"New Hampshire" United States of America Things to Do Tip by traveldave

United States of America Things to Do: 953 reviews and 1,331 photos


Nickname: Granite State; Land Area: 8,969 square miles (23,230 square kilometers); Population: 1,316,470; Capital: Concord; Largest City: Manchester

The White Mountains are one of the prime vacation destinations on the East Coast due to their proximity to Boston and New York City. The White Mountains cover about one-fourth of the land area of New Hampshire, and most of that area is public land, including White Mountain National Forest and several state parks.

There are numerous natural sights to see, such as the Old Man of the Mountain (which collapsed in 2003 but still remains the symbol of New Hampshire), Franconia Notch, Mount Washington, and dense forests, waterfalls, and lakes. There are also roadside attractions, such as the famous Clark's Trading Post, the Cog Railroad which takes visitors to the top of Mount Washington, and tourist shops in the small towns. The area also has many excellent ski resorts, which make the White Mountains a draw in the winter.

The highest of the White Mountains, as well as the tallest mountain in the northeastern United States, is 6,288-foot (1,917-meter) Mount Washington. It is part of the Presidential Range, a line of peaks named after American presidents and other prominent Americans. The mountain is subject to extreme winter weather and enormous amounts of snowfall. It is most famous as the place where the fastest surface gust of wind ever recorded in the world occured. In 1934, a gust of wind was measured at 231 miles per hour (372 kilometers per hour) on top of Mount Washington.

The White Mountains were formed about 100,000,000 to 124,000,000 years ago from volcanic activity. Because they are relatively young, the White Mountains are the tallest and most rugged mountains in New England. They are composed mostly of granite, giving rise to the New Hampshire state motto of "The Granite State."

The granite cliffs pictured here form the north wall of Franconia Notch, in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest.

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  • Updated Jul 20, 2012
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