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10 Must-Visit State Parks in the White Mountains

The White Mountains region is home to dozens of state parks ranging from wayside areas, to waterfalls, to lakes, and campgrounds. We’ve narrowed it down and chosen 10 great state parks to check out on your next visit to the White Mountains

(Please note that some day-use fees may apply for certain recreation and camping areas, Visit www.nhstateparks.org for more information on all of these sites along with information on how to reserve a day pass.)

Beaver Brook Falls Wayside-Colebrook

Head up to the northern section of the White Mountains to Colebrook, where you will come to Beaver Brook Falls. This 80’ waterfall is within the 7.3-acre state park which also features picnic tables, a picnic shelter, and restroom facilities.

Cathedral Ledge-North Conway

Drive or hike the mile-long auto road to the top of the 700-foot rocky top of Cathedral Ledge. Stunning views of the Saco River Valley and the White Mountains will greet you from the top and you may even see some rock climbers climbing up!

Crawford Notch-Hart’s Location

With over 5,000-acres to explore, there is something for everyone in Crawford Notch State Park. Mount Willard, Arethusa Falls, and Mount Webster are just a few of the hikes in the park, as well as several private and state-owned campgrounds. Learn about the Willey Landslide at the Willey Visitor Center and Gift Shop and enjoy road-side waterfalls and mountain views.

Echo Lake-North Conway

Looking for a great spot for a family beach day? Echo Lake offers great swimming, a nice sandy beach, and picnic areas. There are also many hiking trails that originate from this park, including up to Cathedral Ledge.

Franconia Notch-Franconia

This mountain pass (notch) offers some spectacular outdoor recreation opportunities including hiking, swimming, paddleboating, fishing, and biking as well as two of the White Mountains major attractions, the Flume Gorge, and the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway. (Reservations encouraged for both of those attractions). Visit the New England Ski Museum or check out the views from the Governor Gallen Memorial Bridge.

Jericho Mountain State Park-Berlin

Known primarily by enthusiasts for its incredible ATV and snowmobile trail system, Jericho Mountain State Park is also a great place to go fishing, swimming, camping, and canoeing.

Madison Boulder Natural Area-Madison

If you ever wanted to see North America’s largest glacial erratic, you’ve come to the right place. Madison Boulder is also one of the largest in the world. It is 83 feet in length, 23 feet in height above the ground, 37 feet in width, and weighs nearly 5,000 tons.

Mount Washington-Summit of Mount Washington

This state park is probably up there as the most adventurous one to get to as you either must hike 6,288 feet to the summit, take the Mount Washington Auto Road, or ride the Mount Washington Cog Railway. At the summit, you are treated to some of the most incredible and unpredictable weather in the world. The Sherman Adams Building houses the Visitor Center where you can get a bite to eat, explore the gift shop, and the Mount Washington Observatory’s Museum.

Weeks State Park-Lancaster

Located on Mount Prospect, this 446-acre estate was given to the state in 1941 by the children of John Wingate Weeks, the U.C. congressman and senator who helped spearhead the Weeks Act, which was the beginning on the National Forest system in the eastern United States. Today, guests can enjoy 360° panorama views from the grounds and from the Stone Tower. The John Wingate Weeks house is also open to the public during the operating season. They also offer evening historical and nature programs in July and August.