The White Mountains National Forest offers miles of trails, woods, rivers, and lakes for dogs to play in. Some of the attractions that are pet-friendly require dogs to be leashed, so do some research before visiting to make sure Fido is all set to join the family on your adventure!
On the summit of Mt. Prospect in Lancaster is the summer estate of John Wingate Weeks, the U.S. Congressman who led the charge to establish the Weeks Act of 1911 to create our National Forest system. The hiking trails provide year-round activity for all ages and the first Scenic & Cultural Byway in our state leads to a spectacular view from the summit.
Location: Franconia Notch State Park Distance: 3-6 miles One Way or 6-12 miles Round Trip Elevation: 4760' to 5260' Time: 3-8 hours Directions: Parking is available at the Trailhead Parking Lot (when traveling north through Franconia Notch) or at the Lafayette Campground (when traveling south through Franconia Notch). The Falling Waters Trail is a popular trail to the summit of Little Haystack Mountain. Along the way are several waterfalls. Stairs Falls is the first waterfall seen on this trip. A few hundred feet above Stairs Falls is Swiftwater Falls; a 60-foot tall mix of cascades and small plunges. The last waterfall, and by far the main attraction of this trail, is 80-foot Cloudland Falls, a picturesque fan-type horsetail. Like the other two waterfalls, this waterfall can be seen from the trail, but the best views are afforded by sidestepping off the main trail and getting closer to the falls. Upon reaching the summit of Little Haystack Mountain (4840'), one can return to the parking lot via the Falling Waters Trail or continue along the Franconia Ridge Trail to Mount Lincoln (5089') and to Mount Layafette (5260'). From Mt. Lafayette, one can descend to the parking lot via the Old Bridle Path.
Location: Crawford Notch State Park Distance: 1.2 miles Elevation: 400+ feet Time: 1 hour Directions: Take Route 302 into Crawford Notch. About 3.4 miles south of height of land, you'll turn into the well marked parking area for Ripley Falls. Start on Ethan Pond Trail, then follow Arethusa-Ripley Falls Trail to this gorgeous 100 foot waterfall. Ripley Falls is a beautiful 100-foot waterfall flowing over a smooth rock wall. The rock wall is at about a 60-degree angle, causing the rushing mountain water to maintain contact with the rock during most of its descent. There are only short, temporary periods where the water jumps away from the rock wall. Because of this, Ripley Falls, as an entire structure, is one of the steepest-angled slides in all of New England.
Located at the gateway to North Conway, Settlers Green has over 70 outlet stores and restaurants. Shop the latest fashion at Polo Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic Factory, American Eagle Outfitters and Brooks Brothers Factory. Save on active wear for your outdoor adventures in the White Mountains at stores like Under Armour Factory, New Balance Factory, Jockey Outlet and more. More than just tax-free shopping, Settlers Green features public art, gardens, children's playscape, outdoor cafes, restaurants, and spa services. Enjoy seasonal events such as free outdoor family movies and free yoga in the summer, shopping events during the fall and holidays, plus shopping specials on Friday evenings during the winter. Dine at Brandli's Pizza Grille, the main restaurant at Settlers Green, with sit-down dining and take out. There are also two food kiosks at our Food Courtyard with grab-and-go options and light snacks. Coffee, cupcakes and more are available at the White Mountain Cupcakery. Visit settlersgreen.com and join our free VIP Program and get access to the latest exclusive offers from participating stores. Settlers Green also offers a free Coupon Book, with offers to more than 30 stores.
Gunstock Mountain Resort is a premier winter and summer destination, only 100 miles from Boston. During the warmer months, enjoy our 290 site campground featuring tent sites and full RV hook-ups, camp store, and miles of dog-friendly hiking and biking trails. Check out a Segway or E-Bike tour and hit up a special event. After the snow falls, join generations of happy skiers and riders who say, “I learned at Gunstock.” As New Hampshire’s closest major resort to Boston, hundreds of thousands of winter enthusiasts have been enjoying Gunstock since 1937. Take in the breathtaking views of Lake Winnipesaukee and ski, snowboard, play in our newly redesigned Terrain Parks, laugh down our 6-lane tubing hill, cross country ski, snowshoe, skijor with your dog, and ride the Mountain Coaster. Visit for one of our many races and special events. Gunstock is THE place for all-season outdoor family fun.
The 800,000-acre White Mountain National Forest is a powerful presence in the White Mountains. Adjacent to or part of every village and town, the National Forest ensures that this region will remain largely undeveloped.
Location: Kancamagus Highway - Passaconway Historic Site Distance: .5 mile interpretive trail Time: 30 minutes Directions: The trail is located behind the Russell Colbath Historic Site. Parking is also shared with the Passaconway historic site on the eastern end of the Kancamagus Highway. The Rail and River Trail is a 1/2 mile interpretive trail that takes you back in time through the history of the area. This trail is considered to be a handicapped accessible trail with its wide crushed stone path and wooden bridges.
Location:Franconia Notch Distance: 2 miles Time: 1-1.5 hours Difficulty: Easy Directions: Off I93/Route 3 in Franconia Notch State Park (The Basin parking lots). The trail easily ascends along the very scenic Cascade Brook to its intersection with the Cascade Brook Trail, a segment of the Appalachian Trail.
Location: Kancamagus Highway Distance: 3.2-6.4 miles Time: 1.5-3 hours Difficulty: Easy Directions: Four miles east of Lincoln on the Kancamagus Highway. The trail follows an abandoned railroad grade. It starts at the Pemigewasset River suspension foot bridge. The trail system includes the Lincoln Woods Trail, Pine Island Trail, East Side Trail, Osseo Trail, River View Loop, Pemigewasset Wilderness, Flume Slide Trail, Black Pond Trail, Franconia Brook Trail, the Wilderness Trail, Cedar Brook Trail, Lincoln Brook Trail, Bondcliff Trail, and many other connecting trails. The Franconia Brook Campsite is located on the East Side Trail.
Location: North Conway Distance: 2.4 miles Elevation: 2369' Time: 2-3 hours Directions: The trail head is located at the peak of Hurricane Mountain Road where there is a dirt parking lot. It is approximately 3.5 miles off Route 16 in Intervale. The trail, located in a spruce and beech forest, leads to a bare summit. The rocky summit provides views of Maine and New Hampshire's White Mountains.
Join us for an old-fashioned railroading experience! Whether you choose one of the Valley routes to Conway or Bartlett, or the legendary Crawford Notch excursion, this is a journey back in time the whole family will enjoy! On the Valley Train, choose Coach, First Class, or experience dining on the rails aboard the dining car Chocorua. The Notch Train offers Coach, First-Class, or Dome seating. With the First Class Package, enjoy lunch on our dining car Hattie Evans. Or enjoy the round-trip excursion on the Rhonda Lee, our new dome car dedicated to dining.
Location: Entrance to Crawford Notch Distance: .3 miles Time: 20-30 minutes Difficulty: Easy Directions: I-93N to Exit 35. Follow Route 3 towards Twin Mountain to Route 302. In Twin Mountain, at the only traffic signal, take a right onto Route 302E. Approximately 12-15 miles after Twin Mountain, you'll enter Crawford Notch State Park. As soon as you pass the Crawford Depot station on the right and Saco Lake on the left, park in the trail-head parking lot on the right. Note: you will see the giant elephant's head across the road from the parking lot. The trail starts across the road from the parking lot. Look for the sign. Elephant Head is another contender for "the best view for the easiest walk in the White Mountains." It is a bit rugged, steep, and muddy, but it is only about a third of a mile each way, and leads to a sweeping view of Crawford Notch, both north and south. The trail to Elephant Head goes through a typical second-growth forest of mixed hardwoods and evergreens.
Location: North Conway Distance: 1 mile Time: 40 minutes Difficulty: Easy Directions: Parking lot is located off West Side Road, Bartlett/North Conway. Easy, relatively flat walk to beautiful rocky cascades. During the summer it is a great place for all ages to enjoy the tranquility of nature, cascading falls, and pools in the brook.
Located in the 100-Acre Wood, just 4 miles north of North Conway Village on Route 16, BIBLF offers a 10K trail system that includes a Storybook Trail featuring a different story each week along with view of mountains and surrounding rivers. The Theater in the Wood is a 300-seat theater offering productions year-round along with a Maple Sugaring Operation located on the property. BIBLF hosts many educational and fundraising events with proceeds going towards their outreach literacy programs and scholarship opportunities.
Come experience pristine Squam Lake in a way that is personalized to your liking. Relax aboard a 23' Sea Ray Bow-Rider. Bask in the sun or stay shaded under the boat's canopy. Zoom fast around the lake or putter along. Anchor in quiet coves or off sandy beaches, swim or jump off the boat. Be daring and jump off infamous "Jumping Rock". View wildlife, tour historic Church Island and On Golden Pond movie sites. Stroll along a boarded swamp-walk or pick native blueberries in season. Cruise at sunset, or star gaze under a full moon. This is the perfect excursion for those who'd like to rent a boat for a day or a couple of hours, but are leery of navigating Squam's shallow and rocky waterways, and don't want to have to get a boater's license. Bathroom facilities are accessible on several public islands. Our boat operators are commercially licensed and insured and have 25 years of boating experience on Squam.
Covered bridges in the White Mountains are an integral part of the landscape and a place to wait out a summer shower or steal a kiss or watch raging river waters swollen by the melting winter snows.
Location: Kancamagus Highway Distance: 4.4 miles Elevation: 2245' Time: 3-4 hours Difficulty: Easy/Moderate Directions: 9.5 miles East of Lincoln on Kancamagus Highway. Two pretty ponds ringed by mountains and easy grades. The Greeley Ponds Trail does continue all the way to Waterville Valley, but usually hikers turn back at the second pond and retrace the same path back to Kancamagus Highway.
One of America's top 500 wineries and the maker of "NH's Best Craft Beverage"-Food & Wine Magazine. Serving locally sourced wine, beer, and food. Wine tastings and tours available.
Location: Kancamagus Highway Distance: 3.5 miles Elevation: 1750' Time: 2-3.5 hours Diffculty: Moderate Directions: Dugway Road off the Kancamagus Highway. Excellent views for relatively little effort. This is a loop hike through the woods with lots of large, interesting boulders. Several ledges offer great views of the many surrounding mountains.
At the base of Mount Washington enjoy a guided kayak trip along scenic lakes and rivers of northern NH with brilliant mountain views and opportunities for wildlife viewing. Bring your own bike or rent one, walk or hike along on our scenic trail system with amazing views of the Presidential Mountain Range.
Location: Franconia Notch Distance: 1.5 miles loop trail Elevation: 2340' Time: 1-1.5 hours Difficulty: Easy/Moderate Directions: From I-93 (Franconia Notch Parkway) get off on Exit 34C toward the Cannon Mountain Ski Resort and head west on NH 18. Go up roughly a half mile where you see a large parking area on your right. There will be sign for both the Bald Mtn. trail and the Artist Bluff Trail. Offers some of the best views of Cannon Mountain and Franconia Notch.
Canoeing, kayaking, and tubing on the Saco River is great family fun with fantastic scenery. $25/week-day, canoe and kayak rentals in New Hampshire and Maine.
Location: Thornton/Waterville Valley Distance: 4.5 miles Elevation: Welch Mtn. (2605'), Dickey Mtn. (2734') Time: 3-4 hours Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult Directions: From I-93, take Exit 28 and head east toward Waterville Valley on NH 49. In 5.6 miles turn left onto Upper Mad River Road. In 0.6 miles turn right onto Morris Road, following signs for the Welch-Dickey Loop Trail. In another 0.6 mile turn right onto gravel road, which leads 50 yards to the parking area for the Welch-Dickey Loop Trail. The trail is a loop trail. Most common route is going counterclockwise. Great views of the valley and southern white mountains. Upper portion of the trail includes ledges and rock scrambles.