Exploring White Mountain National Forest from Sugar Hill: Recommended Routes

Located in northern New Hampshire just minutes from the Connecticut River, White Mountain National Forest has long been a popular tourist attraction, in the summer for its cooling breezes, and in the winter for its skiing. Here are BBOnline's recommended routes for exploring the forest.

White Mountain National Forest
71 White Mountain Dr.
Campton, NH 03223
(603) 536-6100
www.fs.fed.us/r9/white/

Close to Sugar Hill, the White Mountain National Forest offers lots of scenic drives. There are many roads through the forest which provide views of rivers, valleys, overlooks and historic sites. The most popular route taken by travelers is the White Mountains Trail, which has been designated a National Scenic Byway. It takes you along a 100-mile trip through the 800,000 acres that make up the forest, offering magnificent vistas of mountains from the many overlooks. People have followed this route for hundreds of years, and the sights now are much the same as they were in the 1800s. For a fall foliage tour, the Kancamagus Highway can't be beat; many claim it offers the best and most stunning colors in New England. Folks don't mind that the traffic is backed up. It allows more time to appreciate the beauty. When the day draws to a close, everyone in your party will look forward to getting back to your Sugar Hill inn.

Crawford Notch State Park
2057 US Route 302
Harts Location, NH 03812
(603) 374-2272
www.nhstateparks.org

East of Sugar Hill, Crawford Notch State Park offers almost 6,000 acres of recreation, with miles of hiking trails past waterfalls, crystal clear lakes offering challenges to sport fishermen and spectacular views. Arethusa Fall is the highest waterfall in New Hampshire, at nearly 200 feet in height. It can be accessed by taking a 1.4-mile trail from Route 302, south of Dry River Campground. The route is somewhat steep and rocky in places, but the trip is worth it. The round trip is four miles. Anglers can try their luck catching brook trout, lake and rainbow trout, salmon, whitefish, large and smallmouth bass, and pickerel.

New England Ski Museum

11 Franconia Notch Pkwy
Franconia, NH 03580
(603) 823-7177
www.skimuseum.org

Two miles from Sugar Hill, the New England Ski Museum has exhibits that will fascinate young and old alike about the 140 skiers from New England who have competed in the Winter Olympics since its inception in 1924. There are also displays on the development of alpine skis, from the early slats made from hickory with primitive straps to hold the feet, to the more modern skis of the 1950s when the wood was laminated, then early metal and fiberglass models, to the contoured, parabolic skis of the 90s. There are also interesting antique European skis, including a pair with a unique binding developed around 1890. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, from Memorial Day through the end of ski season at nearby Cannon Mountain. There is a museum shop with posters, hats, books and other items related to the sport of downhill skiing. After another fun filled day, the whole family will be ready to retire at your comfortable Sugar Hill bed and breakfast.