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two chairs set up to look over a scenic mountain view in the fall
White Mountain Attractions Association


A Peak Experience

Much of what lends New England its rich character and stunning beauty is found in the region’s ever-changing topography, which includes some of the most beautiful and exploration-worthy mountains in the entire U.S. From the lofty peaks of New Hampshire's White Mountains, to the smaller summits of Connecticut’s Taconic Range, you’ll find ample opportunity to reach your peak.

Group of hikers with large mountains in the background
NH Office of Tourism

Closer to the Sun

While New England’s mountains come in all shapes and sizes, there are 67 peaks that bear the distinction of rising above 4,000-feet in elevation. Many avid hikers consider it a badge of honor to stand atop as many of these impressive peaks as possible, and some  go so far as to hike all 48 of New Hampshire’s  4,000’s, while an even more ambitious few tackle the full 67. Of course, even a single 4,000-foot summit is an achievement to be proud of. 

If you’re a hiker, New England is your playground

Closeup of kids hiking boots next to adult hiking boots

Family Friendly Summits

Here are three hikes that are suitable for families or any casual hiker. 

  1. Jerimoth Hill, Rhode Island. At 812 feet in elevation, this mountain, er, hill is a relatively easy, .3-mile ramble. 
  2. Mount Tom Tower Trail, Connecticut. This short loop covers 1.3 miles and delivers beautiful views of Mount Tom State Park. 
  3. Mount Independence, Vermont. With four trail options ranging from .2 to 2.5 miles, Mount Independence makes it easy to find the perfect hike. 

Check out the mountains in the snowy months

The Language of the New England Mountains

Peak or Summit The very top of a mountain. 

Gap A low point or opening between mountains or in a ridge or mountain range.

Pass A navigable route through a mountain range or over a ridge. 

Notch Similar to pass, but named after the cuts settlers made in logs to hold their cabins together. 

First snow in mountain washington with lake in the foreground
Omni Mount Washington Resort

The Best at Being Worst

At 6,288 feet, New Hampshire’s Mount Washington is the highest peak in the eastern U.S. It also holds the distinction of being home to the world’s worst weather. In fact, Mount Washington holds the Northern and Western Hemisphere records for the highest directly measured surface wind speed at 231 mph, and on January 16, 2004, the wind chill temperature plummeted to -104.59 ℉. Fortunately, summer temps are routinely in the 50’s and 60’s, so don’t let its fearsome reputation keep you from exploring.  

Wait until you see the views in the fall

View of mountains with sunshine breaking through the clouds

Views to Drive For

  1. Mount Greylock, Massachusetts. The Bay State’s highest peak offers incredible views of the Tatonics and Southern Green Mountains. 
  2. Mount Washington Auto Road, New Hampshire. This vertiginous drive offers some of New England’s most spectacular views. Plus, you can snag a “this car climbed Mount Washington” bumper sticker. 
  3. Mount Battie, Maine. An easy, 1.6-mile drive delivers you a vantage point high over Penobscot Bay… and the views to go with it. 

Take a break from the mountains, and enjoy a spa trip 

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