The Gale River Forest was the site of a short lived logging town from 1874 to 1878 of which little remains today. The operation here appears to have been modest by 19th century standards. The Gale River Logging Railroad was used to harvest tall straight spruce trees for the masts of ships and deliver them to the nearby (but not connected) Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad. When the select trees were gone and the operation ceased, its rail system was incorporated into the Profile & Franconia Notch Railroad, a line built by the owners of the Profile House to shuttle tourists from Bethlehem south into Franconia Notch. Early in its life as part of the White Mountain National Forest, The Gale River Forest was an experimental forest, but the great hurricane of 1938 destroyed the experiments in place. Today, the gravel Gale River Road loops through restored forest and is a popular spot for mountain biking, walking and birding.
Directions to Next Site:
Even before The Weeks Act, the federal government had begun creating a forest reserve from land in the public domain. The next site on the Weeks Act Legacy Trail pays tribute to a US President with NH ties and a legacy in conservation. Continue south on Rte 3 for 8.6 miles to the Mount Cleveland Wayside on the left.