5 Spring Activities You Can Enjoy in Northern New England
Can you hear that sound? It’s the sound of birds chirping and the rivers raging. That means the long winter is finally over! This spring, in particular, is well deserved as the previous winter came early and stayed late here in Northern New England. With longer days and warmer weather fast approaching, it’s time to get outside and experience everything your local area has to offer. To help you get a jump start on your next adventure, here is a list of our top 5 favorite spring activities you can enjoy with friends and family!
This is at the top of our list here at Ammonoosuc Goods for good reason. Hiking is a great way to relieve stress and experience some of the most spectacular views Mother Nature has to offer. I was fortunate to grow up in the heart of the White Mountains, so hiking is almost second nature to me. Here are some of my favorite mountains to conquer in the spring. 10 minutes down the road from where I live in Haverhill, NH is Black Mountain. This 2,800-foot peak may be steep but can be easily done by all ages. 30 minutes north of Black Mountain you will find one of my favorites in this area, Cannon Mountain, located in Franconia, NH. Standing at 4,080 feet, this mountain holds a special spot in my heart as I learned to snowboard there when I was a child. My brother Joseph and I hiked Cannon last spring and as with any hike, pack accordingly! 4,000 footers in NH still have snow towards their peaks late into spring. This may require microspikes and/or snowshoes to help navigate. Gaiters are always nice to keep yourself as dry as possible. Remember to pack water and appropriate clothing, do your research and plan accordingly. The AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) website is a great place to start for information. Don’t forget the most important part, HAVE FUN!
As well as mountains, NH is littered with waterways. From rivers to ponds, to lakes or even our 14 miles of coastline, there is no better way to explore our waterways than by spending the day in a canoe or kayak! I am lucky to have a man-made lake practically in my backyard. For those of you that have to travel, there are a variety of options. 90 minutes south of the White Mountains you will find the Lakes Region of NH. Lake Winnipesaukee offers acres of paddling terrain and gorgeous panoramic views of the area. The Connecticut River has multiple boat launches running the length of the NH and VT border. If you get tired of paddling just sit back and let the soft current of the river take you on a scenic tour. With any activity make sure you are following the local regulations pertaining to licenses and life jackets. Remember if you fall in the water this time of year it’s still cold.
This one is not for the faint of heart. The night prior to writing this article the temperature was in the lower 30’s. For the advanced hikers out there this activity may be combined with hiking to conquer multiple peaks in one adventure. For those of us that don’t like the cold as much or are ill-prepared, you can always spend the night in your car. With the overlanding crowd rapidly expanding, camping in and around your car is becoming increasingly popular! Simply find a scenic area to park your SUV, crossover or Jeep (my personal favorite), pop the trunk, lay out a sleeping bag or two and enjoy some quality time with those around you. By far my favorite part of camping is the campfire. With my group of friends, this is a year-long activity. We will huddle around a campfire in the dead of winter and just catch up.
4. Go Downtown
For those that are not outdoorsy, exploring the downtown of a nearby city is more enjoyable with the rising temps. You can ditch your down jacket and scarf unless you’re from Boston… you guys might want to keep those on a little longer. Check online to find out if the city you’re visiting has any outdoor events or activities going on the day of your exploration. Farmer’s markets, crafts fairs, and Flea markets are more likely to be popping up with the warmer weather. They are a great way to spend an afternoon while also supporting family farms and local businesses! If all else fails just put on your walking shoes, find the nearest park, and smell the roses!
5. Visit a Brewery
Recently my girlfriend and I have made it a priority to explore more local breweries. Northern New England may pail in comparison to Portland, OR but we have some solid options. At the top of my list is Shilling Beer Co. located in Littleton, NH. They produce many European-inspired beers that span over a wide variety of flavor profiles. With their current taps constantly changing, Schillings always offers a great balance between local staples, like my personal favorite the Erastes, and innovative seasonal options. A few other notable breweries in the area are Rek'-Lis Brewing Company in Bethlehem, NH and Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, VT. If you feel compelled enough to leave one of these establishments with a 6 pack or growler, it pairs well with activities #3.
Co-Founder of Ammonoosuc Goods