Coös County, NH: A Complete Profile of Coös County, by

NH County Profiles: Coös County, NH


Coös County, NH

Coös County sits between the White Mountains and Quebec, and its residents have a reputation as a hearty, independent group. The Great North Woods Region is vast and sparsely populated-in fact, Coös County is the only county in the state to have decreased its population from the 2000 and 2010 census counts.

A bone of contention among county residents surrounds two little dots: the diaeresis ( ¨ ) placed over the second "o" in Coos, making it Coös. The idea of the dots is to make sure speakers say "Co-os" not "kuse," much like the originators of the word, the Abenaki Indians. The addition of the accent seems to thrill people who enjoy lattés, cafés and seem to be naĩve.

Berlin is known as "the city that trees built." This is true, and you only has to gaze upon the dams and boom piers along the Androscoggin River to see the legacy of the timber industry. Lancaster is a charming town with colonial charm, and a great annual fair. Gorham is the home of mighty Mount Washington, and a mecca for hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Pittsburg is the home of the state's only border crossing into Canada - and in fact, was once neither part of Canada or the US for a time. The Republic of the Indian Stream was a self-governing republic of 300 people from 1832-35, and stood where Pittsburg lies today.

For all its beauty, Coös County has the highest unemployment rate in the state. The area has been hard hit by changes in technology, the demise of the lumber industry, and to some degree isolation. The interstate highways that that cross Carroll and Grafton counties do not bless Coös County. A bit of I-93 touches Coös County in Twin Mountain on the southwestern corner of the county - but that is it. Nineteen percent of the population is over 65, and of the population over 25 approximately 15% don't have a high school diploma, and only about 15% have bachelor's degrees, approximately half of the state average.

Tourists are surprised when they come to Coös County, stereotyping it as "north of the tourist attraction." The 13 Mile Woods that stretch between Milan and Errol are a great surprise... inviting, and somehow haunting beautiful. Moose are abundant and if you come aching to see one, and loiter at sunset at the right places, you will probably be rewarded. Even Pittsburg, at the very top of NH, enjoys a lively tourism trade: the four Connecticut Lakes are beautiful, snowmobile trails abound and don't forget the moose!

In the realm of activities, Coös County has developed a wide network of trails for snowmobilers and ATV riders. It is possible to ride a great portion of the North Country from Berlin's Jericho Lake State Park through Errol and into Colebrook.

Major Attractions in Coos County include:
  •   The Balsams Resort, Dixville Notch   (Closed for renovations)
  •   Bretton Woods Resort, Bretton Woods
  •   Cog Railway, Bretton Woods
  •   Cohos Trail, Dixville Notch area
  •   Fourth Connecticut Lake Trail, Clarksville/Pittsburg
  •   Jericho Mountain State Park, Berlin
  •   Mountain View Grand, Whitefield
  •   Mount Washington Auto Road, Pinkham Notch
  •   Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods
  •   Mount Washington State Park, Sargent's Purchase
  •   Santas Village, Jefferson
  •   Weeks State Park, Lancaster
  •   Wildcat Mountain, Pinkham Notch
  • Social services can be accessed at TriCap (Tri-County Community Action Program, Inc.) website with a quality summary at:


    FLASH Facts

    County: Coos
    County Seat: Lancaster
    Population: 33,055   (2010)
    Size: 1,830 sq. miles
    Population Density: 18.4 people
    per sq. mile
    Median Household Income: $40,902
    Census Report: US Census
    County Profile: NH ELMI
    Largest Towns:
    (By Population)
    Dalton, Pittsburg
    Largest Employers:
    (By Employment)
    G-W School District,
    Mt. Attitash,
    Memorial Hospital,
    Huggins Hospital,
    Conway School District,
    Morrell Corporation,
    Brewster Academy,
    Town of Wolfeboro,
    A J Coleman,
    Commercial Airport None


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