Special Places

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.  

View of the Presidential Range-Dry River Wilderness in early winter. Wilderness

The White Mountain National Forest contains approximately 148,000 acres of Congressionally-designated Wilderness, including the Wild River Wilderness and an extension to the Sandwich Range Wilderness, both of which were designated in 2006. All Wilderness on the WMNF is managed according to the
Forest's Wilderness Management Plan.

 

Scenic fall drive on the Kancamagus Byway 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. 

  

cellar hole on the Forest Historic Sites

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 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.

 


 


 

Areas & Activities

WMNF Wilderness Areas

  • Caribou-Speckled Mountain
    14, 000 acres designated by the 1990 Maine Wilderness Act.
  • Great Gulf
    Approximately 5,552 acres, designated by the 1964 Wilderness Act.
  • Pemigewasset
    45,000 acres designated by the 1984 New Hampshire Wilderness Act.
  • Presidential Range - Dry River
    29,000 acres designated by the 1975 Eastern Wilderness Act and expanded in the 1984 New Hampshire Wilderness Act.
  • Sandwich Range
    35,800 acres: 25,000 designated by the 1984 New Hampshire Wilderness Act and 10,800 designated by the 2006 New England Wilderness Act.
  • Wild River
    23,700 acres designated by the 2006 New England Wilderness Act.