skip to Main Content

The best of NH fun and adventure 2020

Editor’s Choice

Photo by Robert Kozlow

Best short hike with great views

by Ruth Doan MacDougall
Macdougall100x100One of Crawford Notch’s expansive vistas can be reached in 15 minutes from Route 302 at the start of the Webster-Jackson Trail below the cliff that creates a gigantic elephant profile. Start the hike, turn right on the Elephant Head Spur, and soon you’re at the top of the head. The view curves from south to north, including Mount Webster, Willard, Willey, Bemis, Nancy, and Mount Washington Hotel and Cherry Mountain. Be careful, don’t let the sight distract you from your footing. For more information, see the “AMC White Mountain Guide”.


Most Underrated NH Movie Filming Location

Darren Garnick100x100

by Darren Garnick
Ask moviegoers for a movie shot in the Granite State and they’ll probably name “On Golden Pond,” the Oscar-winning 1981 film starring Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn. Tourists flock to Squam Lake, but how many want to recreate the angst of aging? Not so with the 2007 documentary “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters,” in which video game rivals Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell compete to become the world’s best Donkey Kong player at Laconia’s. . fun spot arcade. You can pump tokens into the Donkey Kong cabinet on the same hallowed ground, or choose to play any of the other 250 classic 1980s arcade games that make up Funspot’s “living museum.” If you can’t make it to Laconia right away, watching the movie trailer alone will make you want a pilgrimage. To make the drama of Donkey Kong even more intriguing, there were revelations in 2018 that Billy Mitchell’s high scores were achieved using emulator software that helped him cheat. All of Mitchell’s video game records have since been invalidated. Could the film crews possibly return to Laconia for a sequel? funspotnh.com


Ideal country inn

by Barbara Radcliffe RogersBarbararogers100x100
Adair Country Inn and Restaurant
in Bethlehem is a country inn with a difference. Neither quaint nor set in a venerable colonial house, it is a sparkling example of a gracious country home where well-to-do city dwellers escaped the summer heat of the early 1900s. The decorative refinements of the period combine with an air of luxurious leisure; guests visibly relax as they enter. Or as they stroll through the gardens designed by America’s most illustrious family of landscape architects, frequent guests at the nearby Rocks Estate. Modern amenities pair nicely with antique furniture, and decor includes a few collections from the original owners, including the vintage hats artfully displayed in the upstairs hallway. The conversion to an inn has been smooth, with the large, airy lounge intact (afternoon tea is served there), a wood-paneled library turned into an intimate bar, and the family dining room into a gourmet restaurant. The recent arrival of Steve Learned (we remember The Balsams well) as chef is the icing on an already elegant cake. adairinn.com


Family campsite

Ernesto100x100by Ernesto Burden
Place Lafayette Campground at Franconia Notch State Park is hands down my favorite place in the state to pitch a family tent. There’s something about being nestled in the shadows of the beautiful, austere Notch Mountains that always made me feel like I’d stepped into a fantasy world. Especially early in the morning when mist clings to the peaks and dew adorns tiny cobwebs in the fertile green along a winding forest path. There’s an abundance of natural beauty in the Notch, and starting from Lafayette provides access to this splendor in a variety of family-friendly ways, from paved bike paths and aerial trams to steep, technical hiking trails. The experience of the place grows with you as your family grows. It’s a place that lives in my heart since I was a child and I felt blessed to share it with my own children. One thing to note if you go: there are lots of wildlife, so be sure to practice good camping hygiene and keep your food locked in your vehicle at night. Oh, and remind me to tell you my Lafayette Bear story someday. nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/franconia-notch-state-park


fire tower hunt

Dan Szczesny100x100by Dan Szczesny
Of the 16 fire watchtowers in the state, Pack Monadnock, Kearsarge and Cardigan are popular with hikers and tourists, due to their easy access and great views. But if you want a bit of adventure, not to mention the few crowds to accompany your vantage points, no fire tower packs quite as satisfying a punch as the northernmost one – Mount Magalloway. Finding it is the most fun, considering that to get to the 3,383-foot mountain, you have to drive well north of downtown Pittsburgh, find the right gravel road, then drive another eight miles on logging roads to go to the parking lot. one mile trail that leads to the top. But once there, on a clear day, the views of three states and Canada can be yours. Plus, why not rent the ranger cabin to spend the night? After all, you have come this far.


Most anticipated return

Erica100x100by Erica Thoits
One of our favorite annual events — The New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival – has been canceled for 2020. Held at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, this massive festival, competition and celebration of Scottish heritage only seems to get bigger every year, which very likely means its triumphant return in 2021 will be the best to come. this day. For those who don’t follow the sports of caber throwing or hammer throwing, the New Hampshire Highland Games is part of an international series of Scottish heavyweight athletics, and our local event attracts the best of the best from around the world. It is, like the athletes themselves, a big deal (emphasis on the big). Among the world record holders in attendance is Hafthor Bjornsson, who you might know better as “Mountain” from “Game of Thrones.” At the time of this issue’s publication, there are approximately 470 days left until the games return on September 17-19, 2021. Here’s hoping they pass. nhscot.org


Fly fishing spot

Ernesto100x100by Ernesto Burden
There are plenty of amazing places to cast a fly in New Hampshire, but here in the southern part of the state, I love heading west from Manchester for the bucolic 30-minute drive to New Boston. . Route 13 runs along the South Fork of the Piscataquog River, and winds its way so iconicly through the trees that you could pick one spot and stick to it all day without seeing a fish and still feeling like your soul has lost its way. been fed. Oh, who am I kidding. You always want to land a fish. Luckily, this stretch of water provides everything from rocky rapids under the wooded stretches before and after you arrive in New Boston, to beautiful little pools under bridges in the middle of town. Note that there are sections that have catch and release restrictions, single hook, barbless, artificial lure/fly from October 16th to June 15th. See the NH Fish and Game website for more details. wildlife.state.nh.us


Snowy Courtesy of Bretton Woods

Bretton Woods Airway. Courtesy picture.

Good fun

Martybasch100x100by Marty Basch
Think of it as a high-flying bubble with sweeping views of the iconic Omni Mount Washington Grand Hotel and the northern Presidential Range, including Mount Washington, which is often capped with frosted crowns. The eight people, all year round Bretton Woods Airway gondola made its maiden voyage last year, and now it transports skiers, horseback riders and scenic view-seekers in less than five minutes to a location just below the summit of Mount Rosebrook intended to house a food court, 16,000 square foot wedding and event venue. It was well worth the wait. brettonwoods.com


Don’t (or do?) Look Down

Marshal Hudson 100x100by Marshall Hudson
For the daredevil in all of us, the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour is an exciting adventure that should be on your bucket list. This thrilling zipline canopy tour consists of a network of high platforms in the trees connected to nine cable zipline belays, three abseils and two aerial bridges suspended above the forest floor. Each zipline varies in length and height, with a maximum reach of 830 feet and 165 feet above the ground. The Canopy Tour lasts around three hours and is the perfect adventure for thrill seekers. It also offers stunning mountain scenery for those who can keep their eyes peeled. brettonwoods.com


Two-wheeled adventure

Martybasch100x100by Marty Basch
The 83 miles long Traverse the New Hampshire Adventure Trail allows pack-loaded bike travelers to explore New Hampshire’s wild north at their own pace while keeping them close to essentials like satisfying food and all kinds of accommodations. From bank to bank – from the Connecticut River in Woodsville to the Androscoggin River in Bethel, Maine – bikepackers use a series of unpaved multi-use rail trails and back roads to get a fresh perspective on stretches of White Mountains which they have only traversed. Download everything you need from xnhat.org or send it for a cool card and other promotional items. The route is good for all levels of cyclists who exercise patience. Read my tantalizing feature article on this in the next August issue.


Readers’ Poll Winners

Bear Rock 2 Kendal

Bear Rock Adventures. Photo by Kendal J. Bush

Camping
Campsite Wakeda
Hampton Falls
wakedacampground.com

A spa day
Wingate Salon & Spa
Stratham
www.wingatespa.com

Family complex
The Inn at East Hill Farm
Troy
east-hill-farm.com

NH sports team
New Hampshire Fishing Cats
Manchester
milb.com/new-hampshire

Spa Resort/Hotel
Omni Mount Washington Resort
Bretton Woods
omnihotels.com/brettonwoods

Overall summer outdoor attraction
land of history
glen
storylandnh.com

Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Area Summer Outdoor Attraction
Mount Sunapee
Newbury
mountsunapee.com

Lake District summer outdoor attraction
Gunstock Hill Station
Gilford
gunstock.com

Merrimack Valley Summer Outdoor Attraction
Canobie Lake Park
Salem
canobie.com

Monadnock Region Summer Outdoor Attraction
The Inn at East Hill Farm
Troy
east-hill-farm.com

Summer outdoor attraction Coastal region
Hampton Beach
Hampton
hamptonbeach.org

Summer outdoor attraction White Mountains Region
Santa Claus Village
Jefferson
santasvillage.com

Great North Woods Region Summer Outdoor Attraction
Bear Rock Adventures
Pittsburgh
bearrockadventures.com

Bed and breakfast
The Christmas Farm Inn & Spa
jackson
noelfarminn.com

Ski station
Gunstock Hill Station
Gilford
gunstock.com

Back To Top