Winter Activities in the White Mountains
Do you need inspiration for things to do in Bretton Woods in the winter? From days on the slopes to snowshoeing through the mountains, see below for the best White Mounatins winter activities to include in your trip to Bretton Woods, Franconia, Bethlehem, Whitefield and surrounding areas.
The house is located slope-side, just next to the trails at Bretton Woods.
In addition to Bretton Woods, there are many other 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)
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!
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 www.mountwashington.org. 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 (http://mtwashingtonautoroad.com/guided-tours/snowcoach/).
Other Winter Activities
The Bretton Woods Resort offers a number of other wintertime activities, including:
- Canopy Tours
- Dog Sledding
- Carriage and Sleigh Rides
- A Kids’ Snowmobile Park
- Guided tours
For more information, visit www.brettonwoods.com 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.