The beautiful and rugged White Mountains New Hampshire cover most of the northern part of the state. Within the region are the White Mountains National Forest and several state parks. They include the Presidential Range, of which Mount Washington is part. This is the highest mountain in the northeast United States (6,288 feet) and is considered to have the most extreme weather and fastest winds in the world. In spite of this rather intimidating information, the region is one of the prime destinations for New England and New Hampshire vacations throughout the year.
White Mountains vacations provide opportunities for a wealth of outdoor recreation and access to numerous exciting tourist attractions. As part of the vast Appalachians that stretch from Alabama north into Canada, There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails as well as alpine huts maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club. The scenery is breathtaking as you hike past sparkling waterfalls, pristine mountain rivers and streams, and crystal clear lakes – all of which provide opportunities for great fishing. Additionally, numerous camping sites are scattered throughout the region, and there are White Mountains New Hampshire hotels, motels, and inns providing excellent lodging.
Cannon Mountain at 4,180 feet, has one of the oldest ski resorts in North America. This is also the site of the state symbol, the Old Man in the Mountain. This remarkable natural rock formation figured in Native American legends and drew sightseers since Americans first came across it in 1805. It finally gave way to gravity in 2003 when it collapsed off the face of the mountain. Cannon, and the site of the venerable Old Man are in one of the regions state parks. Franconia Notch State Park contains the Flume Gorge, and many people on White Mountains vacations will visit this beautiful spot. Here, you can also ride the Cannon aerial tramway to Cannon’s summit for spectacular views of the entire area.
Other exciting things to do in the White Mountains New Hampshire include enjoying a ride in vintage cars on the Conway Scenic Railroad, taking tours of several caves, and visiting a number of theme parks – from Santa’s Village to the thrilling rides in one of the state’s water parks. If you’re wondering when to go, you’ll find this region is particularly beautiful during the autumn foliage season. Winter, of course, is known for great skiing. Eight major ski resorts are here, and, in fact, you can ski well into the spring and summer.
The extensive 800,000 acres of the White Mountains National Forest includes Mount Washington and the Presidential range. Here, expert skiers can tackle Tuckerman’s and Huntington Ravine on Mount Washington into August. For the less athletically inclined, you can take an easy drive to the summit of this famous peak. You can also ride to the summit on the Mount Washington Cog Railway that has been operating since 1869. One of the finest New Hampshire hotels, the grand Mount Washington Hotel (now one of the Bretton Woods resorts) is located here. Built in 1902, it is a National Historic Landmark, and catered to White Mountains vacations of the wealthy from Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. During its heyday, as many as fifty trains a day stopped here.
The White Mountains National Forest and the several state parks in the region provide a wealth of attractions and activities. Superb dining spots, secluded swimming holes and fishing spots, numerous golfing venues, historic covered bridges, sales tax free outlet shopping, and rich wildlife can all be found here.