There and Back Again: 5 Day Trip Activities in the White Mountains, N.H.

What makes Mill Falls the best location in New Hampshire? We’ve got a front row seat to the state’s largest lake, not to mention an easy commute to its most massive mountain range. During your stay, hop in the car to see the jaw-droppings sights for yourself — there are plenty of things to do in the White Mountains over a day trip.

Day Trip Itinerary: 5 Things to Do in New Hampshire’s White Mountains


Day Hikes in New Hampshire’s White Mountains

The White Mountain National Forest covers nearly a quarter of New Hampshire, and it’s bursting with hiking options. Mt. Washington gets a lot of hype, but we’ve got great day hikes that are easier to accomplish and get to closer to our neighborhood. Hikers seeking a challenging ascent with brilliant views can take on a full day of the Franconia Ridge Trail’s rugged but rewarding 8.5 mile loop. For picturesque scenes lacking an uphill battle, there are dozens of family-friendly hikes near Lincoln, N.H., many of which feature dazzling waterfalls.

Photo: Bryn Pinzgauer via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves

The White Mountains have made the most of water and time — see for yourself at the awe-inspiring Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves in Kinsman Notch. Journey along the boardwalks that wind through the steep-walled glacial gorge, dotted with caves and boulder formations. Stop for a long gaze at the 35 ft. Paradise Falls and consider panning for gemstone and fossils as the Lost River Mining Company’s water-powered sluice as a fun add-on to the day.

Flume Gorge

For another gorgeous traipse through natural history, head to Flume Gorge in Lincoln, N.H. Located at the base of Mount Liberty, the natural gorge is framed by walls of Conway granite nearly 70 to 90 feet tall. Walk over one of New Hampshire’s oldest covered bridges, gawk at glacial boulders, and swoon over the sight of the stunning Avalanche Falls while you’re there.

Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway

Of all the things to do in the White Mountains, the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway may be one of the most relaxing. The mountain draws visitors throughout the warmer months with an 80-passenger cable car that travels to the 4,080-foot mountain summit in under 10 minutes. Complete with walking paths, a 360-degree observation deck, and a cafe, this is the perfect lunch spot for your White Mountains day trip.

Photo: Dennis Forgione via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Scenic Drive on the Kancamangus Byway

If you’re looking for a mini road trip, look no further than the Kancamangus Scenic Byway. The byway spans 34.5 miles on Route 112 and is highly regarded as one of New England’s most epic fall foliage routes. A handful of scenic lookouts offer opportunities to take in the views and stretch your legs. To break up the drive, consider a short half-mile hike to Sabbaday Falls and swing by Clark’s Trading Post in Lincoln before heading back to Meredith.

With a mountain range as big as the one we have next door, this list barely skims the surface of things to do in the White Mountains. Before your stay, let us know what you want to get out of your visit and we’ll happily help you plan a day trip to remember.

Header image: Madeleine Deaton via Flikr (CC BY 2.0)

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