Tall Timber Lodge & the Rainbow Grille Equal the Perfect Winter Getaway

Considering a winter getaway? The Rainbow Grille & Tavern and Tall Timber Lodge on the north shore of Back Lake in Pittsburg, are a winning combination.

The longtime hunting and fishing lodge offers comfortable accommodations in its cabins and rooms for visitors who come for the excellent snowmobiling and other winter sports in the region, as well as those who just want to kick back and spend time away from home in a relaxing atmosphere.

After a day of play in the snow or curled up in your cabin with a good book, enjoy beautifully prepared game meats such as bison, elk or venison, sushi grade ahi tuna, Maine seafood, and Certified Angus Beef™ in the Rainbow Grille & Tavern’s main dining room, or nosh on more casual fare in the Tavern, like soups, salads, sandwiches and chili.

Tall Timber’s popular Snowmobile Escape Midweek Dining Package  — available during the month of March — is all inclusive and includes accommodations for two in a cabin with fireplace and Jacuzzi, a nightly three-course dinner for two in the Rainbow Grille, and daily snowmobile rentals. Options include a two-night stay Sunday through Thursday with one two-person snowmobile or a two-night stay Sunday through Thursday with two two-person snowmobiles.

Other packages, like the Senior Midweek, Spa Treatment, Adventure, and Fly Fishing Schools, are available during the warm weather months. Full details are available at

www.talltimber.com.

How Sweet It Is! Maple Season Gets Underway in Northern New Hampshire

Get ready to sweeten your visit to the northern reaches of New Hampshire in March and early April. During this time of year, warm sunny days and freezing nights signal the sap to flow in our sugar maple trees.

 Throughout the region, sap is collected in a run that lasts for about six weeks. In times past, buckets were affixed to taps on trees to collect the sap, but the 21st century method for most producers involves miles of tubing that run through the sugar bush. Once the sap is collected, steam rises from sugarhouses as the sap is boiled down into flavorful maple syrup.

An early spring weekend is a perfect time for a sweet getaway. Visit these sugarhouses to take a walk through a sugarbush, see a tree being tapped, watch maple syrup being made, taste the delicious syrup (always our favorite part!), and linger in the sugarhouse, taking in the sweet maple fragrance as the sap is reduced to syrup. And don’t forget to take home some of that delicious goodness to enliven your pancakes and waffles and other recipes!

Fuller’s Sugarhouse

At Fuller’s Sugarhouse (www.FullersSugarhouse.com), maple syrup has been a family tradition since 1972. When the maple season begins, the family’s sugarhouse at 2021White Mountain Highway (Route 2) in Jefferson welcomes visitors to watch the process and taste some of the sweet syrup.

Fuller’s taps more than 26,000 trees and boils half a million gallons of maple sap to produce 11,000 gallons of syrup! During Maple Weekend, March 23 and 24, visit the sugarhouse for tours, watch the sap being boiled into syrup, indulge in some sugar-on-snow — a taste treat not to be missed — and enjoy the camaraderie of other like-minded maple aficionados.

Throughout March, visitors will receive 10 percent off Fuller’s pure maple products at the sugarhouse in Jefferson, at their Country Store in Lancaster, and online.

Fuller’s Maple Choice Award: New this year — share your favorite recipe that includes Fuller’s pure maple products and you could win a Fuller’s maple prize. Submissions accepted through March 17, followed by voting online and at both Fuller’s Sugarhouse locations. Gets all the details here.

The Rocks Maple Experience

The Maple Experience at The Rocks Estate (www.TheRocks.org) in Bethlehem is a hands-on experience with an array of activities to help visitors understand the history of maple sugaring and how maple syrup is made. Learn how to identify sugar maple trees, take a horse drawn-wagon ride around the beautiful estate, tap a tree yourself to collect the sap, visit the maple museum, and take a tractor-drawn ride to the sugarhouse to watch the process of sap being boiled down into syrup. The maple tastings include fresh donuts! Maple syrup made from sap gathered at The Rocks is available for purchase.

Maple tours are offered March 23, 24, 30 and 31, and April 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The cost is $15 for adults and $12 for kids. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (603) 444-6228.

8th Annual Maple Dinner: For an extra sweet treat, reserve your seat for the 8th Annual Maple Dinner on April 6, to be held at The Maplewood Country Club in Bethlehem. Catered by Chef Joe’s, the dinner is a fundraiser for The Rocks Fire Fund (The Rocks recently lost its main barn in a devastating fire). The delicious dinner features a variety of maple-themed dishes. Tickets for previous dinners have sold out quickly, so don’t wait to reserve your spot. Call (603) 444-6228 or email [email protected].

The Rocks Estate is the North Country Conservation and Education Center of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. www.forestsociety.org

How to Hike in the Winter

By: Duncan McKee
GoAllOutdoors.com

How to Hike in the winter


Cold weather can be a huge deterrent to taking a hike in the winter months. This should not be the case, however. Winter offers some of the most spectacular and jaw dropping views that cannot be seen when it is sunny and 75°. When it is cold, however, different precautions are required to make sure you and your group have a safe and enjoyable experience. These are some tips on how to hike in the winter. This is not a comprehensive list, but a set of good practices to get you out to enjoy winter the right way! Before you look at this list, make sure to check our list of essentials for every hiking trip, then you can add these winter tips!

1. Dress in layers

How to Hike in the winter - Dress in layers

This may come as the most obvious one, but dressing warmly is the first step in a successful hiking trip. Your body will eventually start to generate heat while you hike, but being prepared with a well-structured ensemble is essential. Every good winter hiking outfit has 3 essential layers:

  • Base Layer
  • Insulator
  • Shell

The base layer is for moisture wicking and the first layer of defense for your body. The insulator will be the main thing holding in your body heat, often this is a fleece or some other soft shell jacket. The shell is the water proof outer covering of your body. This is going to keep any type of moisture (and ideally wind) from getting on your clothes and making things much colder for you. Another huge benefit for dressing in layers is that if you get too warm, it is easy to shed a layer or two.

Pro Tip: Avoid cotton. Once cotton gets wet it completely loses its ability to insulate and will take a long time to dry on the trail. Synthetic layers will be moisture-wicking and quick drying. Also, make sure that your shell is also wind resistant. Cold weather can feel a lot colder when there is wind chill involved.

2. Eat all day

How to Hike in the winter - Eat All Day

It is important to eat in cold weather. Your body is burning up to twice as many calories trying to keep you warm. Feeding yourself high protein snacks during your entire trip will help keep you warm and safe. Bring simple, easy to digest snacks with little to no prep required. Stopping for long periods of time will cause your muscles to tighten and it will be challenging for you to get moving again. Trail mixes with lots of nuts are the perfect thing to keep with you during your cold adventures.

3. Drink water

How to Hike in the winter - Drink Water

It may not be hot and you may feel like you are not sweating much, but it is still very important to remain hydrated on your hike. It may sound silly, but it is actually easier to experience dehydration in the colder weather due to the dryer air. Dehydration is especially dangerous because when it occurs, it is easier to experience hypothermia and frostbite. Try an insulated water bottle to keep your water from freezing. If you do not have an insulated water bottle and do not want to invest in one, try insulating it yourself with a thick sock or wool hat.

4. Hike during the heat of the day

How to Hike in the winter - Drink Water

Normally when going on a hike, you want to mostly avoid when the sun is at its peak. It can be grueling and dangerous depending on where you are. For winter hiking, however, it is exactly opposite. Hiking in the winter means that you want to plan your time around getting the most time in the sun as possible. This is going to be more comfortable for you, for warmth and for light.

Pro Tip: Make sure to know when sunset is. If you start a 5 hour hike at noon, it is possible you will be arriving back to your car at dark. This is also important for any winter backpackers. Planning your days according to the sunrise and sunset will be very important.

5. Understand the signs of hypothermia

How to Hike in the winter - Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a real threat in any cold situation. It can sneak up on you if you are not careful. Hypothermia occurs when the core body temperature becomes lower enough that it begins to interfere with normal muscle and brain function. It can affect your ability to get to safety and think clearly.

Some things that lead to hypothermia include:

  • Inadequate clothing for cooler weather
  • Wetness
  • Fatigue and exhaustion.

Some signs of hypothermia are:

  • Uncontrollable shaking and shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Lethargy

If you think you are someone else may be experiencing hypothermia, do everything you can to make them warm and find help as soon as possible. Read more about hypothermia here.

Optional, But Suggested Tips

Here are a few good ideas to adhere to that will definitely improve your experience. While not necessarily required, these tips will improve your safety and enjoyment on any good winter escapade. Consider them as you pack for your trip.

Crampons or Micro Spikes

Crampons and Micro Spikes are tools that can drastically change your adventure from slippery icy danger to an attainable trail. Both tools are used to improve your traction in icy environments. However, they cannot be used lightly. Crampons especially can be very dangerous if used incorrectly. Typically, if you are going on a more moderate trail, high-traction hiking boots may be enough. Micro Spikes are added for additional traction if you know your trail will be especially icy. Crampons are usually for more serious ice inclines or mountaineering. If you think you will need additional traction, learn more about these two options and pick what is best for you.

Bring a warm drink

Nothing can help warm the body like a little hot tea or cocoa. Bringing a well-insulated bottle full of a warm drink can really help you warm up if things start to get especially cold. It also is a tasty addition to any gear load out. This should go without saying – but leave the alcohol at home. Alcohol can cause arteries and veins to expand, releasing more heat, and can lead to hypothermia more quickly. There will be plenty of time for a celebratory drink once you are safe and sound in a warm building.

Hand/Toe Warmers

There are hand and toe warmers that resemble tea bags that can be bought at many major retailers. These small packs, once exposed to open air, will begin to heat up and can be really nice for hands and toes. I hesitate to suggest these only because you CANNOT rely on them. While they will improve your comfort temporarily, these cannot be one of your main sources of warmth. They run out. Make sure to dress warmly enough that if you did not have the hand warmers, you would still have a fun and comfortable journey. These are just nice little additions to your pack.

Best Spots to See the Leaves

During October, people come from all over the world to watch Mother Nature unfurl her colors in northern New Hampshire, with color peaking from north to south over a several week period. Peak foliage is the point at which the color of the leaves is the brightest. This year, peak color is expected over Columbus Day weekend, although there will still be plenty of color to see in the following couple of weeks.

Here are some suggested drives that will help you see the best and brightest colors the region will be showing off.

Tall Timber Lodge

Around the Connecticut Lakes: Take Route 3 north from Pittsburg, past Lake Francis and the three Connecticut Lakes right up to the Canadian border. The colorful maple trees provide a stunning contrast with the evergreens — and you might even see a moose or two during your travels! The Rainbow Grille is a great spot to stop for a bite to eat.

Foliage Loop: This road trip winds its way from Groveton to Stark along Route 110 east, where you’ll want to stop and take some photos of the famous Stark Covered Bridge over the Ammonoosuc River and the nearby church. Admire the colorful countryside as you motor into Berlin and then head north on Route 16 alongside the Androscoggin River, through 13 Mile Woods and the towns of Milan and Errol. In Errol, pick up Route 26 and head west to the dramatic and soaring cliffs of Dixville Notch and plenty of chances to see stunning displays of fall foliage. Continue on Route 26 to Colebrook and a stop at the Colebrook Country Club & Hotel for an afternoon cocktail or overnight accommodations before turning south and returning to Groveton on Route 3.

Route 2 & the Presidential Range: Route 2 between Lancaster and Gorham is a short ride with jaw-dropping vistas of both the Kilkenny Range and the Presidential Range of the White Mountains, with the peaks named after presidents, including Washington, Adams, Madison, and Jefferson. There are several pull-offs along the way to admire the views and take photographs. In Gorham, take a side trip on the Mount Washington Auto Road to the top of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast. Expansive views and the possibility of snow on the mountains and color in the valleys is something you won’t forget. Back on the valley floor, head to White Mountain Café & Bookstore  in Gorham for good eats and a variety of coffees and teas.

Cog Railway

Twin Mountain & Crawford Notch: Head north from Franconia Notch on Route 3 to Twin Mountain. At the lights in Twin Mountain, head east on Route 302 to Bretton Woods and Crawford Notch for some spectacular viewing of the changing landscape. For an incomparable fall foliage experience, consider a stop at the Bretton Woods Adventure Center for the Canopy Tour and soar through the treetops, or book a ride on the Mount Washington Cog Railway  and travel in style to the summit of Mount Washington. The AMC Highland Center at the head of Crawford Notch is perfectly positioned for dramatic views of the landscape and is also a welcoming spot for a refreshment break or an overnight stay.

Fall in Love with Northern New Hampshire This Autumn

Colorful Foliage & Outstanding Attractions Are A Winning Combination

Mountain View Grand

Visitors arrive from all over the world to view New Hampshire’s brilliant fall foliage. In the northern part of the Granite State peak foliage, the point at which the color of the leaves is the brightest, generally happens between mid-September and mid-October, from north to south.

“The fall months are some of our prettiest, as the landscape changes hues right before our eyes in a kaleidoscope of reds, golds and oranges,” says Katelyn White, Marketing Manager for New Hampshire Grand. “The cooler days of autumn encourage visitors to spend time outdoors, and the crisp fall nights are perfect for snuggling up at your hotel, motel or inn under a warm blanket with a cup of hot cocoa near at hand. And while many fall visitors are here to see the spectacular foliage display, we have plenty of other appealing attractions that suit a variety of tastes, from the active adventurer to the couple on a romantic getaway to families travelling with children. You’ll find dining and lodging options, along with dozens of suggested activities and itineraries on our website at www.nhgrand.com.

For those joining us over the next few weeks, we’ve put together some suggested ideas featuring several of our most outstanding attractions to help you see the best and brightest colors the region will be showing off.

An invigorating fall hike along any trail in the White Mountains will put you in touch with nature and reveal ever more gorgeous views as you climb to the top, where you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of a landscape overflowing with spectacular autumn color. Check in with the staff at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center in Bretton Woods for everything you need to plan a day hike or overnight trek. The knowledgeable staff can advise you on hikes for varying abilities, the types of gear needed and how the weather forecast will impact your plans. Comfortable lodging and home-cooked meals are available at the Highland Center, or plan to spend a night or more at one of the AMC’s High Huts, which are situated a day’s hike apart across the White Mountains. Several offer full service through October 21, while several others are self-service through the end of the year.

Mt Washington Auto Road

America’s Oldest Manmade Tourist Attraction — the Mount Washington Auto Road  — and the world’s first Mountain Climbing Cog Railway — the Mount Washington Cog Railway — are located on opposite sides of Mount Washington, the Northeast’s highest peak at 6,288 feet. Expect plenty of jaw-dropping beauty during your excursion up the mountain and a panoramic view that stretches for miles and miles once you reach the mountain’s summit.

The Mount Washington Auto Road offers guided tours in comfortable vans with experienced drivers who entertain passengers with the history and lore of the mountain. Visitors may also drive their own cars or hike to the summit. The Mt. Washington Auto Road is open daily until late October. The Auto Road also ferries passengers to tree line during winter months aboard a specially outfitted Snow Coach.

Cog Railway

As you board The Mount Washington Cog Railway you step back in history — the first passengers made the trip in 1869. During the spectacular climb up a three-mile-long raised track to the summit, the brakemen provide lively commentary about the many points of interest, the incredible history of the railway, and the various climate zones you travel through on your journey to the summit. Choose to ride in an old fashioned steam-powered train or one of the new, environmentally friendly bio-diesel trains.

Once you reach the summit by Auto Road or Cog Railway, check out the Mount Washington Weather Observatory’s Extreme Mount Washington exhibit with hands-on displays to help you understand why the mountain is known as the home of the “world’s worst weather.”

NH_Grand_Attractions_Santa's_Village

Open weekends this fall through October 8, and then again on October 21 and 28 for its spooky, silly Halloween extravaganza, Santa’s Village is everyone’s favorite Christmas theme park. Take a break from leaf peeping and treat the kids to a day at this outstanding park. Kids love to visit with Santa and his elves, feed the reindeer, and enjoy unlimited rides on amusements like the Skyway Sleigh monorail, Rudy’s Rapid Transit Rollercoaster, and the Reindeer Carousel. If the day is hot, cool off at the Ho, Ho, H2O Water Park. Santa’s Village is also specially decorated and open select days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Omni Mt Washington

The historic Mount Washington Resort has innumerable activities, plus extravagant views of the mountains and their amazing foliage display. Begin your day with an exhilarating flight through the treetops on the three-hour Bretton Woods Canopy Tour , which takes visitors across zip lines, sky bridges, and sturdy platforms for a truly amazing tree top adventure that includes incomparable views of the Presidential Range of the White Mountains. Or choose from one of the Bretton Woods Adventure Center’s  many other activities like the Williwaw Racing Zip, mountain biking, indoor rock climbing, disc golf, a kids’ ATV park, archery, and guided tours. The Donald Ross-designed 18-hole golf course, horseback riding, and an award-winning spa are also favorites of visitors to the resort, which offers luxury accommodations and fine and casual dining.

NH Division of Travel and Tourism Development Expecting All-time Highs for Visitation and Spending This Fall

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT:
Kris Neilsen, Communications Manager
NH Division of Travel and Tourism Development
Phone: (603) 271-2665 Cell: (603) 545-4840
Email: [email protected]

Twitter: VisitNH
Facebook: VisitNH
Instagram: VisitNH
URL: www.visitnh.gov

NH Division of Travel and Tourism Development Expecting All-time Highs for Visitation and Spending This Fall

DTTD unveils new blog, fall marketing campaign and fall tourism projections during special event at Brookdale Fruit Farm

Hollis, NH – On the heels of a robust summer travel season, the Granite State is readying for what New Hampshire tourism officials expect to be a record-breaking fall season. The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development (DTTD) is projecting 3 million out-of-state, overnight visitors will spend $1.4 billion in New Hampshire this fall, marking a 4.5-percent increase for visitors and a 5-percent increase for spending. DTTD announced fall travel projections during a special event today at Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis.

“As the second-largest travel season in New Hampshire, representing about 25-percent of New Hampshire’s total annual visitation, the fall season plays a critical economic role in driving spending that supports a variety of businesses statewide,” said Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs. “New Hampshire’s four-percent increase in market share in Boston, and a 17-percent increase in the New York designated market area, reinforces the Granite State’s appeal as a travel destination.”

DTTD has launched a new blog on visitnh.gov featuring custom content three times a week that highlights things to see and do and the interesting people that call the state home. Examples include the beauty of the Swift River, fall-themed family activities and a 10-stop, two-day road trip.

During the event today at Brookdale Fruit Farm, DTTD unveiled its fall marketing campaign, which features fall activities, including hiking, foliage viewing, agritourism, dining, and shopping. This fall, DTTD aims to support and drive visitation though targeted digital and social media channels, as well as traditional channels, aimed at audiences throughout New England and New York, and markets in Toronto and Montreal.

“The Division is tireless in its efforts to reinforce that the Granite State is the Northeast’s premier travel destination,” said Victoria Cimino, director of the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development. “The new blog on visitnh.gov is a perfect example of that continuous evolution, offering fresh, new content from authentic, New Hampshire insiders.”

Scenic drives and outdoor recreation are among the most popular activities during the fall season, while visiting attractions, college homecomings, fairs and festivals, shopping, and visits to friends and relatives remain favorite fall activities. The Granite State’s fall season draws the largest percentage of visitors from outside New England.

In addition to foliage viewing, New Hampshire offers an array of fall activities, events and destinations, including:

Stay connected with New Hampshire tourism on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube, and be sure to follow the #livefreeNH tag to see what other people are saying about fall in New Hampshire.

NH DTTD

Caption: The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development (DTTD) announced fall travel projections during a special event today at Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis. DTTD is projecting 3 million out-of-state, overnight visitors will spend $1.4 billion in New Hampshire this fall, marking a 4.5-percent increase for visitors and a 5-percent increase for spending. Pictured here, from top to bottom, Victoria Cimino, director, New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development; Shawn Jasper, commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food (left); Taylor Caswell, commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs (right); and Cameron Hardy of Brookdale Fruit Farm.

Taylor Caswell

Caption: During a special event today kicking off the fall tourism season at Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis, the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development (DTTD) announced it is expecting 3 million out-of-state, overnight visitors will spend $1.4 billion in New Hampshire this fall. Pictured here, Taylor Caswell, commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs, addresses the crowd as Shawn Jasper, commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, looks on.

Visit NH Fall Preview

Caption: Along with announcing its projections for the fall tourism season, the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development (DTTD) unveiled its fall marketing campaign and a new blog on www.visitnh.gov, featuring custom content three times a week that highlights things to see and do and the interesting people that call the state home. Pictured here, Victoria Cimino, director, New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development, addresses the crowd during a special event today at Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis kicking off the fall tourism season. 

ABOUT THE DIVISION OF TRAVEL AND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT
The Division of Travel and Tourism Development, as part of the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs, works with the state’s seven travel regions to increase visitation, travel and visitor expenditures in order to expand business activity and employment throughout the state. The division is responsible for domestic and international advertising and public relations, literature publication and distribution, www.visitnh.gov administration, grant administration and research to monitor and measure the impact of travel and tourism to the state. For more information about New Hampshire tourism, call 603-271-2665 or visit www.visitnh.gov.

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Trail Running Like a Local in New Hampshire’s Grand North

Trail Running Blog
Photo Credit: Joe Klementovich

As a local runner, I’m often asked about good running routes or trails.  I have a variety of favorite running sequences that mostly fulfill mileage goals set by a predetermined training schedule.  Mornings are easy.  I lace up my sneakers, walk out my front door, start my GPS watch, and run.  These routes are not publically signed or considered part of a local asset; they are simply a selection of roads and loops that are available to anyone, but unknown to most.  I have come to realize that this area is really just open to whatever your days’ goals are.  It’s not necessary to seek designated running areas to find flow and ease of travel.  Any runner is able to start from any place, and come away with a special experience without much premeditation.

With this said, there are a few public trails that are worth noting, and should be at the top of your must-run list.  Here they are:

  • Monadnock Mountain, Lemington, VT:  This is a hiking trail that summits Monadnock Mountain (not southern, NH — think Northeast Kingdom).  This trail is approximately 2.25 miles to the peak with 2,075 feet of elevation gain.  Your reward for running this well-maintained, rocky trail to the top is a fire tower view, which provides 360 degree display of the Connecticut River valley, the bordering states of New Hampshire and Maine, and points north into Canada.  The trail head is located in a gravel pit just north of the Bridge Street Bridge, on VT Route 102.
  • The Rail Trail, Colebrook, NH:  The rail trail is a reclaimed rail bed that may be accessed from multiple points along Route 3 traveling north from Colebrook.  Its starting point is located just off Bridge Street near the River Walk, with eight miles of trail stretching from Colebrook to West Stewartstown.  While this gravel trail wins points for accessibility and its appropriateness for all ability levels, it is shared with all modes of recreation, and the lack of variety can make this flat course a bit uninteresting.  The bright spot of this trail is the river valley feel, and the farming roads that spur off into the fields and other areas.
  • The Cohos Trail, Stewartstown, NH:  This section of Cohos trail is perfect for off-the grid trail running.  Escape into the woods and experience a variety of grassy and gravel terrain that will challenge you with a subtle ascent of just over 800 feet.  Starting at campsite 11 at Coleman State Park, follow the mowed trail and the yellow hash marks along the Cohos Trail, which merges with the snowmobile trail.  This trail connects with Rusty’s Road, at which point you will take a right where the grassy trail intersects with the well-worn ATV trail.  Descend Rusty’s Road, and turn right at the pavement onto Diamond Pond Road, bringing you back to Coleman State Park.
  • Table Rock and Sanguinary Ridge Trail, Dixville Notch, NH:  Table Rock is an iconic hiking location and is well-known to many.  In my opinion, the real magic happens when you ascend Table Rock by accessing the short, steep scramble that starts just east of the Balsams Resort entrance (trailhead is signed).  After testing your mental fortitude by walking out on the ledge and taking in the notch view from Table Rock, continue to Three Brother’s Trail along the Cohos Trail.  This gradual descent showcases waterfalls, shear ledges, and mossy terrain.  Once you’ve arrived at the Dixville Wayside State Park, look for the cemetery of the early settlers.  Here you will see markings for the Cohos Trail that will lead you across Route 26 to the Sanguinary Ridge Trail where you will start a second climb.  There will be a number of lookouts along the way, and the real treat is the shale covered face that transports you from the wilderness experience to something completely different.  Sanguinary Ridge Trail will bring you back to the hotel entrance, where you started.

~ Contributed by Bridget C.G. Freudenberger

Ecotourism is Trending in New Hampshire’s Grand North

NH_Grand_Agritourism_Meadowstone_Farm

Looking for a different kind of adventure this summer? What says summer better than returning home with fond memories of your northern New Hampshire vacation, along with a bounty of yummy, just-off-the-vine tomatoes, ears of freshly picked corn, crisp lettuces, a couple of juicy watermelons, eggs laid that morning, humanely raised beef, pork and lamb, and sweet maple syrup?

The expanding trend of ecotourism is alive and well throughout the region with farmers markets, farm stands, and farms themselves enticing visitors to include these destinations on their itinerary when making their weekend or vacation plans.

 

Meadowstone FarmThe owners and staff at Meadowstone Farm in Bethlehem, love to share all the ins and outs of the operation with visitors. The farm produces an incredible variety of fruits and vegetables, along with pork, eggs, chicken, goat cheese, seedlings, and even compost. Meadowstone also has PYO blueberries, from mid July-mid August, and flowers (swoon, swoon!), from mid July-mid September. Meadowstone’s farmstand is open year round from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

Littleton Farmers Market One of the best of its kind, the Littleton Farmers’ Market is located in downtown Littleton, right on the banks of the Ammonoosuc River and the town’s famous covered bridge. Grassy areas, trees and the burbling river make this an ideal spot even on the hottest day to browse the stalls offering everything from locally grown fruits and veggies, pasture-raised pork, beef, and chicken, goat cheeses, breads, gluten-free goodies, maple products, prepared foods, and lots and lots of wonderful crafts, from jewelry to wood products to homespun wool! Different musical groups each week add to the market’s festive flair. Open Sundays from June to October, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

Apple Haven FarmKids — and their parents — will enjoy the free farm tour at Apple Haven Farm in West Stewartstown. Tour the lush gardens and learn what it takes to grow certified organic vegetables, herbs and a variety of fruits including (of course!) apples. Because of its location — the farm is just a hop, skip and a jump to Canada — the farm employs heated greenhouses and high tunnels to bring its produce to harvest and extend the growing season. Apple Haven also sells its products at North Country Marketplace on Main Street in Colebrook.

 

 

NH_Grand_Agritourism_Ecovillage_InstituteCite Ecologique of NH Ecovillage in Colebrook, is a creative learning center with a focus on sustainability. The community welcomes visitors from May through October to experience life on a large working farm and participate in a variety of workshops. The organic farm is set on 315 acres surrounded by mountains and forests. Outstanding gardens, greenhouses, a chicken coop, 500 logs of shiitake, solar installations, a sugar shack and trails lend themselves to many opportunities to learn what a sustainable future might look like. Seminars and weekend workshops are designed to give participants practical skills for building more balanced lives.

 

CJEJ Farm“As Local As It Gets” is the slogan of CJEJ Farm / The MeatHouse in Columbia, a family farm that specializes in locally grown, quality meats. Visit The MeatHouse farm store to purchase the farm’s own eggs, beef, pork, chicken, turkey and goat. This farm uses crop rotation and grows its own grain to reduce feed costs, increase yield and improve its soil, and the owners are happy to answer visitors’ questions about their lively operation. The farm sells its products at farmers markets in Gorham, Bethlehem, and Lancaster, and also offers custom processing and deer processing.

 

 

The country store at the family-owned Fuller’s Sugarhouse in Lancaster, is a must stop destination. The shelves are stocked with pure New Hampshire maple syrup in all its forms. Fuller’s award-winning syrup is packaged in beautiful glass bottles or the more traditional jugs, and their maple candy, maple cream (butter), and maple sugar are all made-on-the-premises — a sweet treat any time of year! Can’t make it into the store? Fuller’s ships its products worldwide.

 

 

 

NH_Grand_The_Rocks_EstateDazzling views of the majestic White Mountains, rolling fields studded with row upon row of future Christmas trees, and a well-maintained trail system perfect for short strolls or longer hikes are reason enough to visit the historic Rocks Estate in Bethlehem, but did you know that the 1,400 acre property is the conservation and education center for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests? Dozens of programs and experiential tours are offered throughout the year. Visitors can learn about the conservation of wildlife habitats and the plants and animals found on and around the property, how the Christmas trees are grown, and how maple syrup is made. Many visitors plan a trip to The Rocks in the fall to choose their holiday tree — cut your own or choose from a selection of just cut trees. On March weekends, The Rocks hosts its popular NH Maple Experience, with tours, tastings and more. From June 1 through Columbus Day, consider a self-guided tour of the New Hampshire Maple Experience museum that includes a video demonstration of maple sugaring and a fascinating display of maple sugaring tools and artifacts. The Rocks’ delicious New Hampshire maple syrup and other maple products, as well as Christmas trees and wreaths, can also be ordered directly from the online store.

 

Mountain View Farm The Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa  in Whitefield, has catered to guests since the end of the Civil War when it was a working farm. Now, more than 150 years later, the resort holds fast to its agricultural roots with an orchard, greenhouse, gardens, and farm animals. Guest can get up close and personal to the farm animals at the Mountain View Farm, where fiber collected from the farm’s flock of sheep is spun into Mountain View Farm Blend yarn, which also includes fiber from the farm’s Angora goats, alpacas, llamas and Angora rabbits. Resort activities include year-round Meet the Farmer educational tours where guests can meet the farmer and the farm’s animals, and Bird (ducks and chickens) and Bunny Talks, which focus on the needs and care of these animals. Seasonally, guests are invited to help make cider on the Resort’s own cider press or learn how maple syrup is made, including tastings. Guests can learn a new craft by taking a needle or wet felting class at the fiber studio, using fibers from the farm’s animals and take home a wonderful souvenir of their visit.

 

 

 

 

Mountain Biking Like a Local in the North Country

Mountain Biking

The Whites are well known for summer hiking. But sometimes it’s nice to step out of line and trade in your hiking boots, pump some adrenaline, and ride. Mountain biking is still fairly new in the North Country, which means the trails are generally quiet, even on peak weekends.

PRKR Mountain TrailsParker Mountain Trails, known as PRKR MTN, serves up 22-miles of consistently challenging riding. A hand-built network in Littleton, NH, PRKR MTN trails will leave you sweaty, humble, and drenched in accomplishment. Every time I step away from PRKR my legs (and ego) are lined with bruises, yet my heart screams bring it on! Each ride makes me more technically proficient, and the view from Linda’s Lookout is worth every inch of the climb. PRKR is also working to expand its beginner network, and has a new pump track that’s a fun challenge for the whole family. The Littleton Bike Shop is right down the street, and no ride is complete without a visit to Schilling Beer Company, the brewery that put Littleton on the map.

Mountain Biking in Bethlehem

New to the mountain biking scene this year is Bethlehem Trails Association (BTA), just next door to PRKR MTN. While BTA is less than a year old, it’s already in the process of developing and mapping a few trails for the 2018 season. BTA intends to offer a bit of everything from double track with mountain views to entice beginners and families to single track switchbacks weaving up and around the many mountain peaks central to downtown. With Rek’-lis Brewing Company, the Colonial Theatre, and a number of local shops and restaurants right in BTA’s backyard, Bethlehem will soon be a fantastic place to ride, sip craft beer, and fill up on dinner and live music without having to so much as move your car from its parking spot!

Last, but certainly not least, no mountain biking tour of the northeast would be complete without a trip to Kingdom Trails in East Burke, VT. Kingdom is where the crowds are, but they gather for a reason. Downhill flow trails like Kitchel and Troll Stroll leave you giddy like a child hopped up on birthday cake, and the ridgelines looking out over layers of rolling farmland make every ascent (even the one up Darling Hill) worth the tears. Set aside time to soak in the view from Heaven’s Bench, and be sure to kick back post-ride at Mike’s Tiki Bar with nourishment from neighboring food trucks.

The North Country isn’t just for hiking anymore! See you on the trails!

Mountain Biking

-Kelly McCann

North Country transplant and BTA board member

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”

The Mount Washington Cog RailwayThe majesty and allure of Mount Washington hovers in the distance like a carrot on a rope. Being the tallest peak in the northeast, I know that getting to the summit of the mountain would offer amazing views for any family or visitor that would leave them saying “wow!”.

Of course, being able to Explore Mount Washington in a way for the entire family to enjoy and appreciate presents a list of different experiences and opportunities to take in the beautiful views, enjoy the wildlife and really get a experience and memorable journey to heights that offer supreme viewing angles of up to 5 states and into Canada!

A HISTORIC VOYAGE TO THE MOON

Topping the list is the premiere way to visit and experience Mount Washington; the Mount Washington Cog Railway. A three hour roundtrip to the top and back on a beautiful steam or biodiesel train all the while having a guided narration? Count us in! And of course it’s entirely stress free and you can really take the vistas and surroundings in and not have to worry about anything else!

The Mount Washington Cog Railway starts at Marshfield Station in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Enclosed in Marshfield Station is a free interactive museum about the history of the Mount Washington Cog Railway and a great gift shop offering the perfect souvenirs to remember the visit by; even if you don’t ride the train!

The Mount Washington Cog Railway offers two types of locomotives to bring you to the summit of Mount Washington. Take a ride in the historic steam locomotives and feel like you’ve been teleported right back to the late 1800s! The smell of the coal and the chugging of the train will make anyone feel like they’re taking the first steps in exploring Mount Washington and being a part of living history!

Also available are the modern, eco-friendly & high-tech biodiesel locomotives. Offering a faster and cleaner way to the summit, these John Deere powered locomotives show that the future and the past can combine to create an experience that will dazzle everyone of all ages!

Voyaging to the summit of Mount Washington by train is an amazing experience in itself also; taking approximately one hour to reach the summit, you’ll experience views and sights all along the way to the top, all the while, a brakeman offers an educational and exciting narration to make sure you won’t miss a single thing!

Once you’re at the summit of Mount Washington you can enjoy the various exhibits and gift shops along with the fascinating weather and ecosystem that Mount Washington itself presents to its guests! There’s even a post office that you can send a postcard out of that has a unique postmark showing it’s point of departure!

A FORESTS STROLL

The other option to ascend Mount Washington, either in full or even for a nice stroll in the woods, is the myriad of hiking options available on Mount Washington. The Jewell Trail and the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail offer sights to behold to explorers willing to ascend up Mount Washington. Averaging around 6 hours one way, the trails wind and curve throughout beautiful lush forests and waterfalls graze the trails reminding one of like a hidden jewel in the forest.

The hikes are extremely difficult and require full preparedness to make it up to the summit, but day trippers or folks who want to even just take a quick jaunt up the trails to see some of the sights can have an everlasting impression and a thirst for more sights offered right off the beaten path in the White Mountain National Forest! The Jewell Trail, which is the easier of the two, is a great entry trail for hiking Mount Washington and picks up right at the Mount Washington Cog Railway. Coming in at 5.1 miles, the beginning of the trail offers rest spots with scenic views, rushing streams of water and plenty of opportunities to see wildlife! But make sure you’re prepared!

If you’re a seasoned hiker looking for your next challenge, then Mount Washington is the perfect mountain for your New Hampshire voyages. The highest peak in the northeast, the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail is 4.5 miles to the summit with a fairly easy grade for the first 2 miles before ramping up. But the reward for this daunting hike is worth it with many waterfalls and scenic overlooks of the Presidential Mountain Range of New Hampshire. A one-way trip is also offered to seasoned hikers who wish to either hike up or down the mountain and take a train ride right back to the parking lots. The best of both worlds!

Parking and trailheads are located on the east side of Mount Washington right at Marshfield Station at the Mount Washington Cog Railway. Before you enjoy your hike either up the Jewell or the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trails you can enjoy a nice breakfast bite at Peppersass Restaurant, get trail maps and essentials supplies at the Gift Shop or even enjoy the busy train operations. From there you can get right onto the two main hiking trails and start your exploration.

No matter which method you choose to Explore Mount Washington, you are guaranteed an experience of a lifetime. In the words of Dr. Suess, “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”