About Wild River
Up Wild River History

Why we want to keep it wild!

Wild River by Robert J Oppegaard Wild River by Robert J Oppegaard Wild River by Robert J Oppegaard Wild River by Robert J Oppegaard Wild River by Robert J Oppegaard
Wild River by Robert J Oppegaard

Wild River is a place to find yourself. Wild River is an area small enough for a person to know, yet large enough that it takes days to circumnavigate. In contrast to the nearby Presidential Range, Wild River offers the chance for real solitude with its circular shape and large size. The Wild River Valley is a northeast-facing river valley surrounded on three sides by mountains. These mountains encompass a 27,000-acre lowland interior valley that offers a wealth of rare forest habitats for a wide range of wildlife and plants. Including the outer slopes, the Wild River area totals more than 70,000 acres—the largest river valley in the White Mountain National Forest not designated as wilderness.

Wild River is a lush valley steeped in national heritage. In Wild River, water is life. The Wild River has shaped the course of the Valley’s history, back to a time when New England’s forests were cleared for lumber. The wood in the area provided the foundation on which New Hampshire thrived. Between the Civil War and the turn of the century, the area that is now the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) was subjected to extensive clearcutting, followed by devastating forest fires. In 1903 alone, more than 80,000 acres burned in the WMNF region, including the Wild River valley. Today, remnants of what the original forest must have looked like can be seen in a few massive hemlocks along the Wild River itself and in gnarly old maples and yellow birch in the southern portion of the valley.

Wild River is our future. It is rare in New England to find a place such as Wild River—where a vast, stunningly alive, intact watershed can be protected from fragmentation and development for all Americans, for all time. Signs of wildlife—moose, spruce grouse, songbirds, coyotes, fisher, bears, beaver, deer, and the threatened pine martin—fill the valley. For many, Wild River is a critical refuge. The valley has continued to shed many of the effects of early abuses and is maturing toward a majestic wooded valley, free of human development, across 42 square miles. Wild River stands apart, providing respite and the possibility to once again find yourself in the forests of New Hampshire.

Mt Moriah by Robert J KozlowMt Moriah by Robert J Kozlow

Important Features:

Carter-Moriah Range
Mt. Moriah
Middle Carter
Carter Dome
Mt. Meader
East & West Royce
Eagle Crag
N. Baldface Mountain

Appalachian Trail
Wild River Trail
Carter-Moriah Trail
Basin Rim Trail

Carter Moriah Range by David MetskyCarter Moriah Range by David Metsky


Route 16
Route 113
Route 2
Wild River Access Road (USFS)


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