The White Mountains of northern New Hampshire offer a four-season vacation area within reach of the major urban areas of the northeastern United States. There is quality skiing in the winter, mountain scenery and hiking opportunities during the rest of the year, and the fall foliage is spectacular. There are also numerous lakes and rivers to frolic in.
Specific area activities include the following noteworthy attractions: the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, 80-passenger cars which whisk visitors to the peak of Cannon Mountain for glorious views of the area; and the Mount Washington Cog Railway or Auto Road, for a trip up to the tallest peak in New England, which, in 1934, set the world record for wind velocity on Earth (231 miles per hour or almost 400 km/hr).
Another attraction, The Flume, is a picturesque walk through a narrow gorge cut by a mountain stream. Visitors negotiate a wooden walkway past waterfalls and pools for a distance of approximately 3 km (2 miles).
Still other activities include a drive along the Kancamagus Highway which traverses the White Mountains area from Lincoln on the west to Conway on the east. The scenic drive of approximately 56 kilometers (35 miles) is closed in the winter, but otherwise offers spectacular vistas of the mountains of the Presidential Range, Franconia Notch, which is a picturesque pass through the mountains and which allows access to a number of sights listed in the description above, and, of course, the town of North Conway, New Hampshire, on Route 16, a quaint Nordic-like ski village which has grown up into a major tourist destination while still preserving much of its charm. It can be considered the eastern gateway to the White Mountains, but has a number of attractions of its own, including outlet shopping and a cute train ride from a station on Main Street into the surrounding valley.
1. A short walk from a parking area just south of Pinkham Notch on Route 16 brings the visitor to Glen Ellis Falls, a beautiful, thundering cascade.
2. While in North Conway, check out Cathedral Ledge, an overlook just west of town which is a Mecca for mountain climbers and also offers a road to the top of the ledge for dramatic views of the village of North Conway and the mountains beyond. It is, of course, especially scenic in the autumn.