White Mountain National Forest Phased Re-Opening Planned

Update 05/01/2020: The White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) closed several sites last week as part of a tactical pause to assess operations, including staffing, equipment availability and to develop a phased approach to operate within CDC guidelines and prepare for the summer. As part of a phased opening approach in alignment with Maine and New Hampshire State Parks the White Mountain National Forest will be opening most trail heads on the forest.

Re-Opening of Recreation Sites

The decision to re-open these sites considered safety concerns due to people parking on roadways while not being able to utilize trail head parking areas and the continued demand for recreating locally. The Trail Head closures increased overflow and illegal parking along with increasing pressure on currently open NH State Parks. The WMNF will also be implementing a phased approach to opening the Forest’s both closed and seasonally closed sites and campgrounds in alignment with the states of New Hampshire and Maine. The Forest will continue to monitor success of operations and new guidelines and will adjust operations as appropriate through the season.

Sites Reopening



  • Alpine Garden
  • Great Gulf Wilderness
  • Imp
  • Kilkenny Ridge
  • Nelson Crag
  • Nineteen Mile Brook
  • Pine Mtn./Pine Link
  • Thompson Falls
  • Unknown Pond South
  • Wild River/Basin
  • York Pond East
  • Lincoln Woods, Osceola
  • Welch-Dickey
  • Albany Covered Bridge
  • Basin
  • Boulder Loop
  • Champney Falls
  • Downes Brook
  • Liberty/Brook/Bolles
  • Oliverian Brook
  • Piper
  • Royce Mountain
  • Sawyer Pond (Kanc. Hwy)
  • Sawyer Pond (Upper Sawyer River Rd.)
  • Sawyer River (Kanc. Hwy)
  • Signal Ridge
  • Weeks Brook,
  • White Ledge
  • Carter Ledge

Day Use Areas

  • Glen Ellis Scenic Area
  • Great Gulf Parking Area
  • Brickett Place Interpretative Sites
  • Lower Falls Recreation Site
  • Rocky Gorge Scenic Area
  • Russell-Colbath Historic Site
  • Sabbaday Falls Observation Site

Dispersed Sites

  • Baldface Shelter
  • Penacook Shelter
  • Jim Liberty Cabin
  • Kearsarge Tower Observation Site
  • Mt. Carrigan Observation Site

What to Expect Going Forward

The Forest will continue to monitor success of operations and new guidelines and will adjust operations as appropriate through the season. The White Mountain National Forest still advises visitors to practice Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These safety precautions will help to maintain a safe environment for employees, visitors and local communities. While the White Mountain National Forest remains open, we are reminding the public to please recreate responsibly and to Pack it In and Pack it Out.

A limited number of sites will currently remain closed, including Tuckerman’s ravine, as the Forest continues to coordinate with local communities, the states of New Hampshire and Maine, and partners to address concerns before safely re-opening.

Author: NHTourGuide


  1. Is the trail to Franconia Falls open

  2. Angelica M Maryak

    When will Kancamagus be open for camping?

  3. From what the WMNF website states these areas are now open. Areas that remain closed are posted here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/whitemountain/alerts-notices/?aid=58114

  4. Do you need to prepurchase a ticket for lower falls recreational area?

    1. Not sure if they require tickets to enter, nothing that I have heard as of yet though. You can call the Saco Ranger Station for more info at (603) 447-5448

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