History & Culture


The Russell-Colbath house in the 19th century.

Historic Sites and Heritage Resources

The Heritage Program on The White Mountain National Forest, like that of all National Forests, is dedicated to the protection and appropriate management of significant cultural resources. We strive to share an appreciation of these resources with the public and Forest visitors, and to provide professional advice to resource specialists and managers of the Forest. Our efforts will:

  • Ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to discover the human stories etched on the landscapes of our National Forest;
  • Make the past come alive as a vibrant part of our recreational experiences and community life;
  • Connect people to the land in a way that will help us better understand the role of environmental history and its influence on Forest resources today and in the future.

When visiting our National Forests please remember:

The past belongs to all Americans

Leave what you find so others can experience and learn from it

WMNF Cultural History

The White Mountains have a long history and a wide variety of cultural sites.  more

Native Americans

Systematic archaeological testing has located 21 prehistoric Native American sites on the WMNF. more

Euro-American History

Exploration of the White Mountains by Europeans began in the mid-17th century. more

Visiting WMNF Historic Sites

Visitors to the WMNF will undoubtedly notice the traces of the past that can be found across the Forest. more


White Mountain National Forest Historic Hiking Shelters

The development, evolution, and historical significance of hiking trail shelters in the White Mountains.

Fabyan Guard Station named to National Register of Historic Places

The first guard station in White Mountain National Forest named to National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1923 and preserved in 2015, this one-room, 16-by-22 foot log cabin, hand built by White Mountain National Forest rangers from local materials,this is the last remaining example of a Guard Station in New Hampshire. Fomd out more about this White Mountain treasure and whiy we are proud to share it's national recognition. 


Preservation 50th: Smarts Mountain Cabin and Lookout

Preservation 50 Figure 4

The White Mountain National Forest and HistoriCorps, with support from the Dartmouth Outing Club and Green Woodlands, completed restoration of the fire tower and cabin on Smarts Mountain.

Preservation 50th: Fabyan Cabin

Fabyan Guard Station, built in 1923 will receive some much needed preservation work in July.

The Fabyan Guard Station is the oldest structure built by the Forest Service in White Mountain National Forest and is one of the oldest remaining guard stations in the eastern United States.


Historic Fire Equipment Depot and District Office

Image of Ranger Office Depot on Highland Street, Plymouth, NH.

The White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) constructed Fire Equipment Depot buildings on three of its five ranger districts between 1940 and 1942.