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New Hampshire Travel Guide

New Hampshire — Things to Do

New Hampshire is one of New England’s most adventurous states, featuring its highest peak at Mount Washington and a vast wilderness in the White Mountains. Every kind of outdoor activity is available from hiking and boating in the summer to skiing at one of the 20 mountain resorts in wintertime. The state has a long history of guiding visitors so it’s never hard to find a professional who specializes in outdoor recreation.

The White Mountains are easily the center of the action due to their accessibility and location in the heart of New Hampshire. From here, rivers run eastwards to the sea, providing great fishing and kayaking terrain. The locals are by and large outdoorsy types, and the state thrives on its tourism industry. Put the two together and you have a solid support system for just about any kind of natural adventure.

New Hampshire is heavily covered in mountains and forests, most protected by state and national parks. There are trails all over from short beauties like Mount Monadnock to epic journeys such as the Appalachian Trail. If you need a little help planning a hike, you can rely on the experience of New England Hiking Holidays or Country Walkers to arrange all the details.

This is also prime terrain for biking, especially in the southwest part of the state where the landscape is peppered with quiet back roads. Towns like Greenfield or Hancock are a base for road biking or mountain biking around Mount Monadnock. Up north, Bike the Whites is a great outfitter that can carry your luggage from inn to inn while you cycle in unfettered bliss.

New Hampshire has a lot of waterways to lure folks who enjoy canoeing, kayaking or rafting when the weather is warm. Most of the lakes and rivers are in the southern region, where majestic rivers like the Merrimack and Connecticut offer a paddle-friendly place for boaters of all levels. Companies like North Star Canoe Rentals can get you wet, while Amherst Kayak and Canoe services the big lakes like Winnipesaukee in the north.

A long tradition of fishing in New Hampshire has resulted in one of America’s best river and lake stocking programs. Several species of trout are abundant, as are bass, walleye and salmon. You’ll need a license to fish in the fresh water, but there are professional guides like New Hampshire Rivers located at every major body of water to coordinate the details.

In winter the rugged mountains open up for skiing and snowboarding. There are more than 20 resorts in the state, the favorites being Bretton Woods and Loon Mountain. But in general, these hills are mellow, catering more to families than hardcore powder hounds. Companies like Alpine Adventures Outdoor Recreation can take you into the backcountry for a more challenging winter adventure.

New Hampshire also has a coastline with five lovely State Park beaches including Hampton Beach, North Beach and Wallis Sands. These are best experienced in the summer between May and September when the weather is ideal for sea cruises and other fun nautical activities. Malgar Group Sailing Charters is just one of the many outfitters running boat tours along this pretty stretch of New England.

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