White Mountains Region

Franconia Notch located in Franconia, along with Lincoln, Littleton and Conway tally at just over 17,000 residents and help contribute to the overall population of the White Mountains region.

The White Mountains region is home to hundreds of thousands of tourists each year and extends 87 miles across the northern part of the state and into western Maine. The White Mountains include the tallest peaks in all of the Northeastern United States. The distinct peaks of the 5,000 footers have been named for U.S. presidents and make up the Presidential Range, with the highest point being Mount Washington. The White Mountains invite hikers from the East coast and beyond to visit and experience all that there is to offer. The White Mountains also have alpine huts which offer shelter to weary hikers during their climbs.

Lying in the heart of the White Mountains is the White Mountain National Forest located primarily in New Hampshire and occupying over 780,000 acres  in Grafton, Coos and Carroll county and Oxford County in Maine. The White Mountains offer family attractions such as Story Land, Santa’s Village, The Polar Caves, Clark’s Trading Post and Whale’s Tale Water Park, and hiking destinations including the Flume Gorge, and Lost River Gorge. Visitors can ride the Mount Washington Auto Road and experience breathtaking views along the way.

Tourists enjoy participating in winter and summer activities such as skiing or snow shoeing, and camping and hiking. More attractions of the White Mountains can be found at Crawford Notch, Franconia Notch, and within the 34 mile long Kancamagus Highway where you can spot beautiful wildlife, walk the hiking trails and swim in the raging river.

The Old Man of the Mountain, also known as the Great Stone Face or Profile, was a meaningful mark to native New Hampshire folks and tourists alike who enjoyed the opportunity to spot the rock formation, when approaching Profile Lake in Franconia. Since the collapse in 2003, a memorial has been created including a plaque and a designated viewing spot of where the Man used to sit.

Many houses in the White Mountains are vacation homes as the percent of homes foreclosed is on the rise. Furthermore, poverty levels are at 5.9% with  great economic dependence on annual tourism.


North Country
1:30 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

N.H. Summer Camp Devoted To 'Writing Up The Mountains'

Kayleigh writes at the summit of Indian Head.
Sean Hurley

When you think of summer camp, you might think of games, crafts, sing-alongs or maybe canoes. But NHPR’s Sean Hurley paid a visit to another kind of summer camp, one devoted to hiking and writing.

We've only just started up the trail to Indian Head, but already 16 year old Brandi is having trouble breathing.

"Tired.  Really tired.  I don't really like having asthma.  It weakens me.  I was down there and I almost threw up."

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Arts & Culture
3:09 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Magnificently Easy - 10 Family-Friendly Walks in N.H.

Steve Smith on the Pine Island Trail.
Sean Hurley

There's no shortage of advice if you want to hike the rugged trails of the White Mountains. But there aren't many guides for those interested in the gentler, family friendly paths that cut through our forests. NHPR's Sean Hurley recently took a walk in the woods with New Hampshire trail expert Steve Smith to compile a list of 10 magnificent - and magnificently easy - wilderness walks.

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NH News
2:00 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Bail Set At $1 Million For Gorham Man Charged In Hernandez Kidnapping

Nathaniel Kibby
Credit NH Attorney General

A judge set bail at $1 million cash for a Gorham man charged with kidnapping North Conway teen Abigail Hernandez and authorities are continuing to investigate the case.

Associate Attorney General Jane Young says they have no other suspects currently but more information may come to light in the weeks to come.

“As you are all aware, searches are ongoing right now at Mr. Kibby’s residence. If there is additional evidence that other crimes have been committed, those charges will be brought.”

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11:07 am
Sat July 19, 2014

"Seek The Peak" Hiking Fundraiser Kicks Off On Mount Washington

Credit Dave Marcy / Flickr Creative Commons

Hundreds of hikers are heading up the summit of the Northeast's highest peak to raise money for the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory.  The annual "Seek the Peak'' fundraiser at Mount Washington is being held Saturday. The event has raised more than $1.3 million since 2001, helping the observatory maintain its famous weather station atop the summit.   In 1934, observatory staff recorded a 231 mph gust that remains the highest wind speed ever observed by man. A remote sensor later recorded a 253 mph gust off Australia during a 1996 typhoon.   

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NH News
7:32 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Busy Weekend For N.H. Mountain Rescues

Credit Brian Pocius via Flickr CC


It's been a busy weekend for rescue crews in New Hampshire's mountains.

Fish and Game Department conservation officers responded to three incidents on Saturday on Mount Washington and Mount Lafayette.

One involved a hiker who slipped and fell 10 feet and was injured, another involved a man suffering medical issues and the third involved a hiking party that became disoriented while descending down the Cog Railway.

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NH News
8:51 am
Tue July 8, 2014

White Mountain Guard Station Cabin Getting Restoration

Fabyan Guard station photographed in 2011
Credit via WhiteMountainHistory.org

One of the oldest structures in the White Mountain National Forest is being restored.

Built by the U.S. Forest Service, Fabyan Guard Station is a one-room log cabin on Cherry Mountain Road in the Bretton Woods area. It was built in 1923 and is the last example of a guard station in the forest.

Employees called forest guards were once stationed in these remote cabins.

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NH News
7:50 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Rangers Warn Of Increase In Bear Encounters In White Mountains

A black bear spotted in NH
Credit Michael Webber via Flickr CC

The number of encounters with bears in the White Mountain National Forest is on the rise early this season, prompting rangers to issue early warnings and step up enforcement of safety rules.

Colleen Mainville, a spokeswoman for the national forest, says the black bears are getting bold. One tried to enter a tent while another was searching the back of pickup trucks for food. There are an estimated 4,800 to 5,000 bears in the state.

Most people will never see a bear but when the critters find food, they learn that they can mooch a meal from the two-legged visitors.

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NH News
11:33 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Cog Railway Runs Daily, Introduces Biodiesel Engine

Credit Selbe B via Flickr CC

Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the Mount Washington Cog Railway's daily trips to the summit of the highest peak in the Northeast.

The Cog Railway opened its 2014 season April 26, but operated weekends only until now.

This season marks the 145th year of operation of "the Cog."

The popular tourist attraction is also rolling out a new biodiesel engine during the holiday weekend. The new engine is named Metallak, in honor of the last surviving member of the local Abenaki tribe.

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NH News
2:13 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Tractor Trailer Strikes Littleton Opera House

No one's been hurt, but there's been some damage to the Littleton, New Hampshire, Opera House after a tractor trailer unit struck the building this week.

Littleton police and fire officials tell the Caledonian Record that several vehicles strike the Opera House each year while attempting to make a sharp turn from Cottage onto Union Street. They say Wednesday's accident has resulted in more damage to the building than usual.

NH News
7:41 am
Mon April 28, 2014

N.H. Senate Voting On "Hike Safe" Cards To Cover Rescue Costs

Credit Brian Pocius via Flickr CC

The Senate is voting whether to sell "hike safe" cards to hikers that would forgive them for any rescue expenses they'd otherwise owe New Hampshire for being negligent.

Thursday's vote is on a House-passed bill that authorizes the Fish and Game Department to sell voluntary hike safe cards for $25 per person and $35 per family. People who obtain the cards would not be liable to repay rescue costs if their rescue was due to negligence on their part.

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North Country
12:06 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Ice Climber On Mount Washington: Lost And Found

Credit Mt. Washington Auto Road / Flickr CC

  Searchers spent hours on Mount Washington Saturday night looking for - and locating - a lost ice climber, according to a news release from New Hampshire Fish and Game.

The call for help came about 5:30 pm from Ms. Dale Edwards, 32, of the Bronx in New York, who was climbing with two companions in the back country of the Ammonoosuc Ravine, according to Conservation Officer Matthew Holmes.

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North Country
5:19 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Gorham Paper And Tissue To Cut Back On Operations, Employees

Gorham Paper and Tissue
Credit NHPR / Chris jensen

Gorham Paper and Tissue, the town’s largest employer, is temporarily cutting back operations, a move that will lead to 20 to 50 employees losing their jobs.

The company says other employees will see week-long layoffs.

In an email Friday, CEO Mike Cummings says the move is in response to record-setting natural gas prices.

Gorham Town Manager Robin Frost says the news is devastating for the town’s economy.

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North Country
4:00 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Ice Castles at Loon Mountain

Cory Livingood in the Ice Castle
Sean Hurley

Utah has one.  Colorado does too.  And now New Hampshire has its very own Ice Castle open to the public at Loon Mountain.  It's taken Mother Nature and 20 workers about a month to turn tons of homemade icicles into a glacial maze of frozen caverns and clear blue coliseums.  NHPR's Sean Hurley recently took a tour of the nearly completed castle and sends us this report.

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North Country
9:02 am
Sun December 22, 2013

White Mountains Rescue: A Signal Seeking Help, But What Kind?

Rescuers were in The White Mountains Saturday night after being alerted that somebody needed help. They just didn’t know who or why.

The alert came about  6:45 Saturday when New Hampshire Fish and Game got a call from the International Emergency Response Coordination Center in Texas.

It had received a signal from a SPOTS emergency beacon that had been activated in King Ravine in Burbank’s Grant.

The signal indicated where help was needed but nothing else.

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NH News
11:57 am
Sun November 10, 2013

Some White Mountains Fees Waived For Holiday Weekend

The U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites, including those in the White Mountain National Forest, over the Veterans Day holiday weekend.    Forest fees have been waived from Saturday through Monday.    Fees will remain in effect for overnight camping, cabin rentals, permits, reservations, and concession activities.