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Lincoln, New Hampshire | Things to Do in the Western White Mountains

The Pemigewasset River in Lincoln, New Hampshire
Photo/Art by Brenda Darroch
The Pemigewasset River in Lincoln, New Hampshire

Nestled in the heart of the White Mountains, and easily accessible from Interstate 93, Lincoln, New Hampshire, beckons travelers to explore its natural wonders and man-made attractions. Shops and restaurants cloaked in New England-style clapboard houses line Main Street. But it’s the mountains stretching out behind those businesses that shape the illusion of having driven into a postcard (circa 1950) when you turn off the highway onto Route 112—the Kancamagus Highway.

Highland Games

When Jim and I headed to Lincoln on the third weekend in September to attend the New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival at Loon Mountain with our friends Elie and Paul, we were treated to cerulean skies and unseasonably mild temperatures. Perfect weather for spreading a blanket out on a field and watching burly men clad in kilts hurl heavy objects through the air or perching on the bleachers to take in a pipe band.

Loon MountainDuring the summer and fall months, Loon offers an array of ways to enjoy the mountain. So whether you’re adventurous enough to take in the foliage by plunging over the Pemigewasset River on a zipline or prefer the slower pace of being drawn up toward the mountain’s summit in a gondola that affords sweeping views of the Whites, there’s an activity to satisfy every scenery seeker.

Walk the trail that meanders along the Pemigewasset River.
Photo/Art by Brenda Darroch
Walk the trail that meanders along the Pemigewasset River.

Picking your way down to the Pemi is a must for folks who want to explore the area’s attractions while keeping their feet planted firmly on the ground. A fairly level walking path meanders alongside the river, bumping right up against water’s edge before looping back through the trees to return again. The wide, rocky shore that juts out from either side of the waterway makes this an ideal destination to enjoy a picnic or just squat on one of the boulders poking up from the river bed to watch the current whirl past.

If you have time to venture beyond the heart of Lincoln, New Hampshire, heading up Route 3 will lead you to the Flume Gorge and Visitor Center. Walkways and stairs hug the slabs of granite that rise up around the gorge, allowing patrons to safely enjoy this spectacle of nature. Wearing comfortable shoes with a lot of support and thick sole is advised.

Paul leads the way to Lonesome Lake.
Photo/Art by Brenda Darroch
Paul leads the way to Lonesome Lake.

While we were exploring Lincoln, a visit to Lonesome Lake was suggested as a “less touristy” destination, so off we went. This route is billed as an easy family hike, but there are plenty of rocks to scrabble over and gnarled roots to navigate. The trek up was beautiful, and we met day-trippers of all skill levels winding their way up and down the path. Hints of ginger and gold hues were just beginning to unfurl from the canopy of trees swelling above us—a preview for the spectacular display the leaves promised for the coming weeks.

Downtown Lincoln, New Hampshire.
Photo/Art by Brenda Darroch
Downtown Lincoln, New Hampshire.

Foliage takes center stage in the White Mountains in the autumn months, but there’s so much more to see and do in Lincoln, New Hampshire, and the surrounding towns. We ran out of time before we’d even scratched the surface of all this area has to offer, but we’re happy to go back and try again. Perhaps next time we’ll tag along for one of the Pemi Valley Moose Tours that promise a 97% success rate of sightings or take in one of the famous bear shows at Clark’s Trading Post.

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New Hampshire Highland Games
Clark’s Trading Post

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Brenda Darroch


Brenda Darroch


Digital Editor Brenda Darroch creates, manages, and promotes content for,, e-newsletters, and Yankee's search and social media initiatives. Connect with !

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2 Responses to Lincoln, New Hampshire | Things to Do in the Western White Mountains

  1. Terry December 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    Ahhh, ya gotta love Lincoln, been going there for 26 years. We used to own a townhouse in Clearbrook.
    We would journey from NJ any free time we had to come up and visit.
    Moved to FL and sold the townhouse, wish we would have kept it.
    Nice informative article, Brenda.

    • Brenda Darroch December 4, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

      Thanks, Terry. My friend, Elie, has been going there to visit family for years and made an excellent tour guide.

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