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
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.      

Arts & Culture
7:00 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Jackson Historical Society Celebrates The Quirky Landscapes Of Frank Shapleigh

Old Kitchen in Bartlett, NH 1886
Frank Shapleigh Jackson Historical Society

While the White Mountains have always been associated with outdoorsy activities, for much of the 19th century, they played a particularly important role in the arts.  The new country was looking for an artistic identity that was distinctly "American," and the untamed wilderness of northern New Hampshire inspired scores of painters.

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North Country
6:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Lighting The Way For Abigail Hernandez

Firefighter Brian Ames and his family
Sean Hurley

Abigail Hernandez has now been missing for 19 days.  Although thousands of acres have been combed and hundreds of tips have been followed, both the FBI and local police still don't know what happened between 3 and 4 in the afternoon on October 9th when Abby disappeared.  Despite this, the Hernandez family and the local community remain hopeful. On Saturday night nearly 500 people attended a flashlight vigil in Schouler Park in downtown North Conway meant to light the way home for Abby.  Sean Hurley was there and has this report. 

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NH News
8:47 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Missing NH Girl's Sister Pleads For Safe Return

Credit via FBI.gov


The sister of a missing New Hampshire girl is pleading for her safe return.

Sarah Hernandez made the plea Monday evening during a brief news conference by law enforcement investigators outside the Conway Police Department building. The investigators were updating the press about the search for 15-year-old Abigail Hernandez.

The North Conway teenager was last seen leaving Kennett High School on Wednesday afternoon. Police say she made it home but was gone when her mother arrived later.

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NH News
11:01 am
Sun October 13, 2013

Update: Officials I.D. Massachusetts Hiker Who Died In White Mountains

New Hampshire officials have identified the 60-year-old man who died Saturday while hiking in the White Mountains.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says rescuers were called to the Ripley Falls Trail about 11 a.m. Saturday and found James Byrne of South Dennis, Mass., unresponsive about half a mile up the trail.

Officials say Byrne had been hiking with family and friends. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

An autopsy was to be conducted to determine the cause of death.


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Arts & Culture
7:00 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Happy Frost Day! Historic Franconia House Hosts Poetry Event

Credit Leslie Jones / Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection

For more than 30 years, Robert Frost’s old home in Franconia has celebrated the poet on the first Sunday of July.  The Frost Place’s Executive Director Maudelle Driskell says the annual event draws a variety of visitors.

“And it’s everybody from people, just [from] the local area--they want to come out and listen to the readings and see the Frost Place--to people that specifically come up to hear readings on Frost Day, and tourists that are traveling through," Driskell says.  "This year, we hope that we’ll have more families.”

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North Country
12:53 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Indictment In Death of California Woman

Catherine Houghton
Credit Courtesy of The White Mountain School

A Vermont man has been indicted by a Grafton Country Grand Jury for second degree murder in the death of Catherine Houghton in Littleton in January.

The indictment - returned Friday - charges Rodney Hill, 37, of West Danville, Vermont with the crime.

Houghton, 70, was a trustee of The White Mountain School in Bethlehem. She came to the North Country for a meeting.

She was fatally injured January 28 when she went to the lobby of the Hampton Inn to ask about a television remote that wasn’t working.

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North Country
6:40 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Be Glad! Littleton's 100 Year Old Secret

Honorary Pollyanna Maggie Hadlock
Sean Hurley

The people of Littleton New Hampshire celebrated Pollyanna Glad Day this past Saturday. The June 8th event also marked the publishing Centennial of the bestselling children’s classic about the little girl who always looks on the bright side. While a dubious meaning shadows the character name in popular culture, Sean Hurley reports that the residents of Littleton believe they know the real Pollyanna.  A hundred people opened and closed their umbrellas in the rain and shine that came and went throughout Pollyanna Glad Day.

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North Country
6:00 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Four-Alarm Brush-Woods Fire In Littleton

Chris Jensen, NHPR

Spring is a time that worries fire fighters because the forest and brush are not yet green enough to resist a flame.

That was a problem Wednesday afternoon in Littleton.

Diana Levesque never wants to wake up from a nap this way again.

She was sleeping Wednesday afternoon when she heard noises outside her home high on a hill on the outskirts of Littleton.

Fire trucks were pulling up around her house and there were flames all around.

“The woods are all on fire and the wind is blowing. It was just crazy. I pretty much had a heart attack.”

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North Country
4:57 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

North Country Town Meetings: Everything From Fighting Corporations To Reviving A Town Ski Slope

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Voters headed to town meetings Tuesday in the North Country will find some unusual issues including creating a community ski slope, challenging the rights of corporations as people, abolishing a police department and excluding “formula stores and fast-food restaurants.”

* In Bethlehem voters are considering two articles aimed at preventing “formula retail and formula fast food restaurants” from locating in the center of town.

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