Weeks State Park, Whitefield

#25 of 53 in Nature in White Mountains
Must see · State Park · Nature / Park
The Weeks Estate is a historic country estate on U.S. Route 3 in Lancaster, New Hampshire. Built in 1912 for John Wingate Weeks, atop Prospect Mountain overlooking the Connecticut River, it is one of the state's best preserved early 20th-century country estates. It was given to the state by Weeks' children, and is now Weeks State Park. It features hiking trails, expansive views of the countryside from the stone observation tower, and a small museum in the main estate house. A small portion of property at the mountain summit was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
The former Weeks Estate occupies a 420acre parcel south of Lancaster's town center, on the east side of Route 3. It consists of the entirety of Prospect Mountain, a low peak that at above sea level is the highest on a short ridge running east from the Connecticut River. Most of the park consists of woods, with cleared scenic pullouts on Route 3, and the intermittently operated Mount Pleasant Ski Tow, a small ski area on the western slope of the mountain. A narrow auto road, about 2mi in length, provides access from Route 3 to the summit area, where the estate buildings are located. There are parking pullouts at several points along the auto road, from which there are views of the Connecticut River and the White Mountains.
The estate complex at the summit of Prospect Mountain includes the main house, a carriage house, a stone tower, and servants' quarters. The main house is a two-story frame structure, finished in stucco in an eclectic combination of the Tudor and Spanish Mediterranean Revivals. It is covered by a clipped gable roof of red tile, and has half-timbering in the English country style. This styling is continued in the carriage house and servants' quarters, although their roofs are asphalt shingle. The circular stone tower, originally fitted with a central water storage tank, is open to the public, and provides expansive 360° views of the countryside. The main house has a museum with displays on the history of the Weeks family and the involvement of Weeks in the early 20th-century conservation movement.
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Weeks State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
64 reviews
  • If you find yourself in the Whitefield/Lancaster area of Northern New Hampshire, and are looking for a nice scenic nature walk to stretch your legs, i highly recommend that you consider the Weeks...  more »
  • The 1.5 mile paved road to the top is only open on week-ends, but you can walk up it to the top, or hike many trails in the area. Drive up during the week if you catch the gate open like we did. The.....  more »
  • This place has some of the most beautiful views we've ever seen. Free to get into and worth a stop. The view from the top of the (actively used when there is an elevated forest fire risk) fire tower is breathtaking. The Weeks house is really neat with a lot of history. There's a guided tour that you can pay to take of the Weeks house that I recommend. I'm not a history need but I really did enjoy this one and to see the upstairs of the house is worth every penny. Past presidents like Harding, Coolidge and even Teddy Roosevelt have been there. There's a giant mounted moose head that T.R. shot himself. Beautiful place. Neat history. Worth the stop for sure.
  • Just happened to be driving and kind of just stumbled on this place. It's a hidden gem of NH. You take a winding narrow road to the top, that's a little sketchy. But the payoff at the top is well worth the ride. I never knew too much about John Weeks. But his story is interesting. He was instrumental in helping to form the White Mountains National Forest and end the unregulated logging and deforestation that had been occurring. His estate was left to the state by his family and contains a mansion, carriage house, caretaker building, and water tower now used as a fire tower. You can climb the tower and get 360 degree views of the White Mountains and parts of Vermont. We happened to be there when a fire marshal was in the tower and had a nice conversation with him about the tower and related topics. You can also tour the mansion for a nominal fee of five dollars. It was a very good tour and the guide was very knowledgeable. The house isn't super elaborate inside. It's kind of arts and crafts style. But the great room has the lodge look with large panoramic windows. Everyone that worked there was very nice and it was all very fascinating. The guide said that they don't get a whole lot of visitors. That's a shame because it's a beautiful spot. You could even spend a day, because there are numerous hiking trails. I know l will definitely return again the next time l'm in the White Mountains.

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