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Winter Off Road 137 (800x600)Winter Off Road 140 (800x600) Hmmm, what to do with 7 and 13 year old boys???? Got it – OFF-ROADING! I’ve been in the spring, but never in the winter, so we took my 7 year old son and 13 year old cousin out with Alpine Adventures for an off-roading excursion. Our guide let my cousin ride up front with him (very cool). We strapped in and headed out. It was cold, but they had some blankets to put over the ones who wanted it, and let me tell you, those Pinzgauers can go anywhere! Right over the ice and up the side of a mountain we went, bumping all the way. We stopped at a landing area and all got out to admire the amazing views. We all took advantage of some great photo-ops before heading back down. Gotta tell you, the downhill was scarier than the uphill! I was a little surprised that it wasn’t bumpier, but our guide explained that some of the ruts fill in with ice to smooth things out a bit. Just like the spring tour, I think everyone’s favorite part was the “seat belt check”. They drive that truck right up a super steep hill so it practically feels like it’s standing on it’s end! Afterwards we came back to The Lodge and soaked in the hot tub. Super fun for the whole family (my mom and aunt came too!). Check out our off-roading lodging packages on the Packages and Specials page of our website and see for yourselves!

Winter Zipping?? Oh Yeah…

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Winter zip close up

Ever tried zip-lining? Ever tried it during the winter?? Alpine Adventures is rolling out a new winter course that uses parts of all their current courses to create their best trip yet! Don’t worry about the temps because this year they will supply those super warm snowsuits to keep you toasty. They also have bonfires out there to warm your fingers and toes. You might not even notice thanks to that adrenaline rush! Best of all, we offer a value package that includes lodging and all of this for a really good rate. Check out our package page for more info and give us a call today!

Winter Is Here!

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I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! It looks like someone flipped the switch and we are now experiencing WINTER! The snow is coming down and all the local ski areas have opened. Check out our package page for info on ski and snowmobile packages. Christmas tree packages are starting to check in this weekend and the Polar Express as well! We’d love to see you.

Polar Caves!

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What to do on a HOT day? Go to Polar Caves of course!  I hadn’t been there in a couple of years, so I decided it was time to re-familiarize myself with this attraction (plus, my son loves it there!). My plan was to see how Polar Caves compared to Lost River. Well, they are totally different. At Polar Caves, you go “up” – pretty much up a rock cliff (by sturdy stairs of course). The caves are in the side of this mountain and are much larger and longer than any of the Lost River caves. At Lost River you go “down” – down into a gorge with a river running through it. The caves are tighter and shorter and most of them have water inside. You get cool views at both places, but again they are totally different. Polar Caves has scenic vistas from way up high, and Lost River has waterfalls and river boardwalks. Both have a Lemon Squeeze and “chicken walks” if you choose not to go through the caves. Polar Caves also has deer and ducks to feed as well as a peacock and colorful pheasants. Both have cool gift shops with lots of affordable trinkets.  So I guess visitors are going to need to go to both attractions for two completely different White Mountain experiences. 🙂

Many thanks to Rob at Polar Caves for his hospitality. I was reminded of how much I enjoy visiting those caves and will surely go back again next year!

NH Sandbox

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102_0082a102_0072aWritten by Kate (one of our front desk employees):

We recently took our 12 year old grandson, Austin, to Glenn’s Sandbox in Woodstock, NH for an “Earth Moving” experience. Since Austin loves big machinery, this was perfect for something different.

We were taken up to the sandpit in a neat 4-wheel drive Ford Excursion. Glenn fully explained the use of the excavator and bulldozer as well as the safety requirements of the machines. Then it was time for Austin to jump on board and begin his job of digging and filling. He dug a huge trench-like hole ON HIS OWN and wanted to jump in for pictures! He then had to fill it back in with the bulldozer. We got great pictures and had a wonderful 2 hours.

Austin called after his return to Maine to tell “Pepere” it was the coolest thing he had ever done! we would highly recommend The Sandbox for family fun (and bored teens)!

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SWI

We had to check out the new attraction at Whale’s Tale Waterpark, so we took advantage of yet another gorgeous sunny day and headed over there yesterday. My son is 6, and this was the perfect place for him to hang out. He is too big now for the kiddie play area, and this new Shipwreck Island was just what he needed. There are several good-sized (but not too big) slides that were just right for his age and size. He had a friend with him, and the two of them spent hours climbing up and around and down the various slides. There are water cannons to aim, and water continuously sprays all around. Every so often, a huge drum of water at the top dumps on all below in a huge deluge. There are lounge chairs all around, so parents can relax and can see their kids all the time.  Don’t get me wrong – we still did all the other cool slides, lazy river, wave pool, etc, but the new Shipwreck Island fills a niche gets 2 thumbs up from us!

Sunday Hike

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WD2Since it was such a beautiful Sunday morning, Zach (6) and I decided to hike the Welch and Dickey Loop. I had not done this hike in probably 10 years. It starts out easy through the woods along a brook, then you head up to the summit of Welch Mountain.  There are extensive rock ledges and boulders and alpine-like vegetation. The views are UNBELIEVABLE! It took us just over an hour to get to this point. We stopped here and explored a bunch and had our picnic lunch. I had forgotten just how much of a hike was left to get to the top of Dickey Mountain. There is a lot of  hiking over open rock ledges and up steep inclines. Zach handled it like a champ, often running ahead a bit. It was pretty tiring, but just gorgeous and well worth the effort. Although there were a lot of cars in the parking lot, we really didn’t see that many people, since the trail is a loop. After another rest at the top of Dickey we headed down. The trail is really interesting the whole way with lots to look at. Overall, it took us about 4 hours to go the 4.4 mile loop. I highly recommend this hike to families with kids 5 or 6 years and up. Just don’t forget plenty of drinking water and your bug spray! The trailhead is about 20 minutes from Lincoln.

Off-Road Safari

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Our front desk crew was lucky enough to try off-roading with our friends at Alpine Adventures over the weekend. It was POURING, so we weren’t sure what to expect. The top and sides of the Pinzgauer were closed as we drove from Alpine Adventures to the off-roading course, so we did not get wet. When we got to the course, we all decided to open the sides so we could really see what was going on. The driver (Jesse) cranked up the tunes and gave us a little taste of the terrain before stopping at the start of the Skyrider zipline course. We all got out and walked across some hanging bridges and got a good view of one of the ziplines. Once back in the Pinzgauer, Jesse took us out onto the “meat” of the course. He backed us up hills so we were looking straight down into mud in front, and up to the sky in back! The 6-wheel drive vehicle handled the mud like a champ. We bumped and bounced over some pretty incredible trails. There were 3 kids onboard (I’m guessing maybe 4, 5, and 7 years old) who hooted and hollered and screamed for the driver to go faster! They were having the time of their lives! The mud was REALLY deep as it had been pouring for hours, and we eventually did get stuck. It was just a short walk out though to where the Alpine Adventures van picked us up. We enjoyed our adventure immensely and highly recommend this trip – even on a rainy day. Incidentally, I am very prone to motion sickness, and was not bothered by this at all.  Check out our off-road safari package on our “packages and specials” page and many thanks to Alpine Adventures for giving us first-hand info to pass along to our guests!

Beans and Greens Corn Maze

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SO – I’ve learned a lesson. Corn mazes are much bigger and trickier than they appear! When we got there they asked us if we had a cell phone and their phone number in case we wanted them to come get us. “Oh – we’ll be fine” we said. We signed out so they knew what time we left. Well, we entered the maze and found the first bridge no problem. It was really neat with very good paths and tall corn. After coming down from the first bridge, we found the center with many paths leading from it. We explored many of these, then decided to head back to the first bridge to scope out a path to the second bridge. We found a sign with an arrow pointing “this way” to the bridge. Well, we must have tried every path in that direction 10 times. We finally decided to go the opposite way the arrow was pointing. There was the bridge. Hmmmm… At that point my son was thirsty and tired, so we found our way out. When we signed back in, we mentioned the sign, and they laughed and said they were glad we liked their joke. Once again I say Hmmm… We spent so much time looking for the way back to the first bridge that we never got to explore the rest of the maze. There were also clues and riddles in the maze that were not explained to us, so we were not sure what we were supposed to do. Overall, it was really well laid out and maintained, but not very well explained. I would definitely bring drinks and snacks next time, and not assume that the signs were correct! All-in-all, a fun day!

Windy Ridge Orchard

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This is such a beautiful time of year in New Hampshire! After all these years, we are still finding things to do that we have never done before. Like apple picking! We decided on Windy Ridge Orchard in North Haverhill. It was a suprisingly short (and gorgeous) drive from Lincoln west across Route 112. We went on a Thursday afternoon and were a bit surprised to see so many other people there. We purchased our apple bag ($9) in the gift shop and headed out to the orchard. They had McIntosh and Cortland apples available to pick that day. There were 8 rows open for picking, and Zach was very happy to see that there were plenty that he could reach himself! We filled our bag to the tippety top in no time at all. There were animals to feed (goats, pigs, donkeys, and chickens), a playground, and a little trail system for the kids to explore. We treated ourselves to their homemade apple donuts (which were fabulous!) and some cider in their cafe before heading home. The apples are so crisp and delicious – we have all been eating 2-3 each day! Hmmmm – we may need to go back….