Hiking – New Hampshire
Adventure begins at 9,105 feet. That's where the Powder Mountain snowcat (aka the massive machine that grooms trails) drops you off for some of the best powder skiing and boarding in North America.
Sailing - Charleston | Kitesurfing - Bahamas | Nightime Kayaking - Puerto Rico | Snowshoeing - Vermont | Dog Sledding - Central Oregon | Snorkeling - St. John | Surfing - Barbados | Hiking - New Hampshire | Snowcat Skiing - Utah | Zip Lining - St. Lucia | ATV Riding - Virginia
Adventure Rating: 1
If you feel up to the challenge of facing the “worst weather in the world,” head to Mount Washington. Before driving through the White Mountains, call the Appalachian Mountain Club's (AMC) desk at the Crawford Notch Highland Center Lodge (603-278-4453) and book a private hike up the Northeast's highest peak (6,288 feet). But if you're looking for a more leisurely afternoon excursion, arrange to tag along on one of AMC's free
two-hour, two-mile day hikes. Earlier risers can find moose milling about in the morning mist; afternoon hikers can follow the beasts' courses by their tracks. The indigenous flora seems to vary with every step, enough to keep amateur flower lovers constantly flicking through their field books or peppering their guides with questions. Those preferring the latter won't be disappointed: the AMC guides offer an encyclopedic knowledge of the ecosystem, able to recognize bird songs after only a few notes and identify plant species in an instant. Lucky early-summer hikers may get to see the rare lady's slipper (pictured), New Hampshire's state flower—and endangered in many areas—tucked away among the starflowers and wild blueberries. The route wraps around scenic Ammonoosuc Lake, with a quick detour to a clearing where you can take in a great view of the White Mountains' Presidential Range. It's a good spot to reflect on the grandeur of Mount Washington—then take a deep breath and congratulate yourself on hiking this far.
Where to StayJust a few miles up the road from Crawford Notch is the stately Mount Washington Resort (pictured), built in 1902. Fresh off a $50 million investment to restore the building's original historic grandeur, the details shine: panes of original Tiffany glass shimmer in the conservatory and the Great Hall's carpet incorporates native flowers you may recognize from your hike. The whole place has a delightful classic feel, which means men need to pack a jacket for dinner in the resort's dining room. Enjoy great sightlines of the mountains from a table by the expansive windows. To unwind after dinner, ditch the jacket and head to the basement's Prohibition-era Cave, which still has the atmosphere of a speakeasy. Or relax with a cigar on the hotel's never-ending veranda. A more indulgent alternative: the fifty-minute Mount Washington Essential Facial treatment ($105) in the 25,000-square-foot spa. Rooms from $250, mountwashingtonresort.com.
Need More Adventure?Canopy Tour: A 1,000-foot descent spreads over ten zip lines. The best and most terrifying lines are those where you can't see the next platform. Summer only. $99 per resort guest, $110 per person for the public.
Fly Fishing: Novice fishermen can take a few practice casts in a stocked pond near the hotel's entrance, then move on to the big leagues of the Ammonoosuc River. Mount Washington Resort, mountwashingtonresort.com, $25-$35.