Family Summer Road Trip: ATVing and White Water Rafting in NH’s Grand North

Every summer we take a family vacation but the challenge is trying to find a place to go with two active boys ages 19 and 20 who want high adrenaline pumping activities.  This summer, we decided to go up to Northern New Hampshire. Here is a recap of our days adventuring in Northern NH.

ATVing with NorthEast ATV Rentals in Gorham, NH

My boys were in the single ATV’s while my wife and I paired up into a double with me driving of course.  This was the highlight of the trip for my boys.  We had two hours of fun ripping through miles of trails in the park.  It’s was a great family activity as we sped through mud and puddles, down step trails, pits and the best part is we did not have to go with a guide.  We were on our own tearing it up out there.  A definite must do on your next adventure trip.

ATVing in Gorham NH
ATVing in Gorham NH

That night we headed to Sunday River Resort – our home for the next three days with gorgeous views of the mountains. One of the best parts of staying at Sunday River was the breakfast that was included and Chef Frank was fantastic especially with his made to order omelets.

White Water Rafting with Raft NH in Errol, NH

We got up early Friday to drive about 50 minutes to Errol, NH to Raft NH for our trip down the Rapid River for our white water rafting excursion.  Another highlight of the trip going down the Rapid River – a couple mile stretch of Class IV rapids and the beauty of the wilderness the surrounded us.

We saw a couple of bald eagles during the trip and a deer along the water’s edge.  The Rapid River only runs several times each summer because it is dam released which is one of the reasons why we choose it.  Another unique feature about the trip is that there is no take out at the end of the river because it feeds into a lake.  At the end of our trip, the owner Neil met us with the pontoon boat and took us on a nice 20 minute cruise across the lake.  When we got back to the base we had a great catered lunch of sausage and peppers, baked beans, pasta salad and cookies.  The staff was awesome and so was our guide Andy who did a great job providing us with great thrills and memories of our trip down the Rapid River.

When got back to our hotel we had dinner and decided to go to a movie at the Gem Theater in Bethel, ME.  This is a great little theater that should be stop on your trip if you are in Bethel.

Repelling Down Cloudland Falls, Franconia Notch NH with north ridge mountain guides

We got up Saturday to begin our hour drive Franconia Notch to hike up Mt. Lafayette in the White Mountain National Forest to repel down Cloudland Falls.  We met our guide Jamie in the parking lot and hiked about a mile and half passing smaller falls along the way.  Once we reached our destination Jamie set up the ropes and gave us a demonstration and instructions.  We all repelled twice down the falls and it was something I will never forget.

Repelling down a waterfall in Franconia Notch area
Repelling down a waterfall in Franconia Notch area

The rush of repelling down a waterfall often time with many hikers stopping to watch was a once in a lifetime experience. Surrounded by the beauty of the falls and the forest around us, my adrenaline was pumping so much I hardly noticed how chilly the water was until I reached the bottom of the falls.  This is something I would highly recommend for the adventurer out there.

After hiking back down we drove to Woodstock, NH and grabbed some food before heading back to the resort.  We also came to find out that Saturday was a big day in Bethel as they celebrated the Mollyocket races and festival which has been going on for 50 years.  While we missed the events during the day we did make it back in time for the spectacular fireworks display behind the Bethel Inn. Ironically the one reason we decided to stay at Sunday River was because of the mountain biking there, but because we had to leave fairly early Sunday to catch our ferry we ran out of days to go mountain biking.  Oh well I guess we will put that on the list for next year!  We had an amazing action packed week long adventure vacation!