The White Mountains are known for its mountain views, glacial rock caves, and amazing wildlife. Here are some great ways to explore the natural beauty of the White Mountains and learning something too!
Squam Lakes Science Center-Holderness
Visitors to the Squam Lakes Science Center will get an up close and personal experience with beavers, owls, eagles, black bear, bob cats, and so much more. Along the ¾ mile animal exhibit trail through the woods, visitors have the chance to explore interactive exhibits on a variety of natural science related topics including solar energy, watersheds, and what it’s like to be a critter who lives underground. Take a side hike on the Ecotone Trail, or the Mt. Fayal Trail. They also host natural science education programs and have an informal public garden on site. This is a great location for families looking to get outdoors and to get a taste of New Hampshire’s wildlife.
Flume Gorge-Franconia Notch, Lincoln
Enjoy a 2-mile self-guided nature walk through the Flume Gorge, a spectacular natural chasm. Along the walk you will discover covered bridges, amazing waterfalls, a scenic pool, and incredible mountain views. Kids can crawl through and explore caves along the way. The Visitor's Center offers a free 20-minute movie on Franconia Notch State Park, information, gift shop, cafeteria, and interpretive exhibits.
Lost River Gorge-North Woodstock
Discover their forest adventure trail, bird cage overlook, treehouse and suspension bridge. Follow the Lost River to explore jagged rock walls, gigantic boulders, rock-strewn glacial caves, and cascading waterfalls. Complete your experience by panning for gemstones in the Lost River Mining Sluice or a stroll through the nature garden and gift shop. See why Lost River Gorge is considered one of New Hampshire’s greatest natural wonders.
Discovery Trail Interpretive Site-Kancamagus Highway, Lincoln
This 1.4 mile loop trail offers a living classroom in forest ecology. This trail includes interpretative panels featuring both natural and managed forest ecology and interpretive brochures are available at the trailhead. Enjoy stunning views while learning about the ecology and history of the White Mountains.
Polar Caves Park-Rumney
Explore granite boulder caves formed by a continental glacier 50,000 years ago. Self-guided cave tours let you go at your own pace: explore Nature Trails, feed the animals, get a sweet treat in the Maple Sugar Lodge, and try your hand at our Polar Mining Expedition Sluice. Maybe you can even conquer the new Polar Ascent and Climbing Wall! Bring a picnic and plan to spend the day! Flat-soled walking shoes and outdoor clothing recommended.
Sabbaday Falls-Kancamagus Highway, Conway
Sabbaday Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in New Hampshire. The 0.5 mile path to Sabbaday Falls is handicapped accessible and takes you to the top where the “Best viewing” area is located. Sabbaday Falls has a 45' drop. While swimming is not allowed at Sabbaday Falls, there is a picnic area and bathrooms located near the parking lot.
Believe in Books 100 Acre Wood Trails-Intervale
There are many different trails to choose from in the Believe in Books system of trails. They range from easy to difficult and were designed for walking, mountain biking, and nature observation in the summer, and X-C skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. There is also the ½ mile Storybook Trail, designed for families with little ones. Visitors can take a walk and read a story on the Storybook Trail and experience great children’s stories in a unique way. It’s a wonderful way for the family to read and play together. The trails are open from 9am – 4pm or whenever the gate is open.