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Exploring New Hampshire’s White Mountains

Mt Webster in Autumn

The Wilderness Map Company, publishers of the Green Mountain Club’s Vermont’s Long Trail Waterproof Hiking Map, has just released a new Tyvek map called “Exploring New Hampshire’s White Mountains.” This map is not available online, but I got a first edition copy on Saturday in Lincoln, NH for $7.95 at the Tourist Information Center just off exit 32 on Interstate 93.

This new map of the White Mountains is designed for everyone from tourists to moderately experienced hikers. It has two maps, one on each side. One extends from the Rt 302 to the west, Rt 2 to the north, and just east of Rt 113, encompassing the Presidential, Montalban, Carter Moriah, Wild River, Baldface-Royce, and Chatham Valley ranges. It is scaled at 1:62,000, where 1 inch equals 1 mile. A map of the “White Mountain Trail” region is displayed on the reverse side ranging from Rt 116 east of Franconia Notch to just east of Rt 302 and North Conway. It is scaled at 1:100,000, where one inch equals 1.6 miles. Contour intervals on both sides ae 100 ft, making it a bit difficult to appreciate steep grades.

One thing that I noticed as soon as I opened this new map is that it is literally jam-packed with information including all kinds of safety, historical, and trip difficulty ratings that you would normally find in a guide book. This information is densely packed on the map but colored in such a way as to avoid making the map useless for serious navigation.

Some of this information is actually quite useful even if you’re an advanced hiker, and includes:

  • Segment mileage, guide book times, and total hike mileage
  • GPS coordinates
  • Distances between Appalachian Trail shelters
  • Spring and shelter locations
  • Dangerous water crossings
  • Lightning danger spots
  • AMC hiker shuttle stops
  • Easy, moderate, and strenuous trail ratings
  • Cultural and historic anecdotes
  • Natural and geologic wonders
  • Cascade and waterfall locations
  • Emergency phone numbers
  • Mountain biking trails
  • Known moose crossings
  • Covered bridges
  • Trout fishing locations
  • A complete list of the White Mountain 4000 footers
  • Gasp! Even motel locations in the local trail towns

This new map is a welcome addition to the sparse number of maps available for the White Mountains. It is particularly good for planning expeditions where you want a global view of the region or when you don’t want to carry a guide book out on a hike.

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

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