Geography of Carroll County, New Hampshire

By | March 29, 2024

Carroll County, located in the picturesque White Mountains region of New Hampshire, boasts a stunning natural landscape characterized by rugged mountains, pristine lakes, and dense forests. From its charming small towns and historic villages to its outdoor recreational opportunities and scenic beauty, Carroll County offers a wealth of attractions for residents and visitors alike. See topschoolsintheusa for information about Londonderry, New Hampshire.


Carroll County covers an area of approximately 992 square miles, making it one of the larger counties in New Hampshire by land area. It is bordered by Coos County to the north, Strafford County to the southeast, Belknap County to the southwest, and Oxford County in Maine to the east. The county seat is Ossipee, while other prominent towns include Conway, Wolfeboro, and Tamworth.

The geography of Carroll County is dominated by the rugged terrain of the White Mountains, which extend across the western part of the county. The highest peak in the northeastern United States, Mount Washington, lies partially within Carroll County’s borders. The county is also home to numerous lakes, rivers, and forests, adding to its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities.


Carroll County experiences a humid continental climate, characterized by cold, snowy winters and warm, humid summers. The mountainous terrain of the White Mountains significantly influences the local climate, leading to temperature variations and precipitation differences across the county.

Average high temperatures in the summer months typically range from the upper 70s to low 80s Fahrenheit, while winter highs average in the 20s and 30s. The county receives a significant amount of snowfall during the winter months, making it a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts.

Rivers and Waterways:

Carroll County is home to several rivers and waterways, which provide habitat for fish and wildlife and support a variety of recreational activities. The Saco River, one of the major rivers in the region, flows from west to east through the county and is popular for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.

In addition to the Saco River, Carroll County is also home to several smaller rivers and streams, including the Swift River, the Ossipee River, and the Bearcamp River. These waterways meander through the county’s forests and valleys, providing opportunities for outdoor exploration and relaxation.

Lakes and Reservoirs:

Carroll County is dotted with numerous lakes and reservoirs, which offer opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming, and other water sports. Some of the largest lakes in the county include Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake, and Ossipee Lake, all of which are popular destinations for outdoor recreation.

In addition to natural lakes, Carroll County is also home to several reservoirs and impoundments, including Lake Chocorua and Conway Lake. These water bodies provide habitat for fish and wildlife and offer scenic beauty amidst the county’s mountainous landscapes.

Parks and Natural Areas:

Carroll County is home to several parks and natural areas, which offer opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation. The White Mountain National Forest, located primarily in the western part of the county, features over 800,000 acres of protected wilderness, including hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and camping facilities.

In addition to the White Mountain National Forest, Carroll County is also home to several state parks and recreation areas, including Mount Chocorua State Park, Franconia Notch State Park, and Crawford Notch State Park. These parks provide opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing, as well as camping and fishing in designated areas.

Ski Resorts and Winter Sports:

Carroll County is a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts, thanks to its snowy climate and mountainous terrain. The county is home to several ski resorts and recreational areas, including Attitash Mountain Resort, Cranmore Mountain Resort, and Bretton Woods Ski Area.

These ski resorts offer a variety of winter activities, including downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Many resorts also feature amenities such as ski schools, rental shops, and on-site dining options, making them ideal destinations for families and winter sports enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Cultural Heritage:

Carroll County has a rich cultural heritage, shaped by its history as a center of Native American culture, European settlement, and outdoor recreation. The county is home to several historic sites and landmarks, including the Conway Scenic Railroad, which offers scenic train rides through the White Mountains.

The region is also known for its vibrant arts and cultural scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues showcasing the talents of local artists and performers. The annual Sandwich Fair, held each fall in the town of Sandwich, celebrates the county’s agricultural heritage with livestock shows, agricultural exhibits, and carnival rides.


In conclusion, Carroll County, New Hampshire, offers a diverse array of landscapes, outdoor recreational opportunities, and cultural attractions. From its rugged mountains and pristine lakes to its charming small towns and historic villages, the county provides something for everyone to enjoy. Whether exploring a national forest, skiing on a mountain, or attending a local festival, there is always something new to discover in Carroll County.