White Mountain National Forest


A view of Pemigewasset Wilderness
Pemigewasset Wilderness on White Mountain National Forest
Typical autumn view in the Forest

White Mountain National Forest was established in 1918 and now contains some 750,852 acres, mostly in New Hampshire but a bit in Maine. Land for the forest started to be acquired shortly after the Weeks Act of 1911. That legislation allowed the federal government to buy abused and worn out land from private individuals and restore it to health. It's the Weeks Act that paved for the way for the establishment of most of the National Forests in the northeastern quarter of the country.

The Forest is composed of three non-contiguous parcels with ranger district offices in Campton and Conway, NH and Gorham, ME. Enclosed within the bounds of the Forest are several mountain ranges in central New Hampshire and a couple in Maine. The White Mountains in the heart of the Forest are famous for enjoying the nation's worst weather: the station on the summit of Mount Washington once recorded a surface wind speed of 231 miles per hour. The weather has contributed to the deaths of more than 135 people since the first was recorded in 1849.

The Forest is home to wildlife species including black bear, moose, white-tailed deer, coyote, raccoon, beaver, Canadian lynx, river otter, bobcat, gray and red foxes, mink, fisher, porcupine, peregrine falcon and bald eagle.

There are more than 1,200 miles of trails on the forest, including more than 100 miles of the Apalachian National Scenic Trail. There are also 22 developed campgrounds and several downhill ski areas on the forest.

 
A view of the Sandwich Range
The Sandwich Range
Map of White Mountain National Forest
White Mountain National Forest map

Campgrounds

Androscoggin Ranger District Camping

Campground # of Sites Reservable Season Amenities Fees Notes
Barnes Field Campground Group X Mid-May to mid-Oct Drinking waterToilets X notes
Crocker Pond Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Dolly Copp Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Hastings Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Wild River Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
 

Pemigewasset Ranger District

Campground # of Sites Reservable Season Amenities Fees Notes
Big Rock Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Campton Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Hancock Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Osceola Vista Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Russell Pond Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Sugarloaf I sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Sugarloaf II sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Waterville Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Wildwood Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Zealand Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
 

Saco Ranger District

Campground # of Sites Reservable Season Amenities Fees Notes
Basin Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Blackberry Crossing Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Cold River Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Covered Bridge Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Jigger Johnson Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
Passaconaway Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes
White Ledge Campground sites Reserve Season Facilities fee notes