Any time of year, the 780,000 acres White Mountain National Forest is a fabulous place to visit, with a diversity of habitats, extensive trail networks, clear mountain lakes and streams, breathtaking scenery, and wildlife. With over 7 million visitors annually, and it's proximity within a one day drive to huge metro areas, it is one of the most visited forests in the US. Forest management and visitor respect provides a delicate balance so the WMNF's splendor can be enjoyed while its natural beauty is sustained and preserved. The White Mountains have spiritual values to many native American tribes, and the alpine areas have historically been the site of vision quests.
The complex ecosystems of the forest create different atmospheres in each season. Of course, autumn is extraordinary in the White Mountain National Forest, with the unique forest of mixed hardwoods and conifers covering towering mountains, creating a truly spectacular display of foliage color. Downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobile trails that connect with the state-wide trail system, ice and mixed climbing opportunities, snowshoeing, and winter and mountaineering are all popular activities. Spring finds the forest lush with new life, with swollen waterways and rare wildflowers. Summer is naturally the Forest's busiest season, with endless opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The forest becomes a living classroom through workshops and programs ranging from Wildflower Walks to Bear Safety to Yankee Lumberjacks. Take your own tour - by foot, bike, auto, cog railroad, or snowshoes - and you might sight a moose, discover a field of flowering lupine, or spot some of the 200+ bird species which make their home here. Remember to respect the wildlife, even if they seem tame or passive. Pack your camera for a motor tour on the scenic Kancamagus Highway, or through Crawford or Pinkham Notches. Bring a picnic and sit by one of over 100 waterfalls, cool off in a natural pool with cascades flowing around you, or try fishing for stocked or wild catches in rivers, ponds and streams.
|Lower Falls, on the "Kanc," is a popular swimming spot on a hot day, with its natural rock slides and cooling pools. The Forest is filled with well-marked trails for all abilities, including wheelchair accessible, and home to part of the Appalachian Trail. Learn more about WMNF at http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain/|
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