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New Hampshire Best Adventures 2011

New Hampshire Best Adventures 2011
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by in May 2011

BEST CLIMB FOR FAMILIES
Mount Monadnock,
Jaffrey
Perhaps it’s the proximity to Boston (only a 90-minute drive) or its long history (hundreds of hikers from as far back as the early 1800s have inscribed their names on the rocks), or most likely it’s the panoramic views from the peak that helped Monadnock become the most popular ascent in the Western Hemisphere. Monadnock State Park, 116 Poole Road (off Route 124). 603-532-8862; nhstateparks.org

BEST RIDGE WALK
Mt. Lincoln to Mt. Lafayette,
Grafton County
Practically touch the clouds on an above-treeline walk linking two peaks in the Presidential Range, Lincoln and Lafayette; then reward yourself with a glass of lemonade at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Greenleaf Hut. If you were wise, you booked a night here to luxuriate in those mile-high vistas ($103 adult non-AMC member, including breakfast and dinner). Take I-93 North to the Falling Waters/Old Bridle Path parking lot. Start the trail directly behind the parking lot. 603-466-2721 (trail info), 603-466-2727 (hut reservations); outdoors.org

BEST FIRST CLIMB
Mount Willard,
Harts Location/Carroll
If the thought of mountain climbing makes you sweat long before leaving your car, wipe your brow and give Mount Willard a try. In less than an hour, you’ll make it to the peak, where jaw-dropping views of Crawford Notch stand before you. Trailhead near the AMC visitor center. Off Route 302. 603-466-2721; outdoors.org

BEST BALD-EAGLE SPOTTING
lake Umbagog,
Errol
Paddle near the islands lining Umbagog’s western shore and you’ll notice a large nest perched atop a dead, leafless tree. Then break out the binoculars to spot that white head swiveling around the rim: It’s mama eagle protecting her young. Off Route 16. 603-482-3415; fws.gov/northeast/lakeumbagog

BEST SPOT TO FEEL LIKE SPIDER-MAN
Cathedral Ledge,
North Conway
When your moniker is “the Granite State,” you’re allowed to boast about the numerous walls of stone that play host to rock climbers. Cathedral Ledge doesn’t disappoint, with its many face and crack-and-corner climbs. The cliffs can be seen west of North Conway. Turn left after the Eastern Slope Inn on Main Street and follow the signs to the parking lot at the base of the ledge. (If you’d rather look than climb, visit nearby Echo Lake State Park. A scenic trail around the lake provides great views of the ledge, and an auto road can get you even closer to the action.) Off Cathedral Ledge Road. 603-356-2672; nhstateparks.org

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