NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE PARKS. Detailed information for travelers of all NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE PARKS
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NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE PARKS
New England has over 60 peaks with summits rising over 4,000 feet with 48 located in New Hampshire's White Mountains. Mount Washington, rising to 6,288 feet, is the highest peak in the Northeast. Mount Monadnock is the single most climbed mountain in North America.
The White Mountain National Forest has over 250 trails, 45 lakes and ponds, 650 miles of fishing streams, and the largest moose population in the state. Moose Mania Weekend in early June kicks off the area's celebrations. Moose tours are featured daily from July 4th through foliage season. For details, call the Chamber of Commerce at 603-752-6060 or 1-800-992-7480.
One of the most spectacular drives in America, especially during "leaf peeping" season is along the Kancamagus Highway. The 341/2-mile road stretches from Conway to the Pemigewasset River at Lincoln along New Hampshire 112. It climbs almost 3,000 feet as it crosses the flank of Mount Kancamagus. Stop for a picnic at Lower Falls or Rocky Gorge.
Three good hikes from Kancamagus include the 3/4-mile Boulder Loop Trail from Dugway Road which is next to Covered Bridge Campground, a 4-mile hike to Greely Ponds which starts 9Vi miles east of Lincoln, or a 5-minute walk to the gorge at Rocky Gorge Scenic Area.
One of the best places for enjoying the fantastic fall foliage is in the White Mountains in late September-October. For a free copy of The Leaf Peepers' Guide: Autumn in White Mountains Attractions, write to P.O. Box 10MG, North Woodstock, New Hampshire 03262.
The Cathedral of the Pines provides one of the most spectacular views of Mount Monadnock. It's located off New Hampshire 119 in Rindge. Altar of the Nation is an outdoor chapel with a 55-foot belltower dedicated as a memorial to American women who died serving their country. Carillonic chimes in the tower play each half hour. Tour the museum to see memorabilia from the American Revolution through the Gulf War. Services are held Sundays May-September.
Hikers seeking information on mountain weather and trail conditions can contact the Appalachian Mountain Club, Route 16, Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire 03581, or call 603-466-2727. One of the best times for hiking in the White Mountains is during spring runoff and again in the fall, usually in mid- to late September. Bring plenty of insect repellent and wear waterproof hiking boots, especially in spring and early summer.
AMС operates a shuttle service among major trailheads in the White Mountains so you can leave a car at the destination end of your trip and shuttle to your starting point. For information, call 603-466-2721. AMC also has a series of huts located a day's hike apart along the Appalachian Trail.
Several sections of the New Hampshire Heritage Trail are complete. Eventually, this 230-mile trail will extend the length of the state from Massachusetts to Canada following several major rivers.
New Hampshire has 6 ATV-bike trails, offering over 150 miles of riding. These trails are also utilized by equestrians, mountain and trail bikes, and snowmobiles, and provide access routes to fishing streams and ponds.
Several notches, known as gaps but actually narrow mountain passes, are located in New Hampshire. Seven well-known ones in the White Mountains include Kinsman, Franconia, Crawford, Bear, Pinkham, Dixville, and Evans.
New Hampshire has 11 state parks that offer tent camping, and 3 RV parks that offer full hookups. Campgrounds are generally open mid-May through mid-October. Lafayette campground in Franconia Notch and Monadnock State Park remain open for winter camping, but there is no water.
Visitors planning to participate in winter outdoor activities in the White Mountains should realize that winters are known for their severity. Expect sudden and extreme variations, low temperatures, and high winds. Obtain a current local weather forecast before setting out.
For special events within the state in spring, summer, and fall, including foliage reports and alpine skiing conditions, call 603-224-2525 or 1-800-258-3608. For cross-country ski conditions, call 603-224-6363 or 1-800-262-6660. For snowmobile trail conditions, call 603-224-4666 or 1-800-258-3609 outside New Hampshire.