White Mountains — Recreation Amidst Spectacular Scenery
The White Mountains are best known for majestic peaks that may be viewed from the many scenic valleys of New Hampshire. The region boasts twenty 4,000-foot peaks and five summits higher than 5,000 feet, along with the highest mountain in the Northeast, 6,288 foot Mt. Washington. However, it is the 800,000-acre White Mountain National Forest that truly shapes the region. Spectacular views from the top may be reached on foot, by car via the Auto Road, or from the historic Cog Railway. There are also cable cars, gondolas, chairlifts, and even helicopter flights throughout the region.
A family may choose from a broad variety of campgrounds from the state’s more populous southern section to northern moose country. If you like rustic, it's here. The White Mountains Region is made up by 8000,000 acres of National Forest with waterfalls that thunder and others that just trickle gently. There is great hiking at Great Glen Trails, canoeing down the Saco River or for the more adventurous, white-water canoeing or soaring down Wildcat Mountain on the ZipRider. Covered bridges are tucked into many back roads and take a drive along the Kancamagus Highway (Route 112) with 30 miles of spectacular viewing along the only National Scenic Byway in New England. Allow plenty of time to stop for a picnic, to view the scene from an overlook, or hike a short distance to a beautiful waterfall such as Arethusa or Franconia Falls.
The White Mountains Region is also synonymous with recreation. Play tennis or golf at one of nine courses, hike, fish, hunt, swim, or go boating. In winter visit one of 13 ski resorts, along with snowmobiling, sledding, or snowshoeing. Enjoy the Conway Scenic Railroad or the 15-mile Hobo Railroad, the famous Flume Gorge and the historic former site of the Old Man of the Mountain and the new Old Man of the Mountain museum. Explore Lost River, the Polar Caves or relax with the family at Clark's Trading Post, Story Land, Santa's Village or Six Gun City and Fort Splash Water Park. Spend some time shopping (tax free) at the many factory outlet stores, particularly in the North Conway area. There also are many small shops for the antique collector, or any other collector.