Facts About the Forest

National Forests were established to provide clean water sources and continuing forest resources for the nation while protecting and managing the land for future generations.

The Forest Service manages these public lands to conserve resources through a balance of activities and uses, including wildlife habitat, Wilderness, recreation, clean water, timber and forest products. Each National Forest is part of the larger National Forest System that includes more than 150 Forests from Alaska to Puerto Rico. Each is yours to enjoy.



Recreation activities draw visitors to the White Mountain National Forest year round.

Visitors to the White Mountain National Forest enjoy:

  • 1200 miles of hiking trails
  • 400 miles of snowmobile trails
  • 160 miles of the Appalachian Trail
  • 23 developed campgrounds
  • 6 ski touring areas
  • 4 alpine ski areas



There are six Congressionally designated Wilderness Areas totaling 149,500 acres.



Protecting and ensuring the quality of water resources is a priority. The forest continuously restores and revitalizes the vast water resources, including:

  • 12,000 acres of wetlands
  • 4,750 miles of streams
  • 67 lakes
  • 35 watersheds


Wildlife, Fish, and Plants

The White Mountain National Forest provides habitat for:

  • Federally listed Threatened and Endangered plants and animals.
  • Big and small game such as moose, white tail deer and ruffed grouse.
  • Almost 200 species of birds, including Bicknell’s Thrush, considered one of the of the top priority species for conservation. The National Forest has the largest block of breeding habitat for Bicknell’s Thrush in the northeast.
  • Partnerships with natural resource agencies and conservation and sportsmen groups are an important part of habitat management