New Hampshire, one of the original 13 colonies, was the first state to have its own constitution. The spirit of independence is embodied in the state’s motto: “Live Free or Die.”
New Hampshire was the 9th state to ratify the US Constitution – the last state required for the document to take effect. It plays an important role in national elections as it is the first state to hold national primaries, and the primary results are thought to influence those in the rest of the nation, giving rise to the saying, “As New Hampshire goes, so goes the nation.”
It is the location of the White Mountains and the famous Mount Washington, one of the windiest places in the nation.
New Hampshire is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. The state has a total area of 9,349 square miles, making it one of the smallest states in terms of size.
The geography of New Hampshire is primarily characterized by its many mountains and hills. The White Mountains occupy much of northern New Hampshire and contain some of its highest peaks, including Mount Washington (6,288 feet), Mount Adams (5,774 feet), Mount Madison (5,367 feet), and Mount Jefferson (5,712 feet). These mountains are part of the Appalachian Mountain range.
The Connecticut River forms most of New Hampshire’s western border with Vermont. The Merrimack River flows through central New Hampshire and empties into Massachusetts Bay near Portsmouth. Several other rivers also flow through the state including Pemigewasset River, Saco River and Androscoggin River.
New Hampshire has several large lakes including Lake Winnipesaukee in central-eastern region which is one of its most popular tourist destinations; Squam Lake near Holderness; Sunapee Lake in southwestern part; Ossipee Lake in eastern region; and Winnisquam Lake near Tilton-Northfield. There are also several smaller lakes throughout the state as well as numerous ponds scattered throughout its rural areas.
The coastal regions along Massachusetts Bay are known for their sandy beaches as well as rocky shorelines with small islands off shore such as Isle au Haut off Maine’s coast or Star Island off Portsmouth’s coast. The coastline is dotted with numerous lighthouses such as Portsmouth Harbor Light House or Whaleback Lighthouse in Kittery Point which offer spectacular views out to sea on a clear day.
New Hampshire has a humid continental climate with cold winters and warm summers due to its location within New England’s interior valleys between mountain ranges. The temperature range is wide with lows in the teens in winter and highs in the 90s during summer months. Precipitation is abundant throughout the year with snowfall occurring mainly from December through March.
New Hampshire’s landscape offers a variety of activities for outdoor enthusiasts including camping, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, fishing and boating. The White Mountains are especially popular for hikers and skiers while the numerous lakes and rivers provide opportunities for fishing, boating and swimming. The seacoast also offers a variety of activities such as whale watching or exploring its many islands and lighthouses..
Cities in New Hampshire
Below are the top 15 cities by population in New Hampshire. For all cities and towns in the state, please see New Hampshire cities list.
Counties in New Hampshire
The State of New Hampshire consists of 10 counties. They are:
- Belknap County, New Hampshire
- Carroll County, New Hampshire
- Cheshire County, New Hampshire
- Coos County, New Hampshire
- Grafton County, New Hampshire
- Hillsborough County, New Hampshire
- Merrimack County, New Hampshire
- Rockingham County, New Hampshire
- Strafford County, New Hampshire
- Sullivan County, New Hampshire