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White Mountains - Switzerland of America

Welcome to the White Mountain National Forest

The White Mountain Region: Where solitude and splendor collide. Where one can disappear into the trees for an afternoon hike, or merely drive alongside natural waterslides, gazing skyward at the mountains that surround you. The natural attractions are as plentiful here as the man-made ones, but it is the spirit of this place that brings us back time and again.

Our journey through these mountains could begin with the Appalachian Trail, which winds its way from Maine to Georgia. It is in these parts that the trail touches the most difficult terrain, challenging hikers through Crawford Notch, up the summit of Mount Washington and on to Pinkham Notch. Or we could begin at the edge of the White Mountain National Forest, where a hiker can find 48 mountains that reach 4,000 feet or more. For non-hiker types, the drives through this stretch of landscape are equally breathtaking. A popular trip carries visitors along a scenic byway known as the Kancamagus Highway, a 34-mile road that runs from Lincoln at the Pemigewasset River to Conway. Along the Kancamagus, tourists often stop along the roadside for a dip in the chilly water at the Lower Falls. Children love to slide down the natural water slide, created by slippery rocks and a deep basin of water that serves as a pool. The waterfalls along this road and others throughout the White Mountain region alone are worth the drive.

Note the Native American Indian names, which label the rivers, roads and mountains in this region. The Kancamagus Highway for example was named for an early Penacook Indian Chief known as the "Fearless One". Mount Chocorua is also named for an early eighteenth century tribal chief. As the legend goes, Chief Chocurua was killed by white settlers at the peak of the mountain.

Mount Washington is the highest mountain in the northeast at 6,288 feet. It is known for having the worst weather in the world, with winds of over 100 miles per hour during the winter. Each year, racers climb to the clouds in the annual Mount Washington Auto Race. The Old Man of the Mountain, formerly one of New Hampshire's most famous landmarks. The Great Stone Face fell from its perch atop Franconia Notch in the spring of 2003. The town of Bath is the proud home to the "oldest general store in the country" and is worth a trip for a visit to its two covered bridges. Haverhill houses New Hampshire's oldest covered bridge still in use. The little town of Bethlehem (no, not that one) is also found in the White Mountains. Each year at Christmas, thousands send their holiday greetings to its post office so they can be postmarked "Bethlehem".

The town of North Conway is famous for its tax-free outlet shopping, but is also home to the Conway Scenic Railroad, a diesel electronic railroad that traverses through the Mount Washington Valley.

Other "must see" stops in this area include the Basin, one of the first scenic stops along the Franconia Notch Parkway. This whirlpool-like waterfall is believed to have been formed 15,000 years ago. Profile Lake is great for fishing and there are hiking trails around its perimeter. Also found in Franconia Notch State Park is the Indian Head Profile, which peers out from the south side of Mt. Pemigewasset.

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Explore the White Mountains

State Parks and Beaches

Franconia Notch State Park

Located in the heart of the popular White Mountain National Forest. Franconia Notch is a spectacular mountain pass traversed by a...

Mount Washington State Park

Mount Washington State Park, a 59-acre parcel perched on the summit of the Northeast's highest peak, is surrounded by the...

Moose Brook State Park

Located in the White Mountains Region, just north of the Presidential Range, Moose Brook State Park is in an area of unparalleled...

Lake Tarleton State Park

This 48-acre undeveloped park is easy to get to on Route 25C in Piermont. Lake Tarleton, at 315 acres, offers an unguarded...

Forest Lake State Park

Forest Lake State Park, one of the ten original state parks, was created in 1935. The park spans 397 acres and its 200-foot...

Eisenhower Memorial Wayside Park

This seven-acre memorial park, established in 1979 as a gift from the Bretton Woods Corporation, honors the late President Dwight...

Echo Lake State Park

Located just two miles from the shopping mecca of North Conway, Echo Lake is a great place to take the family for a swim and...

Crawford Notch State Park

6 miles of unspoiled rugged natural beauty in scenic mountain pass. Ideal for hiking, fishing and photography. Crossed by trails,...

Bedell Bridge State Park

Bedell Bridge State Park, located along the Connecticut River, is 38 acres in size and a great place for picnicking, fishing, or...

Covered Bridges

Albany Bridge #49

The first bridge on this site was constructed in 1857 and destroyed by a windstorm in 1858. The bridge has wide shallow arches...

Bath Bridge #28

The first bridge at this site was destroyed by a flood in 1806. The second and third bridges were also destroyed by floods. A...

Bath-Haverhill Bridge #27

The Bath-Haverhill Bridge is the oldest authenticated covered bridge in New Hampshire. It is the first and only bridge to ever...

Blair Bridge #41

The first bridge at this location was built in 1829 at a cost of $1,000. That bridge was burned down by a man named Lem Parker...

Bump Bridge #43

The original Queenpost structure at this site was built in 1877. At one time the bridge was known as the Webber Bridge. The...

Clark's Trading Post Bridge #64

Clark's Bridge was originally built in Barre, Vermont as a part of the Barre Railroad, a short line railroad which ran between...

Flume Bridge #39

There has been much discussion about where this bridge was actually built. Some say it was built, used elsewhere, and later moved...

Jack-o-Lantern Covered Bridge

The Jack-o-Lantern covered bridge is located on the grounds of the Jack-o-Lantern Resort. The bridge was hand built by Milton...

Saco River Bridge #48

In 1850, Jacob Berry and Peter Paddleford built a covered bridge to replace a crudely framed log bridge that had collapsed at...

Sentinel Pine Bridge #38

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests built this bridge in 1939 and maintained it until it was transferred to...

Swift River Bridge #46

The first bridge on this site was built by John Douglass in 1850. It gave much needed access to the north using West Side Road...

Swiftwater Bridge #29

This is the fourth bridge to be constructed at this site over the Ammonoosuc River. The first bridge was built in 1810 and...

Turkey Jim's Bridge #42

The original covered bridge on this site was built in 1874. The bridge's name originates from farmer, Jim Cummings, whose...

Honeymoon Bridge #51

This covered bridge was built by Charles Austin Broughton and his son Frank. Charles Broughton lived on the Broughton dairy farm...

Bartlett Bridge #50

The bridge was abandoned and closed to traffic in 1939. In the 1950s, it was used to store snow fence. In 1966 the bridge and...

Attractions

Indian Head Resort

The Indian Head Rock Profile, a rock formation that resembles the head of an American Indian, sits overlooking Shadow Lake in...

Kancamagus Highway

Stretching from the Pemigewasset River at Lincoln 34-1/2 miles to the town of Conway, this scenic byway climbs to nearly 3,000...

Littleton Grist Mill

A 1798 Grist Mill complex and basic mill workings restored to its original architecture.

Loon Center and Markus Wildlife Sanctuary

Come learn about the wonders of New Hampshire's environment and wildlife.

Loon Mountain

Nestled in the White Mountains, Loon is New Hampshire's leading mountain resort.

Lost River

Created long before recorded history, when glaciers ground their way across North America.

Mount Washington Cog Railway

Ride to the top of Mt. Washington—New England's highest peak—on the world's first mountain-climbing cog railway.

Mount Washington Observatory's Weather Discovery Center

The Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center is an interactive science museum that brings the wonder of the...

Mount Washington Valley Children's Museum

Come for hours of fun and entertainment in an educational safe environment where parents and children 0-9 can explore our wide...

Mt Washington Auto Road

The Mount Washington Auto Road is the oldest man-made attraction in North America! It has been in operation every year since...

Museum of American Weather

The Museum of American Weather features exhibits devoted to four severe New England weather events: the Blizzard of 1888, the...

Mt Washington Museum

On your next trip to Mount Washington, visit the museum on top of it all-- the Mount Washington Museum.

Vintage Ski Poster - New England Ski Museum New England Ski Museum

Collection includes possibly the largest collection of ski photographs in the country, over 400 16mm ski films, more than 500...

Santa's Village

Ho Ho OH what fun ... it is at Santa's Village, where exciting rides, live shows, and great food combine to provide an...

Six Gun City & Fort Splash Water Park

Visit the old west and help the sheriff catch an outlaw, then see the miniature horse show, take a ride on a runaway train, view...

Bretzfelder Memorial Park

Part of the Rocks Estate and owned/operated by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Open all year during...

The Rocks Christmas Tree Farm

Owned and operated by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

StoryLand

Story Land is the children's theme park where fantasy lives! With wonderfully themed rides, lively shows, friendly storybook...

The Basin

The beautiful waterfall at the Basin, has at its base, a granite pothole 20 feet in diameter. It is believed to have been eroded...

Tip Top House

Tip Top House is the last of the original structures built at the summit of Mount Washington that still exists today.

Waterville Valley Recreation Park

It's not just a ski resort! Waterville Valley features golf, lift-served mountain biking and hiking, Curious George Cottage,...

Whale's Tale Water Park

Located in the heart of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Whale's Tale offers the best value for family fun in the sun!

White Mountain Trail

A circular tour that incorporates varying topography, mountain and river views, and the grandest scenery in the eastern U.S.

Wildcat Mountain

Wildcat, located in Pinkham Notch in the White Mountains of New Hampshire features a 4-passenger gondola skyride during the...

Tin Mountain Conservation Center

Nature program series, lectures, summer day camps and school programs. Fee charged for some programs.

Hartmann Model Railroad

Roger and Nelly Hartmann share their awe-inspiring collection of model railroads and trains with visitors. They have traveled...

Frost Place

The Frost Place is a simple farmhouse where New Hampshire poet Robert Frost once lived with his family and where he wrote much of...

View from Artists' Bluff Franconia Notch State Park

Located in the heart of the popular White Mountain National Forest. Franconia Notch is a spectacular mountain pass traversed by a...

Franconia Heritage Museum & Iron Furnace Interpretive Center

The Franconia Heritage Museum is in an 1880 Victorian House, with exhibits in 10 rooms, a barn and a large connecting shed.

Flying Yankee

On February 9, 1935, at the height of the Great Depression, a new train arrived in New England to lift people's spirits and take...

Flume Gorge

The Flume Gorge is one of America's top ten most beautiful State Parks.

Conway Scenic Railroad

Experience the Golden Age of railroading on our nostalgic train rides, powered by steam or diesel, departing from our 1874...

Clark's Trading Post

You're invited to visit one of the White Mountain's most outstanding attractions featuring trained North American Black Bears,...

Cannon Mountain

Cannon's 80-passenger aerial tramway quickly ascends 2,022' over a horizontal distance of more than a mile whisking you above the...

Attitash

Located in the Mount Washington Valley just outside of North Conway, this four season resort offers activities to captivate all...

Alpine Adventures

One of the longest and highest zipline canopy tours in the northeast.

Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center

The Great Glen Trails offer activities for all ages and abilities.

Hobo Scenic Railroad

All aboard the HOBO and Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroads.

Old Man of the Mountain Museum

Before his collapse, The Old Man of the Mountain could be viewed year-round from two different viewing areas on I-93 in Franconia...

Warren Fish Hatchery & Education Center

Exhibits and programs for children and adults on Atlantic salmon and New Hampshire's dynamic wildlife resources.

Willey House Site

The Willey House is at the site of a landslide that took nine lives in August of 1826.

Historic Markers

Lady Blanche House

Marker Number: 77

Log Drives

Marker Number: 34

Metallak - Stewartstown, New Hampshire Metallak

Marker Number: 47

Mount Washington Cog Railway Mount Washington Cog Railway

Marker Number: 45

Ebenezer Mackintosh - Haverhill, New Hampshire Ebenezer Mackintosh

Marker Number: 104

Crawford House - Carroll, New Hampshire Crawford House

Marker Number: 87

Crawford Notch - Carroll, New Hampshire Crawford Family

Marker Number: 30

Old Coal Kiln

Marker Number: 70

Republic of Indian Stream

Marker Number: 1

Rogers Rangers - Derry, New Hampshire Rogers Rangers

Marker Number: 56

Cherry Mountain Slide

Marker Number: 152

Stone Arch Bridge - Stoddard, New Hampshire Stone Arch Bridge

Marker Number: 27

Wilder-Holton House

Marker Number: 84

Bedell Bridge

Marker Number: 136

Bath, New Hampshire Bath, New Hampshire

Marker Number: 121

45th Parallel - Clarksville, New Hampshire 45th Parallel - Clarksville, NH

Marker Number: 115

First Ski School in America - Sugar Hill, New Hampshire First Ski School in America

Marker Number: 73

Waterfalls

Kinsman Falls White Mountain Region

The Presidential Range and plenty of rain and snow make for the state's largest concentration of waterfalls.

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Forests

White Mountain National Forest White Mountain Region

The White Mountains National Forest is home to unique habitats, but don't overlook numerous town forests and state parks.

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