The memories of last year’s cold and snowy winter don’t seem too distant. The 2014- 2015 winter saw some of the coldest and snowiest weather ever recorded in the Northeast. With El Nino impacting weather conditions this year, it is difficult to predict exactly how the winter will turn out.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac made their predictions for the 2015-2016 winter season and it looks like he are in store for another cold and snow filled winter in New England. New Hampshire should expect above normal snowfall and below normal temperatures. A southern jet stream and a few Nor’easters should make for a nice ski season the reports say.
With leaves beginning to change, fall is making an early appearance in the White Mountains. As you set out on your leaf peeping adventures this autumn, there are a few things to remember. Here are some helpful tips for staying safe while seeing the colors of New England.
Be sure to carry a detailed map with you. While it is fun to get lost in the beauty of the scenery, it isn’t as fun when you can’t find your way back to the hotel.
Remember that you are not the only person on the road. Many area residents use the beautiful back roads to get around so be sure to use foliage etiquette. Pull to the side and allow faster cars to pass you. Also, be sure to ask permission before exploring private land.
Don’t just see the beauty from your car. Take in the sweet smells of fires and orchards and explore everything the area has to offer.
When you start your trek through the White Mountains National Forest, be sure to pick up a parking pass to avoid getting a ticket. Passes are only $3 and can be obtained by calling 603-466-2713. The money collected goes to protecting the forest habitat.
Don’t rush from place to place just to see as many places as possible before dark. Take time to enjoy the location.
Peak season isn’t a day, the season is a continuum. Colors and stages vary due to elevation and tree types.
Observe the “Moose Crossing” signs located throughout Northern New England. Collisions with these 1,000 pound giants can cause significant damage.
The colors are most vivid in the morning light and dew. Rise and shine early to take in the best views. Late afternoon light can also produce deep shadows that are perfect for highlighting the colors.
Mid to late September, thousands of broad- winged hawks begin to migrate south. Don’t forget to look up and check out the raptor migration.
Don’t let the rain keep you inside. Some of the most beautiful colors appear in the wetter weather.
Head off the beaten path. There is an abundance of color and sights off the main roads and interstates.
Book your hotel before arriving. Fall foliage season in New Hampshire is a busy season and many travelers flock to the area.
New England produces some of the best foliage in the country. With high elevations, fall events and beautiful natural surroundings, there is always something to see in the White Mountains. Let us help you plan your leaf peeping adventure today!
Located just west of North Conway, the Saco River is a hidden gem of the New England countryside and a mecca of outdoor recreation. Named by Native American settlers, the Saco River flows south east for 125 miles. Originating on Mount Washington, the water flows into Saco Lake in Crawford Notch and continues to flow until it empties into the Atlantic Ocean near Biddeford, Maine.
The crystal clear waters and sand lined banks make the perfect playground for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. With sandy beaches, rope swings and average 3 foot deep waters, the Saco is perfect for an afternoon of river floating or canoeing. The river offers public access or you can rent equipment from several area river outfitters.
There are several camping areas on the river banks and sandbars or campgrounds located near the river for longer trips and overnight camping. If you prefer fishing, the area will not disappoint. Throughout the river you can find landlocked salmon, brook trout, and smallmouth bass. There are several tackle shops throughout the area that carry all the supplies for a summer fishing trip.
The prime season for visiting the Saco River is May to October. Since the river is fed by Mount Washington and dependent on rainfall, conditions and water levels will vary based on weather. Dry periods during the summer can make for shallow patches of water.
Not only is the river the source of water recreation, but a beautiful, calm and winding jewel located between the mountains and dense forest landscapes of New Hampshire and Maine. Whether you are an avid kayaker or just looking to relax and see the beauty of the area from the water, we invite you to float down the Saco River.
From paved paths to mountain routes the North Conway area offers trails for all ages and ability levels. Mountain bikers will rejoice with over 200 miles of trails and downhill terrain in the Mount Washington Valley. Whether you are an experienced rider or just looking for a little outdoor adventure, the area offers something for everyone.
Here are some great trails to take advantage of when planning your next mountain biking trip in North Conway:
Located off Kearsarge Road in North Conway, this ride is ideal for families with older children. There are no maps or signs needed for this in and out 2 mile ride. Located on an undeveloped section of land, the area is filled with cross country ski trails that are ideal for off road riding.
Rob Brook Road:
This gated road provides access to a beautiful forest landscape. The packed dirt and gravel road makes for a long, but easy ride through the scenery of the White Mountains. This 15.8 mile trek passes around Birch Hill and travels along the Kancamagus Highway and Bear Notch Road. Overall the terrain is easy, but there a few places where the trails reach intermediate and challenging levels.
Pudding Pond Area:
Located in North Conway off Artisan Falls Road, this area is home to the well-known Sticks and Stones Trail. The 20 miles of single track trails offer incredible scenery and rides. There are a variety of trails varying from fast to flat to climbs to downhill rides.
Sawyer River Road:
The Sawyer River Road Trail is a 7.5 mile ride through the valley along the former railroad logging line. This challenging trail system is popular among cross country skiers and snowmobilers during winter months. Old railroad ties and bridge supports still lie as a reminder of the roads’ past uses.
With over 29 trails, the Attitash trail system is design for advanced riders. The downhill trails make for fast and technical rides. The large boulders and buried tree stumps can make navigation challenging. If you are looking for an easier ride, there is an 8 mile trail by the river.
With a variety of trails and difficulty levels, the Mount Washington Valley is ideal for your biking adventures.
The White Mountains and Mount Washington Valley are filled with outdoor adventure for every ability. From short and flat hikes to challenging terrain, the area offers something for every hiker. With creeks, rivers and waterfalls, the scenic beauty of New England is some of the best in the country. If you are planning your next outdoor adventure, here are a few hikes to consider:
Located in Crawford Notch State Park, Arethusa Falls is the highest single drop waterfall in New Hampshire. This 2.6 mile hike is rather easy and popular among families. Walking along the Bemis Brook you can visit several smaller waterfalls as you travel to Arethusa Falls.
Kancamagus Boulder Loop
Starting next to the Swift River at the Albany Covered Bridge the trail loops for a 3 mile journey. As its name states, the area is home to large boulders and rock ledges. From the ledges there are scenic views of the river, Kancamagus Highway and the peaks of sandwich ridge. The hike can be steep in places and may not be suitable for younger children.
Popular among families, the 2.2 mile trail provides for an easy hike. From the summit you can see Mount Washington, Kearsarge North, Chocorua and western Maine on a clear day. Deriving its name from the granite swept peak, the area is filled with varieties of animal and plant life.
Mt. Kearsarge North Trail
Due to its length and rise in elevation, this is one of the area’s more difficult journeys. The 6 mile round trip hike travels through a pine forest to offer spectacular views to the south and west. After reaching an elevation of 2,500 feet at the summit, you can see to the Atlantic Ocean and the western New Hampshire boarder.
Located in Echo Lake State Park in Conway, it is one of the best overlooks in the area. The 1.2 mile Bryce Hiking Path leads to the top of Cathedral Ledge. From the top you can see spectacular views of the area and usually a few experienced climbers navigating up and down the front of the ledge.
White Horse Ledge
This 3.5 mile trail loop showcase the beauty of the area. The overlook is just a short walk from Cathedral Ledge and usually less populated. From the ledge you can see the entire Mount Washington Valley and the climbers.
The hike to Diana’s Bath is easy and pleasant for the entire family. Walking along the Moat Mountain Trail you’ll see Lucy Brook cascading over the rock ledges and boulders that flow into Diana’s Baths. The area is perfect for splashing in the cool pools or walking from rock to rock.
Before embarking on your next hike, be sure to pack the essentials. Pack a backpack with water, snacks, sunscreen and bug repellant and wear supportive shoes and the proper attire. Happy hiking!
For 154 years, Mt. Washington Auto Road has been attracting visitors from all over New England. Located just 25 minutes north of North Conway, this privately owned and operated auto road stretches 4,618 feet and reaches more than a mile into the sky at its highest peak.
This remarkable 7.6 mile roadway offers scenic vistas. Due to the changing weather conditions, no two rides are ever the same. Weather and foliage produce ever changing views of the White Mountains. From the summit, the highest point in New England, you can see the spectacular views of the Great Gulf Wilderness and the Presidential Range. The weather conditions and high wind speeds make for some of the worst weather on Earth. It was here in 1934 that a 231 mile per hour wind gust was recorded, the highest wind velocity ever documented. On clear days, you can even see the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.
During summer months, Mt. Washington Auto Road offers both guided tours and tours that allow you to drive yourself. If you are comfortable with heights and narrow mountain roads, you can hop into your own car and follow the meandering turns and narrow passes to the top. When you begin your journey at the Toll House, you will be given a cd that narrates the history, weather and other features of this spectacular drive. In addition, you will get your very own, famous “This Car Climbed Mt. Washington” bumper sticker.
If you’d rather just go along for the ride, the guided tour is a perfect choice. This 2 hour round trip excursion takes you by van to the summit. At the top of the mountain, you will have time to explore, visit the museums and gift shops and even grab a bite to eat.
Whether you choose a guided tour or you drive yourself, the Mt. Washington Auto Road offers the thrills of a roller coaster with unmatched views of the mountains and valleys. When planning your next North Conway vacation, be sure to visit the unparalleled Mt. Washington Auto Road.
Here are our suggestions for making the most of your Mt. Washington Valley vacation:
Start your morning with hearty and delicious offerings from our complimentary deluxe continental breakfast, including items such as sausage, cheese omelets, egg patties and pancakes in addition to traditional breakfast favorites. After you have fueled up, it is time to embark on the day’s adventures. Make that short drive to the Conway Scenic Railroad. There, you can enjoy an authentic railroading experience as you board vintage, restored train cars and ride the rails through the beautiful White Mountains landscape.
After you leave the station, head to Diana’s Baths and experience nature at it’s very finest. The baths are fed from Big Attitash Mountain and offer plenty of opportunity to explore the rocks, ledges, falls and brooks that make up this natural wonder. The hike to the falls is easy and relatively flat.
When you are finished playing conductor on the trains and exploring the beauty of Mother Nature, stop in to Settler’s Green for a little late afternoon shopping. The outlet village boasts over 60 national brand name outlet stores with 30%-60% discounts. Don’t forget, New Hampshire doesn’t have a sales tax on purchases, so you are free to do a little more shopping!
After you’ve shopped until you’re ready to drop, let the kids expel their energy as they swing and play on our playground while you grill up dinner on the property grills. We also have an indoor and outdoor pool, so the children will never get bored.
The next morning we suggest you start early and make Story Land your destination for the day. With 21 attractions, it’s a children’s paradise. With rides, attractions, shows and games, there is always something to do. When you’ve had as much fun as you can stand, stop in an area restaurant like the Muddy Moose or the Black Cap Grille for a delicious end to an eventful weekend.
Book your weekend getaway at the Green Granite and enjoy a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Our convenient location and amenities make us one of the most family friendly inns in North Conway.
Storyland is one of the most popular attractions in the North Conway area. This unique theme park brings storybook characters and fantasy to life for young children. This family- friendly park offers rides, playgrounds, characters, shows and games children are sure to enjoy. Here are a few tips for making the most out of your Storyland experience:
Every time you turn on the news it seems more snow is falling in New England. Back to back snow storms have impacted the area in recent weeks, leaving feet of white in its wake. With record snowfall for the season, skiing and snowboarding conditions are at their prime.
While the ski resorts in the west are experiencing warmer temperatures and less snowfall than average, the big flakes continue to fall over the northeast. The east is on track to have one of the snowiest winters on record. This record breaking weather has brought something most New England skiers are not accustomed to seeing, powder. The snow on the east coast is wetter and doesn’t usually accumulate as much as the light powder snow of the Rockies. Usually by early March the slopes are covered with slushy, icy snow not the packed powder variety currently covering the White Mountains.
The North Conway area has long been known for the array of winter activities found in the area. With an average of 83 inches of snow annually, there is no shortage of fun to be had. From skiing and skating to snow tubing, there are winter activities the entire family will enjoy. Here are a few of our favorite on things to do in the winter near North Conway: