50 States in 52 weeks: things to do in New Hampshire whatever the season

Rick Broussard
27 May 2016

Home to the Great North Woods, several jewel-like lakes, and Mount Washington (the highest peak in the northeastern US), the so-called ‘Granite State’ is a great place to get lost – in a good way. Editor of New Hampshire Magazine Rick Broussard leads the expedition…


Art appreciation

While spring comes slowly to New Hampshire, visitors waiting for blossoms to appear can find other displays of beauty outdoors. The Andres Institute is a public sculpture park in Brookline, near the Massachusetts border. It features an astonishing array of art in settings that are cultivated or wild, all created by world-renowned sculptors. Nearby, in Concord, is the smaller and more local Millbrook Gallery and Sculpture Garden, while the wonderland of Bedrock Gardens in Lee is also worth a visit. It refers to itself as ‘an oasis of art, horticulture and inspiration’.


Hike to the huts
For 125 years the Appalachian Mountain Club has maintained and operated a system of high-mountain huts – some rustic, some quite comfy – that allow hikers to lighten their loads and find a room and a hot meal without leaving the wilderness. Start with a 3.8 mile hike to Madison Spring Hut on Mount Adams – though there’s no reason to stop there: huts are spaced to allow hikers to visit all nine while exploring the Presidential Mountain Range.


Foliage trek
If you want to appreciate a mountain more as a thing of beauty and less as an athletic feat, travel to the southwest corner of the state and gaze upon Mount Monadnock in the autumn. (In the Abenaki language, the name means ‘the mountain that stands alone.’) Here there are more than 5,000 acres of protected highland with nearly 40 miles of foot trails and plenty of camping. Or just drive through the charming villages of Peterborough and Dublin and look up to see the majestic autumn foliage blanketing the slopes of the peak.


Frozen wonders
Appropriately for a state that once called itself ‘the Switzerland of America’, skiing dominates the New Hampshire travel scene in the winter For a less strenuous winter wonderland head to the seacoast for Portsmouth’s ‘Vintage Christmas’ celebration. This month of events centres around the Strawbery Banke living history museum. Don’t miss the candlelight stroll where the past and present walk side by side as historical re-enactors and visitors light up the streets. And there’s no better place in the state than Portsmouth to do some last minute holiday shopping: New Hampshire charges no sales tax.