The White Mountains Of New England

A view from within the White Mountains National Forest of New Hampshire in the Winter of 2015.

5. Description

Tucked away in New Hampshire and the western portion of Maine, and forming a part of the Appalachian Mountain ranges, are the White Mountains of the Northeast United States. The White Mountains are located in New England, and are close to such major American cities as New York, New York and Boston, Massachusetts. Mount Washington is the highest peak in the range, standing tall at a height of 6,288 meters measured from sea level. Popular ranges in the White Mountains include the Sandwich Range and the Franconia Range, among others. The White Mountains draws mountaineers who come here for climbing up the alpine slopes.

4. Historical Role

History has it that, around 100 million years ago, magma intrusions had created the White Mountains. Traces of glacial cirques, moraines, and kettle ponds and other formations can be viewed at various points in the higher altitudes even today. Though there is no particular mention of what name was given to the White Mountains by the Native settlers, during the British Colonial Era predating the United States the "White Hills" or "Wine Hills" were the names commonly given to describe what are now the White Mountains. Since from the coastal areas the highest peaks seemed to have snow on them, they were given the name of White Mountains by an explorer in 1524. The White Mountains’ highest peak, Mount Washington, is also a part of the Presidential Range of mountains.

3. Modern Significance

Today, there are plenty of state parks and amusement parks that line across the New Hampshire region of the White Mountains. The presence of rock caves and ice caves have been found suitable for adventurous activities as well. Attitash Mountain Resort is ideal for its adventure sport activities and the Flume Gorge walking and hiking trails in the Franconia Range. The Cannon Mountain Tramway is ideal for those who love the outdoors and would wish to explore it further. Glacial boulder caves in North Woodstock, and the Mount Washington Auto Road and the guided tours along this scenic place, each make it worth a visit. Plenty of museums, quaint lodges, and stores selling local memorabilia are also found here.

2. Habitat and Biodiversity

There is no presence of grizzly bears anywhere here. Rather, the White Mountains are noted for the presence of deer, and even rattlesnakes, moose, coyotes, foxes, and squirrels have been found here, though the chance of spotting many of them is quite by chance. In fact, going on the Graham Moose’s guided tours would be great for those who wish to spot the moose in the wild. The White Mountain National Forest (or WMNF) is an expansive natural resource that is spanning across three separate areas, and the forest is protected from logging. Under the Wildlife Protection Acts, the place is only to be used for recreational (like camping and hiking) or for scientific research purposes.

1. Environmental Threats and Territorial Disputes

There have been reports of the privately owned tracts of lands in the White Mountains that could be sold and developed. Such prospective development threatens the White Mountains and its wildlife. Under the U.S. Federal act of Land and Water Conservation Fund, the privately owned tracts of land should be protected, ensuring that the entire area of the White Mountains would be protected as a whole.


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