White Mountains, NH

We spent a week in late June in Lincoln, New Hampshire in the White Mountain National Forest.  This being our first trip to New Hampshire, we had no idea what to expect.  The White Mountains are simply gorgeous, with endless trails to walk, hike, bike and drive. Johan went out the first afternoon to pick up some groceries and on his way found a car racing event, which was also an unexpected surprise. Being in the mountains was a change from the coastal towns we’ve been frequenting lately, and we forgot how calming it is to take long, quiet hikes while surrounded by tall trees. On Father’s Day we hiked the Franconia Falls Trail in Franconia Notch.  Franconia Falls is about 7 miles out and back, and we tacked on a detour to Black Pond to make the total trip an even 10.  Next we took the 26-mile Franconia Notch Bike Trail from the Skookumchuck Trailhead to Flume Gorge, stopping along the way to see the Old Man of the Mountain (though the actual “old man” has fallen off the mountain, they have created a really cool exhibit where you can stand and see what you would have seen before the rocks fell away), Echo Lake, Cannon Mountain and the New England Ski Museum, The Basin, and Flume Gorge at the base of Mount Liberty.  Twice we went to the town of Littleton for dinner, it’s an adorable village with some darling shops and restaurants.  We had great pizza and beer at Schilling Beer Company, and a really good burger at the Beal House.  It’s another town with truly genuine people, and I can only imagine how beautiful it must be in the fall and winter. On our last day, we hiked 3 miles up Mt. Washington, getting just above the treeline to take some pics of the breathtaking views before ducking out of the wind and heading back down.  Some very brave hikers (undeterred by extreme wind conditions and in much better shape than we are) go all the way to the top, but we’ll save that for another day.  We’ll just call that a stretch goal for a future visit.  You can also ride a steam train on the COG Railway to the top and hike down the mountain, getting the views and mileage in but without the whole part where you first have to walk UP the mountain.  Before going home for the night we stopped to explore the grounds of the Mt. Washington Resort, so lovely.  A convention of Edward Jones employees wandered around with nametags and portfolios reminding us of a time when we worked 9-to-5.  Boy do we miss those days.  (Ha)  We’ll head back to New Hampshire in the winter sometime so Johan can get in some skiing, and in the summer when we have forgotten how many shades of green there are in the White Mountains.