Gorham, New Hampshire is your next adventure base in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. It’s driveable from the East Coast and Quebec, on the Appalachian Trail and the Androscoggin River, and has access to White Mountain National Forest trails as well as the Mahoosuc range. It’s also the gateway to northern New Hampshire, with all the solitude and dirt roads you’d hope for. Its the full package. With no further ado, here’s our outdoor guide to Gorham, New Hampshire.
These hikes and recommendations are also useful if you’re planning a trip to the nearby towns of Bethel, Maine, Berlin, New Hampshire and Jackson, New Hampshire.
- Infinite White Mountains Hiking for people who are looking for a central basecamp near nature, not shopping
- Mountain Bike Trails out of Moose Brook State Park
- Presidential Valley Rail Trail for mellow days running or biking
Where: Northeastern New Hampshire
- 2 hours from Portland, ME 145 km / 90 miles (closest airport)
- 3 hours from Boston 285 km / 177 miles (bus available)
- 3.5 hours from Montreal, QC 287 km / 178 miles
This makes a great stop between Montreal and the Maine seacoast
Top 3 Activities in Gorham
1. Hike in White Mountain National Forest
Gorham has easy access to the Presidential, Mahoosuc, and Carter mountain ranges and trails to keep you busy for years. The Appalachian Mountain Club operates a visitor center in Pinkham Notch near some of the most popular trails in the White Mountains, and has 8 huts in the mountains where you can get water, snacks, or an overnight stay (although they’re closed for 2020). Go extra local and visit the lesser-known shelters or cabins of the Randolph Mountain Club in the same region. For easier choices, try Glen Ellis Falls or Square Ledge. If you’re a get-up-at-3am kind of person, go for the calf-crushing 20mile Presidential Traverse or any of the alpine hikes along the way.
The Appalachian Trail passes through this area, and gets the most traffic in August and September. Pinkham Notch trailhead is very popular, so get an early start if you’re hoping to visit on a weekend.
2. Sightsee, run or bike on the Presidential Rail Trail
Rail trails are a great way to get outside without climbing hills or route-finding headaches. The Presidential Rail Trail will get you outside in Gorham if you’re looking for a recovery day activity, or want a gravel link to Rt. 3.
Gravel biking fiends will enjoy Gorham’s link in the Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail. This route links a route on dirt roads and rail trails through northern NH before linking to the Vermont Adventure Trail.
3. Mountain Bike Coos Trails at Moose Brook State Park
Coos Cycling Club has spent the last few years building and riding trails out of Gorham, and you’re the one who’s going to benefit from their hard work. Try out Power Island (for the name, if nothing else) or any of the rest of their expanding network. Note that there is a day-use fee of $4 at Moose Brook if you’re not staying at the campground.
If you’re looking to link up other mountain bike trail networks in northern New England, check out Bike the Borderlands initiative.
If you have more than a weekend, explore these other outdoor options in Gorham:
- Paddle the Androscoggin River on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail
- Sign up for Tuesday Night Mountain Bike races at Great Glen Trails
- Race the Randolph Ramble trail 10k in late October
- Gravel ride the grueling Jefferson Notch Road (you were warned)
Private and public camping options exist in both the front and backcountry. Some sites are first-come, first-served (like these AMC backcountry sites) Glamping tents with direct access to Moose Brook State Park trails are available, as well as campsites and shelters at Moose Brook State Park itself. Additional private campground options are listed here.
When to Visit
Most summer services are typically open between Memorial Day long weekend (early May) and mid-October. If you’re visiting in spring or plan to stay overnight in the woods, don’t forget bug nets.
For More Info:
Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, Appalachian Mountain Club