Although the government has shut down, the White Mountains are open for business!
In a press release issued by the White Mountains Attractions Association, Jayne O’Connor, president, writes…
The leaves continue to turn and visitors are still flocking to enjoy the foliage this week in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Despite the recent federal shutdown, which affects employees of the White Mountains National Forest (WMNF), visitors are unlikely to be affected in this scenic mountain region.
“With no entrance gate or toll booth, New Hampshire’s White Mountains should appear mostly unaffected to visitors,” said Jayne O’Connor, President of the White Mountains Attractions Association (WMAA). “The State Parks are open, the private businesses and the scenic drives are open, and even the National Forest campgrounds are open, because they are operated by a vendor.
“Where visitors will see a difference, “she said, “is in the federal welcome centers and ranger stations, as these WMNF centers will be closed, so visitors will need to get their maps and services from the private or State visitor centers instead.”
Local attractions and New Hampshire State Parks, such as Franconia Notch, Crawford Notch, Pinkham Notch and the lofty Mt. Washington State Park are surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest, but are not affected by the shutdown.
“The Flume Gorge, Cannon Mountain, the Mt. Washington Auto Road, the Mt. Washington Cog Railway and Conway Scenic Railroad’s ‘Notch Train’, all with operations in NH State Parks, are open with all their services available.” O’Connor continued.
The more than 1,200-mile non-motorized trail system throughout the White Mountain National Forest will remain accessible to outdoor enthusiasts, and popular driving tours, such as the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, welcome “Leaf Peepers” as usual.
“Basically, nothing has changed,” remarked O’Connor. “Visitors can go ahead with their plans. The attractions are open along with restaurants, retail stores, campgrounds and lodging properties.” She stated that the foliage is nearing its peak in many areas and should not be missed.
The WMAA has detailed schedule information of all the White Mountains Attractions and foliage updates at www.visitwhitemountains.com. Free area maps and brochures as well as suggested driving/hiking itineraries are available at the Exit 28 Visitor Information Center of the Pemi Valley Chamber of Commerce.