New Hampshire has been a popular resort area for summer vacationers since the late 19th century and for skiers since the 1930s. Since the 1950s improved highways and the expansion of public facilities for camping and recreation have further stimulated tourism. Autumn is an especially popular time to visit the state, for the colorful fall foliage. In 2002 travelers spent $2.7 billion in the state.
Colonial New Hampshire was slow to develop its overland transportation routes. The early settlements were connected only by a few trails and cart roads and a network of waterways. It was not until 1761 that regular stagecoach service was provided on a road from Portsmouth to Boston. Beginning in the 1790s, numerous private turnpike companies were chartered to build and operate toll roads. Somewhat expensive to maintain, these roads were eventually turned over to the state. River navigation was improved by the construction of canals on the Merrimack and Connecticut rivers.
The steamboat was soon replaced by the railroad, which first appeared in 1838. By 1884 there were 1,960 km (1,218 mi) of track in the state.
In recent years much of the rail system has fallen into disuse, and in 2004 New Hampshire had just 678 km (421 mi) of railroad track. Some trains operate as sightseeing excursions for tourists, and a rare cog railroad (which is propelled by cogs on a gear wheel pushing against crossbeams in the track) takes passengers to the top of Mount Washington.
New Hampshire had 25,490 km (15,839 mi) of public highway in 2007, of which 364 km (226 mi) was part of the federal interstate highway system. There were 3 airports in the state in 2009, many of which were private airfields. The largest airport is in Manchester, although none of the state airports are considered busy by national standards. "New Hampshire" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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