Moving northward in New Hampshire from the Lakes region, travelers find themselves launched toward the sky into the White Mountains region, including the towns of Conway, North Conway, Lincoln, Jackson, and Woodstock, and even beyond, into the Great North Woods, which stretches to the Canadian border and encompasses the towns of Berlin, Errol, Colebrook, and Pittsburgh. These are the New Hampshire regions for big sports in the mountain wilderness (although, let us note, indoor people will find plenty of shopping, dining, live theater, and attractions for kids). Not surprisingly, snow sports are big in winter, and summer brings hiking, mountain biking and water sports, some of which happens at ski resorts.
Outdoor beauty and adventure brings visitors to the White Mountains and North Country. We’ll start with views that you can enjoy from your own car, or the passengers carriages of excursion railroads. Mount Washington Auto Road from the base point in Gorham is a drive-yourself adventure up New England’s highest and probably most majestic mountain. Guided tours are available if you prefer to simply look across mountain ridges, not at the road. Mount Washington Cog Railway in Bretton Woods is a trip up the mountainside in railroad cars that are dragged up the slope with a cog system. This ride has been thrilling visitors for 150 years, and the drama is always gripping. Conway Scenic Railroad, in contrast to the Cog, travels through the mountains, passing exquisite scenery. Excursions continue through the fall foliage season.
Enough sitting! Loon Mountain in Lincoln is a ski resort with the whole panoply of snow sports. In the warm seasons, Loon’s personality flips to active adventures like mountain biking, aerial forest adventure on zip lines and rope walks in the tree tops, disc golf, and skyrides on the gondola. In Pittsburg, Bear Rock Adventures will get you out on trails through forest and meadow on Polaris ATVs and snowmobiles. Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel and Rafting in Jefferson does just what the name says; and note that the sled dogs pull wheeled carts across the countryside in the warm seasons.
Families with vigorous kids have lots to keep themselves busy in these regions. A thrill for kids and parents is a walk through Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves in North Woodstock. Lots of steps, footbridges, and the caves aren’t deep enough to be scary. Whale’s Tale Water Park in Lincoln delivers the goods for jumping and splashing. Waterville Valley Resort has a self-contained village with great food and shopping as well as mountain biking, skateboarding, pedal boats, canoes and a sandy beach. Kids can run free and not run out of things to do all day. In Jefferson, the younger kids will adore the year-round chance to see Santa, reindeer and elves at Santa’s Village.
Shopping in the region offers lots of choices, from national brands at outlets to absolutely unique gifts and treats at places like Clark’s Trading Post in Lincoln, Zeb’s General Store in North Conway, and April’s Maple in Canaan Vermont
This recipe for Chicken Stay is from the Stonehurst Manor in North Conway.
Marinated Chicken Satay
Satay, or Asian kabob, are so simple and flavorful, yet easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time.
Serving size: 8
1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
16 chicken tenderloins or 2-3 chicken breasts, sliced thinly
1 1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp. fresh crushed garlic
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 pinch crushed red pepper
1 1/2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 drops toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
16 bamboo skewers, 5 inches long
1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup water
In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except chicken.
Weave the chicken onto skewers in a back and forth manner and place into a ziplock bag.
Pour marinade over chicken, seal bag and shake to coat. Place in refrigerator for two to eight hours. After marinating, remove skewers from bag and reserve marinade. Place chicken into oven-proof casserole for baking or save for the grill.
Combine glaze ingredients into a pot and over medium heat, whisk till smooth and comes to a boil.
Remove from heat and reserve. Bake satay in 375 deg F. oven for 20 minutes or until internal temp of 160 degrees is achieved, or grill over low flame on the grill till fully cooked. Toss in or brush with peanut glaze.