“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!”

Oh, Canada! NH Attends the Montreal Outdoor Adventure Show.

You know, we have it pretty good living Northern NH. Did you know that from Littleton, NH it takes the same amount of time to drive to Montreal as it does to drive to Boston? Pretty amazing, right? Don’t get me wrong, I love Boston but over the past month, I have had the opportunity to go to Montreal twice and I have fallen in love with the city, culture, people and especially their food. Did I mention how good their food is?

Over the first weekend in April, representatives from the NH Travel and Tourism Department, the Appalachian Mountain Club, NH State Parks, and White Mountain Attractions traveled to Montreal to promote NH at the Montreal Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show (Québec’s largest showcase of outdoor gear and adventure travel experiences.)

On Friday, the day before the show, we had the unique and intimate opportunity to attend a media luncheon at Auberge Saint-Gabriel with over 50 journalists and reporters from the Montreal area. Over wine and a delicious three-course meal, we each talked about what makes New Hampshire a wonderful and easy destination for Canadians.

Visit NH Team at Media Luncheon at L'Auberge.
NH representatives at the Media Luncheon at Auberge Saint-Gabriel, hosted by CWW.

For two-days NH representatives talked to hundreds of Canadians about what makes New Hampshire so special. From the mountains to the seacoast, New Hampshire has everything for the outdoor enthusiast. And for Canadians, Northern New Hampshire is just 2.5 hours away.

NH_Grand_Blog_Oh_Canada

I am lucky enough to be in a profession that I get to promote everything I love to do which is why I enjoy attending trade shows so much. I love meeting and talking to new people, I love promoting Northern New Hampshire, I love seeing people’s faces light up with excitement when talking about all there is to see and do in our region.

It was a time well spent and I am anxious to see how many Canadian visitors come to our region this summer.

Stay tuned for my next blog about taking part in the spring clearing of Mount Washington!

 

Dog Sledding with Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel

If you love dogs like I do, then you have to go dog sledding at Muddy Paw. Hands down, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

With not a cloud in the sky, I pulled up to the Kennel at Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel in Jefferson, NH. In the distance I heard a lonely howl of a sled dog and a smile immediately spread across my face. I couldn’t have timed my 3 hour tour better – blue bird day in January with temps in the 20’s. It was perfect.

Dressed in overall Carhartts, my musher Wes greeted me. As we
walked around the corner I saw the most beautiful view of the Presidential Mountains and over 100 sled dogs, eagerly waiting for me to give them kisses and hugs. And that is exactly what I got to do.

After meeting most of the dogs, it was time to set up our 8 dog sled team. “It’s kind of like setting up two friends on a blind date,” said Wes. “You set them up based on their strength, ability and personality.”

As part of the 2 and 3 hour tour at Muddy Paw, the guest gets to help set up the sled team. As soon as the sled was brought out, a sound like no other erupted from the dogs. To say they were excited is an understatement. Wes showed me how to harness one of the dogs on our team and then I got to harness a couple more on my own. As I walked by all the dogs looking for the ones I was to harness, the other dogs looked at me with eyes that said, “Pick me, Pick Me.” As I harnessed Ricky, one of the dogs on our team, and walked him through the other dogs to the sled, he stopped barking, held his head up high and went into work mode. It was an amazing site to witness.

NH_Grand_Winter_Muddy_PawOnce the team was hooked up and I was ready to go in the sled, Wes said to me, “I’ll be right back. Just have to give the lead dogs a little pep talk.” Just like sports players before a big game, the lead dogs need a little boost of confidence before their run. As you can see in the picture, Wes gave them some pets of encouragement. And then we were good to go!

Wes explained that the sled would go about 15 mph from the start. He wasn’t joking when he told me to hang on. As soon as he told them to go, we were off!

Once we were on trail, the dogs got into a consistent gait and we cruised along at about 7-8 mph. With nothing but the Presidentials and furry behinds in front of me, I sat back and relaxed in the sled and learned as much as I could about dog sledding from Wes.

Once our tour was over, we petted each dog and told them what a great job they did and brought them back to their kennels. My tour might have officially been over but I didn’t want it to end. So I met the rest of the dogs, fell in love multiple times, said good bye a million times to each dog and almost left with all of them in my car.

NH_Grand_Winter_Muddy_PawBut there was one dog in particular that I fell in love with, sweet Maggie. Her eye contact is what drew me into her and as I approached her, she sat and gave me her paw to say hi. And then immediately rolled over for a belly rub. I knew right away that Maggie was special. I spent a lot of time with her and didn’t want to say goodbye. But that’s the thing – each dog at Muddy Paw is special. Everyone of those dogs (well except for a few who aren’t too sure about humans) greeted me with open paws and as a dog lover it made my heart full.

And did you know that almost all of the dogs at Muddy Paw are rescue dogs and that some are up for adoption? If I didn’t have two rescues of my own already, I would take them all home. 🙂

Do me a favor, while winter is still hanging around, book a tour today at Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel. Trust me, you will have the time of your life.

Until my next NH Grand Adventure …

Katelyn