Waterville Valley is a historic resort surrounded by 700,000 acres of national forest. Today, it’s a full-featured resort with world-class skiing, golf, nationally ranked tennis courts, a skateboard park, a year-round ice arena, hiking, biking, water sports, boating and cultural activities that range from bluegrass festivals to Shakespeare-under-the-stars. What it doesn't have are fast food places, traffic, stoplights and the usual chain stores. Waterville Valley’s emphasis on the great outdoors, family and community brings visitors back year after year.
Visitors once came to this valley by stagecoach to escape the heat of the cities and enjoy the abundance of natural beauty. Today’s route to the secluded town winds along the picturesque Mad River, which surges over boulder-strewn rapids on its way to Waterville. Visitors describe turning off of I93 and heading to the valley as a letting go of the outside world and a sense of coming home.
Arriving in Waterville Valley, visitors can park their cars once and forget about them the remainder of their stay. The Town Square is a pedestrian-only zone while most of the many activities—the outdoor sports, the theater, the arts programs, for example—are within walking distance or a short ride on the free, open-air trolley that serves the valley. And, like an island in a sea of green, the White Mountain National Forest envelops Waterville Valley.