White Mountains

The White Mountains are a mountain range covering about a quarter of the state of New Hampshire and a small portion of western Maine in the United States. Part of the northern Appalachian Mountains, they are the most rugged mountains in New England.

So the thing about “nature shows” - even this one - is that we tend to talk about plant and animal species in pretty independent terms.

Today’s Something Wild topic is thunderstorms. Summer in NH brings those triple H days – hazy, hot, and humid! On days like those there’s nothing more welcome than the arrival of a late-afternoon thunderstorm, leaving in its wake cool, refreshing air, scrubbed clean of haze and pollution.

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With arm’s sweep, US Forest Service Research Forester Bill Leak gestured at the thick regeneration of beech, yellow birch, and sugar maple crowding a 30-year old clear-cut on the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest and said, “The northern hardwood forest is Nature’s answer to armor-plating

Nestled in the heart of the White Mountains, The Rocks is a protected reserve that serves as the Forest Society’s North Country Conservation and Education Center. Featuring more than 13 buildings on the National Historic Register, The Rocks' Heritage Trail evokes the gilded era of a century ago of long vacations in the refreshing summer air of the White Mountains.

With its rough boardwalks and lantern-lit caves, Lost River Gorge attracts thousands of people each year who admire the beauty of the area and take on the challenge of the tight ins and outs of the majestic boulder caves.

Cellar holes surrounded by apple orchards suggest that a portion of this land was used for agriculture and a residence at one time. At the foot of Black Mountain are the remains of old-time limestone quarries and kilns. The first kiln here was built in 1838; the second was built in 1842 with the help of John Page, governor of New Hampshire and a Haverhill resident. The Haverhill Lime Company was active in this area from 1864-1876. This area was logged with a new steam sawmill in 1890 and again from 1907-19.

The central focus of Bretzfelder Park is a giant white pine tree, estimated to be more than 200 years old. In the late 1800s, when Bethlehem was a haven for city folks seeking the clean air of the mountains, the tree became a popular place for visitors, who would wander down the quiet road and relax beneath the tree's branches, enjoying picnics in the quiet beauty of the forest.