Wintertime FUN in NH!

NH Recreation Articles: NH Winter Recreation


Wintertime Fun Has Just Begun
A Few Things To Do In The North Country

by Kent Page McGroarty

Kayaking, swimming and hiking season may be long over, but there's plenty of options for filling your wintertime (short) days and (long) nights. In northern New Hampshire you'll find numerous opportunities for outdoor fun, including snowmobiling excursions, free ski lessons, winter wonderland observatory trips and much, much more. Check out a few of the many things to do in UpState NH:

Snow Coach: Climb the Northeast's Tallest Peak

In the winter, ascending Mount Washington can only be done one special way. While some quarter of a million people hike the peak or access it via train or car during warm weather, it's impossible to drive or hike in wintertime. The Snow Coach trip was created as a way for interested parties to find themselves above treeline enjoying winter weather landscapes without having to risk their lives. Mount Washington is known for weather so extreme it's on par with Everest and the North and South Poles, so climbing the peak in a snowcat is like entering a world of only ice, snow and rock minus the frostbite.

Keep in mind that these trips are very much dependent on area's famously-erratic weather. The tour opened for the season on December 16, and will remain open until mid-March. Tours begin from the Great Glen Trails base lodge. Contact Mount Washington Auto Road for more information.

Ski Certain Days and Enjoy Two-For-One Pricing

Northern NH has a dozen great ski areas from which to choose. Regularly ski at Great Glen Trails? Zoom down mountains on Fridays and Mondays and receive two-for-one pricing on rentals, trail passes, tubing, the aforementioned Snow Coach and more. Simply bring the two-for-one coupon via the official Great Glen site to obtain this great deal. Call 603-466-2333 or email for more information.

Say Hello to the New Year from Mount Washington

Celebrate the coming year while standing on the tallest point in New England! The Mount Washington Observatory offers a New Year's Eve overnight trip that includes a gourmet meal, Snow Coach round trip, accommodations at the Mount Washington summit, champagne toast and plenty of other nifty stuff. While this year's (2013-2014) event has sold out, you could be added the list for 2014. Only nine tickets are available per year, and it sells out quickly! Register by contacting Events and Marketing Manager Krissy Fraser at 800-356-2137, ext. 231.

Participate in Saturday Family Nights at Cannon Mountain

Cannon Mountain in Franconia Notch features "Saturday Family Nights" every Saturday starting December 28 through March 15, 2014. Enjoy torchlight parades, fireworks, movies and much more. Call 603-823-8800 or email to find out more about Cannon's special events.

Try Ziplining This New Year

Always wanted to glide over tree tops? Check out the Bretton Woods Nordic Center's canopy tour specials, including mid-week options in January. Two-for-one specials are also available on Tuesdays, where two guests can enjoy ziplining for $110. Call 603-278-4ZIP(4947) for more information.

Learn to Ski... For Free!

Learn to ski without depleting your wallet! First-time skiers are welcome at Great Glen Trails the week of January 13-17 for free lessons, rentals and trail passes. Register at and download a coupon to score your free lesson, available to those ages 6 and up. Be sure to call and make your reservation; lesson times are 10:00am, 11:30am and 1:00pm, and are a little over an hour long. This special is available to first-time skiers only! Call 603-466-2333 or email to learn more.

Bask in Winter Beauty from the Back of a Snowmobile

Enjoy northern New Hampshire terrain while riding a snowmobile. Trails are maintained by the state of NH and snowmobile club volunteers, and typically open for the season around mid-December. Joining a club means perks such as discounted sled registrations and access to warm-up huts. Club membership also means knowing which trails are open and which aren't, though you can check the NH Parks and Recreation department website for trail conditions. Enjoy the safety and camaraderie of riding with fellow club members! For a list of clubs click here.

Headed Home? Participate in a New England Tradition: Muster Field Farm Museum Ice Day

This Kezar Lake tradition is perfect for the whole family! Head to Muster Field Farm Museum in North Sutton and watch volunteers cut through huge blocks of ice! The ice is then transferred to this working farm's ice house for summer use. Admission is free and hot drinks and desserts will be provided by the historic Ryder Corner School House. Ice Day happens January 26, 2014 at 9am "until the ice is in." Call 603-927-4276 or email for more information.

Kent Page McGroarty is a freelance lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in AZ Central Healthy Living, SF Gate Home and Garden, Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and more.

RELATED ARTICLE: Northern NH's Little Ski Areas


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