Your Guide to Hiking the White and Green Mountains

Any visitor to New England looking to escape to the mountains faces one major question: The Whites or the Greens? Both of the Northeast’s dominant ranges offer plenty of opportunities to explore but have markedly different environments.

Steep and rugged, the White Mountains are concentrated in north-central New Hampshire, extending from the Connecticut River east to just across the Maine border. The bulk of the range is contained in 796,000-acre White Mountain National Forest, which includes six federally designated wilderness areas and more than 7,700 acres of alpine habitat. Forty-eight peaks in the Whites exceed 4,000 feet in elevation, capped by 6,288-foot Mount Washington, the highest point in the northeastern U.S.

To the west, across the Connecticut River and the Vermont border, lie the Greens. Gently rolling and thickly forested, the range runs the entire length of Vermont from the Massachusetts border to the boundary of Quebec, Canada. Green Mountain National Forest protects 400,000 acres of the range. Within it is 4,395-foot Mount Mansfield, the highest of the state’s five peaks over 4,000 feet in elevation, rising prominently above the ski area of Smugglers’ Notch.

How to decide between New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Vermont’s Greens? Whether you prefer breathtaking vistas, waterfalls, or multi-day backpacking trips, this guide highlights the best outings in each range to help you pick.


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