Traveler Tales: White Mountain National Forest

Exploring our Nation's National Forests
Keystone Avalanche fifth wheel in the White Mountain National Forest

Our Family RV Adventure in the White Mountain National Forest

Hi, I am Ashley Peeples, creator of Peeples and Places. Our traveling RV family of five sold 90 percent of our belongings in March 2021 and set out on the road to explore our beautiful country with our three daughters. For us, life isn’t about the things we collect, but about the people we meet and the places we go. RV life has been a blessing and we have learned so much along the way. We’ve visited 32 states since starting our journey, and we recently visited the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire to check off our 33rd US State.

The Campground

Nestled in the heart of the National Forest, Barnes Field Campground offers campers a tranquil oasis with 12 campsites around a paved circle. We were thrilled to find that it fit our 40 ft Keystone Avalanche 378BH. We reserved Friday-Sunday on in advance but we also took advantage of the first come first serve Monday-Thursday and arrived a day early.

There are no electric hook ups, so just be prepared with a generator, solar or lithium batteries. The water pump at this campground was the old pumping style and more suitable for tent camping, but next door at Dolly Copp Campground we were able to get water with a water bladder. At that sister campground, they do offer full-hook ups if you can get a reservation in advance.

Service for cell phones is nearly non-existent, even with Starlink, because of the canopy of trees. We actually really enjoyed unplugging from our phones and enjoyed undistracted family time. There is something special about unplugging and enjoying campfires at night with the people you love, especially in this busy world we live in.

Rob and Ashley Peeples family - Keystone Avalanche fifth wheel - White Mountain National Forest

Must-See Attractions & Activities 

Cog Train to Mount Washington

No visit to the White Mountain would be complete without riding the historic Cog Railway. We hopped aboard this iconic train to Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast, and were treated to awe-inspiring panoramic views along the way. The Cog Train's steep ascent through dense forests and alpine tundra was an adventure in and of itself. At the top, it was breathtaking… and COLD!

After we got our family picture at the summit and enjoyed the Extreme Weather Museum inside the shelter building, we grabbed a table and ate some lunch. If you don’t want to pack a lunch, they do have a cafeteria to purchase food. 

Fun fact: They have a post office at the top, with postcards and stamps ready to purchase, so we sent our kids’ Great Grandma a postcard.

Antique steam engines at the historic Cog Railway.


One of the highlights of our adventure was exploring the family-friendly hiking trails in Franconia Notch State Park. This park is a gateway to some of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders of the White Mountain and is only a 55 minute drive to Barnes Field Campground. Our girls had a blast on the Flume Gorge Trail, an easy to moderate hike that led us to an old covered bridge. Stunning rainforest-like passages with granite walls over 70-90 feet tall were trickling with running water from the gorgeous waterfalls. The trail's were well marked and even featured signage on certain plants making it a very educational experience for the whole family. We highly recommend taking a trash bag so that you don’t leave any trace if you pack snacks and food, especially if you decide to pack a lunch.

Tip: Secure your tickets in advance and save $3 per ticket. We didn’t know this cost money till we got there, but I will say it was worth the gorgeous views!

Rob and Ashley Peeples family on a bridge over a mountain stream

Our RV adventure in the White Mountain National Forest was something we will never forget! We all agree we need to go back because the four days we had there was just simply not enough time to see everything. Out of the 3 days we were there, we only had one sunny day to explore so keep the weather in mind when planning a trip there.

Give us a follow over on Instagram at Peeples.and.Places to follow our RV tips, some travel humor and best destinations to visit!

Happy Trails!  

Fifth Wheel RVs

Popular among full-time RVers, fifth wheels are designed for easier, more stable towing. Living space is maximized with additional over-cab space. This camping trailer—affectionately nicknamed a "fiver"—is a favorite of many, especially those taking extended trips or traveling full time in their RV. The prominent overhang resting above the tow truck bed is frequently employed as a bedroom suite, a living room, even a kitchen.

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