Packing a picnic lunch for a day out adventuring in the White Mountains is a must, and sometimes, planning your day’s adventure based on the top picnic spots is essential too. Here are 12 of our favorite places to picnic in the White Mountains.
By a Waterfall
Glen Ellis Falls, Route 16-Pinkham Notch: This 0.3 walk in the woods to a 64’ waterfall, is a beautiful spot for any picnicker. Make this your lunch goal, or plan a longer hike around your lunch break by visiting the Joe Dodge Lodge for information on trails.
Crystal Cascade, Route 16-Pinkham Notch: Take a short, 15 minute walk to get to this stunning 100’ waterfall. Plan this hike in conjunction with Glen Ellis Falls for a waterfall walk to remember.
Jackson Falls-Jackson: This series of cascades falls are a family favorite, and it is right off of the road! Park your car and grab a picnic table, then relax and cool your feet off in the cool water.
On the Kancamagus Highway
Hancock Scenic Overlook: Enjoy stunning views of the Osceola Range as you eat your picnic lunch. There is a covered gazebo to help ward off the sun, or rain. Keep an eye out for the heart-shaped tree, which is a fan favorite to take photos of.
Sugar Hill Overlook: This lovely picnic spot offers panoramic views of the Swift River Valley and surrounding mountains. There are interpretive signs that explain the landscape and National Forest information.
Lower Falls: Located on the Eastern side of the Kancamagus Highway, this picnic spot offers beautiful falls, restrooms, and picnic tables with outdoor grills. Plan to stick your feet in to cool off on a hot, summer day.
Take a Hike
Mount Willard-Crawford Notch: Another trail that is fairly easy with a view pay-off that is well worth the hike. You’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Crawford Notch and you can enjoy a well-deserved lunch at the top.
Welch & Dickey Loop-Waterville Valley: Hit two mountain summits with this loop trail! The trek is approximately 4.5 miles round trip with a fairly flat summit to enjoy lunch and views of the valley.
Park Yourself at a Picnic Table
Willey House-Crawford Notch: Once the spot of the infamous Willey Landslide, this State Park scenic area is now a great place to get out of the car, have a picnic, enjoy a walk around the lake, and get some ice cream.
Moose Brook State Park-Gorham: If you’re heading slightly more north in your travels, Moose Brook State Park is a delightful place to access trails by foot or bike, go fishing, or relax with a picnic lunch.
Swift River Covered Bridge-North Conway: This beautiful, and historic covered bridge is for foot traffic only, and offers a picnic table inside to enjoy lunch while listening to the Swift River. After lunch, wade in the water, or enjoy the shade on the small beach that you’ll find by walking a small, sandy trail on the other side of the bridge.