Searching for a place where you can enjoy the beauty and adventure afforded by a gorgeous natural setting? Or do you really like moose? Allow us to introduce you to the Great North Woods of New Hampshire. It's got streams and lakes for boating and fishing, waterfall hikes, charming towns, skiing, covered bridges, and, of course, moose. Lots and lots of moose. Make your way through these forests, exploring all the Great North Woods have to offer.
Located in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire, the Northern Forest Heritage Park is a veritable gold mine of history and amazing outdoor activities. Whether you would like to watch shows and performances in a beautiful outdoor amphitheater, take a relaxing pontoon ride up the Androscoggin River, view massive outside paintings on historical Brown Company Research and Development buildings, or take a stroll through the wondrously replicated log cabins, this park always has something to offer. This amazing destination was founded in 1994, and has met its goal of celebrating the area's natural beauty, while representing the multicultural legacy of the Great North Woods Region.
Are you an avid skier, winter sports enthusiast, history buff or simply a fan of quirky sites? If so, the Nansen Ski Jump is a must-see. Located just north of the Berlin City line, this epic locale is where the first Olympic trials were held in the United States back in 1938. The 171-foot tower and 310-foot runway was, at one point, the largest active ski jump in the U.S., and the jump also hosted many U.S. Ski Jumping National Championships. While it's now a historic landmark, it did make one epic comeback, alongside ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson, who was also rallying after a knee injury. Hendrickson rode the jump, launching 55 feet into the air and sticking the landing perfectly!
Umbagog Lake State Park is as unique as its name. Named after the Native American Abenaki tribe's word for "shallow water," this park offers an amazing depth of entertainment options. Swimming, canoeing, fishing, camping, boating, and several other activities are available, and what makes this park even more special is the option to rent fully-furnished cabins. Six, four, and three-person cabins can be rented so you can rest up for your group's daily plans in comfort. Renting a cabin not quite your style? Fear not! There are 33 remote camping sites to get away from others, and 27 additional sites that contain electrical and water hook-ups for those who want a happy-medium experience. Be sure to call ahead when renting a cabin!
If you love to visit picturesque landscapes and spend time in nature, the Thirteen Mile Woods is the place for you. Located on several thousand acres in Northern New Hampshire, this beautiful piece of forest is something its visitors never forget. Take pictures of the magnificent landscapes that will make your friends and family jealous, or hammock in the shade of the pines. But, one of the best features of Thirteen Mile Woods is the wallows, where moose like to hang out. If you're set on a moose sighting on your adventure through the Great North Woods, cruise Success Street past the swampy backwater of the river; your chances of spying the majestic beasts are pretty good here. Wonderful New Hampshire will reconnect you with nature and leave you refreshed and ready to go back to the hustle and bustle of regular life.
Dixville Notch State Park spans 127 acres off West Route 26, and contains several breathtaking trails (some are literally breathtaking, due to their intensity). The park is known nationwide to runners, hikers, climbers, and adventurous nature-goers, as it offers many options. Table Rock Trail is an out-and-back hike that offers a long, easy route and a shorter option with some rock scrambling; take the easy hike up and the more challenging one back to make the most of it. If you are looking for a break from exercise, or just love to eat in nature, feel free to picnic with your family in the picnic areas. Containing scenic gorges, wonderful waterfalls, and babbling mountain brooks, this park is an absolute must when visiting the beautiful state of New Hampshire.
Adjacent to Diamond Pond, Coleman State Park is an extremely versatile area to visit with friends, family, or solo. Like many parks, Coleman offers various camping opportunities and waterfront-based activities; unlike most parks, it provides access to 1,000 miles of trails that are OHRV and snowmobile accessible. Feel free to take your permitted vehicle on all the scenic trails that span Coos County. Take advantage of a plethora of other activities. Canoe, kayak, fish, or even swim in Diamond Pond. Run, walk, or (season permitting) cross-country ski the trails if you lack a vehicle. Picnic, relax, hammock, or play with your friends or family in the park as well. The options are endless in this amazing, scenic area. Cabin rentals and showers are available, so your trip will be made easy.
Whether you are looking to take a stroll through nature, have a picnic with your friends or family, take pictures of amazing landscapes, or simply be out in nature, Beaver Brook Falls Wayside can appeal to any and all visitors. Home to a fantastic view of one of New Hampshire's most beautiful waterfalls, this park will leave you in awe as you gaze upon its glory. Once you take in the wonderful sights, feel free to pop into the local town of Colebrook, which is rich in history, having been founded in 1796. It would be crazy to not stop by this wonderful area when in New Hampshire. And, as always, keep your eyes peeled for moose; apparently they love the waterfall views as much as we humans do.
The 45th Parallel Marker is located near the junction of Route 145 and Clarksville Pond Road, and boy is this marker special! Standing tall in the town of Clarksville, New Hampshire since 1977, the marker officially establishes the halfway point between the Equator and the North Pole. Pretty cool, right? Now I know you may be thinking that visiting this special landmark would be something quick to do and then move on, but that is a bit of a mistake. Visit the small town of Clarksville when in the area, as it is the perfect representation of a bustling little New Hampshire town bursting with charm.
Today, historic and beautiful covered bridges are becoming harder and harder to find. That's why the Pittsburg-Clarksville Bridge is a must-see landmark when passing by Pittsburg. Built in 1876, the bridge connects the towns of Clarksville and Pittsburg, spanning the peaceful Connecticut River. This 88-foot-long, 15-foot-wide, and nearly-13-feet-tall bridge is closed to the public to preserve its existence, but visitors are encouraged to snap a picture when passing through. Hard to believe that of the seven covered bridges Pittsburgh once boasted, this is one of only three left!
Are you a huge fan of fun on the lake? Then you're in luck. Lake Francis State Park has a 2,000-acre lake that is located near the Connecticut Lakes of the Great North Woods region, and it allows for optimal adventure. Canoe, kayak, fish, and swim. You can rent a boat or bring your own to the park’s boat launch. After spending the day on the water, feel free to relax in the campground that offers modern bathhouse facilities. Spotted any moose during your journeys yet? Perhaps you will here! When planning to camp, be sure to call ahead to reserve a site, as there are 45 sites, some of which allow for water and electric hook-up.
Life can be so busy at times, and it's easy to find ourselves overwhelmed with stresses that bog us down. A trip to the great North Woods of New Hampshire is one that allows you to unwind without worry of the outside world. At times, you'll find yourself surrounded by so much beauty that it seems like you're in another world. It's easy to admire the simplicity of life out here, in wilderness that we so often forget exists.
With seven distinct regions and so much to see and do, there’s no wrong way to visit New Hampshire. Hike one of our 4,000 footers and inhale crisp mountain air. Take a boat ride on a glassy lake, or a refreshing dip in the Atlantic Ocean.