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North Conway, New Hampshire
Buildings in downtown North Conway
Buildings in downtown North Conway
North Conway, New Hampshire is located in New Hampshire
North Conway, New Hampshire
North Conway, New Hampshire
Location in New Hampshire
North Conway, New Hampshire is located in the United States
North Conway, New Hampshire
North Conway, New Hampshire
Location in the United States
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Carroll
Town Conway
 • Total 6.96 sq mi (18.02 km2)
 • Land 6.81 sq mi (17.65 km2)
 • Water 0.14 sq mi (0.37 km2)
525 ft (160 m)
 • Total 2,116
 • Density 311/sq mi (119.9/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
03860 (North Conway)
03847 (Kearsarge)
Area code(s) 603
FIPS code 33-53860
GNIS feature ID 0872395

North Conway is a census-designated place (CDP) and village in eastern Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 2,116 at the 2020 census. A year-round resort area, North Conway is the second-largest village within the town of Conway, after the village of Conway proper. The White Mountain National Forest is to the west and north. Conway is home to Cathedral Ledge (popular with climbers), Echo Lake State Park, and Cranmore Mountain Resort. North Conway is known for its large number of outlet shops.

North Conway Village, New Hampshire
Aerial view of North Conway and Mount Cranmore


Mount Washington, from the Conway Road
Mount Washington in 1872

Chartered in 1765 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth, the town is named for Henry Seymour Conway, ambitious son of a prominent English family, who was elected to the House of Commons at age 20, fought at Culloden, and became Secretary of State. Early settlers called the area Pequawket (known colloquially as Pigwacket), adopting the name of the Abenaki Indian village which stretched down the Saco River to its stockaded center at Fryeburg, Maine.

North Conway is in the White Mountains, with Mount Washington to the northwest. The rugged terrain became popular in the 19th century with artists. Their paintings were known collectively as White Mountain art, which in turn attracted tourists to the area, particularly after the Portsmouth, Great Falls & Conway Railroad extended service in 1872 to North Conway. In 1874, the line built a Second Empire depot, designed by Nathaniel J. Bradlee. In 1932, "snow trains" began carrying enthusiasts to "the birthplace of American skiing," as North Conway is known.

Increasing automobile travel brought the decline of trains. The railroad, then part of the Boston & Maine, abandoned passenger service to the area in 1961 and freight service in 1972. Subsequently, the Conway Scenic Railroad was established. Today, the line offers visitors a tour of the region, including Crawford Notch. The station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the late 1980s, the White Mountain Airport closed and was redeveloped as a large outlet mall called Settlers' Green Outlet Village. Continued growth through the 1990s and 2000s in North Conway and the villages nearby made Conway the most populous community in Carroll County. Traffic congestion led to an overhaul of the road system, including widening Route 16 through North Conway village and constructing a road parallel to Route 16 to allow traffic to move between Redstone and Intervale uninterrupted. A bypass of the area is being developed.

North Conway remains a popular destination due to its shopping, recreation, and attractions.


Echo Lake, North Conway, NH
Cathedral Ledge in 1914

North Conway and its surrounding towns offer hiking in the White Mountain National Forest. The area is a major rock climbing destination in the northeastern United States, particularly Cathedral Ledge in Echo Lake State Park. The 500-foot (150 m) cliff overlooks Echo Lake and North Conway from the west. Unlike nearby White Horse Ledge, another rock climbing site, Cathedral Ledge has an automobile road to the summit, which provides fine views of the Saco River Valley.

In late September through early October, tourists arrive to see the autumn colors on the surrounding mountains and forests. The Conway Scenic Railroad features train rides that leave from the village's Victorian station. In the winter, the village is the nighttime destination for skiers visiting the area resorts, including North Conway's own Cranmore Mountain as well as nearby Attitash Resort, Black Mountain and Wildcat Mountain.


North Conway is located at 44°3′6″N 71°7′22″W / 44.05167°N 71.12278°W / 44.05167; -71.12278 (44.051534, -71.122752), in the northern part of the town of Conway.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village, a census-designated place (CDP), has a total area of 4.3 square miles (11.2 km2), of which 4.3 square miles (11.1 km2) is land and 0.039 square miles (0.1 km2), or 1.29%, is water. North Conway is drained by the Saco River.


White Horse Ledge, North Conway, NH
White Horse Ledge and Echo Lake c. 1908

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,349 people, 1,105 households, and 547 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 546.3 people per square mile (211.9/km2). There were 1,804 housing units, of which 699, or 38.7%, were vacant. 551 of the vacant units were seasonal or vacation properties. The racial makeup of the CDP was 94.7% White, 0.5% African American, 0.4% Native American, 2.0% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 0.6% some other race, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.

The Kearsarge House, North Conway, NH
The Kearsarge House c. 1910, an early grand hotel

There were 1,105 households, out of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.1% were headed by married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.5% were non-families. 39.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.8% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.07, and the average family size was 2.73.

In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 18.6% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 29.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.5 males.

For the period 2007–11, the estimated median annual income for a household in the CDP was $40,804, and the median income for a family was $46,832. Male full-time workers had a median income of $31,764 versus $23,859 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $21,664. About 12.1% of families and 21.9% of the population were below the poverty line.

Sites of interest

Sites on the National Register of Historic Places:

Notable people

  • Ed Ashnault, college football and basketball coach; grew up in North Conway.
  • Benjamin Champney, artist
  • Gordon Clapp, actor
  • E. E. Cummings, 20th century poet; summer resident; died (of a stroke) in North Conway, on September 3, 1962
  • Jigger Johnson, logger
  • Jeff Locke, Major League Baseball player, born in North Conway and raised in neighboring Redstone
  • Helen Bigelow Merriman, 19th century artist and philanthropist born in North Conway; she helped found Memorial Hospital, and served as president of the public library
  • Nathan W. Pease, photographer who lived and worked capturing images of area sites
  • Carroll Reed, ski instructor and promoter of the sport. Founder of Carroll Reed Sportswear
  • Johann "Hannes" Schneider, Austrian ski instructor of the first half of the twentieth century and founder of the Arlberg Technique for teaching skiing; ran ski school in North Conway
  • John Shea, actor, producer and director
  • David A. Shirley, chemist
  • Leanne Smith, two-time Olympian and World Cup alpine ski racer
  • Martha Pearson Smith (1836-?), poet, musician, temperance activist
  • Julia Ruth Stevens, daughter of Babe Ruth

See also

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