The White Mountain National Forest has many special places - whether it be taking a scenic drive to view the world renowned fall foliage, view historic sites or getting out on the trails to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of our beloved forest there is something for everyone.
Kancamagus Scenic Byway
The Kancamagus Scenic Byway offers one of the most beautiful routes through New Hampshire's White Mountains, especially during the fall foliage season. A trip across the "Kanc" is a highlight for most visitors to the White Mountain National Forest. Rushing rivers, a covered bridge, breathtaking vistas and possibly a glimpse of an elusive moose are some of the cherished memories. The 34 mile long scenic byway connects with the White Mountain Trail to make a loop.
The White Mountain Trail is the most popular auto tour on the Forest and is recognized as one of a select group of routes known as "America's Scenic Byways." This 100 mile loop trail encompasses all the natural splendor, cultural richness, historical charm and recreation opportunities the White Mountains Region has long been known for.
Visitors to the WMNF will undoubtedly notice the traces of the past that can be found across the Forest. The cellar holes and stone walls that criss-cross the Forest are evidence of the farm families who lived and worked here more than a hundred years ago, and the logging camps, railroad grades, and mill dams are remnants of past economic enterprise. The building remains and artifacts now reclaimed by forest are an important resource in understanding how people lived in the past, and how the forest we know today came into being. They are invaluable, non-renewable, and are protected by law. Please do not damage or remove any historic remains you come across on the National Forest, and report damage or looting to Forest Service personnel.
The WMNF manages several historic, 19th century buildings, some of which are open to the public:
•The Russell-Colbath House, on the Kancamagus Highway in Albany, NH, is a 19th century farmhouse with period furnishings which operates as a historic house museum, with an on-site historic interpreter. Visitors can learn about the history of the Passaconaway Valley, the families who lived in the house, domestic life in the 19th century, and view artifacts uncovered in recent archaeological excavations. The house, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is open to the public seasonally. Contact the Saco Ranger District for hours and more information.
•The Brickett Place, located on the Evans Notch Rd. (Rt 113) in Stow, Maine, is a 19th century historic brick farmhouse. Inside the house, visitors may view a timeline illustrating the history of the local area and the Brickett family, and obtain camping and hiking information. The house, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is open to the public seasonally, and serves as a portal to the Caribou-Speckled Wilderness. Contact the Saco Ranger District for hours and more information.
•The Smith House, also known as Mead Base, is located in Sandwich, NH, at the base of the Sandwich Notch Rd. This historic 19th century farmhouse is operated under special use permit by the Friends of Mead. The grounds are open to the public, but there is no public access to the house.