East Coast, USA, Family Travel, Most Recent Travel, New England, USA, Uncategorized

Family Road Trips in the White Mountains, New Hampshire, 2020-2023

We have no rocks (literally, no natural rocks) in our area of Coastal Virginia. So, when we find our way to the mountains, it is like entering an entirely different world. The White Mountains of New Hampshire are a particular treat because of the variation in activities, from amusement parks to waterfall hikes. In our three trips we’ve branched along three main routes; Kancamagus highway in the south; Crawford Notch Road through the central mountains, and Rt 16 Pinkham Notch Rd passing by Mount Washington.

Where we Stayed….

Christmas Farm Inn in Jackson, New Hampshire

Eagle Mountain House in Jackson, New Hampshire

The White Mountain Hotel in North Conway, New Hampshire

The Glen House in Gorham, New Hampshire

Holidae House B&B in Bethel, Maine

Lincoln to Conway, NH on Kancamagus Highway

Flume Gorge

The admission fee to Flume Gorge in Lincoln is higher than many of the other state park and forest areas, but it didn’t take long to understand why. The main trail is two miles, and the highlight is a narrow wooden stairway through Flume Gorge. Other highlights included the enormous glacial boulders, wooden bridges, and the short “wolf den” crawl/hike through a cave-like rock formation.

Flume Gorge, White Mountains, New Hampshire, 2022

Kancamagus Highway

From Lincoln driving east on Kancamagus Highway we found plenty of easy trails and places to climb on rocks and swim in the river.  Each parking area was well marked from the highway and during busy times I would imagine parking could be a nightmare. We self-paid our admission at our first stop with cash. The Rail and River trail was an easy flat walk with interpretation about the ecological history of the region. Champney Falls was a relatively easy hike with wooden staircases and bridges. The highlight of each trip was the Lower Falls recreation area. The water in August was very warm and the natural pools were deep enough for swimming.

Champney Falls, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Pemigewasset Overlook on
Kancamagus Highway

Lower Falls,
Conway, NH

Otter Rocks, White Mountains, New Hampshire, 2022

Crawford Notch Road, Jackson to Jefferson, New Hampshire

There aren’t as many hiking stops along Crawford Notch Highway as there were along Kancamagus. Attitash Mountain Ski Resort offers summer lift rides with the opportunity to walk along the summit. We attempted to hike the 2 miles to Arethusa Falls, but it wasn’t clear from the trailhead map that the first mile of the hike was straight up a rocky mountain trail. The hike was a bit too strenuous for a 10-year old on the third straight day of hiking, and after a mile we retreated to the river bed area to recuperate at the small waterfalls.

Willey House Parking, White Mountains, New Hampshire, 2022

Willey House Rest Area
Crawford Notch, NH

Other easy trails along the way included a pond trail at the Willey House site and the Lower Falls trail.

Attitash Mountain Resort
Bartlett, NH

Santa’s Village in Jefferson, New Hampshire

Jackson, New Hampshire to Bethel, Maine

Glen Ellis Falls
Jackson, New Hampshire

Glen House Hotel
Goreham, NH

A drive between Glen, New Hampshire and Bethel, Maine gave us a wide range of activities and landscapes. Traveling as a family with a child between 8-10 years old I’m not sure you could find a better itinerary; visit an amusement park, then hike to waterfalls and then jump in a river for swimming. Finally, we ended a trip in the foothills of the White Mountains in Maine, and touch a piece of Mars at the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum, thus completing our rock-centric vacation.

White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Jackson Falls

Story Land, Glen NH

Hiking near Mount Washington

Maine Gem & Mineral Museum, Bethel, ME

Leave a Reply