32nd Annual Littleton Christmas Parade

Join us for a day of festive fun in Littleton with exceptional shopping and eateries and the 32nd Annual Christmas Parade. The parade begins at noon, on Union Street near the former Hitchiner Building and makes its way down Main Street ending at the Littleton Fire Department!

The Christmas Parade is a wonderful way to kick off your holiday season and give your first holiday greeting to Santa Claus himself!

 

ACT’s May Bird Walk

Join us for ACT’s first bird walk of 2018 on Saturday, May 19, from 7 – 9 a.m. in Littleton! We’ll be out on two of ACT’s properties, near Lowe’s in Littleton and at ACT’s Ammonoosuc River Wildlife Management Area in Lisbon to see and hear the birds returning to our region including warblers, tanagers, vireos, and thrushes.

ACT’s Executive Director Rebecca Brown will lead the group and offer tips and tricks for bird identification including birding by ear.

Register today!

Registration is required – for your safety and enjoyment we must cap the walk at 15 participants; please be sure to pre-register ASAP. Be aware registration closes at noon on Friday, May 18th. Once registered, you will receive an e-mail with details on the meeting location.  If registration fills up early please reach out to Gal at [email protected] to be added to the wait list as cancellations do happen.

What:    ACT’s May Bird Walk!
When:   Saturday, May 19th 2018
What Time:    7 – 9 a.m.
Where: ACT properties in both Littleton and Lisbon. Details available once registered.

What to Wear: Layered comfortable clothing for being active outdoors, mud boots, trekking poles.
What to Bring: Binoculars, camera, bug spray, a birding book if you have one, a snack, and water.
Free!  This event is free and open to the public; $5 donations are gladly accepted!

 

Littleton Area Chamber of Commerce Holiday Parade

Join us for a day of festive fun in Littleton with exceptional shopping and eateries and the 31st Annual Holiday Parade. The parade begins at noon, starting at Hitchiner’s and making its way down Main Street! A wonderful way to kick off your holiday season and get in your first holiday greetings to the big guy himself, Old Saint Nick!

On the “New Hampshire Made” Trail: Featuring Local Products, Services & Attractions

Like many of you, when we travel we like to dine in unique local restaurants — maybe in a glam establishment, but just as often in a kitschy cafe, stay at historic hotels or cozy inns, meet local shopkeepers who know the story — and oftentimes the artisans — behind the items they sell, visit local attractions, and bring home a piece of local artwork, amazing food, or other memorabilia that will remind us of our vacation or weekend getaway long after it’s over.

As the official visitor information source for the Great North Woods and the Northern White Mountains of New Hampshire, at New Hampshire Grand we have the enviable job of introducing visitors to the diverse range of attractions, lodging, dining, events, and outdoor activities available in Northern New Hampshire.

nhmade-logo-285wide-transAnd, in case you’re not acquainted with New Hampshire Made yet, we’d like to introduce you to this statewide organization that also promotes New Hampshire-made products and services, and familiarize you with some of the northern New Hampshire businesses that are members of both our organizations.

On your next visit to the northern reaches of the Granite State, make it a point to check out these wonderful points of interest. These businesses are well versed in offering the best of “New Hampshire Grand” and “New Hampshire Made.”

 

COLEBROOK

NH_Grand_Best_Of_Le_Rendez_Vous_BakeryTo our mind, nothing compares to a loaf of freshly baked bread, and the two bakers — both Parisian transplants — at Le Rendez Vous Bakery offer a variety of wonderful breads, baguettes, and authentic French round white loaves known as batards. The baker duo also create superb Madeleines filled with creamy Belgian chocolate, delicious apple, blueberry, chocolate, rhubarb or raspberry croissants, and a number of other wonderful pastries. Stop by the colorful and quaint European-style cafe for a pastry and a cup of coffee, or get your order to go and take home a taste of Paris. The café also serves a light lunch, and is open Tuesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

 

NH_Grand_Best_Of_FiddleheadsAnyone looking for American- and Canadian-made and Fair Trade products will fine a nice assortment of fine arts and crafts and carefully selected gift items at Fiddleheads – A Great North Woods Shoppe. The store has been voted “Best Customer Service” by Colebrook’s Downtown Holiday Shoppers. You’ll also find a small art gallery here, with all of the art created by local artisans.

 

 

 

GORHAM

Auto_Road_vanThe Mt. Washington Auto Road has been welcoming visitors since 1861 when horse-drawn wagons ferried guests to the top of the 6,288-foot peak. Today, you can drive yourself, hop aboard an Auto Road van for a guided tour, or hike to the top. You’ll be awestruck by the road’s spectacular twists and turns and the incredible views. At the summit on a clear day you can see several states, Canada and the Atlantic Ocean! And don’t forget to pick up the coveted bumper sticker that tells the world that you’ve climbed Mt. Washington! Winter adventurers can board the SnowCoach for an exhilarating ride to treeline. All dates and times are subject to change based on weather and road conditions.

 

LANCASTER

Fullers2482-2_edited-1There’s nothing like the taste of sweet maple syrup on your pancakes or waffles! Open year round, Fuller’s Sugarhouse, an award-winning, family-owned business, produces over 4,000 gallons of pure maple syrup each year. The store stocks syrup in a variety of sizes, along with maple candy, custom-made gift baskets, and a hand-picked selection of gift items. Fuller’s also ships worldwide, so you’ll never run out!

 

 

WHITEFIELD

NH_Grand_Best_Of_Mountain_View_GrandLuxurious accommodations, casual and fine dining, a 6,000-bottle wine cellar, an award-winning spa and panoramic views await guests at the historic Mountain View Grand Resort in Whitefield, where visitors have enjoyed the Grand Hotel’s unique brand of hospitality for over 150 years. This fall, kick back and relax over a glass of wine or a cup of hot chocolate after a day of resort activities, which include everything from visiting the animals at the Mountain View Farm, wine and beer tastings, and cozy campfires to golfing, swimming, tennis, mountain biking, and movies in the resort’s own theater. Hiking trails are nearby, and the Resort is also close to all major attractions.

 

BRETTON WOODS

MtWashHotelWhether your approach is from the east or the west, your first sighting of the magnificent red-roofed hotel at the Omni Mt. Washington Resort, backed by the majestic Presidential Range of the White Mountains, is a jaw-dropper. The National Historic Landmark was built in 1902 by 250 master craftsmen in the Spanish Renaissance style and has been delighting visitors ever since. Along with the incomparable mountain views, the Resort offers exceptional accommodations in its 200 rooms and guest suites, a full-service spa, and several fine and casual dining options, including two Four Diamond dining rooms. The resort is a outdoor adventurer’s paradise, boasting an 18-hole Donald Ross-designed golf course, year-round canopy tour, Nordic and Alpine skiing, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, sleigh rides and more.

 

BETHLEHEM

RocksMapleThe Rocks Estate is a great destination any time of year, but it’s especially fun to visit the Christmas tree farm during the holiday season when you can choose and cut your own Christmas tree or select one from the retail lot. Fragrant wreaths and garlands, made on site, are also available. On weekends leading up to Christmas, The Rocks offers horse-drawn wagon rides around the beautiful 1,400-acre estate, kids can visit with Green Father Christmas and roast s’mores around the fire pit, and moms and dads can shop in the Marketplace and Gift Shops. Spring visitors are invited to take part in the New Hampshire Maple Experience, when the property’s maple trees are tapped and the sap is boiled down into sweet maple syrup. The Rocks is the North Country Conservation & Education Center for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, and is open year-round.

 

NH_Grand_Best_Of_WREN“Think Local, Buy Local” is a favorite slogan of the Local Works Marketplace and Gallery operated by WREN, the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network. The Marketplace features the work of over 300 local artists who produce a wide variety of unique hand-crafted and high quality products. Pay the Local Works Marketplace a visit when you are looking for a special gift or something out of the ordinary for yourself. The store stocks an every-rotating display of jewelry, pottery, bath and body products, candles, textiles, baskets, photography, fine art, home décor, toys, and specialty food and wine items. Or visit the Local Works store in the lobby of the Omni Mt. Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods. The adjacent Gallery presents a new show each month featuring the work of local artists, who have been selected by a juried committee.

 

 

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!

Find Old-Fashioned Country Fair Fun at the Lancaster Fair! August 31 – September 4

A spectacular end-of-summer event for 146 years, the Lancaster Fair celebrates its roots with traditional agricultural activities like 4-H animal exhibits, horse and oxen pulls, sheep dog trials, a horse show, and exhibition halls filled with quilts, crafts, vegetables and flowers. Add in an exciting and colorful midway, motorized competitions like the Big Rig Truck Pull and a Demolition Derby, enticing fair food, and a Grandstand performance by country music band Sawyer Brown and you have all of the ingredients for an extravagant five-day celebration.

This year’s Lancaster Fair runs from from August 31 – September 4 and, as always, there is plenty of free parking.

With its old-fashioned country fair flavor, the Lancaster Fair has garnered praise as the best in New Hampshire. Covering 65 acres with wide, clean midways, on-site camping and one low price that includes admission, midway rides and concerts, there is plenty of variety to keep everyone in the family entertained. The Fair is ATV-friendly, too, so ride in on your rig and get in on the fun.

Fair highlights include the hilarious Pig Scramble, the 8th Annual Firemen’s Muster, Cruise Night featuring antique and classic cars, the rockin’ and rumblin’ Big Rig and 4×4 Truck Pulls, Power Wheel Derby, and the always-popular smash-em-up Demolition Derby.

Children will find lots to do at Kids Korner, with plenty of kid-friendly activities, free train rides every day, a Sunflower Seed Spitting Contest, Chocolate Pie Eating Contest, and daily performances by ventriloquist Sylvia Fletcher and her Magic Trunk.

On the Grandstand stage on Friday evening, get ready for The Hitmen Band, five musicians and singers who, throughout the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, toured and recorded with some of the biggest names in the music business, including Frankie Valli, Carly Simon, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Barry Manilow, Rod Stewart, and Blood Sweat & Tears.

The winners of the first “Star Search” television variety show in 1985, the Sawyer Brown band has been making country music for more than 30 years. Hits include “Step That Step,” “Six Days On The Road,” and “Some Girls Do.” They’ll be bringing their outstanding brand of country music to the Grandstand stage on Saturday night with a crowd-pleasing performance. Both Grandstand shows are free with paid admission.

One low ticket price includes all Midway rides and the concerts. General admission on Thursday, Friday and Monday costs just $15. On Saturday and Sunday, admission costs $17. Free admission for seniors 70 and older on Thursday and Monday, and $10 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (does not include rides). Current/active military receive $2 off admission. Children who stand under 36 inches get in free with a paying adult. A season pass, including rides, costs $65.

Grandstand admission prices for the Big Rig Truck Pull, 4×4 Truck Pull and the Demolition Derby are $10 for each show.

The Lancaster Fair is located on Route 3, just north of the junction of Routes 2 and 3. A complete schedule of events is listed on the Fair’s website at www.lancasterfair.com.

For Camping Reservations call (603) 237-8143 or email [email protected].

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!

The Mt. Washington Auto Road has Been Thrilling Visitors for more Than 150 Years!

For a one-of-a-kind experience drive yourself or take a guided tour up the Mt. Washington Auto Road to the summit of Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast. Be sure to pack your camera or iPhone because you’ll want to snap lots of photos along the way of the breathtaking vistas.

First opened in 1861, when horse-drawn wagons ferried visitors to the summit, the Mt. Washington Auto Road is America’s oldest man-made tourist attraction. Today, the mostly paved eight-mile-long Auto Road is traveled by motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists and hikers eager to experience the amazing history, unpredictable weather, panoramic views and the opportunity to pass through four distinct climate zones.

Although days of sunny skies and jaw-dropping vistas elicit plenty of oohs and aahs, cloudy days show off the extreme weather that Mount Washington is so well known for. You can drive yourself to the summit, hop aboard an Auto Road van for a guided tour, or hike to the top of the 6,288-foot mountain.

The Auto Road offers two- and three-hour guided tours in comfortable vans with experienced drivers who regale passengers with the history and lore of the mountain.

The two-hour tour includes an hour on the summit, with time to explore the historic summit buildings and complimentary access to the Mount Washington Observatory’s interactive Extreme Mt. Washington Museum.

The three-hour guided tours provide visitors with the opportunity to explore the Auto Road anywhere from the base at Great Glen Trails to the summit of Mount Washington, with extra time for exploring scenic areas along the road and the option to spend more time on the summit.

Guests who choose to drive their own vehicles can spend the entire day exploring the pull-offs, short hikes, alpine flowers and vistas, but on a trip with one of the knowledgeable guides leading the way, will learn so much more and discover some of the hidden gems along the Auto Road.

Once you’ve conquered the summit, consider extending your stay and taking a guided tour of the paddling variety, which is available at Great Glen Trails located at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Enjoy a guided kayak trip along the scenic lakes and rivers of northern New Hampshire, away from the crowds and with brilliant mountain views and opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Or rent a bike at Great Glen Trails and peddle along well-marked carriage trails through beautiful meadows and along scenic rivers, with exciting mountain views at every turn. ggt-mountainbike-03

The Mt. Washington Auto Road is open daily until late October for drive yourself touring. Two-hour guided tours are available daily through late October, while three-hour tours are available from June 7-September 3. All tours are weather permitting.

For the latest updates on Road conditions and the operating schedule, visit www.MtWashingtonAutoRoad.com or call (603) 446-3988. The Auto Road is located just off Route 16 in Pinkham Notch.

The Tillotson Center Is Home To Visual & Performing Arts, Community Heritage

Now a vibrant arts and cultural center, more than a century ago the Tillotson Center was known as “the Balsams Barn.” The original building housed the horses and carriages that carried guests from the Colebrook train station to Dixville Notch and what is now The Balsams resort. During the 1920s it served as a meeting hall and community center for the Colebrook Grange, and by the mid-‘60s it became the repository of historical artifacts collected by a local family.

A generous $50,000 donation from benefactor Louise Tillotson in 2006 spurred its development as center for community heritage and visual and performing arts. Additional donations from grants and the 500 founding members made the dream of a northern New Hampshire arts facility a reality. The community, in thanks, named the center after Mrs. Tillotson, because of her commitment to the project and her love for the arts.

Today, the Tillotson Center, designed by distinguished architect John Kaufmann, presents a full roster of activities, year-round, with concerts and other performances staged in its 171-seat theater, rotating shows by local and regional artists in the art gallery, and a Historical Society annex with displays that gives visitors a glimpse into the past.

The Kaufmann Theatre

The Kaufmann Theatre features both orchestra and balcony seating and is well-used by the community for everything from live stage performances, concerts and movies to guest speakers, school plays and community meetings.

2017 summer concert performances include:

June 17: Alan Epstein’s “Sunset on Meriden Hill” with Jim Prendergast. The concert debuts Alan Epstein’s CD, “Sunset on Meriden Hill,” and features Alan on mandolin accompanied by Jim on guitar.

June 24: Belle of the Fall. Tracy Walton and Julie Autumn Ford are multi-instrumentalists who creature folksy but contemporary music.

June 29: “Treasure Island” presented by University of New Hampshire Little Red Wagon Touring Company. Join the children’s theater troupe as they perform the classic tale of the pirate who buried his booty on Treasure Island before he died.

July 8: Comfort County. Four friends have joined forces to present the best in county music, with some bluegrass and gospel mixed in.

August 5: The Heather Pierson Trio. Folk ballads, blues and New Orleans traditional jazz are the forte of these talented musicians, whose intricate instrumental arrangements and three-part vocal harmonies will delight the evening’s audience.

August 23: Lux. A quartet of musicians who have been described as “funky, jazzy, quirky, entertaining (and) engaging,” performing covers and original tunes.

Museum

Visitors will want to check out the Historical Society Annex with its thoughtful displays of artifacts that illustrate everyday life during the region’s different eras. Of particular note is the display of firefighting equipment, including a soda-acid wagon that was used by the Colebrook Fire Department in the 1880s.

The Gallery

The talented artists of the Connecticut River Artisan Group (CRAG) keeps the art gallery filled with a rotating display of work, from paintings and ceramics to photographs and wood carvings. All work is for sale, and a piece of locally created art makes a nice gift to take home for yourself or a special friend. The gallery is open Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. and during all events. Admission is free.

The Tillotson Center is located at 14 Carriage Lane, Colebrook. Learn more at www.tillotsoncenter.org.

Bear Rock Adventures Wants to be Your ‘Guide to the Wilds’

A brand new fleet of 2017 Polaris RZRs, Rangers and Sportsman Touring OHRVs at Bear Rock Adventures is ready to take you right into the heart of the thrilling Ride the Wilds 1,000-plus-mile trail system where memories are ready to be made!

With its fleet of incredible machines, diverse riding opportunities, including guided ATV tours and custom itineraries, along with impeccable customer service, the staff at Bear Rock Adventures stands ready to help you map out a day — or more — of fun and adventure on the trails.

Bear Rock can accommodate singles, couples, families and all levels of experience in its 2-, 4- and 6-seat side-by-sides and ATVs, so that anyone who wishes to enjoy the exciting sport of ATVing can do so. Bear Rock offers half-day, full day and multi-day rentals and the Ride the Wilds trail system has multiple terrain options that will appeal to beginners as well as well-seasoned riders.

Bear Rocks’ top-of-the-line vehicles include all of the equipment and gear you’ll need on the trails, like electric start, 4-wheel drive, automatic transmissions, and power steering for effortless maneuvering, along with the most up-to-date GPS and Bluetooth technology. With plenty of room to store riding gear, maps, picnic lunches, selfie sticks and more, these machines ensure your riding pleasure.

With your machine of choice, take a self-guided tour, or have an experienced tour guide lead the way. Bear Rock Adventures can outfit you with everything you need for an exceptional ride, whether you want to seek out mountaintops for extended vistas, see wildlife in its natural habitat, conquer challenging trails, or simply try an entirely new adventure.

Bear Rock Adventures is located right on the Ride the Wilds trail system, an interconnected 1,000 miles of trails across northern New Hampshire. The staff at Bear Rock can help you map out best places to ATV and stay in the region.

A couple of suggested itineraries to get you started include:

Aprils’ Maple: Take a scenic ride along the Connecticut River to April’s Maple in Canaan, Vt. Sample pure Vermont maple syrup and other goodies at the snack shack and stop into the gift shop to take home your own syrup or a maple-themed gift item.

Beaver Brook Falls: Beautiful Beaver Brook Falls is a refreshing rest stop on your day’s ride. A great photo op, with a nice picnic area, the 80-foot waterfall is located off South Hill Road in Colebrook, right off the Ride the Wilds trail system.

Fishing: Pack your rod and reel and spend the day riding and fishing! On this trail ride you’ll visit Murphy’s Dam on Lake Francis, Nathan’s Pond, and Little Diamond Pond. Drop your line, relax and take in all the sights and sounds. You might spot an eagle — or a moose, and maybe you’ll take home a fish or two.

Bear Rock Adventures is located at 545 Beach Road in Pittsburg directly across the street from Powderhorn Lodge on Back Lake. Learn more about Bear Rock and other “wild” adventures in northern New Hampshire — like biking, boating, camping, hiking, snowmobiling, soaring on a ropes course, and the Rapid River Float Plane Adventure — at www.bearrockadventures.com.