POSTPONED — AMC Trail Town Designation Celebration

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED ‘TIL LATE SUMMER.

Gorham has been designated an Appalachian Trail Community. Join us at 6 p.mn. on Friday, MaRch 27 for the Trail Town Designation Celebration, with a presentation beginning at 6:30 by Jeffrey H. Ryan, the Maine author of Blazing Ahead: Benton MacKaye, Myron Avery and the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail. A Q&A will follow.

AMC Presents: Feeding Mountains—100 Years with the AMC Trail Crew

Join Mark Dannenhaur for Feeding Mountains — 100 Years with the AMC Trail Crew, a presentation on the history and lore of the legendary AMC crews.

The evening programs are free and open to the public. Call to find out more or to be added to the monthly email list: (603) 466-2721 or outdoors.org/pinkhamhappenings.

August is Eat Local Month in New Hampshire

Did you know that if every New Hampshire resident spent just $5 a week on local foods an additional $358 million would be injected into the State’s economy? The North Country is home to many farm and food producers and businesses serving up local foods. Whether you are looking for good eats for your family, or to serve up to your customers, there is likely something local just around the corner — like berries, vegetables, local meats, maple syrup, or even local wines and brews.

Don’t know how to get your hands on local foods? If you are a restaurant or institutions wanting to buy fresh, local foods straight from the farm, check out the North Country Farmers Cooperative. This is a group of 30+ farms aggregating product through an online portal and delivering weekly to your door. One invoice and one delivery simplify logistics for your business.

Looking for food on a smaller scale? Check out the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture’s website for links to local Community Supported Agriculture programs, farm stands, Pick-Your-Own’s, Farmers Markets, and wine, cheese, chocolate and ice cream trails.

Many of our New Hampshire Grand partners are growing, selling or serving local foods — some even have some great deals going on this month!

Want to know the best places to visit for local foods and great dining this month? Check out our highlights below.

Purveyors of Local Foods

Chances are if you’ve shopped at the Farmer’s Market in Littleton (Sundays, 10-1) or Lancaster (Saturdays, 9-noon) this summer, you’re familiar with the wonderful vegetables and meats grown at Meadowstone Farm. Meadowstone also operates a Farm Stand year-round at its farm in Bethlehem, where you’ll find eggs, chicken, pork, goat cheese and seasonal vegetables. Additionally, during the growing season you can find the farm’s veggies and meat for sale at the Littleton Co-op and The Healthy Rhino. Headed out for a restaurant meal? Look for Meadowstone’s produce and goat cheese used in items on the menus at Libby’s Bistro in Gorham; Cold Mountain Café, Maia Papaya, and Rosa Flamingos in Bethlehem; and The Beal House, and Shillings.

The historic Rocks Estate in Bethlehem is a fave destination year round. Stroll around the property and drink in the amazing views, visit the Christmas tree farm this fall where you can cut your own, and come for the NH Maple Experience on March weekends, with tours, tastings and more. And, you’ll never run out of that sweet pancake topper because you can order their delicious New Hampshire maple syrup and other maple products directly from the online store.

Stop by the country store at family-owned Fuller’s Sugarhouse in Lancaster for your choice of pure New Hampshire maple syrup in all its forms — the different grades of syrup are 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, and oh so sweet! If you can’t make it into the store, you’ll be happy to know that Fuller’s ships its products worldwide.

At almost the tip-top of the state, the New Earth Organic Farm at the Cite Ecologique of NH Ecovillage in Colebrook benefits from its southern exposure, which gives veggies a head-start in this cold northern climate. The farm sells its eggs, herbs and vegetables at local markets and to restaurants through the North Country Farmers Co-op.

Delicious Dining Experiences

(These restaurants and cafes tap local food sources when possible. All are noted for preparing excellent food using the freshest ingredients.)

The Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center is an outdoor education center and four-season lodge nestled into the dramatic landscape at the head of Crawford Notch, and makes a perfect home base for hiking the many nearby trails in the White Mountains. Accommodations range from private rooms with private baths to lodge bunk rooms with shared baths. The dining hall serves breakfast, lunch and dinner for lodge guests, through hikers, outdoor recreational enthusiasts and members of the public. The kitchen sources many of its menu ingredients locally and regionally and aims to continually expand its local offerings. As many fruits and vegetables as possible during the summer months are sourced from local farmers through Vermont’s Black River Produce. Some of the local/regional products in stock year-round include: Hatchland Farm Milk (NH), Cabot Cheese and butter (VT), Stonyfield Yogurt (NH), Blue Moon Sorbet (VT), Walpole Ice Cream (NH), Gifford’s Ice Cream (ME), Little Leaf Farm lettuce (MA), Backyard Farms tomatoes (ME), Aroostook County potatoes and flour (ME) and Grandy Oats Granola & Oatmeal (ME)

Libby’s Bistro & SAaLT Pub in Gorham is located in an old bank building, but there is nothing old-fashioned about the foods that Chef Liz Jackson, her husband Steve, and dedicated staff serve in the Bistro & Pub. Liz has been a pioneer in the Farm to Table movement and sources much of her ever evolving and eclectic menu from local farms and farmers, including the North Country Farmers Coop; Meadowstone Farm in Bethlehem (seasonal veggies, goat cheese and eggs); Prospect Farm in Lunenburg, VT (grass-fed heritage breed pigs and poultry); Moriah Valley Farm in Shelburne (sumptuous tomatoes); Wood Fire Farm & Gardens in Bethlehem (wild mushrooms, fiddleheads and ramps); Boothman Sugar Orchard and Scarinza’s Sugar House, both in Randolph (small batch maple syrup); Merrily’s Homemade Joys in Gorham (local eggs); Good Vibes Coffee in North Conway (custom-blended Italian style coffee); and Middle Intervale Farm in Bethel, ME (beef, pork, potatoes, corn and winter squash).

The elegant Mt. View Grand Resort & Spa in Whitefield is noted for its comfortable accommodations, spectacular views, and plentiful activities. What you might not know is that the Resort has a close relationship with many local farms, and almost all of its produce, cooking ingredients — like maple syrup — and products come from nearby farms. Resort dining includes the casual Harvest Tavern where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner; fine dining in the 1865 Wine Cellar, where the menu is paired with selections from the Resort’s extensive wine cellar; the Club House where classic summer favorites hit the spot after a round of golf or other outdoor activity; and the Veranda, when your appetite calls for a refreshing drink or a cup of tea and a light snack.

Drop by the White Mountain Café & Bookstore in Gorham for a cup of Fair Trade coffee from Manchester-based Java Tree coffee roasters and a home-baked goodie, or choose from an array of sandwich specials and soups. The relaxed atmosphere features comfortable seating indoors and out, a collection of rotating artwork by local artists, and the adjacent bookstore with a nicely curated selection of books and a fun kids’ section. Check out the Good Karma board (it’s all about thankfulness and paying it forward).

The historic Omni Mount Washington Resort is a spectacular destination with 200 guest rooms and suites, a luxurious spa, 18-hole Donald Ross-designed golf course, zip line tours and numerous other resort activities like hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. The Resort’s dining experiences are crafted to appeal to a variety of tastes, and rely on fresh, locally and regionally sourced produce, meats and seafood — foods to delight every palate. Step into the graceful and stylish main dining room for breakfast and dinner; the Prohibition-era Cave for nightly entertainment and a full bar; Stickney’s Steak & Chop Pub for lunch or dinner; the Rosebrook Bar where servers whip up a mean afternoon cocktail and light fare; and the elegant Princess Room where staff stand ready to provide cocktails before dinner or Afternoon Tea on Friday and Saturday afternoons.

A visit to Le Rendez Vous French Bakery in Colebrook will give you a taste of an authentic Parisian café, without taking a trip overseas. The delightful bakery and café is owned and operated by certified bakers Marc Ounis and Verlaine Daeron, who came direct from Paris to open their North Country business. Enjoy authentic French pastries (croissants, Madeleines, and macaroons), hearty breads (French baguettes, whole wheat, walnut, dark rye, cinnamon raisin and many more), yummy Belgian chocolates, and other goodies with your coffee in the comfortable café and bakery, or order something to take home. Marc and Verlaine bake their breads and pastries daily using only premium baking ingredients.

The Polish Princess Bakery & Café on Lancaster’s Main Street is a great place to stop for a morning cup of coffee accompanied by one of the bakery’s sweets, or a delightful destination for lunch — try the gourmet pizza or a slice of quiche. And it’s difficult to leave without taking home a loaf of freshly baked bread. Owner Magdalena Russell uses only the best ingredients — unbleached, un-bromated flours and freshly ground whole grain flours from local mills — in her baguettes, French breads, hearty ryes, sourdoughs, and a variety of other loaves and pastries.

Enjoy intimate fireside dining and graceful accommodations at the historic and romantic Adair Country Inn and Restaurant in Bethlehem, where rooms are named for the mountains in the nearby Presidential Range of the White Mountains and the expansive gardens, designed by the Olmstead Brothers, offer year-round interest. The Adair’s carefully designed menu incorporates foods from nearby and regional producers, including eggs from Bear Mountain Farm in Littleton, bacon and sausage from North Country Smokehouse in Claremont, seasonal vegetables from Mann’s Hill Farm in Littleton, mushrooms from Wood Fire Farm & Gardens in Bethlehem (wild mushrooms, fiddleheads and ramps), along with market fresh seafood, free range poultry and choice beef.

The Moose Muck Coffee House in Colebrook derives its name from the mucky, boggy places where moose tend to congregate and munch on the vegetation. The café offers a similar socializing atmosphere, where visitors and locals can come together to eat, drink and mingle. All of the sandwiches, soups and salads are made to order using fresh ingredients, the pastries are home-baked, and the coffee is New Hampshire-roasted.

The Rainbow Grille & Tavern at Tall Timber Lodge in Pittsburg has earned accolades from Field & Stream as “a truly excellent restaurant,” The Boston Sunday Globe has called it “ The area’s standout dining,” and Yankee Magazine’s Travel Issue gave it an “Editor’s Choice” award. The exceptional Grille menu includes specialty game meats such as bison, elk and venison, fresh Maine seafood, organic poultry, and prime Texan Wagyu beef. Casual fare in the Tavern features appetizers, salads, sandwiches, ribs, meatloaf and hearth-baked pizzas, a great selection of micro-brewed draft beer, craft beer, wines, and specialty jumbo martinis.

For over 60 years, the Town & Country Inn & Resort in Shelburne, has been providing exceptional North Country hospitality to its guests. Amenities include 160 rooms, a dining room seating 180 guests, four banquet rooms, a lounge featuring live entertainment on weekends, an indoor heated pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and a full health club facility. The resort serves breakfast and dinner daily and lunch on Sundays, and the dining room is open to the public. The Town & Country is famous for serving “the best prime rib ever,” and its extensive menu features favorite foods, along with delicious specials.

The family-owned Northland Restaurant & Dairy Bar in Berlin has been a community destination for more than 50 years. Situated on the banks of the Androscoggin River, the restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere, extensive menu, and hearty home-cooked food. All of the food is prepared daily with the freshest ingredients, with nothing pre-cooked or pre-breaded. The Northland is noted for its pies, so be sure to leave room for dessert. Try a slice of your favorite — and top it with some homemade ice cream.

A popular breakfast spot, The Waterwheel Breakfast and Gift House in Jefferson is noted for fluffy pancakes as big as your plate, smothered in pure maple syrup, crispy bacon, eggs cooked the way you like them, savory French toast, and Belgian waffles topped with fresh whipped cream. The lunch selection includes comfort foods like Philly steak and cheese subs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, hot dogs, and homemade chicken salad. Save room for the homemade fudge!

Legends, Lore, Meals & More Await Hikers at AMC’s High Huts of the White Mountains

Northern New Hampshire is a hiker’s paradise, and the Appalachian Mountain Club’s High Huts of the White Mountains offer a unique brand of hospitality, including overnight accommodations with hearty home-cooked dinners and breakfasts. Each of the eight High Huts is spaced a day’s hike apart, with self-service and full-service seasonal options.

The Huts’ origins can be traced back to the 19th century, when lack of adequate shelter above treeline hampered early trampers’ alpine forays. In 1888, Appalachian Mountain Club members set about building the network of what’s known today as the High Huts, similar to those found across the European Alps.

Beginning at Lonesome Lake in Franconia Notch and traversing the highest peaks in New Hampshire, ending at Carter Notch in the Mount Washington Valley, the eight High Huts are spaced a day’s hike apart along a 56-mile-long stretch of the Appalachian Trail. Accessible from each other, the huts can also be reached from individual trail heads.

Whether you are an experienced mountaineer or taking your children on their first hike, all of the huts are renowned for their unique mountain hospitality. Along with providing home-cooked meals and overnight accommodations, Hut naturalists present programs on the legends and lore of the mountains, and share Hut history, from the changes in transporting supplies (think donkeys and helicopters!) to the recent use of green technologies. All of the Huts have always been off the grid.

Huts include:

The present-day Madison Spring Hut is constructed on the site of the AMC’s first high mountain hut, built in 1888. Madison Spring, located above Madison Gulf, has spectacular views of the Presidentials, Kilkenny, and Pilot ranges.

The Carter Notch Hut, built in 1914, is located between Wildcat Mountain and Carter Dome.

The highest, largest and most popular hut, Lakes of the Clouds Hut is situated on the southern shoulder of Mount Washington. Visitors enjoy expansive views and proximity to rare alpine flowers.

Mizpah Spring Hut is set on the southern flank of Mt. Pierce and overlooks Montalban Range, the Dry River Wilderness, and Crawford Notch.

Located in Zealand Notch, the four-season Zealand Falls Hut is located near waterfalls at the eastern edge of the Pemigewasset Wilderness.

The most remote hut, Galehead Hut offers spectacular views of the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area. It was completely rebuilt in 2000.

Greenleaf Hut, at treeline on the shoulder of Mount Lafayette, provides outstanding views of the Franconia Range.

The westernmost hut in the system, Lonesome Lake Hut, is located near Franconia Notch State Park and offers a spectacular view of the Franconia Range across a clear glacial tarn.

At ground level, the AMC maintains facilities at the Highland Center at the head of Crawford Notch in Bretton Woods and the Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch.

The Highland Center is an outdoor education center and four-season lodge with accommodations that range from private rooms with private baths to lodge bunkrooms with shared baths. The dining hall serves breakfast, lunch and dinner for lodge guests, through hikers, outdoor recreationalists and members of the public. Kids will want to tackle the outdoor mountain playscape on the Highland Center lawn.

Joe Dodge Lodge  is surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest and is the perfect jumping off point for a day hike on one of the many trails nearby. The Lodge features comfortable beds and bunks, and dinner and breakfast are included in your stay. Both locations offer a wide variety of free, walk-on programs for guests, from guided day hikes to evening talks on astronomy and other topics.

 

Earth Day Celebration at the AMC Highland Center

Join AMC for our celebration of Earth Day! On Saturday, April 22, at AMC’s Highland Center, we’ll have an open house all day from 10am-4pm, with an outdoor picnic lunch from 11am-4pm. We’ll have family friendly activities ongoing throughout the day, including Trailhead Trash pickup, Recycled Crafts, Litter Relay, Energy Savings, Citizen Science, and more. We’ll also have representation from local conservation advocates and businesses on hand throughout the day for Q&A. This is a great opportunity for both kids and adults to get involved in conservation. The event will take place rain or shine, with lots of indoor activities in case of rain. All activities are FREE and OPEN to the public!

Activity Stations: Ongoing, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — • Recycled Crafts • Earth’s Geology • Energy Savings • Green Technology • Leave No Trace • Citizen Science

Scheduled Activities:

10:30 a.m. – Trailhead Trash Pickup

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Earth Day Outdoor Picnic

12 p.m. – Kids’ Scavenger Hunt

2 p.m. – Litter Relay

3 p.m. – Dark Skies Talk

5 p.m. – Social Hour & Meet Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust’s Rebecca Brown

For more information, please call (603) 278-4453 or visit the event page on Facebook.

Mud Season Hiking Dos and Don’ts

Article by REBECCA M. FULLERTON

Mud season hiking etiquette calls for staying in the middle of the trail and stepping on rocks, when possible.

Mud season can be a challenge for hikers and trail maintainers alike. So if you want to hike in the spring, knowing how to safely enjoy soggy trails without destroying them is an essential outdoor skill.

Wet Trails are Fragile

“More and more people are hiking year-round, and while it is wonderful to have people enjoying the trails, [hikers] are also having an impact,” says Alex DeLucia, the manager of AMC’s trails volunteers and Leave No Trace programs.

According to DeLucia, the saturated surfaces following spring snowmelt are a trail maintainer’s nightmare. Each hiker’s step churns up mud and sets the stage for serious erosion. “Some maintainers would like to see most trails closed in mud season, but we prefer to ask people to hike responsibly in all seasons,” he says.

Early spring hiking etiquette requires always walking in the center of the treadway. Sticking to rocks wherever possible will preserve both the trail and your footwear, and stepping into water and mud when necessary will minimize trail damage. Although you may be tempted to walk along the sides of the trail to keep your feet dry, doing so loosens soil and makes the trail more susceptible to erosion.

Mud and Ice are Slippery

A muddy trail forces you to slow down and pay attention to each step. Lug-soled hiking boots caked with mud don’t provide much traction, and a slip could be embarrassing or, worse, lead to injury. Expect to hike slower than normal and plan a shorter hike than you would when trails are dry. Once you do hit the trail, proceed with caution.

Trekking poles are helpful on wet trails, both to keep you upright and to probe the depths of what you’re stepping into. But, DeLucia cautions, poles loosen soil and accelerate erosion, so minimize your impact by fitting them with rubber tips.

Trails at high altitudes or in shaded areas can pose an additional challenge, with rails of winter ice lingering down the center of the trail. Traction aids, such as MICROspikes, are essential in these conditions.

Choose your Hike Wisely

A trail you can hike in soggy spring conditions without causing irreparable damag is a rare and precious find. This is not the season for exploring lowlands or wetlands, nor is it the time to hike steep basins, such as the Great Gulf or Wild River wilderness areas in the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF), where crossing runoff-swollen streams is dangerous.

In the mountains, the best spring trails are well-constructed, well-traveled routes that have been hardened for heavy use; the lower half of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail in the WMNF is a perfect example. Or follow a south-facing, rocky ridgeline trail; Old Toll Road to White Cross on Mount Monadnock in southern New Hampshire is a personal favorite. You’ll still encounter mud and ice, just not as much.

If you want an absolutely clear conscience, hike a sandy coastal route, such as the Great Island Trail in Wellfleet, Mass., or a road that’s closed in the spring, such as those on Mount Greylock in western Massachusetts, or Pack Monadnock or Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire. Mud season is also an opportune time to explore old railbeds, like the Presidential Rail Trail between Gorham and Whitefield, N.H., which were built with heavier traffic in mind.

Keep Feet Dry and Comfy

Choosing springtime footwear is a conundrum: 6-inch-high water-proof boots don’t suffice when you step in an 8-inch-deep puddle, but knee-high rubber boots don’t offer adequate cushion or support.

Wearing gaiters will help keep your feet dry in the cold spring mud. You also could invest in a pair of knee-high waterproof socks and rubber-soled wading or portage boots—popular with anglers and paddlers. Your feet stay warm, you get the traction you need for safety, and you can comfortably walk in the center of the trail to reduce your impact.


LEARN MORE

Mud season also means high water levels. Learn how to cross moving water safely here.