- White Mountain Trail is located in east-central New Hampshire
- 100 miles (160 km)
- 2.5 hours to drive this Byway.
- There are no fees for driving the Byway; however, unattended cars in the National Forest need a recreation pass.
The White Mountain Trail winds its way through wetlands and forests, mountains and valleys; through a land unscathed by development and progress - a land that time forgot.
The White Mountain Trail forms a loop that follows Route 3 from Lincoln to Twin Mountain. It then switches over to Route 302 heading toward Conway. And, it completes the loop by running along Route 112 east to Lincoln.
A crisp wind whips through the valley at Artist's Bluff where the mountains fold one upon the other, hugging the shores of tranquil waters. Far below the cliffs at Crawford Notch, Frankenstein Trestle is streaked with the tracks of an intruding railway. Little towns like Bartlett, Conway Village, and North Conway go on their unassuming way in a little corner of Paradise - byproducts of the early railroad and lumber industries.
Don't be fooled by its sleepy appearance, however, for there's life in those hills! A powerhouse of activity, this region blossoms with sporting adventures year-round. Whether it's skiing or mountain biking, camping, hiking or fishing, there's something exciting here to do no matter the season.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
Appalachian National Scenic Trail (NH)
Stretching over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine, the Appalachian Trail is one of the ultimate hiking opportunities and destinations in the United States. The AT's nearly 80-mile journey through Georgia takes it across the Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway at Hogpen Gap (SR 348) and Unicoi Gap (SR 17/75). This famous trail travels through dense forests while it runs atop numerous mountain ridges, often providing beautiful vistas. Parking and interpretive facilities are provided at both Byway crossings.
Access the Appalachian Trail on NH 25.
Attitash Bear Peak (NH)
Attitash Bear Peak, NH's largest ski resort, is two mountains of fantastic snow skiing. There is plenty to do at the resort in the off-season: guided horseback rides, golfing, children's swimming pools, and a host of events and activities.
Attitash Bear Peak is on the White Mountains Trail near Bartlett.
Cannon Mountain (NH)
Cannon Mountain Ski Area, a favorite among skiers, has twenty-six miles of trails and slopes for both the beginner and the experienced skier. Cannon is the home of the New England Ski Museum, which is located near the base of the tramway. A wide variety of summer events and activities take place here every year; the most popular is the tram ride to the top of Cannon Mountain.
Parkway Exit 2 from White Mountains Trail near Franconia Notch will take you to Cannon Mountain.
Clark's Trading Post (NH)
One of the White Mountains' most outstanding attractions, the Clark family has personally entertained their summer visitors for 70 years.
Features include a fire station, steam locomotive, trained North American black bears, and a museum.
Clark`s Trading Post is on Route 3 just north of North Woodstock at the western end of the Kancamagus Highway.
Conway Scenic Railroad (NH)
Experience bygone days in these powerful locomotives and their open (or enclosed) vintage coaches. Train rides vary in duration: the "Valley Train" goes through Conway and Bartlett, while the "Notch Trail" goes to Crawford Notch and the Fabyan Station.
Franconia Notch State Park (NH)
Franconia Notch State Park is located high in the White Mountain National Forest (Franconia Notch is a mountain pass.) This State Park is crammed with fun things to see and do.
For one, you can saunter along the 800-foot long Flume Gorge(and under its sheer 90-foot walls) on wide gravel paths and wooden walkways. Along this two-mile trail, you will also walk on bridges,past waterfalls, scenic pools, and glacial boulders. The Flume Gorge also has a visitor center.
The Park is also the home of the famous Old Man of the Mountain(a geological formation)--the "Great Stone Face" immortalized byNathaniel Hawthorne and Daniel Webster.
You should also try to do at least a few of these things while at the Park: ride the aerial tramway at Cannon Mountain, visit the New England Ski Museum, swim at Echo Lake, fish at Profile Lake,ride your bike on a trail, rock climb, watch for hawks and falcons,or hike on the Appalachian Trail.
Loon's scenic summit skyride whisks you to the summit to glacial caves, nature programs, the Mountain Man, summit playground, shopping and dinning.
At the base, enjoy mountain biking, horseback riding, in-line skating, archery, festivals, and concerts.
Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves (NH)
Lost River Gorge was created long before recorded history, when glaciers ground their way across North America, shaping the land. Today you can follow Lost River as it appears and disappears through the narrow steep-walled gorge, the tumbled granite, crevasses caverns and falls. As you explore these incredible formations, you'll learn about natural history, ecology, and plant life.
From the Byway, take Exit 32 and turn right onto the ramp and drive for 0.3 miles. Turn right onto SR-112 and drive for 0.3 miles. Keep straight onto Lost River Road (SR-112) for 5.9 miles until you arrive at Lost River.
Mt. Washington Auto Road (NH)
This eight-mile road takes you to the northeast's highest peak,Mt. Washington--"the top of New England." This road, an unprecedented engineering achievement, is especially enjoyable because of its (literally) mile-high views of the Presidential Range and the White Mountain National Forest.
The road was built in 1861 and has remained virtually unchanged.It takes very little imagination, then, to conjure up images of horse-drawn wagons scaling this route.
More history can be found at the Historic Summit Stage Office,which was built in 1878. The Office sells souvenirs and hiking supplies, and features rare Mt. Washington memorabilia. A note of interest: the world's highest winds (231 mph) were recorded at this building in 1934.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy this route. One is to hike upit; and then if you're too tired, you can get a stage ride down(sign up at the sign up for a Historic Summit Stage Office.)Another option is a guided tour in a comfortable GMC van.
You can also certainly drive your own car so you can linger for as long as you want at any view. If you drive your own vehicle, you can rent a cassette audio tour. This tape shares classic tales of the road's history; it also points out interesting geological and geographical features.
There are also plenty of other things to do and see at the base of the mountain. The Sherman Adams State Park Building is there, as well as the Mount Washington Observatory Museum, and the fully-restored Tip Top House (ca. 1853).
Starting on US-302 in Bretton Woods, drive northwest for 0.6 miles. Turn right onto Base Station Road and follow for 4.5 miles. Keep left onto Jefferson Notch Road and drive for 8.4 miles. Turn right onto Valley Road and drive for 1.2 miles. Turn right onto US-2 (Gorham Hill Road) and follow for 5.1 miles. Turn right onto Pinkham Road and drive for 4.3 miles. Turn right onto SR-16 (White Mountain Hwy) and follow for 3.5 miles. Turn right onto Mt Washington Auto Road.
Santa's Village (NH)
Enjoy a full day of festivities stuffed with the magic of Christmas morning! The excitement of fun-filled shows, merry activities and rides galore offer a memorable time for all ages. Visit with Santa, feed his reindeer, and get your free good luck ring from the Village Smithy. Shows are also a popular activity as is decorating gingerbread men. And eating them isn't bad either.
From Twin Mtn, take US-302 east fpr 0.1 mile, then turn left onto US-3. Drive for 2.0 miles, then turn right onto SR-115 (Cherry Mountain Road). Drive for 6.6 miles, then turn left onto SR-115A. Drive for 1.7 miles, then turn right to stay on SR-115A. Drive for 2.4 miles, then turn left onto US-2. Drive for 2.2 miles until you come to Santa's Village.