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Things to Do

Summer Activities


Hiking and Waterfalls


So many options, where to start?! The house is in the heart of the White Mountains, and there is fantastic hiking all around. Wherever you are you can encounter the beauty of nature whether it be a shaded meadow or a sunny vista from a high ledge.


Don’t forget to take some time to simply enjoy your surroundings. This is a special area with plenty of ecological diversity.  In addition, don’t forget to be prepared. Hiking, even for the day, requires planning and preparation so that you are safe and have a great time!


The most popular general areas that we recommend are Franconia Notch, Crawford Notch, Mt Washington, Zealand, and the Kancamagus – there is great hiking just about everywhere!


Lower Falls

Just across 302 from the house is the Lower Falls Trail.  It can be accessed from Old Cherry Mountain Road or across from the Zealand Campground.  A short 1mi hike leads you to a beautiful waterfall. 


Upper Falls

Halfway up the Base Area Road (next to Fabyan’s), you can find Upper Falls just off of the road.  Here a beautiful waterfall and cliff jumping draw peoples interest, not to mention the easy access.



Also very close to the house, two of our favorite trails are found in the Zealand area, just a couple of miles West on 302.

The Zealand Trail is mostly flat, and meanders through beaver ponds and very scenic woodland areas. It becomes steeper as you head towards the AMC “Zealand Hut,” and culminates in a small but very scenic waterfall. To get to the Zealand area, take a left at the driveway, then a left at the campground (1.3mi) and follow it to the very end, where you will find a parking area.


The other trail we frequent, in the same area, is the Sugarloaf Trail. The entrance is about half way up Zealand Road near a campground with a parking area right before a small bridge, (the trail is right after the bridge). It is more moderate hiking, but fairly short (1.2 miles each way), and the view from the top (especially Middle Sugarloaf) is breathtaking. Highly recommended with a fantastic vista to effort scenario!


Mount Washington

Of course, if you want something more challenging, you can head up Mt Washington. One of our favorite trails there is the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, which starts from the base of the cog railroad (just follow Base Station Road for 6 miles – there’s a big sign on 302, by Fabyan’s). This trail follows the river (the very same river that borders this property!) up the mountain, and passes a gorgeous little pond called the “Gem Pool,” with a waterfall flowing into it. It crosses several waterfalls, large boulders, and the Lake of the Clouds hut.  This trail is convenient if you aren’t sure how far you want to go, as there are great landmarks throughout the trail. If you are up for a challenge you can hike all the way to the top – but be careful. The weather changes rapidly, and it can be VERY cold up top. It can snow any month of the year! If you want to hike it, be very very cautious and be prepared. This is not a hike to be taken lightly!


 If you’d like to see the top of the “rockpile” but don’t want to hike, the cog rail up Mt Washington is a fun (and easy) way to get there. Another common but easy way to get up to the mountain is the Mt Washington Auto Road.  However, this route is accessible from the other side of Mt. Washington, about an hour drive away. 


Franconia Notch

Also within easy reach of the house is Franconia Notch – you probably drove through it on your way up. Head West on 302, and at the traffic light in Twin Mountain, take a left onto Rt 3 South. Some of our favorite hikes are between the Cannon Mountain ski resort, and the town of Lincoln.

-Cannon Mountain’s aerial tramway is an easy way to get to the top and soak in amazing views which on a clear day span New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and all the way into Canada.

– The flume gorge is a beautiful moss-covered gorge, with a wooden walkway that takes you around past numerous rapids and small waterfalls.

– The basin is also a very easy walk, even with little ones. The river forms a “swirl” and has carved really interesting waterslide-like formations in the granite. Very cool!

– There are also many other hikes here, all very well indicated with parking facilities. You can’t go wrong!


Crawford Notch

As far as waterfalls, our favorites are in Crawford Notch – heading Eastbound on 302. There's a couple right on the side of the road as you decend in Crawford Notch, but one of our top favorites is on the other side of the notch – Arethusa Falls. It takes about 2 hours total (roundtrip) to hike, and culminates with the tallest waterfall in NH. Worth the moderate hike! If you prefer something a bit easier, Ripley Falls, just before Arethusa, is a 0.5 mile trip each way, and also quite spectacular, especially in the late spring and early summer. In the North Conway area, Diana’s Baths on West Side Road is also always popular, and a very easy hike. Great spot for a dip in the cool mountain water, as well!

If it is a vista that you desire, the Mt. Willard Trail is not too challenging and culminates with a high-up view at the top of Crawford Notch. 

This trail network surrounds the AMC Highland Center where you can get maps and further information about area hikes.  In this area there are also several easy pond trails just off of the road.


Visiting Mt Washington Summit – the “rockpile”


Home of the worst weather in the world, the summit of Mount Washington is the centerpiece of this whole region.  Many travel to its peak while traversing the Appalachian Trail.  At the summit you can enjoy a museum covering this unique mountain as well as a recreation of the old hotel that was built at the summit in 1852.

You can access the summit via various hikes.  But if you prefer an easier path up, the Cog Railway is a common favorite. It's one hour each way (the train ride is half the fun!), and then you get an hour up top to visit the observatory. It’s a lot of fun and very entertaining for kids and adults alike!  Another option is the Mt. Washington Auto Road which leaves from the opposite side of the mountain. To get there you can drive east on 302 to Glen Junction in Bartlett, and turn left onto RT 16. Drive through Pinkham Notch (also very beautiful!) and past the Wildcat Ski Area. The entrance will be on your left (can’t miss it!).




The Kancamagus Highway that connects Lincoln to North Conway is a famous road known for its scenic vistas and beautiful mountain trails.  There are various places to stop for a hike, a view, or just enjoy the ride.  You can easily do a loop from Bear Notch Road in Bartlett to Lincoln, or do the whole ride from North Conway to Lincoln.


Amusement Parks and Family Fun


Storyland in Bartlett and Santa’s Village in Jefferson are SURE to please! Both are about 20-25 minutes away.  These parks cater to a younger crowd.


For water parks, there is an outdoor park called “Whale’s Tale” in Lincoln and an indoor park at the Red Jacket in North Conway.


North Conway also offers an arcade and several mini-golfing options for more family fun!


The Scenic Railroads often delights visitors displaying magnificent views of the area.  There are themed trips, dinner cars, foliage tours, and more!

            -Conway Scenic Railroad – North Conway

            -Café Lafayette Dinner Train – North Woodstock

            -Hobo Railroad – Lincoln


Resort Activities


Bretton Woods offers a number of summer activities; you can find an up to date list on their website, at Current activities include:

-Canopy Tour, Scenic Lift Rides, Horseback Riding, Fly Fishing, Guided Adventures, Tennis, Golf, Archery, Mountain Biking, River Tubing and more!


Attitash Ski Area also includes a fantastic zip line and array of summer activities, about 20 minutes East on 302. It hosts, currently, the tallest zipline in the US! They also have a number of other activities for adults and kids alike, and a very convenient all-day pass. Get more information at

-Mountain coaster, Mountain slide, mountain biking, horseback riding and more!


Spa and Relaxation


If relaxation is what you need (and the peace and quiet of the house isn’t quite enough) you can head to the Mount Washington Hotel which offers a wide array of spa services.





Winter Activities


Alpine Skiing

In addition to Bretton Woods, there are many other great ski resorts within close proximity:

  • Cannon Mountain (15 miles west – Franconia Notch)
  • Attitash/Bear Peak (22 miles – Bartlett)
  • Black Mountain (30 miles – Jackson)
  • Loon Mountain (31 miles – Lincoln)
  • Cranmore (31 miles – North Conway)
  • Wildcat (39 miles – Pinkham Notch)



Cross-Country Skiing


On the grounds of the historic Mount Washington Hotel and the White Mountain National Forest, the Bretton Woods Nordic Center is one of the largest cross country areas in the East. The 100-km trail network crosses open fields, meanders through woods of spruce and fir, passes beaver ponds and mountain streams, and traverses open hardwood stands. Enjoy classical and skate skiing or snowshoeing on trails painstakingly prepared with our state of the art groomers. Visit the on-trail destinations: the warming yurt on Porcupine Trail and the lift-served Mount Skickney Cabin.


To get started, visit the Nordic Center on the grounds of the Mt Washington Resort (It’s to the right of the hotel as you arrive).




The incredible network of hiking trails that surround us make for great winter hiking and snowshoeing, as well! For many hikes, if the snow isn’t too high, a simple pair of spikes or crampons available at most stores around, will be perfect for a short winter jaunt.  Snowshoes are available for rent at the Bretton Arms Inn as well as the Nordic Center. Some of our favorite trails are the Zealand trail, just up 302 towards Twin Mountain, and Arethusa Fall, on the other side of Crawford Notch. Both are well marked along 302. The steeper Sugarloaf trails, located in the Zealand area, are also stunning year-round. You can also snowshoe on the resort’s ground by purchasing a snowshoeing pass – you can even snowshoe at high elevation by taking the ski resort’s Express Quad! Always be careful and don’t venture out beyond your abilities. If you prefer, you can also arrange for a guided tour through the hotel. Of course, you can also bring your own snowshoes and snowshoe our own trails!


Snowmobiling (Snow-Machining)


There are many options for snowmobiling or snow-machining as the locals call it, giving you access to over 1000 miles of snow-machine trails, stretching as far as Quebec. You can arrange for a tour through the hotel, or visit one of the many local outfitters, including the popular Northern Extremes at Bretton Woods, next to Fabyan’s Station restaurant, or in Bartlett, across the Bear Notch entrance on 302. 


Visiting Mt Washington Summit – the “rockpile”


Home of the worst weather in the world, the summit of Mt Washington is a bit more challenging to reach in the winter. Hiking to the top should be reserved for the most serious and prepared hikers and climbers, as weather conditions are such that small mistakes can be extremely dangerous. However, if you would like to experience the summit in its winter glory, you can now do so in the comfort of a Snow Cat. Trips follow the auto road from Pinkham Notch, but availability is EXTREMELY limited, so you need to book far in advance. For more information, visit If that’s sold out, or if you’d like a less extreme version, you can also take the Snow Coach up the auto road (


Other Winter Activities

The Bretton Woods Resort offers a number of other wintertime activities, including:

  • Canopy Tours
  • Dog Sledding
  • Carriage and Sleigh Rides
  • Tubing
  • Skating
  • A Kids’ Snowmobile Park
  • Guided tours


For more information, visit or the hotel’s concierge.


Spa and Relaxation


If relaxation is what you need (and the peace and quiet of the house isn’t quite enough) you can head to the Mount Washington Hotel which offers a wide array of spa services.

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