Logo   White Mountain National Forest, NH
A considerable part of northern New Hampshire is included in the White Mountain National Forest, a 1250-square-mile (3237 sq. km) swath extending into western Maine (map).



The emphasis in national forests is on the preservation of natural beauty, and thus they have fewer and simpler facilities than national parks.

Hiking, camping, swimming, boating, fishing, picnicking and nature talks are the major activities.

Camping areas with simple facilities (flush toilets, sometimes coin-op showers) are located throughout the national forest, as are pretty picnic areas. Some accept reservations, but most are first-come, first-served. They are in great demand on weekends in the warm months, so arrive early to claim a spot (Friday morning, or even Thursday, is not too early in summer).

A maze of trails, some very easy, others not so easy, covers a lot of the forest's vast expanse. Signs by the roadside mark the trail's beginning, but don't wander in just for a 30-minute walk if you're not familiar with the area and don't know the trail's level of difficulty.

The White Mountain National Forest website is the place to start your planning, but the best source of guidance for hiking in the national forest is the Appalachian Mountain Club, which operates a system of hikers' "huts" (dormitory lodges) in the White Mountains, chief of which is their Pinkham Notch Visitor Center (tel 603-466-2721) on NH Route 16 north of Jackson, south of Gorham.

White Mountain National Forest
719 N Main Street (map)
Laconia NH 03246
Tel: (603) 528-8721
Fax: (603) 528-8783

—by Tom Brosnahan

Appalachian Mountain Club

Pinkham Notch Visitor Center

Mount Washington

Gorham NH

Jackson NH

North Conway NH

About New Hampshire



Cannon Mt & Lonesome Lake, NH

Cannon Mountain as seen from
Lonesome Lake near Franconia Notch.



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