White Mt. NF--Mt. Adams, North Side

About this Location

Mount Adams is a 5,774-foot mountain in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains, making it the second-highest mountain in New England after Mount Washington.

There are two major subsidiary peaks of Mount Adams: Mount Sam Adams (named after John Adams’ cousin and Revolutionary Leader Samuel Adams) and Mount Quincy Adams, (named after President John Quincy Adams, Sam Adams’ son).

The Northern side of Mount Adams is located in the town of Low and Burbank Grant, while the Southern side is located in Thompson and Meserves Purchase.

The Appalachian Trail traverses the area between Mount Adams and Mount Sam Adams on the Gulfside Trail.

The Randolph Mountain Club (RMC) maintains the trails and many shelters on the North side of Mount Adams including the Perch, Crag Camp, The Log Cabin, and Gray Knob.

Mount Madison (5,367 feet) is a great mountain to Peak Bag Mount Adams because they are only 1.4 miles apart, but you have to consider the weather conditions when deciding if this is right for you.

Mossy Falls is a great waterfall to visit on the way up to Mount Adams if you take the Short Line Trail. The Ice Caves are also a great alternative to “normal” hiking, as you have to make your way over, under, and through tight squeezes in caves and giant boulders. When hiking on the Short Line Trail, you will see signs for the Subway which leads to and through the Ice Caves, then meets back up with the Short Line Trail. The Madison Spring Hut is 1 mile away from Mount Adams and 0.4 miles from Mount Madison.

About White Mountain National Forest

See all hotspots at White Mountain National Forest

In the decades prior to 1911, the unregulated logging practices of private timber companies in the White Mountains had resulted in a damaged landscape susceptible to both fire and flood. Fires had burned thousands of acres, and flash floods affected the water power necessary to the mills of major industrial centers downstream, such as Manchester, New Hampshire, and Lowell, Massachusetts. Concerns over losses to industry, business, and tourism, and the growing conservation movement led to citizen action. The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) spearheaded an effort to ensure the permanent protection of the White Mountains from further depredation. After years of lobbying and intense public pressure, Senator John Weeks of Massachusetts, a native of Lancaster, New Hampshire, introduced legislation that became known as the Weeks Act. The Weeks Act was passed by Congress in 1911, appropriating 9 million dollars to purchase 6 million acres of land in the Eastern U.S. In turn, this led to the creation of the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) in 1918, and twenty-one other national forests throughout the north and southeast. Many of the groups who were instrumental in the passage of the Weeks Act, including the SPNHF and the AMC, are still active today, and the WMNF has grown from 7,000 acres to almost 800,000. Today, the reforested mountains and hillsides supply forest products and provide magnificent recreational opportunities while maintaining healthy watersheds and ecosystems.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

Content from Mount Adams (4000Footers) webpage and White Mountain National Forest Official Website

Last updated November 22, 2023