A Local's Guide to the White Mountain National Forest
A Local's Guide to the White Mountain National Forest
Visiting the White Mountain National Forest is an unforgettable experience that is perfect for solo adventurers, adrenaline seekers, families, and even student groups! From amazing railways to unique gorges, nature is to be found and admired every step of the way. Here are some of the attractions and places you simply can’t miss during your visit!
Mount Washington Cog Railway
This attraction was built back in 1869 and it will allow you to go to the Mt. Washington Summit, which is the highest in the entire Northeast. This is an exciting ascent, especially considering it’s the second steepest in the world. Back in the day, it was the first mountain-climbing cog ever built. At the summit, you will find that the weather is a bit colder compared to the one at Base Station. Therefore, it’s important to come prepared!
You’ll have an hour to enjoy the spectacular view and visit the Sherman Adams visitor center. You can also take a look at the Tip Top House, a former hotel that’s now a museum. Remember that you have to get back to base on the train that brought you up there. Better not miss it!
This is an amazing and exciting way to get an incredible view of the White Mountains. With services such as those provided by Alpine Adventures, you can zip through the mountains at almost 60mph. Plus, you have a variety of options regarding the route you’ll take. They offer a course for beginners in which you go at a slower pace on a shorter ride while transporting yourself through six ziplines. Their medium course has much faster speeds, with five different ziplines and aerial bridges. The most advanced course is all about speed and length. You’ll get on seven different ziplines, with some of them being over 1600’ long!
Plus, you will have guidance the entire time, making sure you feel safe while you enjoy yourself, whether you are a beginner or an experienced zipliner.
Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves
To connect with nature in a different way, you should head to Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves. It’s an incredible experience that allows you to see how the elements have forged this beautiful environment. You will find a 1-mile wooden boardwalk that will guide you through your visit. You can do this entirely solo, with your family, or even as part of a tour if you want to learn more about the history of the place. You will see everything from boulder caves to waterfalls and breathtaking rock walls. Definitely worth a visit!
You can find this amazing railroad working between May and October and from Thanksgiving to the end of December. This quaint train has vintage coaches that will bring you back to the past and you will enjoy a wonderful view during your ride. You’ll be so close to the river that you might see people enjoying everything this area has to offer, including fishing and kayaking. This is an especially great plan when kids are part of the visit. Like the Cog, this is a round-trip, with a total duration of 80 minutes!
Are you ready to get some skiing done? Cannon Mountain is the perfect place to develop and practice your skiing skills. Interestingly, this is the site where the first passenger tramway in all of North America was first built! A new one replaced the original tramway in 1980 to stay updated with the materials and technology of the times. There, you can find the Franconia Ski Club, where a coaching staff works with talented athletes, with a couple of US Olympians among its alumni!
You will have access to season passes, rentals, and even a repair center, allowing you to have the best possible skiing experience. Plus, there are trails for everyone, from the little ones in the house to adult beginners and those who are already ski experts.
Didn't make it in time for the winter season? Cannon is still a wonderful mountain in the Summer! Enjoy a wide range of hiking trails and proximity to other outdoor adventures and state parks. Definitely, a must-visit any time of the year!
Named one of the top 25 water parks in the United States, this is the perfect place to enjoy the summer going on thrilling rides and attractions. From huge slides to surf competitions, you can have it all right here in the White Mountains! If you are coming with the family, there are special activities destined to entertain the little ones. There are rides for both kids and adults and this refreshing experience is one that’s undoubtedly worth it!
This natural gorge is another example of the power of nature and the elements. It’s located right at the base of Mount Liberty and the granite walls can be as tall as 90 feet. You can explore this beautiful setting through the boardwalk, but keep in mind that there are many upstairs and uphill areas. Therefore, it might not be ideal for every member of the family! This visit should take you about 1.5 hours and you will feel very connected to nature the entire way!
The White Mountains Trail
If you love going for a ride and appreciating the beauty of the world from the comfort of your car, you should consider going on the White Mountains trail. You will go through villages, beautiful landscapes, historic bridges, ancient woods, and more. This trail is filled with history and multiple attractions and places to see. You can do a quick drive of the area or make this ride your entire vacation, taking time to stop and stay at some of the villages you find on the way. Regardless of the option you choose, this will be a ride like no other!
New Hampshire has many wonderful places to offer and the White Mountain National Forest is a prime example of one place where you can perform multiple activities. Make sure to check when the place you want to go to is active as these changes according to the seasons and even the weather! Plus, you can always visit NHRocks for more information about the wonderful activities you can enjoy in this area and all of New Hampshire!