Plan Your Trip

Gateway to the Great North Woods

 

Gateway to the Great North Woods

Moose to Mountains....ATVs to Angels

Take a Ride just "Over the Notch"

Just "over the Notch" from North Conway are nestled Berlin and Gorham, truly the heart of New Hampshire's North Country and the entry to what is called the Great North Woods.

To get there, go north on Route 16 through picturesque Jackson, then up and over Pinkham Notch. On the way of this 35-mile scenic trip are Appalachian Mountain Club Visitor Center (base station for hikes up Mount Washington, including Tuckerman Ravine), Wildcat Ski Area, which features dramatic views from its summit and a fun zipline, and the Auto Road, the famed eight-mile road — the most spectacular driving in New Hampshire — to the summit of the highest peak in the Northeast.

North of the "Notch" is Gorham, truly the entrance to another world. Here you'll enjoy nearby attractions, quaint shops, and culinary delights. Gorham is at the crossroads of the north-south running Route 16 and east-west Route 2, and has the feel of a tourist town.

Minutes away is Berlin, a city with a totally different vibe. Dominated by French Canadians, but also a melting pot of Europeon immigrants, who worked in the now shut-down paper mill, this once vibrant city of 20,000 has turned a corner from a long decline. Here you'll find culture offerings like a Russian Orthodox church, St. Anne's Church, one of the most beautiful catholic churches in New England, as well as new shops and restaurants.

An interesting side trip is to the Brown Company Barns (Brown Company is the name of the former paper mill) at 137 East Milan Road, Berlin, where barn sales are held during the summer months to support the the Moffett House Museum and Genealogy Center. Upcoming sales are Aug. 10 (book sales) and Sept. 7 (Halloween sale). So save your change, come shop at the barns and have a hot dog while you are there.

The natural gems, though, are found outside the city.

Just a few miles northwest of downtown Berlin is one of the newest additions to the state park system. Jericho Mountain State Park provides opportunities for miles of trail riding for ATV, UTV, trail bike, and snowmobile enthusiasts alike. The place is great for ATVs and for the family to spend the day by the lake and have a picnic or ride the 100-plus miles of trails with plenty of views and wildlife to see.

And it's worth a drive even further north along the Androscoggin River through 13 Miles Woods to its source: Lake Umbagog, a huge National Wildlife Refuge. Experience canoeing, kayaking, swimming, camping and see eagles, moose and other wildlife.

BUSINESS LISTINGS

When in Berlin ...

Hallmark Hall of Greetings

Family owned jewelry store. Staff of eight prides itself in creating "an experience" for customers while shopping for the treasured item for themselves or their loved one.

Address: 107 Main Street, Berlin, NH 03570

Phone: (603) 752 -1520.

Jericho Motorsports

Full service dealership for Artic Cat ATV and Artic Cat Snowmobile. Great deals on used. Well-trained service department. Located new the Jericho Mountain State Park.

Address: 232 Jericho Road, Berlin, NH 03570

Phone: (603) 752-7424

Hot Bodz

Clothing Company offers a huge selection of fashion shirts designed for the bodybuilder and athletic male, with over 150 trend-setting designs.

Address: 97 Main Street, Berlin, NH 03570

Phone: (603) 752-6826

Northland Dairy Bar

This is a necessary stop any time you have to be in, near or just going through Berlin! Service was attentive and quick, one must leave room for desert and pie!

Address: 1826 Riverside Drive, Berlin, NH 03570

Phone: (603) 752-6210

Scene Street

Located in same building as Tea Birds. Our customers tell us they like shopping at our store because we provide excellent customer service and have very cool stuff.

Address: 151 Main Street, Berlin, NH 03570

Phone: (603) 723-4949

Tea Birds

Great breafast menu. Bake all their own bread. Also good lunches and dinners. Where all the politicians stop by during election campaigning. Situated in a nicely refurbished downtown building.

Address: 151 Main Street, Berlin, NH 03570

Phone: (603) 752-4419

When in Gorham ...

Labonville

Carhartt clothing, hand tools, ATV accessories, boots, chain saws: anything outdoors. You name it, they have it.

Address: 504 Main Street Gorham, NH 03581

Phone: (603) 752-4030

Saladino's Restaurant

By far the best food in New Hampshire! Family owned and operated and it feels like it! Amazing food and staff.

Address: 152 Main Street, Gorham, NH 03581

Phone: (603) 466-2520

Boutique at 101

"I love the Boutique!" What more is there to say.

Address: 101 Main Street, Gorham, NH 03581

Phone: (603) 466-581

Mountain Fire Pizza

The best pizza is wood fired, and this place does it right! Mountain Fire Pizza has just opened up and is serving the most delicious pizzas in the North Country.

Address: 245 Main Street, Gorham, NH 03581

Phone: (603) 915-9009

NorthEast ATV Rentals

Summer ATV rentals: Popular Polaris "side by side" ATVs. Fun for all the with ease of operation, added stability and enclosed safety features.

Address: 299 Main Street, Gorham, NH 03581

Phone: (800) 458-1838

Libby's Bistro

A Julia Child protégé, Liz Jackson is amazing and talented! Wonderful fresh seasonal menu. Distinct entrees.

Address: 115 Main Street, Gorham, NH 03581

Phone: (603) 466-5330

Gateway Gallery & Gifts

The shop has an impressive selection of White Mountains-related art — photographs, prints and paintings, as well as an eclectic selection of other intriguing goodies.

Address: 36 Exchange Street, Gorham, NH 03581

Phone: (603) 466-9900

Absolute Adventure Tour

ATV Tours of Jericho Mountain State Park in Berlin. Each tour is limited in number, and will be led by an experienced tour guide. No experience is necessary.

Address: 461 Main Street, Gorham, NH 03581

Phone: (603) 466-1700

Welch's Restaurant

Great service, great food. Huge pancakes with yummy syrup. A place to definitely check. Very reasonable prices and nice-sized portions.

Address: 88 Main Street, Gorham, NH 03581

Phone: (603) 466-9990

 

How to pronounce Kancamagus

 

north conway nnh kanc highway mooseNORTH CONWAY — According to a local truism related by Conway native and former selectman Mark Hounsell, if you can say “August,” you can also correctly pronounce “Kan-ca-ma-gus.”


http://northconwayplaces.com/components/com_jce/editor/tiny_mce/plugins/article/img/readmore.png); clear: both; color: red; background-position: 50% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat; ">

(That's just another way of saying there is no “ng” in Kancamagus — even though everyone tries darn hard to put the “mang” into the pronunciation of the 17th century Native American chieftain name.)

The August reference especially rang true regarding the national scenic byway in August 2009, as the U.S. Forest Serviceand White Mountains Attractions presented a 50th anniversary celebration of the roadway's opening .

• • •

Up until 1959, when the Kanc was officially opened, there was no direct way for motorists to go from Lincoln to Conway . To make that trip involved a lengthy journey through two notches — Franconia and Crawford — as well as the town of Bartlett and on into Conway.

On either side of the present-day highway, two roads; one out of Lincoln and the other out of Albany , were dead ends.

By the 1930s, the White Mountain National Forest had been established and the U.S. Forest Service had money available to construct a highway that would connect Lincoln and Conway and, as it was the height of the Depression, laborers were available through the Civilian Conservation Corps.

By 1942, construction out of Lincoln was mostly completed, but work on the road out of Albany was halted during World War II.

In 1955, work pushed past The Kanc's infamous hairpin turn just shy of the Livermore town line and the 2,855-foot Kancamagus Pass. A year later, just a one-mile gap remained between the two ends of the highway, and when they were finally connected, the highway was considered completed and opened, with no fanfare or celebration.

Over the next five decades, the Kancamagus Highway, named for the 17th century chief of the local Native American tribes and the mountain beside which the road passes, millions of people have driven over the famed road through the heart of the White Mountain National Forest.

The beauty of the road earned the Kanc a designation in 1996 as a National Scenic Byway from the U.S. Department of Transportation. At the time, it was the only such designation of a road in the entire Northeast.

The highway was named for Kancamagus, a 17th-century chief.

It was Passaconaway, Kancamagus’ grandfather, who, in 1627, originally united more than 17 central New England Indian tribes into the Penacook Confederacy. The rich flat land 12 miles from Conway is named for him, known as the Passaconaway Valley. This community was first settled about 1790. The Russell-Colbath House from that era serves as a U.S. Forest Service Information Center.

•••
UPDATED BY TE 5-14-14

 

How the Mount Washington Valley got its name

 

NORTH CONWAY — Fifty years ago, no one had heard of "the Mount Washington Valley." Back then, this area of the White Mountains was known as the "Eastern Slope Region."

It wasn't until the 1960s that through the efforts of local businesses and the Chamber of Commerce that the name, Mount Washington Valley, was born. Townspeople and visitors were quick to embrace the new identity, for in many ways, it is Mount Washington that has defined us in the world's eyes. Mount Washington, known for its weather and observatory, its unique vantage point as the "top of New England," and its unique history. The name had another effect, too: it united the communities in a new way with a consciousness of shared goals, values, problems and opportunities, and, most of all, a shared future.


http://northconwayplaces.com/components/com_jce/editor/tiny_mce/plugins/article/img/readmore.png); clear: both; color: red; background-position: 50% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat; ">


Conway and North Conway are today the best known towns of the Mount Washington Valley, with good reason. Name brand outlet shops, lodgings, restaurants, and attractions line Main Street. While many visitors find so much to see and do right here that they rarely venture further, those that do discover scenic drives, routes to bike and hike, swimming spots, streams to fish, covered bridges, farmer's markets, Echo Lake State Park, and the White Mountain National Forest. All are worth the few minutes' trip from the towns' centers.

Two other towns well worth exploring: Albany, just south of Conway, is primarily a residential area; while Fryeburg, Maine, just across the border, is the home to a variety of inns and restaurants, and Maine's largest agricultural fair.

Of all the towns in Mount Washington Valley, it is in Bartlett, Glen, Intervale, and Jackson, and along Pinkham Notch that the presence of the 780,000-acre White Mountain National Forest is most felt.. Here you are as likely to explore the area on foot, skis, or by horse-drawn wagon as you are in the family car. There's so much to explore, too: popular family attractions, golf courses, sports and recreation facilities, village shops, charming lodgings and some of the area's best restaurants.

Look in any direction along Route 302 as you travel west from Bartlett to Bretton Woods, and you'll see forest and mountains, dwarfing Hart's Location, which is so small in population that all its town meetings are held in a private home. Crawford Notch, a state park with six miles of rugged natural beauty, sparkling waterfalls, scenic outlooks and hiking trails, is the gateway to Bretton Woods. Once a 3400-acre private preserve, today Bretton Woods contains one of the last of the state's legendary grand hotels, and a full complement of recreational offerings including golf courses, a ski area, and the world's first mountain climbing railway. plus mountains and forest as far as the eye can see.

Traveling off the beaten path?

Snowville is where sleighs were once built; and then there's Eaton, where locals gather for each wedding in a church at the edge of Crystal Lake. In summer, sailboats skim across Chocorua Lake in Chocorua and Silver Lake in Madison, while, in winter, bobhouses dot the ice and snowmobiles and cross-country skiers leave tracks in the snow. There's so much history here and in nearby Tamworth, a town where President Grover Cleveland once summered in style. Further south are Freedom and Effingham. The former is a charming enclave of white clapboard houses and rolling farmland. In sleepy Effingham, country roads lead past summer homes and classic farms.

For further information, go to www.mtwaashingtonvalley.org or call the Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce at 356-5701.
•••
UPDATED BY TE 5-14-14

 

Songs of Summer

 

NORTH CONWAY — Summer has arrived in the valley. Here's a 20-song soundtrack to enhance your enjoyment of the season. The guiding factor in the compiling of this list is that every song features the word summer in its title.


http://northconwayplaces.com/components/com_jce/editor/tiny_mce/plugins/article/img/readmore.png); clear: both; color: red; background-position: 50% 50%; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat; ">

• “Summertime” - Billie Holiday (1936): This oft-covered jazz standard was composed by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera “Porgy and Bess.” Holiday's version is one of the earliest and most iconic.

• “Summertime Blues” - Eddie Cochrane (1958): A classic example of 1950s rock and roll teen angst. Years later The Who would crank the volume up on the song on the “Live at Leeds” album.

• “Summertime, Summertime” - The Jamies (1958): A one-hit wonder about putting your books away for, you guessed it, summertime. If you missed it the first time though it is repeated several times.

• “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer” - Nat King Cole (1963): The title track of an album full of cheery, lighthearted songs about summer. The song's somewhat silly lyrics harken back to a more innocent time.

• “All Summer Long” - The Beach Boys (1964): What is the summer without The Beach Boys? Enough said.

• “Summer In The City” - The Lovin' Spoonful (1966): This number-one hit remains one of the quintessential songs of the 1960s and with its use of car horns and jackhammers does indeed capture the vibe of summer in the city.

• “Long Hot Summer Night” - The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1968): Most people associate Hendrix with wailing guitar anthems, but if you dig deeper you can find album cuts like this one that have a chiller jibe, but rock just as hard.

• “Hot Fun In The Summertimeâ” - Sly and the Family Stone (1969): Released shortly after the band's appearance at Woodstock, this became a big hit that, thanks to powerhouse vocals and catchy horns, remains a classic of the era.

• “One Summer Dream” - Electric Light Orchestra (1975): A beautiful ballad that like many Electric Light Orchestra songs recalls John Lennon. Jeff Lynn has a tendency to over-produce, but when he let's the music breathe he can soar as high as Lennon.

• “Lonely Summer Nights” - Stray Cats (1981): Amongst the New Wave movement the Stray Cats helped to lead a rockabilly revival. This melancholy lament would sit perfectly next to many similar ballads from the 1950s.

• “Summer Of Love” - The B-52's (1986): One of the more idiosyncratic and enduring bands to emerge from the New Wave scene. This is a fine example of their colorful lyrics and fresh blending of sounds.

• “Summertime” - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (1991): Will Smith's goofy good-spirited rapping was an oasis when gangsta rap surfaced in the late 1980s. His brand of fun hip hop would ultimately sling shot him to mega wattage movie star status.

• “A Summer Wasting” - Belle and Sebastian (1998): This folky-pop band from Scotland is known for writing low-key wistful songs and this is a prime example of the cheery love songs that are their trademark.

• “Summer Days” - Phoenix (2000): A country-tinged song from the English-singing alternative French band that is as upbeat as a warm summer day.

 “Feels Like Summer Again” - The Wallflowers (2002): Jakob Dylan, the driving force behind The Wallflowers, will never be his father Bob Dylan, but he's a talented writer of crisp, clever pop songs. Plus he can sing better too.

• Summertime in Wintertime - Badly Drawn Boy (2004): An eclectic performer who throws different genres at will into a Brit-pop formula. This particular track jams along with Jethro Tull-esque flute wailing in the background.
• “Summer In The City” - Regina Spektor (2006): This is not a cover of the Lovin' Spoonful song, but a simple piano-based ballad that is full of yearning and Spektor's quirky singing style.

• “Summer's End” - Foo Fighters (2007): Foo Fighters remain one of the most reliable sources of pure, unpretentious pop-rock. Here frontman Dave Grohl adds a country flavor to a driving '70s rock formula to excellent effect.

• ”The Summerâ” - Coconut Records (2009): This is actor Jason Schwartzman's one-man band. What sounds like a vanity fueled side project is actually quite the opposite. This is just one of many catchy, well-written songs from Schwartzman.

• ”Summertime” - Barenaked Ladies (2010): Steven Page, one of the primary songwriters and co-frontman of the band, recently went solo, but as evidenced by their new album, it looks like the rest of the Ladies are doing just fine without him.
•••
Alec Kerr is the Entertainment section editor for the Conway Daily Sun.
•••
UPDATED TE 5-14-14