The White Mountains New Hampshire are a mountain range in central New Hampshire that is part of the much larger Appalachian Mountains. This large area covers about a quarter of the entire state and is made up of several state parks, a national forest – the White Mountain National Forest –, and dozens of lakes.
A dazzling 1,200 miles (1,931km) of hiking trails offers outdoorsy people the chance to see about every corner of these beautiful and rugged mountains. Other activities include fishing, cycling, rock climbing, parasailing, kayaking and bird watching. No less than 48 mountain peaks rise higher than 4,000 feet (1,219m).
The White Mountains New Hampshire can also be explored by hire car or motorhome rental from New York – America’s favorite means of transportation. The 100-mile White Mountains Trail is a designated national scenic byway that loops through the heart of the mountains and runs past rivers, trailheads, covered bridges, historic sites and towering mountains.
This great route runs past great features and attractions. Let’s go on a virtual clockwise trip!
The White Mountains New Hampshire Highlights
The town of Woodstock lies in the west of the White Mountains New Hampshire and is a gateway to the area. Besides lots of eateries and accommodation, the biggest tourist attraction is Clark’s Trading Post, a small amusement park with train rides, a bear show and antiquities. You can stock up on supplies in the stores in town.
Franconia Notch State Park
This breathtaking mountain pass lies between the Kinsman and Franconia mountain ranges. A definite highlight in this area is The Flume, a narrow chasm of granite cliffs and waterfalls that can be reached on a nice boardwalk. There’s covered bridge, too.
Other attractions in Franconia Notch State Park are The Basin, Echo Lake and the aerial tramway to the summit of Cannon Mountain.
The tiny village of Bretton Woods is home to the great Mount Washington Resort and Hotel. It is located in a valley next to the Presidential Range, the highest mountain range in New England. A major highlight here is the hotel, where in 1944 members of the UN assembled and established the International Monetary Fund. The views from the back porch are spectacular.
Also in Bretton Woods lies the Mount Washington Cog Railway. This scenic railway runs steeply up Mount Washington, the highest mountain in the northeast. In addition to this wonderful train, you can also hike or drive to the summit.
Crawford Notch State Park
This beautiful state park offers excellent hiking, fishing, and white-water rafting. Several waterfalls – New Hampshire’s tallest – can be found throughout the park.
This is one of the most scenic routes in all of New England, especially in the fall season. It crosses the White Mountains from east to west (from Conway to Lincoln). This 34-mile (55-km) scenic byway runs past a covered bridge, numerous trailheads, campgrounds, nice picnic spots and a spectacular mountain pass. The great thing is that there are no buildings on its entire length.
The White Mountains New Hampshire are a fantastic place to visit in every season. Summer is most crowded, but the weather is usefully fabulous and the mountains lush and green. In the fall, the gorgeous foliage attracts a crowd of so-called leaf-peepers. In winter the mountains are covered in thick blankets of snow, excellent for cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing. Spring may be the only season that’s not as good.