The White Mountains of New Hampshire are the go-to spot for hiking and taking in the splendorous glory of nature. Whether you are hiking Mount Washington or something simple like Pine Mountain, the White Mountains have a lot to offer. These mountains are part of the northern Appalachian Mountains and the most rugged mountains in New England. In fact, the peak of Mount Washington is the highest point in New England, standing at 6,288 feet tall.
The White Mountains are a marvel and are some of the most beautiful displays of nature in the world. There is nothing like looking out from atop a mountain and seeing the vast display of nature before you. Not only do these White Mountains have natural beauty, but what lies within are historically important landmarks to the people of New Hampshire, New England, and beyond. Many of these landmarks come with helpful guides, either through brochures, plaques, or museums to give insight into the history of the area. Through these, we learn that the history of the White Mountains is rich with tales of discovery, exploration, innovation, and preservation.
The Cog Railway. The Cog Railway was finished in 1869 and still takes people to the summit of the mountain to this day. P. T. Barnum once called the Cog Railway “The Second Greatest Show on Earth”. It was the first mountain climbing cog railway of its kind. The Cog Railway is also the only one still operating in North America, and the second steepest in the world. It was only until 2008 where the railway took a step into the modern era. The railway had its fleet of locomotives operate off of biodiesel instead of steam engines.
As the tracks begin to level out, on the left you’ll see the magnificent Northern Presidentials: Mounts Clay, Jefferson, Adams and Madison, and beyond, the mountains of western Maine. Eventually, you will be at the summit of Mount Washington. It is still amazing to me that such a feat was able to be accomplished today, let alone in 1869. Having a locomotive hike its way up the mountain is nothing to scoff at and acts as a historical landmark of New Hampshire and its White Mountains.
The Mount Washington Auto Road. With the introduction of motors and cars becoming more popular, the Auto Road became the more popular option. This 7.6 mile long road has over 45,000 cars drive up it every year. At the base of the road, people can visit the Red Barn Museum. Here you can learn about the making of the Auto Road and the history of the carriages that went on the journey up the mountain. Despite its changes over the years, the Mount Washington Auto Road still stays as a historic passage up the mountain along with the Cog Railway.