Sadly, in 2003 The Old Man of the Mountain collapsed! Before then (including our visit), most people who visited the "Granite State" made sure to see this wonderful site.
Yes, it was, even then, just a pile of rocks unless you would see it from one of the five points down below where a man's face could be seen. It was located on Profile Mountain in Franconia Notch State Park in the western part of the White Mountains.
Five layers of granite created this profile, and the face was often used to represent the state of New Hampshire and its people: loyal, resolute, independent, and steadfast. How sad that it no longer can be said to be "steadfast"!
People often said that they imagined the old man saying the New Hampshire motto, "Live free or die!"
Every year New Hampshire has a "Bike Week". Thousands of motorcycles descend on the state and unless you are riding one, you may not think it's such a wonderful event. Of course there are the responsible cyclists who pay attention, drive sober, and exercise safe driving and precautions, but then there are others who....
well, you know the rest of the story. Better check the dates before you find yourself in the midst of a very big ROAR, when you were thinking of peace and quiet in the pines.
Watch your kids at the ocean-side when the tide is going out, depending on the time of month the tidal pull can be quite strong and knock down smaller kids. -I know because this used to happen to me all the time when I was young!
You'll see plenty of signs like this one traveling through northern New Hampshire. Collisions with moose are fairly common here, although we did not even come close to having any incidents. Actually, I was hoping to see some moose so I could get some pics of them.
There are lots of moose along Rt. 3, north of Pittsburg. If you want to see moose, you have a pretty good chance if you drive up along there up to the Canadian border very early in the morning or late in the evening.
Although I have never actually seen any while hiking/camping, New Hampshire is home to many black bears. So, be on the lookout and know what to do just in case you come face-to-face with a Black Bear.
Changing weather conditions. New Hampshire experiences all types of weather conditions and depending on the area or altitude, conditions can vary greatly. So, be prepare for all types of weather. For example, if you are climbing/hiking in the mountains on a hot summer day, take a jacket with you to the summit. It is not unusual for temperatures at the summits to be 15 to 20 degress cooler than that at the base of the mountains in the valleys. Add in a little persperation from your climb and a slight breeze and you can get hypothermic conditions very easily. Of course, some days just start out sh!tty and get progressively worse as the day goes on...
There are lots of small country towns in New Hampshire and the speed limits will suddenly change from 55 to 35 very quickly when you are on the side roads away from any highways. Watch for this! If you're here to take in the views, trees, colors ... take your time, relax and enjoy. Stop once in awhile and take a look around. Take some pictures!
It's funny how quickly we forget things. However, I was reminded recently of how absolutely unbearable black fly season is in New Hampshire! These little biting insects can make your hike/camp/picnic a complete misery and the itchy welts will last for days - even weeks! The black flies are at their peak from April thru June. After that the mosquitoes take over, which are nearly as bad, but at least the mosquitoes have the decency to leave you alone around mid-day (when it's hot). Bottom line: Bring plenty of insect repellent with you!!!
Take Heed: Weather in the White Mountains can change quickly and severely. This is no joke. It will happen. You will set out in perfect sun and beautiful weather, only to find snow, wind, or rain withing minutes (it is not unheard of to get snow in June in the high peaks) which can disorient you quickly. People die here, often, and New Hampshire will make you pay for rescue operations if you are not intelligent enough to be prepared. This means compass, extra clothes, maps, the works. Shorts and a cotton T-shirt atre a no-no. This applies especially to people from New York and Conneticut, as two famous stories of truly arrogant tourists who 'didn't want to hike back down' called 911 from their cell phones and demanded rescue services. SO BE SMART.
There are bears in the mountains but if you do encounter one it will probably be the tail end of one as it retreats from you. Just be careful and if you see a bear keep your distance. Make it aware of your presence by clapping, talking, singing, or making other noises.
This bear, however, seemed only too happy to pose for pictures :-)
Be ware of falling trees in thunderstorms! Capt. Sam. Greene, 16 years of Age, was hit by a tree and killed as he was traveling this road. The marker stone reads:
'Killed on this spot by a fall of a tree, 25th Sept. 1798... a monument for filial piety to paternal affetier.'
Your car is a safe location during a thunder storm.
DO NOT STAND OR PARK UNDER A TREE DURING A THUNDER STORM.
Poison Ivy, a lovely looking vine with three leaves, that causes a very bad rash. Contact with the plant needs to be washed off using a good cleaning soap. A number of people will get the rash by touching the oil residue on clothes which can lead to getting the rash. Smoke from burning the plant can also cause problems. DO NOT RUIN YOUR TRIP... STAY AWAY.
Hiking in high alpine climates - that are very much a part of the White Mtn range - can be dangerous for those unprepared. Even if you are prepared, things can go wrong. People die on the mountains here! Sometimes, by accident, but more often it is human error. Be smart and don't become a statistic.
See outdoors.org - Appalachian Mtn Club site for weather conditions, trail conditions, and lots of helpful hints on preparing for a hike.
Some hikes to huts like Zealand Falls Hut and Lonesome Lake Hut are very straight forward and can been be done by youngsters - as young a 4 yrs old! There are roads that make these hikes pretty short - less than 3 miles long.
All of the White Mountains, and Mt Washington especially, are known for their extreme weather. It may be summer down at the bottom, but if you plan on hiking any of these mountains be prepared for the possibility of cold, windy weather at the top. If in doubt, turn around.
If you are going hiking in the White Mountains and not just in the Presidential Range, remember that the weather can rapidly worsen and you can get hypothermia in any season. Don't go unless you know what you are doing and are properly equipped and turn back immediately at the first sign of bad weather. Many have died here, even in summer. These mountains are extraordinarily beautiful, but be prepared for the dangers.
100 Portsmouth Blvd, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 03801, United States
Good for: Business
Stayed last psring and this summer and every time the service, accomodation and staff were amazing....more
21 Front Street, Manchester, New Hampshire, 03102, United States
Good for: Couples