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A hiking excursion in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with Appalachian Mountain Club
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  • States:
    New Hampshire

Easy access to forests, lakes, rivers and the White Mountains is the hallmark of New Hampshire’s Grand North Region.

The Grand North region of New Hampshire is as grand as the name implies. From snow-capped mountains to untouched forest preserves and all the wild spaces in between, there’s abundant fresh air and room to stretch your legs. You can feel like you have the whole world to yourself without being far from a hot meal in a cozy mountain town. Here’s your guide to the most unforgettable outdoor experiences in New Hampshire’s Grand North region.

Mount Washington

Mount Washington is the highest peak in the northeastern USA. Summit the mountain via the Cog Railway, by car on the Mount Washington Auto Road, by foot or even on skis. In the winter, sunrise and sunset tinge the snowcapped mountain with a rosy glow, and deep powdery snow turns it into a ski haven. Stay at Omni Mount Washington Resort, Carlson’s Lodge, Allegory Inn or the AMC Highland Center Lodge, and hit the slopes for skiing and snowboarding.

Multiple avenues for exploring Mount Washington

Multiple avenues for exploring Mount Washington
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Appalachian Mountain Club Tours

This club is the oldest outdoor group in the USA and has made an effort to preserve mountain trails and protect wildlife. Plan a guided hiking or snow-shoeing tour with the club and benefit from your guide’s expert knowledge. You might catch sight of moose, fox, whitetail deer or eagles.

Incredible views on a hike from the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch in Bretton Woods

Incredible views on a hike from the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch in Bretton Woods
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Ride the Wilds Trail System

There’s plenty of space for high-energy adventures out here. Have a high-octane adventure on the Ride the Wilds Trail System, offering more than 1,600 kilometers of interconnected trails for off-highway recreational vehicles (OHRVs). Don’t worry about packing your own equipment. Outfitters, rentals and tours of the trails are available.

Bretton Woods Canopy Tour

If you can’t get enough of the views, head up into the treetops on the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour, featuring a series of ziplines, sky bridges and platforms in the forests of Mount Washington. Guides discuss local White Mountain lore and the species of plants and animals that you’ll be zipping over. You might just nab the perfect, sky-high photo-op.

Soaring high above the treetops on the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour

Soaring high above the treetops on the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour
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Whitewater Rafting

For another high-energy adventure, put on a life jacket and hit the rivers on a whitewater rafting trip. There are routes with mild rapids for those with little to no experience as well as more intense excursions featuring class IV rapids. Either way, the scenery and the adrenaline rush make for an epic story to bring home.

Tackling rushing rapids on a whitewater rafting tour through a remote part of the forest

Tackling rushing rapids on a whitewater rafting tour through a remote part of the forest
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Fish the Connecticut Lakes

Contrary to their name, the Connecticut Lakes are a chain of four lakes in northern New Hampshire renowned for their pristine, sparkling waters and world-class fly-fishing. From the town of Pittsburg near the Canadian border, you can head to these cold-water lakes for salmon and trout fishing. You’ll be out in the wilderness but furnished with all the amenities you need. Tall Timber Lodge or Lopstick Lodge can serve as your basecamp and equipment outfitter.

Fishing the Trophy Stretch of the Connecticut River in Pittsburg

Fishing the Trophy Stretch of the Connecticut River in Pittsburg
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Round Out Your Stay

The wide open spaces of New Hampshire’s Grand North cultivate an independent but friendly spirit. In quaint mountain hamlets, you’ll browse boutiques and art galleries; dine on hearty, northern dishes; and sample locally brewed beer. Cozy up in a cabin or a quintessential New England-style bed and breakfast. Luxury hotels and resorts are also available. And don’t miss out on Santa’s Village, a Christmas-themed amusement park with family-friendly rides and attractions.

Relaxing with a stunning view on the porch of the Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa

Relaxing with a stunning view on the porch of the Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa
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Getting There

The closest major airports are Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) in Massachusetts, Portland International Jetport (PWM) in Maine, Manchester Boston Regional Airport (MHT) in New Hampshire and the Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal, Canada (YUL). All are about a two-and-a-half hour drive to New Hampshire’s Grand North.