We are a little behind with getting this blog post out, but we were busy with holidays and just life in general. However, we really wanted to blog about this outdoor adventure because Andrew and Lindsay got a day away to get out on our own (without a 2 year old in tow). Since we did not have to worry about trying to carry Alden in a backpack carrier or think about his comfort level, we wanted to pick something that we couldn’t do with him. We chose to check out Georgiana Falls in Lincoln, NH. As most of you will remember, December of 2015 was nearly snow-less and warm, as you’ll see from the photos and videos below.
04 Feb 2016 1 Comment
20 Dec 2015 3 Comments
A few weeks ago, our little family headed to a popular summer hiking spot: The Flume in Franconia State Park. This time of year the trail through the Flume is closed due to dangerous ice that develops through the notch. Rangers even remove the boards and steps that thousands of tourists walk on in the warmer months. However, we knew that we could still conveniently enjoy others areas of the park, especially since we have come to realize that Franconia Notch State Park can serve as our easily accessed local park with big rewards.
15 Nov 2015 Leave a comment
A couple of weekends ago, our friend Sarah was visiting and we headed down the road to The Rocks Estate for a fall foliage walk in Bethlehem, NH. The Rocks Estate is owned by The Society for the Protection of NH Forests and this particular property is mainly a Christmas Tree Farm. We’ve hiked here before, read about it here: On The Go-zzo.
After we parked we checked out some interpretive information inside a small cabin where you can find a short historical video and lots of pictures. We grabbed a map and headed up the Gozzo Trail. There was plenty of color in the trees and lots starting to fall on the ground. We entertained Alden by looking and collecting the best leaves.
We followed the trail down to the Maple Barn and took a quick tour inside. Andrew hoped we’d find free maple syrup samples, but no such luck. We will have to come here during their NH Maple Experience event next year. Despite the beautiful foliage this weekend, there were very few other people here. The temperatures were a little chilly, so perhaps people were opting for foliage drives instead of foliage hikes.
We quickly made our way to the powerline and then down to the bridge. From this point the trail continues on, toward the back of the property where Andrew and Lindsay had hiked and blogged a few years ago (On the Go-zzo). So we turned around and walked down to the beaver pond.
On the way back to the car we stopped at a building that used to be an old schoolhouse and barn. Then we explored the bee keepers pavilion and old swimming pool area.
Happy fall everyone!
26 Sep 2015 Leave a comment
The other day we decided to head out for a canoe ride on Long Pond in Benton, NH. Long Pond is within the White Mountain National Forest and as its’ name describes it is a very long, narrow, and somewhat shallow pond. This was Alden and Lindsay’s first visit to Long Pond, but Andrew had previously visited the shore a few times while traveling by on the Forest Service road to the east called Long Pond or North and South Road. He never put a boat on it’s waters, but has always had it on the list for a “must-visit”.
This was anticipated to be a very special place as it is located in a higher elevation valley between the massive bulk of the Mount Moosilauke mountain complex to the east, and a lower range to the west that buttresses the Connecticut River Valley.
There is a nice boat launch with plenty of parking (be sure to pay your fee in the iron ranger). The pond has a dam on one end and we saw a family fishing off of it while we were there.
There were many other paddlers out there on this beautiful sunny morning. The fun thing about this pond are its’ many rock islands that you can explore. The water is shallow around these islands, fun to be able to get out and stretch your legs, but don’t get your boat stuck on rocks and logs!
We took our time, paddling on the western edge of the pond heading south. The pond is surrounded by a spruce-fir forest, making little opportunities for shade along the shore (unlike a hardwood forest shoreline with its’ overhanging maple tree branches). However, this type of shoreline seems to evoke a more secluded feeling.
We saw lots of wildlife: fish, crayfish, osprey, and what we think were peregrine falcons. The views were spectacular on this bluebird day. We didn’t realize the sunshine we were getting until we got home that night to slight sunburns.
After checking out the semi-boreal marsh on the south end with hopes of spotting a moose or some turtles, we pointed the canoe north and made our way along the eastern shore. On the way back Andrew had unexpected glimpses of expansive ledges rising from the forest to the northwest. He realized after a look at the map that these were mountains he had always wondered about when looking west from the summits of the higher peaks to the east. Some research later at home revealed some interesting possible future hiking explorations of Black, Sugarloaf, and Hogback Mountains; all of which feature either open ledges, precipitous cliffs, or abandoned ladder trails and bushwhacks.
This was a really wonderful, quiet pond that was a pleasant place to paddle.
30 Aug 2015 3 Comments
Last weekend we beat the heat by heading to The Basin in Franconia Notch State Park in Franconia, NH. The Basin is one of many roadside natural attractions in the park, that has well developed accessible trails that showcase the dramatic beauty. Our friend Sarah joined us for this adventure too!
23 Jul 2015 1 Comment
Last weekend the weather forecast said it was going to be hot. So we decided to head somewhere that was cool. We went crawling through caves at Lost River Gorge. This tourist adventure park is in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the property is owned by the Society for the Protection of NH Forests, but the tourist park is run by another outfitter. It’s a little pricey, but it is a fun time. We had been here once before almost one year ago when Alden was barely walking, but it started to thunderstorm while we were there and got chased out (note: they don’t give refunds or rain checks if this happens).
The one mile trail is all boardwalk that starts off going down many stairs to the bottom of the gorge. It was quite busy on this day with many large groups and other families crowding the boardwalks, but you can skirt around clusters and go back if one cave or feature is too crowded. The caves are cool, dark, and easy to explore, although many require you to get down on hands and knees to squeeze through. You can also by-pass them if you don’t want to go through any of the caves.
In the first caves Alden liked to crawl through and seemed to find them very interesting. He also liked finding waterfalls and going over the bridges that connected the cave attractions.
We stopped at a well-placed bench to stop and eat a snack and watched a large group (several different families we think) pass by us. Of course when we started on the boardwalk again, we quickly bumped into this large group at a part of the trail where several caves and loops intersect one another. There was a short wait to go through the caves and unfortunately it felt like you couldn’t spend too much time in the caves because there was a line of people behind you.
About halfway through one of the caves, Alden turned to Lindsay and asked to be picked up and said “let’s go home.” I guess he’d had enough, but he still had to crawl and squeeze out of the cave, which he did without much protest. Even though Alden was done going in the caves, Andrew continued on to do a couple more while Lindsay and Alden did the by-passes.
We opted to do the boardwalk loop near the end which had some nice views through a pretty forest and got us away from the crowds. We also checked out the new boardwalk and pavilion that had recently opened. Afterwards Lindsay found out that just the day before Governor Maggie Hassan cut the ribbon for the grand opening.
Back at the building, we checked out the rock sifting stations and played in the rushing water. Even though we usually get outside in lesser traveled places, this was a great choice on such a hot day. Any level of hiking/walking ability can do it and there are lots of benches to sit and rest, have a snack, and enjoy the view. We saw the full range of ages too, from babies to grandparents, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. We certainly had fun climbing through the caves and will come back again as Alden gets older in order to take advantage of the natural air conditioning.
21 Jun 2015 4 Comments
Last weekend we headed over to Crawford Notch in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We wanted to go on a short hike to Ripley Falls, which is reported to be the second highest waterfall in NH. The trailhead is easy to find within Crawford Notch State Park off of Route 302. A large sign lets us know that this is a short 20 minutes hike to the falls. We parked at the bottom of the road, but there is additional parking just a short distance up the road where the kiosk and trail begins.