The autumn is a wonderful time to spend a weekend in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. For me, it gets a bit chilly for a tent at this time of year. But that’s OK because of the White Mountains Hostel in Conway, a friendly, spacious place that often offers special programming…I toured a bee keeper’s place from there once…
Rather than a National Park, the White Mountains area is designated as a National Forest so you have amenities close by. But planning is helpful so you don’t drive around and around looking for them. Take your map! The Kangamangas Highway can feel jammed in the autumn months, so bring plenty of patience and try to avoid driving it on the weekends.
There are a good number of well-groomed trails. Mount Washington is popular as it is the highest mountain in New England. But there are scenic trail options at Mount Washington even if you don’t want to hike to the top. And if you aren’t fond of hiking, you could always drive to the top of Mount Washington.
If you do like to hike, my favorite trail is in Pinkham Notch. The Pinkham Notch Visitor Center can help explain your options there. The White Mountains National Forest has a handful of wheelchair accessible trails.
At 300 million to 400 million years old, the White Mountains like their weather varied so a layered look is always a smart approach. Check the weather before starting on your chosen trail. If you plan on a day hike, do remember to bring a pack with emergency provisions.
“The mountains are calling and I must go” –– John Muir
What I like about hiking in the White Mountains in the Fall is my intensity washes away and I find myself in a comfortable state of being mellow. These foliage pictures give a hint as to the White Mountains’ magic.
Buy it. Read it. (Or listen to it.) Let me know what you think. –TMLL