New Hampshire has cities, but nothing big enough to get close to the 1 million barrier. Indeed the largest is Manchester with a population of less than 200,000 people. With no really big urban areas New Hampshire is best described as a patchwork of small towns, which adds of the charm of the state. We have chosen North Conway as an example of these small towns. Founded in 1765 the town was not named after Conway (now Conwy) in North Wales, but after British Field Marshal Henry Seymour Conway. The town became a popular resort after the railroad arrived in 1872 and in the 1930s it became one of the first ski resorts in the USA. North Conway has a population of little over 2,000 and remains primarily a tourist resort with the Conway Scenic Railroad as it prime attraction.
Although there are chain motels in the area, another pleasant surprise is to find that there are plenty of independent hotels and inns. The Kearsarge Inn is a modern replica of the 19th century The Kearsarge House Hotel.
Echo Lake & Cathedral Slabs, Echo lake State Park
Just outside North Conway is Echo Lake State Park. The lake is a favourite location for swimming and picnics, while the Cathedral Slabs are popular for popular rock climbing and in winter for ice climbing.
White Mountain Highway in North Conway
Walk down the main street of many towns and you have to keep reminding yourself where you are because so many US towns are alike. Not the case in New Hampshire or indeed in most of New England. North Conway prides itself on its shopping and has avoided having its central shopping area completely taken over by chain shops. As a result it does not have that standardised feel of so many Main Streets. If you want the chain stores, there are a couple of outlet malls on the outskirts of town.
North Conway from Cathedral Ledge
What is most noticeable about North Conway is that you can barely see it. Apart from the Mountain View Resort at the extreme right of the picture most buildings are largely hidden by trees. When travelling through the town the Conway Scenic Railroad Station stands out, but from afar it is almost impossible to spot.
Click on Minimap to navigate
To move forwards or backwards through the New Hampshire trail click the arrows above, or select your next destination on the Minimap.