Adventure Towns: Great North Woods

Our "Adventure Towns" series is all about the basecamp towns. Each has easy access to the great outdoors, a community with a sense of adventure and a culture that values keeping it local. Here's the pick for the Great North Woods.

A note from New Hampshire Magazine: Due to the statewide efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, many of the places mentioned here are either closed or officials strongly advise you to avoid them. For instance, popular hiking spots continue to draw large crowds. We hope that when you do go out, you’ll avoid busy places and practice appropriate social distancing. In the meantime, we hope this guide to our state’s adventure towns provides you with the tools to plan a future trip. Until then, stay safe and stay healthy.

There are three things that make up a good adventure town. The first and most obvious being easy access to the outdoors and endless ways to recreate. Second, a community with a sense of adventure that is deeply embedded in the culture, and works collectively to help it thrive.

Lastly, top-notch local brews, because no adventure is complete without a good beer. Yet, truth be told, no matter what you’re sipping on, it all begins and ends with a great adventure town to call home.

In a place like New Hampshire, none of these things are hard to come by, and each region has an outdoor mecca with a brand of fun all its own. Whether you want alpine trails and winding singletrack, a pristine surf break, or acres of backcountry ski glades, there’s a basecamp for you. Oh, and beer. There’s plenty of that too.

Ready to put down roots? Here are the best adventure towns in New Hampshire. See all of the selections: White Mountains, Lakes Region, Southwest and Coastal. Read on to learn about the top “adventure town” in the Great North Woods.


At Pittsburg

Photo by Joe Klementovich

The vibe: Rugged and remote
The food + drink: Coös Brewing Company
The adventure: Winding trail systems, pristine lakes and rivers, and Dixville Notch State Park

Yes, the Great North Woods might be pretty far, er, north, but trust us when we say that it’s worth the trip. The tradeoff for the long drive is a wilder, more remote experience with plenty of natural beauty.

Pittsburg is an underrated adventure town that is no-frills in the best way. There’s no hustle or bustle, no flashy promenade to distract you, just a down-to-earth approach that puts the focus on immersing yourself in the outdoors.

The region is known for its impressive snowmobiling trail system, but there’s no shortage of human-powered adventures to partake in either. Its many glacial lakes — First and Second Connecticut Lake, Lake Francis — are delightful in the summer, and when frozen, make for excellent cross-country skiing. Beyond that, there are miles of biking trails, whitewater rafting and camping.

South of Pittsburg, the granite spires of Dixville Notch feel like New Hampshire’s own Dolomites. At the end of the day, you’ll be glad to settle in and enjoy a cold one from the local Coös Brewing Company. Adventures and beer are the perfect pairing, after all. Note: Order online to pickup Coös Brewing Company beer. See more on Facebook.


Categories: Destination NH, Relocation Information