White Mountain National Forest Visitor's Center
White Mountain National Forest has a unique ecosystem that makes up 14 percent of the state of New Hampshire. White Mountain National Forest is located on the northern part of New Hampshire which extends into small portions into Maine. Recreational activities are offered at White Mountain National Forest. The forest itself is used for logging and other limited commercial use. The total area of White Mountain National Forest is 784,505 acres.
Backstory and Context
White Mountain National Forest came to be because of the Week Act of 1911. The Week Act of 1911 allows the government to purchase private land and is able to establish them as national forests. White Mountain National Forest was established in 1918.
There isn’t any record of how the national park received its name, White Mountain. There is also no record of what Native Americans called the area of White Mountain, but pre-Colonial names for specific peaks are known to be mentioned in literature from Colonial times. Names such as “White Hills” or “Wine Hills”. Supposedly, White Mountain was first seen from a ship off the coast near Piscataqua estuary. The highest peaks of White Mountain appear to be white because they are snow-capped, but it could also be the mica-laden granite of the summits that displayed itself white to observers.
Tourists from all over the country come to enjoy the recreational activities such as kayaking, camping, skiing, rock and ice climbing, and mountain biking. White Mountain National Forest offers over 20 campgrounds, 1,200 miles of hiking trails, and the 34 mile Kancamagus Scenic Byway which pass over the heart of the White Mountains. Another attraction that the national forest offers is Mount Washington. Mount Washington has the highest peak north of the Smokey Mountains and east of the Mississippi.