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.

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.

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!”

Discover the Upper Connecticut River

It was like a calling. Something from deep within.  You here about at the shows. You see the photos on online.  The Upper Connecticut Lakes and the headwaters of the 407 mile Connecticut River has a magical lore that draws you.   I always knew I would get there but for some reason, that box just wasn’t checked yet.  The fact is the Pittsburg, NH area needs to be on every flyfisherman’s bucket list.  The Upper Connecticut River along with the Connecticut Lakes, Back Lake and all the remote ponds is an amazing fishery so when that late season fishing bug hit me hard, that Pittsburg trip that hadn’t happened yet kept rolling around in my mind.  I took action and connected with Tom Caron of Tall Timber Lodge.  I had heard from several close friends that Tall Timber Lodge was a special place.  Located on gorgeous Back Lake, Tall Timber is a fantastic launching point for just about any outdoor activity you could ask for.  Best of all, it’s only a double haul cast away from the trophy section of the Upper Connecticut river.

It was just before dusk when I arrived at the Tall Timber Lodge.  The grounds were manicured while still maintaining the rustic look.  The lake was glass and the sunset spectacular just over the foliage covered hills.  I was eating a delicious meal in in the Rainbow Grille, the tavern style restaurant within Tall Timber Lodge, when my guide, Chuck Degray came over to welcome me.  We planned to meet in the lobby the next morning.  Like a kid waiting for Christmas, I could barely sleep.  Finally, I fell off and woke promptly without my alarm. I met Chuck in the lobby where he had a hot cup of coffee for me.   We watched a beautiful sunrise over the lake. With the fall trees painted in an array of autumn colors, a lite morning fog floated across the still water of Back Lake.  I had a sense a long dream was about to become a reality!

The River

The Upper Connecticut river begins at the boarder of Quebec and New Hampshire near Chartierville.  As you head south on 257 you go through US Customs and come to Third Connecticut Lake, the smallest of the “Connecticut Lakes”.  There are four lakes in the Upper Conneticut chain.  Third Connecticut, Second Connecticut, First Connecticut and Lake Francis.  Additionally, there’s Back Lake which is not part of the chain of lakes but since it geographically sits between Third Connecticut and Lake Francis it is often referred to in the same breath as the other Upper Connecticut Lakes. While many people enjoy fishing the lakes, the magic happens between the lakes in the river.

The Upper Connecticut River is considered one of the top fisheries in all the Northeast.  After two full days on the water, I now know why.  The “Trophy Stretch” is a fly-fishing only section of the river that starts at the outlet of First Connecticut Lake Dam and run 2.5 miles downstream to the inlet of Lake Francis.  It is filled with riffles and pools providing some of the finest trout and salmon water in the region.   There are 11 named pool along the Trophy Stretch.  From the picturesque Judge and Jury pool with the cascading waterfalls towards the top of the stretch to The Skating Rink Pool which is down river near Lake Francis.  Beyond the pools anywhere you find a seam, a ripple or a run, you have a chance to catch a fish of a lifetime.

Strategies & Techniques

Fortunately for me that was true twice that first day.  Chuck and I hit the first pool and things started a little slow.  Not for any other reasonbut I was sort of beating up the water.  I have always been more of a streamer/dryfly fisherman. I would occasionally swing wet flies or put a nymph dropper off a dry.  The fact is that those that know how to successfully fish nymphs seem to consistently have the best results and catch the biggest fish.  I have always wanted to advance my skills in this area so when Chuck said let’s start out with a two-nymph rig I was ecstatic.  We set up an 8’ leader tapered to 4X, fluorocarbon preferred, and we attached our first fly.  Chuck recommended a weighed top fly like a stonefly nymph or a bead head.  Below that we added about 8” of 5X fluorocarbon tippet and we tied one in a small sparkle pupa type nymph.  We added a couple split shots about 4” about the top fly and completed the set up with a strike indicator.  You want your strike indicator about 1.5X the water depth so you will need to move that around throughout the day based on the water depth of your pool.  You want you nymphs “ticking” along the bottom.  We didn’t catch anything out of that first pool but that was mostly on me because I was still getting use to this set up.   I would make a comeback though.

Since we had a recent soaking Chuck had an idea.  He said let’s head up to the inlet of 2ndConnecticut Lake as the recent rain could serve as just enough of a push of water to bring the salmon out of lake and  into the river.  We tied one of Chuck’s hand-tied personal favorites, a grey soft hackle streamer.  Feeling back in my element, I made a few casts, down and across with a swing and a strip and POW, I was in!  Feeling like this was a nice fish, I was being gentle.  Taking some line and giving some line.  It felt great to be hooked up but I knew wanted that photo so I was being careful.  I put the fish on the reel, angled him towards Chuck and he netted a beautiful Landlocked Salmon. BINGO BANGO is a term my brother and I coined after we land a nice fish and I certainly let out a hardy one after this fish hit the net.  As happy as I was, Chuck was clearly happier for me.  You see that 21” Salmon was my largest salmon I ever caught in New England.  We snapped a couple pictures and released him back to his pool.  Chuck’s “hunch” paid off and we landed a couple more before hitting our next spot.

We hit up some honey holes and found many cooperative Rainbows and Salmon.  As it was getting towards lunch, with a wonderful morning completed, I suggested we head back to the lodge to relax and have a quick bite.  Anytime I can eat and relax overlooking water and gorgeous water in this case, it fills me with great satisfaction.  Chuck was telling me about the monster Brown Trout they catch below a dam a bit further down river.  In passing I mentioned I have caught a lot of Brown Trout but never a real trophy.  With that information, Chuck said let’s head back out.

I wanted to get back on the nymph rig because I was starting to get the feel of it.  I was struck by the quality of this pools we were hitting. I was working a seem at the bottom of a “V” when the indicator disappeared.  I set the hook and said WHOA, we’re into something.  Then I saw that golden flash; this was unmistakably a Brown Trout and a big one!  This fish was darting everywhere.  Chuck was being so gracious to video tape the fight for me.   Since he was holding the GoPro I said hand me the net.  He said, “Are you sure?”.   With a laugh I said, yeah I got it.  Clearly, I didn’t because this fish was all over the pool and then took a left turn and dove for the next pool over.  I handed the net back to Chuck and he netted the biggest Brown Trout of my life, a 22” beautiful golden, fall Brown Trout.  BINGO – BANGO!  In one day I landed 2 of the nicest fish of my life.  I had been dreaming of this place for so long and my dreams were coming true.

The next day we chased and caught more Trout and Salmon.  I was fortunate enough to be invited to float the lower part of the river in a couple drift boats.  Chuck and I were join by Cindy and John Howe and we had a blast floating the river and catching beautiful trout. John Howe is a veteran guide of the area.  He is basically retired from guiding now but still loves to fish and share his wealth of knowledge on the area.  It was a privilege to fish with Cindy and John.  Plus when your nickname is “Old Man River”, you are sure to have a tale or two to share.  I capped the trip by catching one last fish, a Brook Trout, completing the grand slam.

Time of Year & Flies

Because the dams between the lakes are bottom feed, the river stays cool throughout the summer.  Spring time will bring smelt into the rivers from the lakes allowing a great time to hunt a trophy salmon. Summer time brings great dryfly fishing both on the upper stretch and the lower which is fantastic from a drift boat.  The Fall will bring the salmon back into the river to spawn leaving another chance to land a hard fighting salmon.

I found softhackle streamers in grey or olive to be the most productive streamer.  Under the nymph rig I had the most success with soft hackle, sparsely tied wet flies & beadhead caddis and mayfly nymphs in 16 & 18.  Please check your regulations for the areas you plan to fish. Some parts of the river are fly-fishing only and some parts are catch and release.

Tall Timber Lodge
609 Beach Rd.
Pittsburg, NH 03592
800-835-6343
www.talltimber.com
[email protected]

North Country Fly Shop & Guide Service
Chuck Degray
9 Mountain Ash Drive
Pittsburg, NH 03592
603-331-1459
www.facebook.com/northcountryflyshop

“Your Adventure Starts Here” – Time to plan your family adventure in the Androscoggin Valley!

NH_Grand_Great_Glen_TrailsIt seems like Mother Nature does not want to let go of winter just yet in the Androscoggin Valley.  There is STILL some great downhill & cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dogsledding, tubing and snowmobiling for the winter enthusiasts out there! Visit the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce website to make plans to Eat, Shop & Explore our winter wonderland while it lasts! You will find a great variety of lodging, dining, exploring & retail establishments that will be sure to satisfy every visitor.

 

Bisson Sugar House In the Androscoggin Valley, you could say we have 6 seasons instead of 4!  With the warmer temps during the day, our sweetest season of all is in full swing…Maple Season!  A visit to Bisson’s Sugar House in Berlin, NH is a treat for the entire family.  Family owned and operated dating back to 1921. Their family will make your visit a memorable one while touring the facility and sampling some maple butter, taffy, candy and my all-time favorite…pure maple syrup over vanilla ice cream!  Visit their website and call ahead for operating times as the weather has a major influence on their hours.

Wondering what the 6th season is that I mentioned? Well…with the days getting warmer and warmer and the snow melting, you guessed it – Mud Season!  The miles and miles of trails will be closed for mud season soon so be sure to check the trail conditions often and you can also sign up for trail updates to be sent to your email.  What can you do during Mud Season? You can take the time to plan YOUR next adventure in the Androscoggin Valley.

Santa's Village Whether you are planning a weekend or week, with a family or as a couple…the variety of things to do and places to explore are endless!  Storyland, Santa’s Village and the Mt. Washington Auto Road are just minutes away.  Then…take a ride on the wild side…Ride the Wilds that is! Pack up your OHRV and head north, stay at our OHRV friendly lodging hotels, cabins or campgrounds and ride right from your room!  Don’t have an OHRV?  We got that covered too! Call to reserve at one of our local rental businesses.  The fun is endless with hiking, biking, kayaking and white water rafting too!

Paula Kinney, Executive Director
Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce

Fall in Love with Northern New Hampshire This Autumn

Colorful Foliage & Outstanding Attractions Are A Winning Combination

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

 

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!

Littleton Welcomes Visitors To Its Friendly & Vibrant Downtown

A vibrant Main Street lined with interesting shops and historic buildings, an intriguing Riverwalk, a covered pedestrian bridge over the Ammonoosuc River, and the world’s largest candy counter are just some of the delights awaiting visitors to Littleton.

Littleton is a gateway community to the northern White Mountains and Great North Woods and the innumerable outdoor activities that encompass everything from hiking, rock climbing and white water rafting to fishing, snowmobiling, camping, ATVing, and bird and moose watching.

With plenty of dining and lodging options, and a variety of attractions and activities that appeal to young and old, Littleton was selected in 2015 as one of the Best Small Downtowns in America by Best Choice Reviews. The community has also been named to Travel & Leisure’s America’s Greatest Main Streets list.

A small selection of some of our favorite things to see and do in Littleton follows, but visit yourself and discover all of the friendly shops and points of interest that give the community its old-fashioned downtown flavor, accented with a modern, upbeat vibe.

Shopping

Chutters

Let’s cut straight to the chase — what about that candy counter? If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, head to Chutters, the home of the Guinness Book of World Record’s Longest Candy Counter. At 112 feet, you’ll want to take your time checking out the multitude of glass jars brimming with every type of candy imaginable, over 500 sweet treats! Chutters is a NH Grand Certified Best Of Business.

Lahout’s

Northern New Hampshire has some of the best skiing around, and it’s also home since 1920 to Lahout’s, America’s Oldest Ski Shop. The 4th generation family-run business is a must-stop shopping destination for skiers, hikers and anyone who spends time in the outdoors.

Chickaroo

A delightful Main Street shop brimming with unique gift items such as soy candles, locally crafted jewelry, home décor, 603 pillows (NH’s area code), baby gifts, beer-flavored soap, including one for your favorite four-legged friends, and a variety of wines.

Littleton Bike & Fitness

The shop is known for its great selection of bikes and biking accessories for everyone from tykes to the high-end cyclist, along with indoor fitness equipment and stand up paddleboards. Bike rentals include road, mountain, hybrid, and fat bikes. SUPs and snowshoes are available for rental, too.

Little Village Toy & Book Shop

Any day is a good day to visit a bookstore, but rainy days in particular lend themselves to browsing and lingering. Little Village Toy & Book Shop is stocked with a wide selection of kids’ books and inspiring and educational toys, complemented by a good variety of adult fiction, non-fiction and local reads.

League of New Hampshire Craftsmen

The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s colorful and eclectic gallery showcases some of New Hampshire’s finest craftsmen working in jewelry, clay, glass, fibers, wood, metal, photography, baskets, printmaking and mixed media. The gallery’s Studio School offers hands-on workshops and classes in pottery, jewelry making, basketry, painting, and more.

Nest of Littleton

When you want to feather your nest or treat your BFF with a little something special, browse the collection of distinctive gift items and home décor at Nest of Littleton. Bedding, linens, dinnerware, candles, jewelry, handbags and much more. Don’t miss the art gallery and silk flower arrangements on the river level.

One Stitch, Two Stitch

A favorite destination for quilting aficionados, One Stitch, Two Stitch carries hundreds of fabrics, including hand-dyed batiks, contemporary and seasonal designs, jelly rolls, charm packs, patterns and quilting supplies. Check out the class schedule and brush up on your quilting skills or just drop in to browse and visit.

Just L Modern Antiques

Looking for the best in mid-century modern décor? Just L has assembled a collection of furniture, lighting, barware, vintage textiles and plenty of other intriguing items to whet your appetite. Eclectic, whimsical and unique!

Northern Lights Music

Everything music under one roof, from guitars and amplifiers to percussion instruments and accessories. A family-owned business for over 40 years, Northern Lights was named #3 Top Santa Cruz Guitar Dealer of 2016. And if you find a guitar you like while on vacation, Northern Lights will ship it home for you, free of charge!

Aylakai

Wind chimes, garden statuary, candles and incense rub shoulders with colorful and comfortable clothing, crystals and a fine selection of jewelry at Aylakai.

Pentimento

A delightful boutique situated in an 1884 Victorian on the banks of the Ammonoosuc River, and filled to the brim with an amazing assortment of jewelry, hair accessories, candles, stationery and unique gift items.

Sights & Sounds

Pianos on Main Street

Stroll down Main Street and you just might hear a piano playing! A handful of colorfully decorated pianos are situated along the thoroughfare, inviting both the experienced player and novice to sit down and tinkle out a tune!

Pollyanna of Littleton Statue

Littleton is known as the “Glad!” town and for good reason. It’s the hometown of Eleanor H. Porter, author of the beloved children’s book “Pollyanna.” Pollyanna was known for her exceptional optimism, and that positive spirit is memorialized in a cheerful statue on the Littleton Library front lawn, making for a wonderful photo op!

Riverwalk

If you’re visiting Littleton during the warm weather months, look for Main Street’s two arched gateways festooned with colorful floating umbrellas to guide you to Mill Street and the town’s lovely Riverwalk along the banks of the Ammonoosuc River. Stroll the footpath along the river, and make a stop at Harmony Park and the outdoor musical instruments (a great kid magnet!).

Riverwalk Covered Bridge

Providing expansive views of the Ammonoosuc River, the 352-foot Warren Truss covered bridge connects to walking trails on both sides of the river.

Dine & Dream

The Beal House Inn & Restaurant

Grab a craft draft beer and a burger (just $11) on Thursday nights at The Beal House Inn or order from a menu that includes locally raised pork and local greens. The Inn’s six guest rooms are charmingly furnished and its location right on West Main Street makes it an easy stroll to downtown attractions.

Schilling Beer Co.

Small batch brews and Neapolitan-style, wood-fired pizza pies, served in an 18th century gristmill on the Ammonoosuc River. Weather permitting, snag a seat in the beer garden or the riverfront deck.

Littleton Diner

Who doesn’t love a diner meal? You’re in luck because The Littleton Diner is one of the best. Well-known for its home-cooked foods, generous portions and friendly staff, The Littleton Diner is a perennial favorite of locals and visitors.

Chang Thai Café

Open for lunch and dinner, the Café’s menu of traditional Thai cuisine will satisfy diners with its amazing variety of familiar Thai dishes, prepared with fresh herbs and other ingredients.

Grill One Eleven in Thayers Inn 

The Thayers Inn has been welcoming guests since 1850 and is the oldest continuously operating hotel in the White Mountains. Climb to the cupola atop the hotel for great views of downtown and the surrounding mountains. The on-site restaurant and tavern, Grille One-Eleven, is open for lunch and dinner, with both a regular and lighter fare menu.

Bailiwicks

Martini lovers will go gaga over the more than 80 martini selections at Bailiwicks. Pair your favorite or a new combo with the fine selection of dishes on the restaurant’s lunch and dinner menus. Summertime deck seating.

The Coffee Pot

Looking for a hearty and satisfying breakfast? Try The Coffee Pot Restaurant where the coffee’s always on, the food is always homemade and home-baked, and the service is excellent. Great lunches, too.

The French Sisters Bakery

Walk in the door at French Sisters and it’s hard to decide. Should you blow your diet and order a slice of one of the incredible cakes or perhaps a pastry (chocolate cream puffs to die for!), or stick to healthier fare and enjoy soup and a sandwich? Oh, what the heck. It’s vacation time, and you’ll walk off the extra calories exploring downtown.

Littleton Food Co-op

You can’t beat the excellent selection of meats, seafood, cheeses, produce, wines and grocery items at this cooperatively owned supermarket, where an amazing number of items are locally sourced. With its expansion in 2017, the Co-op has added a cafeteria where you can enjoy freshly prepared salads, sandwiches and soups in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. The store even has an electric car charging station.

Alburritos 

Alburritos brings Mexican food to Littleton, NH with tons of flavor and just as much excitement. With Mexican cuisine ranging from tacos to burritos to ensaladas galore, Alburritos asks you to put them to the test to see if there isn’t something for you! Don’t like spicy? No problemo! Vegetarian or Vegan? They’ve got you covered. Just not sure? Have no worries. If you’re looking for a taste of south of the border, check out Alburritos the next time you’re in Littleton.

Bishop’s Homemade Ice Cream

A must-stop for ice cream lovers. Creamy scoops, delicious flavors — try the signature Bishop’s Bash — and an ice-cream parlor atmosphere make Bishop’s a welcome stop on a summer afternoon.

SIP & STAY

The InkWell Coffee & Tea House

The owners of The InkWell in Littleton want it to be more than just a place to grab an exceptional coffee or tea. They want their coffee house to be your coffee home. Here’s the backstory.

INK: A little known word for coffee. Coined in 1582 by a German physician who, while traveling in Aleppo, was served the dark brew and described the foreign liquid as “black as ink.” An active WELL, dating back to Bible days, was paramount to a town’s survival. It was the epicenter of the community. The daily well run was a gathering place, not unlike today’s pubs or local coffee shops.

Fast forward to 1988, on a starlit evening in June. Jim, recently home from the mission field of Sri Lanka, asked Angel on a first date. It was then they fell in love over a piping hot cappuccino at a funky coffee house in NJ called The Ink Well. The Jersey Ink Well is going as strong today as its humble beginnings in the 60’s. And for those of us living in the pristine White Mountains, the couple seeks to build a similar legacy.

A place to connect, to unwind, relax, get inspired, to feel the welcome, to simply be. And if you happen to find love while sipping a cappuccino … well, they’d understand completely!

Blue Jay Coffee & Tea Bar 

Part of the Little Village Toy & Book Store, the Blue Jay Coffee & Tea Bar is a great place to unwind and relax while sipping on a delicious cup of tea or coffee while perusing the book store shelves. In addition they have a variety of light fares to choose from including Avocado Toast, BLTs, farm fresh salads and more!