I know I’m a little partial to New Hampshire. It is a seriously awesome state, with such variety and a lot of wildness for such a small state. For our third anniversary adventure this year, we explored the Northern reaches of New Hampshire, and ended up finding some hidden gems. Look :::
Glories of ::: Benton, NH ::: this is Long Pond (on some maps, also called Whitcher Pond), tucked away on a stretch of road called North-South road (on some maps, also called Long Pond Road), between routes 25 and 116. There is a campground all around the still water; it would be a very peaceful place to stay overnight. Nearby is the Appalachian Trail and Mount Moosilauke, so if you like hiking, this is a spot to check out for sure. We even saw a young moose feeding! Onward we drove, making it up to the town of ::: Sugar Hill, NH ::: where we had a lovely stay at the Inn at Sunset Hill, enjoying sweeping views of the Presidential Mountain range, wonderful food, and cozy surroundings.
The next morning, we set out, still heading north. We made it to ::: Colebrook, NH ::: and visited Beaver Brook waterfall, a really impressive, high waterfall that I’ve never even heard of before! If you notice how small Ethan is in the photo below, it gives you an idea of the scale. The water fall is easy to find. If you approach the town of Colebrook from the South, take a right on route 145 (follow signs for the Hospital to find the route). It is just a few miles up route 145, and is very clearly marked (you can see the falls from the side of the road). There is a picnic area and a big lawn in front of it. There are paths through the woods all around the falls. Since it was chilly and slightly snowing when we visited, we went back into downtown Colebrook and had lunch at a quaint French cafe, owned by people who are actually from France (so their shop is filled with authentic treats and imported goods from Europe!) We enjoyed homemade pea soup and a freshly baked baguette. We also picked up some sweet treats for later; madeleines and macarons. Yum.
After lunch in Colebrook, we headed East towards ::: Dixville Notch ::: on Route 26. I had never been on that road, and was stunned to see such gorgeous scenery. Right off the side of the road, there are giant cliff spires rising up out of the forest. Directly across the street is the Balsams Resort (which was closed for the weekend when we drove by, or else we would have explored it for sure). After admiring the sights (and feeling gleeful that there was snow falling!) we continued onward, to the town of Errol. After a brief stop at the outdoors wear store there, we headed south through Milan, and ended up antiquing in Gorham. To complete our huge Northern New Hampshire loop, we cut back West across the state through Jefferson, and then headed South towards home, making a quick stop at Echo Lake by the foot of Canon mountain. When it became too cold to admire the lake any further, we drove onward to home, stopping only for a latte on the way in North Woodstock at the Cascade Coffeehouse and Cafe. The hot drinks were the perfect thing to get us through the long stretch of highway back home.
When we set out on this two day-one night trip we literally had no plan (well, unless you count “we’re going to drive north” as a plan). But things couldn’t have worked out more perfectly. Sometimes its best to use a real map, avoid the highway, and stop at whatever looks interesting to you. Even in your home state, whatever state that may be, I bet there are plenty of hidden gems waiting to be found. Happy adventuring 🙂