, my favorite mountain.

All sixty-seven 4000+ footers in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. I mostly hike alone or with Luna, my golden retriever. I’m sharing my experiences here and on Instagram

You will find details about the trails I hike, the gear and resources I use, and what each hike was like—amazing, decent, tough, or downright awful. At the bottom of each hiking post, there is a table of stats to help you plan your own hike.  

You will also find shameless promotion of nurturing your thing. At this moment in time, my thing is hiking, although the thing itself doesn’t matter. It can be any activity that brings joy to you and only you, something that inspires awareness, change, growth, and ultimately, self-preservation.  

I started hiking alone in August 2020. The pandemic was dragging on. There was no end in sight. No imminent return to normal. I felt physically stuck, creatively stagnant, and emotionally exhausted. I was overstimulated by the demands of quarantine and underwhelmed by my ability to cope. I wanted to be alone. To breathe, to think, to process. 

So, I headed for the only place I knew I’d be really, truly isolated: the mountains. 

I live in Portland, and although Maine is certainly a mountainous state, the more significant peaks are over two hours away. It was a shorter drive to reach the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a place I am fond of and familiar with.

Before the pandemic, I hadn’t hiked in years. I hadn’t been in the woods—I mean really in the woods—in years. It only took one hike over the Moat Mountain range and I was hooked. 

A dog sitting at the summit, seen while hiking North and Middle Tripyramid Mts. in the White Mountains, New Hampshire
Luna! Feeling proud in the White Mountains.

Since then, I’ve been hiking once a week unless an injury or a major life event gets in the way. I say ‘major’ because nurturing your thing only works if you make it a priority, putting its importance on the same level as work, family, home, and social obligations. 

Prioritizing yourself, especially if you’re a caregiver to others, is hard. It feels weird and selfish and undeserved. It’s not. The alternative, which is to put yourself last, has far more devastating outcomes.

Hiking is my thing, and summiting the NE 67 is my adventure. It is an exploration of places, challenges, and my individual capacity for hard work. It’s also my commitment to self-prioritization, which positively effects my work, my habits, and the people I care about. 

In addition to providing helpful information about the 67 New England 4000 footers, the goal of She Hikes Mountains is to inspire other women (and men… but especially women) to find the thing that brings them joy and to nurture it boldly, bravely, and unapologetically.

 We get one life. It is meant to be lived.

A note about She Hike Mountains stats:
At the end of every hiking post you will find stats I’ve compiled about the trail. These are my opinions based on my personal experience with the hike. This is not an official guide. Your experience may differ drastically depending on the season, the weather, your prior hiking experience, and your physical condition.

A note about dogs:
In my stats, ‘dogs’ refers to whether or not I think dogs can use the trail, based on my knowledge of Luna’s capabilities. For reference, Luna is a 60lb, 2 year old Golden Retriever. Some trails and parks have very specific rules about dogs, ie, on-leash only. Check before you go and always hike with a leash just in case!

A note about mileage:
The trail mileage I list is taken from my iWatch recordings, the AllTrails app, and the Appalachian Mountain Club guide book. I’ve found these don’t always match each other, so consider these mileages an average, occasionally giving or taking about a half mile.

A note about safety:
Your safety on any trail is your responsibility. Always, always, always take a compass and a map and make sure someone knows where you are and when you will be back. Check the weather forecast for the SUMMIT before you go, not just the trailhead. Bring layers, even if you’re sweating while you’re packing, and carry more water than you think you’ll need.

Remember: The goal isn’t to reach the summit. It is to return safely to the trailhead or terminus point.