Loon Mountain is an example of past and present use of what is now the White Mountain National Forest. On display at the resort’s entrance is a Porter 50-ton saddle tank engine used on the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, the largest of the White Mountain logging railroads that criss-crossed these mountains at the turn of the 20th Century. Timber baron James E. Henry used the EB&L railroad to extract 600 million board feet of timber from the surrounding land, feeding the forest to his saw, pulp and paper mills that gave rise to the town of Lincoln. With the passing of The Weeks Act and the decline of logging, towns like Lincoln have re-invented themselves by developing recreation-based tourism. Today, several four-season resorts, including Loon, operate on the White Mountain National Forest under special use permit from the USDA Forest Service.
Directions to Next Site:
Now is a good time to check your vehicle’s fuel gauge. If you’re low, take a left out of Loon Mountain to return to Lincoln. Otherwise, turn right to head east on Rte 112. You’re about to embark on a 34-mile drive across the undeveloped Kancamagus Scenic Byway.