North Country – also called the Great North Woods – refers to New Hampshire’s northernmost lands of majestic forests and sparkling lakes and rivers bounded by the upper reaches of Vermont and Maine, and southern Quebec. Map of region
North Country is the vacation destination for travelers who love pristine outdoor beauty. The scattered towns are filled with hospitable people eager to feed, equip, and guide visitors on wild-country adventure. Watch “Seeking the Source.”
This is a four-season destination where the major sports include boating and fishing, ATV and snowmobile riding on miles of trails across field, forest, and mountain. The chance to do camping, hunting, hiking and climbing in the quiet wilderness, under star-studded skies, also draws lots of travelers.
This region is distinguished by the headwaters of the Connecticut River, which flows for 410 miles through four states, marks the border of New Hampshire and Vermont, and finally spills into Long Island Sound.
A series of lakes strung along the Connecticut River, comprising Lake Francis near Pittsburgh and extending through the First, Second and Third Connecticut Lakes up to the Canadian border, create a playground for paddlers and fishermen. In fact, the stretch of river from Lake Francis upstream to First Connecticut Lake is known among anglers as “the trophy stretch,” for its world-class fishing for brook, rainbow, and brown trout.
Wildlife viewing – by “wildlife” we mean “moose” — also delights newcomers to this place. Moose roam this entire area, but you are most likely to see one in so-called Moose Alley, a 12-mile stretch of Route 3 between Pittsburg and the Canadian border, particularly in the early morning and evening. Spotting a bull, even from the safety of a vehicle, is always a thrill.
Major towns of the region are Pittsburgh, Colebrook, Columbia, Lancaster, Jefferson, Gorham and Berlin. People in these towns love their region, which also has deep roots in the logging industry going back many generations. Celebrations of the seasons and of this unique place include the North Country Moose Festival in Colebrook and the Umbagog Wildlife Festival in Errol, both in August, and River Fire in Berlin in October.
Newcomers to outdoor experiences can find plenty of expertise and support at North Country businesses. A sampling of these welcoming experts includes:
ELC Outdoor Adventure Outpost in Errol, can get you onto white water in a raft piloted by skilled guides, or send you up through the forest canopy on zip lines and canopy tours.
Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel & Raft NH in Jefferson hosts authentic sled dog rides, and also offers rafting trips.
Bear Rock Adventures in Pittsburg is the expert for ATV riding – on trails that explore far-flung forests and villages.
April’s Maple in Canaan, VT, a hands-on family business, tap 800 acres of sugar maples to produce a big range of maple foods and gifts. You can enjoy a good lunch, personal hospitality, and fun shopping at April’s Maple’s large, breezy knotty pine store and visitor center.
Lopstick Lodge in Pittsburg and the New Hampshire Campground Owners Association are experts in achieving R&R in well-managed cabins, lodges, and campgrounds where kinship through love of the outdoors is the overarching theme
For your young kids, Santa’s Village in Jefferson brings Christmas-style fun and rides all year.