Spanning 800,000 acres across New Hampshire and Maine, White Mountain National Forest is one of the most heavily used National Forests in the country. It’s a haven for outdoor recreation and is crossed by the White Mountain Trail, Appalachian Trail, and the Kancamagus Scenic Byway. The forest is also known for its bright fall foliage and awesome winter skiing. Whether you’re a New England local or just passing through, a trip to the White Mountains should be on your bucket list! Here are some of our favorite things to do there.
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Hiking & Mountain Biking
With over 1,200 miles of non-motorized trails, White Mountain National Forest offers endless opportunities for adventure. You’ll find everything from easy routes to challenging climbs. Before heading out, pack a few essentials like a map, first aid kit, warm clothing, and rain gear. The weather in the mountains can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be prepared!
If you’re planning a trip to New Hampshire this winter, you’re in luck! Winter recreation is exceptional in the White Mountains. Snowshoeing, sledding, and nordic and alpine skiing are just a few ways to enjoy the snow. Visit the forest’s website for more information.
The White Mountain region is a fantastic place for a road trip. The Kancamagus Scenic Byway offers one of the most beautiful routes (especially during the fall foliage season) and is a highlight for most visitors to the Forest. The 34-mile byway also connects with the White Mountain Trail to make a loop.
Many traces of the past that can be found across White Mountain National Forest. The area’s cellar holes and stone walls are evidence of the farm families who lived and worked here more than a hundred years ago. The Forest manages several historic buildings that are open to the public, including the Russell-Colbath House in Albany and the Smith House in Sandwich. You can even visit the Brickett Place in Stow, Maine. This 19th-century farmhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open seasonally.
The Notchland Inn: Are you looking to relax, rejuvenate, and get away from it all? Head to The Notchland Inn! Completed in 1862, this 100-acre estate is located within White Mountain National Forest. Settle into one of the spacious guest rooms or suites, or book your stay in a pet-friendly cottage. Each features a fabulous wood-burning fireplace.
The Buttonwood Inn on Mt. Surprise: The Buttonwood Inn is located in North Conway, NH and was named one of the “Top 10 Inns of New England” by Travel Channel. This 1820s farmhouse features 10 guestrooms and serves a delicious homemade gourmet breakfast each morning.
Inn at Ellis River: Located at the edge of Jackson Village, the Inn at Ellis River offers beautiful guest rooms and rustic cottages. Many have two-person jetted tubs and balconies, and almost all have fireplaces. Guests awaken to a bountiful homemade breakfast each day.
Sugar Hill Inn: The good life awaits at Sugar Hill Inn! This romantic property caters to couples and features some of the best dining in the White Mountains. In-room amenities include espresso makers, gas fireplaces, mini refrigerators, whirlpool tubs, and more.
Adair Country Inn and Restaurant: Situated on 200 sprawling acres in Bethlehem, NH, The Adair Country Inn boasts spectacular views and a long list of amenities. After a fun day outdoors, curl up with a good book in the library or enjoy a meal at the inn’s onsite restaurant.