New Hampshire : Safety by City
- Hampton Beach
- North Conway
- West Lebanon
Littleton, New Hampshire, is as friendly and welcoming as Pollyanna herself.
That’s no surprise since the icon of “Being Glad” was the idea of local author Elanor H. Porter.
With a population of around 5,800, it exudes a warm, captivating small-town atmosphere throughout each season.
One of the town’s highlights is its vibrant Main Street, lined with unique shops, art galleries, and eateries.
Pollyanna’s artistic association with the town fueled the art community with various cultural events, including theater productions and art shows.
Look for the latest performances at the Littleton Opera House, a historic building downtown that shares space with the Historical Society.
The Ammonoosuc River that runs through town is great for all water activities and includes a trail that is connected by two bridges. If you love covered bridges, don’t miss this trail.
The nearby Franconia Notch State Park offers breathtaking vistas, hiking trails, and the renowned Flume Gorge.
You also have the full range of White Mountains at your doorstep.
Vermont is just a few miles west, as well.
You will definitely “Be Glad” you took the time to visit this gem in the crown of New England charm.
Warnings & Dangers in Littleton
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk in this charming and outdoorsy town. Crime rates are low, and the only risks you'll face are the ones you don't properly prepare for, like the weather and wilderness risks.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Tri-Town County Transit goes between Littleton, Lancaster, and Whitfield. Taxis and rideshares are available, but it's not a robust list of cars waiting for you. Rental cars are the best way to experience this region.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
Just one pickpocket has been reported in the past five years, so that's a low risk. Still, use standard caution, especially since people are more likely to carry backpacks and a lot of gear when exploring this town.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Winter weather can be treacherous if you aren't used to it, but New England is pretty good at getting roads cleared, with Littleton covering the whole town in four hours and then starting again as needed. Severe thunderstorms can ruin an outdoor day, though tornadoes are rare. Flash flooding and wildfire risks are two other things to keep an eye on. It's a medium risk throughout the year.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
This is a low risk, with just one or two robberies each year, mostly in businesses or homes. You should still avoid walking around at night alone, as there are some rather dark places near the bridges and river.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
This quaint region has no reason to be a terrorist target, but domestic terrorism is always a risk. While there's a low risk, it's important to stay vigilant and report anything suspicious.
SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM
I encourage you to look at the police department's Facebook page for a list of running scams. One that stood out was people in the comments of police social media posts adding scam links or offering help with sinister outcomes. Facebook Marketplace scams have also been trending here. Treat it with a medium risk, as this small town has more than its fair share of scam concerns.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
This is another low risk, with nothing but common sense and situational awareness keeping women from having a safe experience. It's wise never to hike alone and always let someone know where you are going and when you plan to come back.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
I'll give kudos to Littleton Water and Light for having the 2023 Annual Water Quality Report posted ahead of the deadline. The report shows all standards were met or exceeded with no violations or deficiencies.
Safest Places to Visit in Littleton
Go Littleton is a hyper-local website for tourists, while the Visit White Mountains website covers Littleton and other communities.
This website also has a plethora of maps and guides that are free to download.
Pollyanna of Littleton welcomes guests downtown, and it actually called the “Most Welcoming Attraction.”
Apparently, if you rub her shoes, good luck and fortune will come to you (let us know how that works out).
You can also walk through the Pollyanna Gateway.
The second Saturday of each June is the official Pollyanna Day.
The Littleton Area Historical Society is housed in the Littleton Opera House.
It is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but you can also call (603)444-6052 for a private tour.
The rest of downtown is everything you’d expect from a New England community.
Unique shops line the streets, restaurants and cafes offer local delicacies, and scenic views of church steeples and mountains dot the landscape.
Don’t miss Chutters, home of the World’s Longest Candy County, on Maine Street.
Use that sugar rush to explore the River District, which weaves around the Ammonoosuc River from a covered footbridge to a suspension bridge.
This district is undergoing renovations, so there will be more to see and do by the time you arrive!
Other hiking trails include a wildflower-lined pond called The Dells.
The Pine Hills Trails and Kilburn Crags offer easy walks or a more challenging hike up a hill.
The top of Kilburn Crags is an amazing scenic view.
Moore Dam on the Vermont border is a great place for boating, fishing, or scenic views.
It’s where Moore Lake and the Connecticut River meet.
Rarely would I encourage someone to visit a Rest Area, but this is now the second time I’ve done it in a week!
The “Welcome Center” near Moore Dam is a gateway into New Hampshire but also has a dose of Littleton history and incredible views.
Franconia Notch State Park is worth exploring on its own, but you can’t pass a Live Free or Die sign in the state without someone telling you about the loss of the Old Man on the Mountain.
The rock formation (you thought it was a person, didn’t you?) collapsed in 2003, and you can learn more about its history and importance to the state when you visit the park.
There are great legends attached to the Old Man, dating back to the Indigenous days.
Places to Avoid in Littleton
You don’t need to worry about the dangerous part of town here.
The entire community is safe to explore from a crime perspective.
You should always use standard safety steps, like locking car doors and leaving valuables out of plain sight.
Even after a long, tiring day of exploring, you don’t want to risk waking up to your stuff stolen out of your car.
The real places to avoid in Littleton and the surrounding area are places where you are not prepared to be or aren’t experienced enough to handle.
New Hampshire is one state in America that does charge people for the cost of their own rescue.
You can buy a Hike Safe Card from the state Fish & Game Department for $50.
That will be an insurance policy of sorts to avoid being charged if you have an accident in the wilderness.
This will *not cover stupidity, daredevil attempts, or other reckless behavior.
In fact, two hikers in 2022 not only faced the price of rescue but were charged with criminal recklessness.
“Conservation Officers learned from the two hikers they had no plan for a hike that day.
They were not familiar with the area, did not stay on any trail, and did not have any equipment or even footwear for entering such a steep and dangerous location, much less ropes, harnesses, or climbing gear,” the department stated in a news release.
“The absolute goal of charging these guys — one of the primary goals — was to let people know that if you are this careless, if you show this blatant disregard for human safety, there’s a consequence for that, and it’s a significant one,” Col. Kevin Jordan told the Boston Globe.
“It’s a little wake-up call.”
Safety Tips for Traveling to Littleton
- Littleton, New Hampshire, shares a name with a city in Colorado. Confirm any research you do includes New Hampshire in the listing and has an area code of 603, not 303. Even the Littleton Police Department Facebook Page should be noted as @littletonnhpd and not @littletonpd.
- LPD would love to hear your specific questions or concerns during your visit. You can email them using firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. During business hours, call (603)444-7711, and after hours, call (603)444-2422.
- Sign up for CodeRED emergency notification through the police department’s website. You’ll get immediate alerts about severe weather, road closures, or any other major safety issue.
- You should also sign up for Town Alerts through the city’s website. This can help with items like road construction, closures due to local events, or water main breaks.
- ParkMobile is the app to use to find and pay for parking in Littleton. You’ll be able to add time or check for available spots before you park. These parking apps are the safest way to park without having to figure out a meter system or drive around looking for a spot.
- If you’re visiting while it’s snowing, you need to plan more time tit clean the snow off your vehicle. New Hampshire has a law called Jessica’s Law that requires all snow and ice to be cleared off a vehicle before it can be driven. That means the roof and hood, too. This law went into effect after a large chunk of ice coming off a semi led to a 20-year-old named Jessica Smith being killed.
- The New Hampshire Department of Fish & Game issues all fishing licenses, and you’ll need an out-of-state license to take part in that activity.
- If you’re choosing between different White Mountain cities, use the Virtual Littleton Tour on the city’s website to get a better look at this option.
- New England 511 is the website and app to use to navigate the roads here. You can get real-time alerts and live traffic maps and cameras. It always helps to have a paper map with you in case you end up in a mobile dead zone.
- For those driving to Littleton from neighboring states, if you need to get supplies, wait until you get to New Hampshire. The state doesn’t have a sales tax, which will save you 5-6% off your purchase.
So... How Safe Is Littleton Really?
Littleton, New Hampshire, is a low-crime town by all accounts.
Violent crime is nearly half the national average, and even theft rates in this tourist town don’t meet the national threshold.
Top that off with no violent crimes in 2021 being against strangers.
From 2017 through 2021, just 13% of all thefts were car break-ins.
Most cities I research have that number around 30-40%.
Even though the town itself is as sweet as Pollyanna, it’s still not low enough to ever let down your guard.
Random gun crime can happen anywhere, anytime.
A possible hate crime was being investigated at an anti-abortion pregnancy healthcare center while the nation faced abortion law battles.
There are also wilderness safety concerns, which can all be avoided if you stay informed, are prepared, and know your limits.
Littleton is truly a treasure chest of New England beauty, both in town and the surrounding mountains.
How Does Littleton Compare?
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The requirements for international travelers visiting the United States are the same whether you cross over at the Canadian border or fly into an airport. You'll need a passport and visa or visa waiver. Canada Border Services Agency has different requirements if you plan to cross that international border from the United States.
The U.S. Dollar is the only currency accepted nationwide. You'll be able to use credit cards for most transactions, which also is the best payment option for fraud prevention. To exchange currency, take care of that before your trip, as your home back has the lowest fees. If your bank has a location in Littleton or a nearby community, that's another option.
Littleton has cold, snowy winters and warm (too hot), humid summers. Pack casual clothing and any outdoor accessories you need, like hiking boots, a backpack, and a water bottle. You'll need bug spray and sunscreen. December through February will rarely be above freezing for daytime highs. Bring insulated and resilient winter clothing and accessories.
Lebanon's airport, less than an hour away, has flights only through Cape Air. The Manchester Boston Regional Airport (not to be confused with Boston Logan International Airport) is 90 minutes away. Portland, Maine's jetport if a two and a half hour drive.
You'll want travel insurance that covers transportation, baggage, health, and accidents, as there are a lot of potential risks from intense weather to hiking mishaps.
Littleton Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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New Hampshire - Safety by City