In my younger years in school, I always loved geography as a subject. Living in New Hampshire, there was so much to be excited about. However, it’s a big world out there with varying degrees of typography, majestic mountains, vast oceans, rivers, and lakes to discover. I’ve always looked at New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont as being one big state. After all, these three New England states are small in size compared to our fifty states. In the Lakes Region, our beautiful bodies of water always get so much attention; however, when you look at our mountain ranges here in New Hampshire, we really have something to get excited about.
Let’s compare the three states:
New Hampshire encompasses 5.98 million acres or 8,369 square miles of land area and is the 44th largest of the 50 states with a population of approximately 1.36 million.
Vermont encompasses 6.16 million acres or 9,249 square miles of land area. It is the 43rd largest state in the country with a population of approximately 623,989, the second smallest population in the country right behind Wyoming.
Maine encompasses 22.6 million acres or 30,865 square miles of land area and is the 39 largest state in the country, with a population of approximately 1.344, a fraction lower than New Hampshire.
So you can see from the above that New Hampshire is the smallest in size of the three states; however, it has the largest population. Maine is roughly 3.8 times larger than New Hampshire.
Let’s take a look at the three above states’ towering peaks and see which state has the most majestic mountains:
- New Hampshire definitely wins big in this category.
- There are 48 peaks in New Hampshire over 4,000 ft in elevation.
- Mount Washington at 6,288 ft is the highest peak in Northeastern United States.
- Hiking the legendary 48 — 4,000’ footers is a goal of thousands and thousands of hikers at any time on these rugged peaks.
- 9 miles of the famous Appalachian trail meander through New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest.
- Franconia Ridge Loop Trail is one of the most iconic hikes in the east; National Geographic ranked Mount Lafayette as one of the world’s best hikes. It encompasses three peaks along an exposed narrow ridge above timberline, with the tallest peak at 5,260 feet.
- There are 8 mountain huts, including the greenleaf hut in the White Mountains, owned and maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club.
- Tuckerman’s Ravine is a glacial cirque on the southeast face of Mount Washington. “Skiing Tucks” in the spring is the right of passage for almost every east coast serious skier with 42 55° steeps.
- Mount Monadnock is reputed to be one of the ten most frequently climbed mountains in the world.
- Mount Chocorua in Albany is one of the most photographed mountains in the country, according to the Appalachian Mountain Club. I would say that Mount Major in Alton is now probably one of the most popular hikes during the summer and fall months; you will see lines of parked cars extending both ways of the highway beyond the large parking area to take advantage of the panoramic views of Lake Winnipesaukee.
- Vermont has only 5 peaks over 4,000 ft in elevation.
- The highest peak is Mount Mansfield, at 4,393 feet, known for its resemblance to a man’s face looking up at the sky.
- 150 miles of the Appalachian Trail wind through the peaks of Vermont in the rugged Green Mountains.
- The “Long Trail” was the first long-distance hiking trail in the USA, as construction began in 1910.
- There are 14 peaks in Maine over 4,000 ft in elevation.
- Mount Katahdin, at 5,269 feet, is the highest mountain in Maine, named by the Penobscot Native Americans. Katahdin is the centerpiece of beautiful Baxton State Park.
- 4 miles of the Appalachian Trail extend through Maine.
- The Appalachian Trail travels through 14 states starting in Georgia and extends 2,170 miles, where its northern terminus is Mount Katahdin, Maine.
So there you have it, in addition to our beautiful lakes, rivers, and ocean, our majestic mountains are a huge attraction. It’s so easy to get around within our three sister states to take advantage of the beautiful scenery and towering peaks, and there’s a plethora of hiking trails to burn off some energy and get out and enjoy the great outdoors.
This article was written by Frank Roche. Frank is president of Roche Realty Group with offices in Meredith and Laconia, NH, and can be reached at (603) 279-7046. Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market.