How Safe Is Gorham for Travel?

Updated On May 25, 2023
Gorham, United States
Safety Index:
77
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
93
* Rated 93 / 100 based on 3 user reviews.

Nestled within the scenic White Mountains of New Hampshire, Gorham stands as a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

This charming town offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and small-town charm that leaves visitors in awe.

It appeals to couples as much as families and solo travelers, offering adventures that are relaxing to adrenaline pumping.

Surrounded by majestic peaks, Gorham serves as a gateway to the breathtaking wonders of the White Mountain National Forest.

Hiking enthusiasts can explore an extensive trail network that leads to stunning vistas, cascading waterfalls, and serene alpine lakes.

The renowned Appalachian Trail also winds through this area.

You’ll share the town and land with moose and bears as well, plus have great fishing and birding areas to seek out.

For those seeking a more leisurely pace, the Androscoggin River meanders through Gorham, providing idyllic spots for fishing, kayaking, and peaceful picnics by the water’s edge.

Shopping through the collection of small towns in the White Mountains is popular, considering the state has no sales tax.

You paid the price listed and nothing more.

Neighboring states will add anywhere from 5%-7% to the price of a purchase.

For those who have an interest in weather patterns, this is known as one of the most dangerous spots in the world for crazy weather.

Warnings & Dangers in Gorham

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

There's a low risk here with so many things to do in a place that has a very low crime rate. The biggest risk here will always be the weather.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Tri-County Transit offers bus transportation between Gorham and Berlin. Taxis and rideshares would be available more sparingly, but rental cars are the best way to enjoy all the amazing views.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

This is a low risk, with no pickpockets or purse snatchings reported in the past five years. The potential for theft is higher than the statistical risk, so always be smart with how much money you carry, where you place your purse, and what valuables you're wearing or carrying with you.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

Mt. Washington is known for having the "worst weather in the world." The position of the mountain and surrounding area can get hit with bad weather from all directions. In February 2023, the record wind chill at the summit went to -108°(F) at the same time that record 127 mile-per-hour winds were pummeling it. Even the signs going up White Mountain National Forest state, "The area ahead has the worst weather in America. Many have died there from exposure, even in summer." Treat it with a medium risk, especially in winter, but be prepared for severe weather year-round and don't take wind advisories lightly.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

This is another low risk, with two robberies being the most the town has seen in a year going back to 2011.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

The weather is the only terrorizing concern here, as this region is filled with small towns and no hard targets to interest an international terror group. It is important to report anything suspicious, especially with the surge of domestic terrorism in the form of mass shootings across the country.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Most scams reported here are residential in nature, involving fake policing officers demanding money. You should always know the warning signs of rental scams and never wire money to reserve a home. Using a credit card is the best fraud prevention. If you suspect rental scam attempts, please let the local police know.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

Women should have no concerns visiting this region, provided they know severe weather and wilderness survival. It's best never to hike alone, especially in an area with bears.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The 2022 Water Quality Report shows all standards were surpassed, and no violations were incurred. You do want to check the city's social media pages or get alerts in case of water main breaks or frozen pipe warnings.

Safest Places to Visit in Gorham

You’ll have several great resources to look at attractions and outdoor locations in and around Gorham.

The Visit White Mountains website covers all the towns throughout this part of the state.

The Gorham town website offers a list of links to nearby options in the “For Visitors” section.

Visitmwv.com is the “Visit Mount Washington” tourism website.

One more for you to consider is the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce website.

Gorham doesn’t have the traditional downtown area, but Main Street still has all the businesses, restaurants, and hotel options you’d expect a tourist town to have.

The Androscoggin River parallels much of Main Street.

The Gorham Historical Society Museum is in the heart of the city.

The museum includes Native American and Civil War artifacts.

The historic post office and a building used during World War II have been moved here.

You can sign up for a Moose Tour, which includes a tour bus ride, educational discussions about the moose habitat, and a four-hour tour safely looking for moose.

The Glen Trails Outdoor Center is at the base of Mount Washington, where you can walk, bike, or kayak your way through the area.

This is also the start of the Mount Washington Auto Road, which is a steep but beautiful drive to the mountain summit.

Please read the safety guidance on that before attempting this challenging, narrow, and tricky road.

Mount Washington State Park is surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest.

You can also use the Mount Washington Cog Railway to get to the top.

The 6,300-foot summit has views all the way to the ocean on a clear day.

Moose Brook State Park is just west of Gorham, with fishing, camping, and hiking available.

Less than 30 minutes south of Gorham is Story Land amusement park, known as the “Land Where Fantasy Lives” for more than 65 years.

Places to Avoid in Gorham

You won’t find bad neighborhoods in this small town.

You do want to avoid thinking the town is safe enough to leave doors unlocked or car windows rolled down.

Use all the same safety steps to reduce the already low risk.

No matter how well you think you drive in snow, this part of New Hampshire isn’t a place you want to try to prove your skills.

If you know a storm is coming, and you’re worried about making your flight, leave early.

Roads can be covered in wet, heavy snow or ice can cover the highways making them impassible.

All the talk about the weather being so bad here isn’t a tourist slogan.

The position of the mountain hits several weather system streams and collides with the ocean weather pattern to create chaotic weather.

Intense winds can make your hikes miserable, and you’ll have the risk of tree branches breaking and falling around you.

Heed all weather warnings.

This isn’t a place where meteorologists will exaggerate the forecast.

The National Weather Service out of Portland/Gray, Maine, is the one you should follow for updated information.

Avoid driving any road without checking New England 511 road conditions.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Gorham

  1. Gorham does have its own police department. Maine also has a town named Gorham. In fact, this Gorham was named after that one. Be sure you find the right website for the police with the 603 area code. The Facebook page is @GorhamPD.
  2. Every winter, there’s a parking ban in place. From November 1 to April 1, no parking on the streets is allowed overnight. This is in effect, even if it’s not snowing. Your car can be ticketed or towed if you don’t adhere to the parking ban.
  3. I found it interesting that the Auto Road website insisted drivers shouldn’t pick up hitchhikers because the added weight could overheat the brakes. That’s one of many reasons you should never pick up a hitchhiker on this or any road. Nonetheless, check out the Auto Road safety tips before you take the adventurous trip.
  4. If you’re renting a home here, it’s important to know that it’s against the law to put out trash cans until the morning of your scheduled pickup. That’s to keep bears from getting into the trash.
  5. Text to 911 works across New Hampshire but should only be used when it’s impossible to call. If you are in a limited mobile service area, text using SMS and not MMS. Photos and videos won’t go through either way.
  6. Strong winds are common in this area, and that means a potential for the power to go out. While staying here, keep flashlights, non-perishable food, and drinking water stashed away. If it’s winter, bring extra blankets.
  7. You’ll be sharing the streets and some sidewalks with snowmobiles in the winter. Pedestrians always have the right of way, but that’s not always respected by those driving snowmobiles. Always use extra caution if you see a snowmobile coming.
  8. Jessica’s Law is a New Hampshire requirement that means you have to remove all snow and ice off your car before it can be driven. That means the roof, hood, and trunk—everywhere. It’s dangerous when you have several inches of snow on your roof and drive down the road. That chunk could blow off and blind another driver. The law was named after a woman who died in a similar accident.
  9. New Hampshire offers a Safe Hike card for $50 that will cover the costs of a rescue if you have an accident on the trails. While reckless behavior isn’t covered, it’s also important to know that if you don’t have this card, you could be responsible for the costs of your own rescue otherwise. New Hampshire does enforce that law.
  10. If you see a moose walking through town or even in the wild, stay at least 26 away. That’s because moose can only see 25 feet ahead. You also should back up whenever a moose notices you’re there, even if it’s just hearing you walking. While they are normally gentle giants, they can run and swim faster than you. Plus, they are known to stomp their prey when agitated.

So... How Safe Is Gorham Really?

Gorham is a safe city for those worried about crime.

The crime data is incredibly lower than the national average, especially when adding in the tourists who come through this town.

The only area of concern is that between 2020 and 2022, all major crime categories went up.

The increase was anywhere from 18% to 36%.

It’s just something to keep an eye on down the road since most categories barely reach triple digits.

In fact, while researching, the only articles I could find were related to car accidents, Gorham being rated one of the best small mountain towns, and a double homicide from 2022.

Curious as I am, I wanted to see what the story was behind the homicide.

A man has been arrested, and a couple was killed, but no motive was ever given.

It was the first homicide in Gorham since at least 2000, according to a review of FBI crime statistics.

Even car break-ins were low, with 60% of the thefts being shoplifting over the past five years.

The real risks here are the outdoors.

From Ice Gulch and its narrow spaces that can snap an ankle to people testing the truth being Mt. Washington’s “Worst Weather in America” or the “World’s Worst Weather.”

If you don’t know how to handle a moose sighting, there’s another risk.

Overall, people come here well-prepared for the conditions and get a chance to experience a unique mountain range with a lot of history behind the region.

How Does Gorham Compare?

CitySafety Index
Gorham77
Houston59
Atlanta58
St. Louis58
Los Angeles56
Oakland57
New Orleans57
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61
Niagara Falls (Canada)87

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

International visitors need a passport and a visa or visa waiver. You can determine your eligibility for a visa waiver through the U.S. State Department website. The rules are the same whether you are crossing the Canadian border or flying into the U.S. If you plan on crossing into Canada, the Canadian Border Services Agency will be the best source for specific rules in that country.

Currency

Currency

The U.S. Dollar is the only currency accepted here. You should exchange currency before you get to this small town.

Weather

Weather

Winters will be cold and snowy. Bring head-to-toe cold-weather gear. You can rent ski supplies from the different resorts, and plenty of outfitters sell supplies nearby. Spring and fall will be warmer but still cold enough for a coat or hoodie. Summers are pleasant but can have heat waves. The most important thing is to bring comfortable hiking shoes. Sunscreen and bug spray will also be needed.

Airports

Airports

You'll drive a good distance to get to a commercial airport. Portland International Jetport is 90 miles away in Portland, Maine. Portsmouth International Airport is 111 miles southeast. Burlington, Vermont, has an airport 130 miles away.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance and adventure insurance are wise investments here. You want to have your trip covered in case of severe weather, plus have help in case of an accident or emergency while exploring the mountains. If you're driving up Mt. Washington, make sure you have full coverage on the rental car.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Gorham Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -9° C
Feb -8° C
Mar -2° C
Apr 6° C
May 13° C
Jun 18° C
Jul 20° C
Aug 19° C
Sep 15° C
Oct 8° C
Nov 2° C
Dec -5° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
-2-141219242625211470
Low
°C
-15-14-8-1611131282-3-10
High
°F
283039546675797770574532
Low
°F
5718304352555446362714

New Hampshire - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Derry79
Exeter83
Gorham77
Hampton Beach68
Hanover81
Keene76
Laconia74
LinWood78
Littleton78
Meredith79
Nashua78
North Conway76
Pembroke73
Piscataquog73
Pittsburg70
Sunapee82
West Lebanon79
Wolfeboro82

Where to Next?

3 Reviews on Gorham

  1. O
    Osiris Hubbard says:

    Safety is a key factor for any travel enthusiast, and Gorham offers just that. During my stay, I felt at ease exploring the town and its surroundings. The locals were warm, and the community’s commitment to maintaining a secure environment was evident.

  2. L
    Laney McBride says:

    I did some thorough research before my trip to Gorham, and safety was a major concern for me. I’m happy to report that my experience was worry-free. The town’s low crime rate and friendly atmosphere made it an ideal destination.

  3. D
    Dior Edwards says:

    Gorham is a fantastic destination for travelers looking for both adventure and safety. I hiked through its beautiful landscapes and interacted with locals who were always ready to help.

Gorham Rated 4.67 / 5 based on 3 user reviews.

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