The Mount Eisenhower Wayside, operated by the NH State Parks System, is a small hill with a tremendous view. Park on the north side of Rte 302 in the gravel parking lot and walk the short footpath to the hilltop for a panorama of the southern Presidential Range, including the peaks of Mounts Pierce, Eisenhower, Monroe and Washington. In the foreground is a 20,000 acre bowl with noticeable signs of forest fire history. To the right, on the backs of Mounts Webster and Jackson, you may notice fir waves, alternating patterns of live and dead fir trees on wind-exposed slopes. Over the years, these waves appear to move across the slope as trees on the more exposed edge of the wave die, and trees on the more protected edge of the wave regenerate.
When the Presidentials were first named, there weren’t enough presidents for all the peaks in the range. Mount Eisenhower, 4,780 feet above sea level, was first known as Mount Pleasant or Pleasant Dome. Sherman Adams, whose resume included NH Governor, White House Chief of Staff and founder of Loon Mountain ski resort, led the movement to rename the mountain after the 34th President of the United States. A dedication was held at this wayside in 1972 to celebrate the official name change to Mount Eisenhower.
Directions to Next Site:
Another site rich in history is next on our tour. Travel 1.6 miles west on Rte 302 to the Mount Washington Hotel Overlook on the right.