Things To Do Seasonally in the Western White Mountains
In the Western White Mountains, every season has its own special activities. In the winter, skiing and snowboarding are huge. In the summer, a lot of people come to visit to kayak or go hiking. What visitors don’t know is that every season has its benefit in the Western White Mountains. There are gems that only the locals know about, and we’re going to share a few of those gems here. Live music, dinner trains, wineries, adventure tours, and waterparks are just a few of the things that visitors can enjoy!
Winter Trip Ideas #1:
Ski the White Mountains
Winter is prime season for ski mountains in the Western White Mountains. Come visit and enjoy everything this region has to offer. We’re not just known for our ski and snowboarding! Enjoy winter sports for all ages, including snow tubing, winter ziplines, ice skating, and snowshoeing!
- Cross Country Skiing
- Snow Tubing
- Winter Zipline
- Ice Skating
Winter Trip Ideas #2: Ice Skating Shows
In the winter, Riverwalk Resort converts their pool into an ice skating rink that is open to guests and also hosts professional ice skating shows at night. Enjoy a flight of wine at Riverwalk’s Seven Birches Winery and watch people ice skate outside. Then stop by La Vista Italian Cuisine for a wood fired pizza and a whiskey flight. This is a great option for indoor and outdoor type people with plenty for everyone to enjoy. Another place to enjoy a good show is Jean’s Playhouse, or listen to live music downtown and check out the shops.
Winter Trip Ideas #3: Snowshoeing and Hot Cocoa
This is a great trip idea for people who love the outdoors but aren’t necessarily into skiing or snowboarding. Check out the many tour companies in the area to show you some of the best snowshoeing spots in the White Mountains! In the winter, Alpine Adventures offers snowshoeing daytime tours and limited full moon tours. This includes a 20 minute off road tour and about one hour of snowshoeing with supplies included in the tour package. Alpine Adventures also has a moonlight snowshoeing tour in the wintertime every full moon, which means space is extremely limited. Book ahead and enjoy a tour in the moonlight, followed by hot cocoa in a fire heated tree hut.
Spring Trip Idea #1: ATV Tours
Spring is mud season in the Western White Mountains! Experience adventure on the ground with these 1 and 2 hour ATV tours from Outback Kayak in Lincoln, NH. The Outdoor Center and ATV park consists of 80 acres bordering the beautiful Pemigewasset river with the majority of of the trails in the woods with river views. Ride out to the private pond, sand dune, and after any rainstorm be prepared for mud! This is a one-of-a-kind adventure suitable for the whole family. This company also offers kayak tours, paintball, snowmobile tours, and snowshoe rentals.
Spring Trip Idea #2: Off Roading
Throughout the Western White Mountains there are dozens of adventure tours and ways to enjoy extreme sports. Off-roading is a huge culture up here in the whites, and Alpine Adventures helps visitors join in on the fun! This off-road coaster ride is perfect for mud season. Definitely a ride for the adventure enthusiast, this tour brings groups up Barron Mountain for spectacular views of the Western White Mountains. As the license plates on the vans dictate, buckle up! You’re going to need to hold on tight during this wild ride.
Spring Trip Idea #3: Hike the Western White Mountains
A lot of people assume summer and fall are the best time for hiking. Not necessarily true! Spring is when you’re likely to see the Western White Mountains in its most beautiful form: renewal. As the temperatures begin to rise, wildflowers start sprouting all over the trails and fresh grass grows all over the mountains. Birds migrate back to the Western White Mountains and our animals come out of hibernation. This is a precious time up here, and we’d love to have our visitors witness it. To combat the rainy weather, we advise hiking trails that are paved or heavily walked on to avoid slipping. Also, to avoid any accidents, non-professional climbers are advised to hold off on steep incline climbing, or trails that have rock scrambles.
Spring Trip Idea #4: Discounted Attractions!
Lastly, spring is the season when a lot of summer attractions start opening for the year. While it may be too cold to enjoy water rides, spring is the perfect time for roller coasters, outdoor shows, and segway rides! Check out our local attractions like Clark’s Trading Post to see when they open and if you can get a discounted mud season price. All the fun with less money spent, and likely, shorter lines too!
Summer Trip Idea #1: Kayaking
It gets hot in the summer, even in the Western White Mountains. Take a kayak tour with Outback Kayak to learn kayaking skills, check out the beauty of the Western White Mountains in the summer, and relax by the water. There is also the option to rent out a kayak for an unguided tour of Mirror Lake. Get a kayak for everyone in your family, check out Mirror Lake, and park the kayak on the beach when you’re done. Kayak tours also include a hearty breakfast to start the day!
Summer Trip Idea #2: Hike the White Mountains
Summer is a great time to hike the more difficult, 4,000 ft mountains. Join what the locals call the “4,000 Club”, which means you’ve hiked every 4,000 footer in the white mountains. There’s plenty of sights to see and terrain to conquer. Check out a few of our favorite trails!
This is a fairly difficult 4,000 footer in the White Mountains, but it’s absolutely worth it. The Edmund’s Path brings you to the Eisenhower Loop, which is altogether around 6.6 miles. The trailhead is in Crawford’s Purchase. The top is flatheaded, with a panoramic view of the Presidentials.
Welch & Dickey
This trail was carved in between two low lying mountains near Waterville Valley. The loop comes out to be around 4.6 miles and has a bit of a rock scramble at the top with a supporting chain. The views are absolutely gorgeous, but it only takes a few hours to complete (half day for people who want to take the trail slow). It’s a bit south of the Western White Mountain region but still worth going out of the way.
The Artist Bluff trail is nestled right in Franconia Notch. This 1.5 mile loop trail is heavily trafficked with an elevation gain of around 360 feet. Artist Bluff is great for people of all ages and features NH wildflowers along its path. The top features beautiful views of Cannon Mountain and Echo Lake. This trail is perfect for a quick hike in between checking out Echo Lake, the Basin, and Cannon.
This mountains has several path choices that all lead to the bare 3,500 ft summit. Our personal favorite is taking the Champney Falls Trail, which is about 7.6 miles in Albany, NH. It is best known as the easternmost peak in the Sandwich Range. This is intended for people who are of above average fitness and trail experience.
Summer Trip Idea #3: Outdoor Adventure Parks
When people think of Loon Mountain, they think of winter sports. That’s not the only thing they do! Loon Mountain has year-round activities for people of all ages, including a climbing wall, trampoline, and adventure park. There are even activities for the less-active, including a gondola skyride with beautiful views of the mountain on the way up. Lastly, don’t miss the NH Highland Games in September, which marks the end of the summer for the Western White Mountains.
- Aerial Adventure Park
- Bungee Trampoline
- Log Jam Maze
- Bike rentals
- Gondola Skyrides
- Climbing Wall
- NH Highland Games
- Summit Adventures
Depending on how many activities you want to do, this could be a few hours up to a full day of fun! Go on an adventure and then polish off the day by visiting busy downtown Lincoln for a nice dinner at one of the many restaurants.
Summer Trip Idea #4: Waterparks for Aquatic Adventure Seekers
Located in the Lincoln, NH, is an aquatic adventure for all ages. Whale’s Tale Water Park is centrally located near downtown Lincoln, downtown Woodstock, Loon mountain, Franconia Notch, and Clark’s Trading Post. This is the perfect day trip for people who prefer amusement parks over ponds, lakes, and the nearby Pemi River.
Fall Trip Ideas #1: Drive the ‘Kanc’
Take it slow and drive up the Kancamagus Highway and stop at many of the scenic overlooks and take a moment to appreciate nature’s beauty. If you want to cool down, pull over and take a nice refreshing dip in the river or have a competition with your family to see who can skip the furthest rock. This breathtaking drive will leave you and your family in awe.
Fall Trip Ideas #2: See the Western White Mountains from Above!
Experience the foliage of the Western White Mountains from a different view! Alpine Adventures offers year-round ziplining with three different tours, suitable for the whole family. If keeping your feet on the ground is better suited for you, experience their Off-Road Adventure tour, summiting Barron Mountain, giving you spectacular 360 degree views of foliage.
Fall Trip Ideas #3: Go Leaf Peeping on a Gondola
Loon Mountain Resort is New England’s most-accessible mountain resort destination, offering plenty of exciting summer & fall activities, including scenic gondola skyrides, summit glacial caves, Aerial Forest Adventure Park, Ziplines, rock wall climbing, and more.
Fall Trip Ideas #4: Hike the Western White Mountains
The Western White Mountains have some of the most beautiful views in the Fall. Make a list of hikes to do while you visit and see the mountains at their peak foliage season. There are hikes for all skill levels, ranging from just a short walk to full overnight hikes. Pack and plan accordingly!
Fall Trip Ideas #5: Dinner and a Foliage Train Ride
Schedule a five course dinner for two on the Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train, which will take you on a scenic route through the Western White Mountains while you enjoy the chef’s fine dining menu and drinks concocted by the Train’s Owner and Master Mixologist, Michael French. This two hour ride is beautiful any time of the year, but foliage enthusiasts will find the ride this time of the year to be extraordinary.