New Hampshire Lifestyle


By Guest Contributor Joe Viger

Northern New Hampshire has an amazing recreational resource that you may not know about called the Ammonoosuc Rail Trail.  The reclaimed rail line is now a multi-use trail that is about 20 miles one way between Woodsville and Littleton, NH.  The trail's surface is stone dust and gravel with occasional sections of chunkier ballast from the now removed train tracks.  It's a beautiful scenic route passing through woods, alongside fields, over multiple bridges and repeated views of the Ammonoosuc River.

There are a variety of spots to park, so you can tune the length of your trip to your ability and available time.  As an old rail road grade, the elevation change on the trail is minimal and gradual.  
Recently, I enjoyed a ride that was just under 20 miles from Woodsville to Lisbon and back.  I made this trip on a fat bike and that was great, but the trail is well suited to a mountain bike or gravel bike as well.  The highlights of this section of the trail are the two bridges over the Ammonoosuc River and the striking scene of the village of Bath, NH with its famous covered bridge and waterfall.  Biking the trail is fantastic, but it's a great place to walk as well.  The trail is open to ATVs, although I saw none the day I was there.  If you're in the area, get out and enjoy this truly great trail! 
If you're up for a bigger adventure, the Ammonoosuc Rail Trail is part of a longer trip that goes from Vermont to Maine called Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail.  The 83 mile route strings together rail trails, dirt roads, paved roads and bike paths to navigate across the state passing through Woodsville, Littleton, Whitefield, Gorham and on to Bethel, Maine.
Helpful links to start your adventure:
The Ammonoosuc River
Photo by Joe Viger
A Section of Great Trail with Route 302 Above
Photo by Joe Viger
Old Railroad Trestle Bridge in Bath
Photo by Joe Viger

Contributor Joe Viger is Peabody & Smith Realty's photography partner and you see his work featured in many of our listings and on our website. You can see more of his work at and be sure to follow him on Instagram and on Facebook. 

Looking for a place to enjoy the outdoors safely? The Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust (ACT), your local land trust, has you covered. There are four ACT conservation areas within Franconia, Easton, and Sugar Hill, open for public use and ready for you and your family to enjoy. Visit? this page? for directions, trail information, and maps to find the outdoor experience that best fits your needs. ACT's crew of volunteers are hard at work maintaining trails all season making them easy to follow and enjoy. If you're looking for a view, many of ACT's walks and hikes will reward you with picturesque views, on varied, family-friendly terrain. No matter the season, you can get out and get some fresh air. Bring your hikers, sneakers, snowshoes, or skis - there are lots of ways to experience ACT's trails. 

Please note, some of ACT's conservation areas are privately owned. Public use of private land is one of New Hampshire's greatest traditions and we need your help keeping it that way. Please respect the land, privacy, and wishes of the landowners. Motorized vehicles, camping, and open fires are strictly prohibited on all ACT properties.  

ACT, formed in 1999, is a nationally accredited land trust based in Franconia, NH. ACT's mission is to conserve lands in the Ammonoosuc Watershed to forever protect the scenic beauty, recreational amenities, working farms, productive forests, clean water, and wildlife habitats of the region for people and wildlife.


(Editor's Note: Thank you to the Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust (ACT) for providing this great information. To learn more about ACT and get a map, visit them online at: 


My Family believes that Green Woodlands is one of NH's best kept secrets, and I wanted to share some information on this remarkable place so others may find enjoyment 

there as well! The Green Woodlands Family Foundation has established 35 square miles of contiguous property in the towns of Lyme, Dorchester, Orford and Wentworth, NH. These 35 miles of beautiful NH wilderness are also connected by 70 miles of pristine mountain biking trails and 50 Kilometers of homologated cross country ski trails that stretch from Dorchester all the way to Lyme! Think about that for a moment, you can ski or bike on beautifully groomed trails from Dorchester to Lyme which is unbelievable!! 

For Winter use and skiing there are several warming huts along the trails that offer a warm wood stove and hot chocolate which is appreciated by all ages. The trails are legit and wide at 30' and again offer single and double track for both traditional skiers or skate skiers. Well behaved dogs are also welcomed at Green Woodlands which again is a pretty remarkable thing as most trails do not offer such a luxury. Our dog Winnie can run for miles with us while we ski to our hearts content. We find this extremely rewarding. 

For Summer use the mountain biking trails offer double track and machine built single tracks. Some trails were designed and built by John Morton who designs and builds mountain biking trails all over the world. Check out this youtube video of the biking there and you will see firsthand how special they are. Personally my family has not tried the biking at Green Woodlands yet, but we hope to enjoy them this Summer.

Last but not least it's important for me to let you know all of this experience won't cost you a dime! That's right, all of this amazing adventure is completely free. Free parking, skiing, ski equipment if you don't have any, bike trails, grooming, warming huts, hot chocolate, 8 ponds on the property AND dog friendly. The Green Woodlands Foundation through their philanthropic generosity has provided all of this to our community which is mind blowing. I took the paragraph below from their website and I believe it sums it all up perfectly. This also let's you know the type of kind folks that are operating this forest playground. I hope to see you all in the woods!

Fee Required:
"There are no fees required to use these trails but we hope to earn a SMILE from those that explore them. Earning that smile is much more valuable than any kind of monetary gain we could receive. And if you have a really good experience maybe you can bring that SMILE home with you and share it with others."  Courtesy of:  


In the White Mountains and Lakes Region of New Hampshire, there's no shortage of family-friendly activities in the fall. Every year as the leaves change color, residents are invited to participate in the area's many fall festivals. These community events are just one of the many reasons to consider New Hampshire real estate in your near future. We updated this popular post with dates and information for 2019.

fall festivalsLittleton Harvest Festival and Gathering of the Jack o' Lanterns

Each year in Littleton, community members look forward to the Harvest Festival and Annual Gathering of the Jack o' Lanterns. On Saturday, October 26, you'll get the chance to see the lighting of dozens of carved pumpkins along the Ammonoosuc River. Main Street shops and businesses open their doors to trick-or-treaters. Adults will enjoy sampling the homemade chili and cider while gathering the nerve to take a haunted walk along the riverside. The event is hosted by the Littleton Chamber of Commerce.

Attitash Mountain Resort Oktoberfest in Bartlett

Beer lovers rejoice, the White Mountains has a festival just for you. For over two decades, residents and visitors have flocked to Bartlett to celebrate the food, music, and drink of Germany. This year's festival will be held Columbus Day weekend on October 12 and 13 at the base area of Bear Peak. Event highlights—besides the delicious German fare and stouts—include brewery competitions and traditional Bavarian music. A standout of the festival is the stein hoist competition. Competitors are challenged to hold a full beer stein for as long as humanly possible. No worries if you're bringing the kids along. There is plenty to keep children occupied including a kids tent with face painters, carnival style games, and arts and crafts activities.

New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival in Laconia

In nearby Laconia, Lakes Region residents can take part in one of the largest pumpkin carving events in the state. With over 40,000 attendees expected, it is a guarantee that tens of thousands of pumpkins will be carved. Even if pumpkin carving isn't your forte, you'll still have fun visiting the haunted attractions, watching the grand parade, or taking the kids on the many amusement rides. This year's pumpkin festival will be held on Friday, October 18 from 4 to 8 PM and Saturday, October 19 from noon to 8 PM. You won't want to miss the Jumpin' Jack Car Show on October 19 from noon to 3 PM when you can see antique,  classic, muscle, and sports cars.

White Mountain Oktoberfest in Lincoln

Loon Mountain in Lincoln transforms into the Bavarian Alps for two days on Columbus Day Weekend, October 12 and 13. The Oompah Band is scheduled to entertain the masses while they participate in keg tosses and stein-hoisting challenges. Kids are invited to paint pumpkins and enjoy all the delicious root beer they can hold. Contact us today about the many ways you and your family will benefit from investing in White Mountains and Lakes Region real estate opportunities.

Serene and idyllic, Squam Lake holds a special status in New Hampshire's Lakes Region. While its much bigger cousin, Lake Winnipesaukee, may be busier, Squam Lake offers a quieter, more tranquil experience that visitors and area residents have appreciated for generations. Squam Lake is famous for being the real-life setting for the 1981 feature film "On Golden Pond," which starred Jane Fonda, Henry Fonda, and Katharine Hepburn. The lively towns of Holderness and Center Harbor hug its southern shores, with Holderness straddling the channel between Squam Lake and Little Squam Lake. Homebuyers who invest in Squam Lake real estate can expect to live a home with breathtaking views of the lake or the surrounding mountains. During the summer, there's no shortage of outdoor activities centered on the sparking waters of this gorgeous freshwater lake. Here are five time-honored summer pastimes to enjoy from your Squam Lake home.

1. Small-Craft Sailing

Squam Lake has a speed limit of 40 mph during the day and 20 mph at night, and no houseboats or skicrafts are allowed. Several portions of the lake are no-wake areas. These restrictions make Squam a haven for small-craft boating, which lake residents have cherished for many a summer. The Squam Lakes Association runs a community sailing program where young sailors can learn to sail.

2. Kayaking and Canoeing

The delights of moving a kayak or canoe through the water under your own power is an incomparable experience and one that's even more rewarding on Squam Lake. With a surface area of nearly 6,800 acres and dozens of islands and inlets to explore, Squam is a paddler's paradise. The Squam Lakes Association offers canoe and kayak rentals at the SLA Resource Center on Route 3 in Holderness. Or put your own craft into the water. For kayaking safety tips, check out this article by New Hampshire kayaking expert Peter Gagne.

3. Fishing

Fishing is a favorite summer activity on Squam Lake. This New England Boating article is a great resource for everything you need to know about fishing on Squam Lake, from where and how to find smallmouth bass and how to get a fishing license. In case you didn't know, bass fishing is a major draw on Squam Lake. Squam Lakes Association hosts summertime, recreational-style bass tournaments and also provides a video resource on how to catch and release.

4. Swimming

The best way to go swimming in Squam Lake is from the dock or lakeside of your own Squam Lake waterfront home. Center Harbor residents can enjoy the Center Harbor Town Beach for residents of Center Harbor and Moultonborough only.

5. Nature Watching

Squam Lake is renowned for birdwatching, especially because of its loon population and also for the numerous bird species found in the Squam Lakes Watershed. You can help protect loons by volunteering for the Loon Chick Watch Program. Managed by the Squam Lakes Association, loon chick watchers collect data and help loon families by serving as a buffer between nesting loons and boaters. Squam Lakes Natural Science Center offers a loon cruise and a naturalist's cruise. Both provide unforgettable outings for learning about and viewing Squam Lake wildlife. Squam Lake is special to us here at Peabody and Smith! Read some of our other blog posts about this New Hampshire Lakes Region treasure.

What Makes Squam Lake Special

An Incredible Sight: Bald Eagle at Squam Lake

New Hampshire's Golden Pond: Five Things to Know About Squam Lake

Fun Facts About Holderness, NH and the Squam Lakes

"Squam Lake, New Hampshire" by Chuck Taylor is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Summer in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire brings a bounty of locally-grown fruits and vegetables bursting with flavor and freshness. Summer means morning coffee, artisanal bread, and local jam on the deck of your New Hampshire waterfront home and evenings capped off by blueberry pie made with local berries. Area farmers markets offer unmissable opportunities to create amazing meals made with local produce. Head to one of these markets and be inspired to get cooking. From weekday family dinners to special occasions to at-home entertaining, you'll reap the benefits of Lake Region living at these top farmers markets.

Laconia Farmers Market, Laconia

The Laconia Farmers Market, located in the Laconia City Hall parking lot, takes place on Saturdays beginning on the third Saturday of the month through the last Saturday in September. Rain-or-shine hours are from 8:30 AM  to 12 PM. Local farmers offer fresh produce, baked goods, locally produced cheese, meats, homemade crafts, and more. Organic and gluten-free products are available as well.

Milton Farmers Market, Milton

The Milton Farmers Market, located at 1305 White Mountain Highway in Milton, runs from May through October on the last Saturday of the month from 8 AM to 12 PM. Customers can purchase locally grown produce, breads, artisan crafts, and more.

Plymouth Community Farmers Market

Located at 236 Highland Street in Plymouth, NH, this weekly market features fresh produce, flowers, plants, dairy products, maple products, baked goods, meat, fish, eggs, apples and honey. The market operates on Thursdays from 3 to 6 PM rain or shine from June to September.

Sanbornton Farmers Market

The Sanbornton Farmers Market is located at 520 Sanborn Road at the Sanbornton Historical Society's Lane Tavern. Market hours are Fridays from June to early October from 3 to 6 PM. Customers can shop for locally grown fruits and vegetables, bakery items, means, crafts, wine, and crafts.

Wolfeboro Area Farmers Market, Wolfeboro 

The Wolfeboro Farmers Market takes place rain or shine every Thursday from mid-May through the end of October from 12:30 to 4:30 PM. The market is set up in Clark Park on South Main Street and features local produce, craft items and baked goods offered by more than 30 regional food producers and artisans. Local musicians perform live music each week.    

White Mountain day hikes A simple stroll to a scenic overlook. A peaceful ramble through the countryside. A daredevil free solo up the granite face of El Capitan. A hike can be whatever you want it to be. But when it comes to family-friendly hiking, well, it's best to steer clear of anything too challenging or extreme. The last thing you want to hear when you're trying to enjoy the birdsong is "Mom . . . Dad, are we there yet?" Here are five White Mountain day hikes for happy wanderers of all ages.

White Mountain day hikesArethusa Falls: Crawford Notch, Route 302

This 3-mile (1.5 one-way) trek culminates with one of the most spectacular sights in the White Mountains—a gorgeous, 140-foot waterfall gracefully surging down serrated rock ledges to a rocky pool below. Perfect for families and novice hikers, the trail features a quick, 800-foot elevation. The easy terrain and stunning payoff makes Arethusa Falls one of the most popular day hikes in the White Mountains.

Black Cap Path: North Conway, Route 16

Black Cap Path is a 2.4-mile trail that sleepily winds through beech and spruce forests. Unlike the more popular trails in the White Mountains, you won't find any Mount Everest-like traffic jams on Black Cap, so if you want to get away from it all (including hikers wielding selfie-sticks), this moderate trek is a good choice.

Mount Willard: Crawford Notch, Route 302

This moderate 3.2-mile hike has an elevation of 2,815 feet, and the view from the summit is one of the best in the White Mountains. The panoramic shot features views of Mount Willey and Mount Webster, and between the two is Crawford Notch, a deep glacial gorge. The trek to the top of Mount Willard passes two streams and a waterfall, and for much of the hike you'll be on an abandoned carriage road (no need to pack the climbing ropes).

Artist's Bluff: Franconia Notch, I-93 Exit 34C

Featuring breathtaking views of Cannon Mountain, Mt. Lafayette, and Echo Lake, it's easy to see how Artist's Bluff got its name. It's "pretty as a picture," and if it wasn't for all the gear you packed for the kids, you might have stowed away the watercolors and easel and painted the view yourself. The 1.4-mile loop features a gradual incline and a classic New England summit. It's a heavily-trafficked area, so plan for an early morning trek.

Lonesome Lake: Franconia Notch, Lafayette Place

A short hike with a great reward, this well-marked trail ascends 1.6-miles up Cannon Mountain to Lonesome Lake. It's an easy trek but relatively steep, which makes the plunge into Lonesome Lake that much more enjoyable. From the lake there are stunning views of Franconia Ridge, Mt. Lincoln, Little Haystack, and the Cannonballs.

[caption id="attachment_5382" align="alignnone" width="700"]events and activities Courtesy of Omni Mount Washington Resort[/caption] You are so organized this year! You've wrapped and shipped presents, arranged holiday menus, and coordinated homecomings from far-flung family members. Once the excitement of Christmas Day is over, your kids (and perhaps the grandkids) may be looking for things to do between December 25 and New Year's Eve. Fortunately, you live in central New Hampshire, where winter is an opportunity for cold-weather sports and where charming New England towns host events that celebrate the season. Don't let the week between Christmas and New Year's Day turn into screen marathons. We've rounded up some events and activities the whole family can enjoy.

Carve a Path Through the Snow

Skiing is at the top of our list. Head to Ski NH to find deals on downhill, cross-country, snow tubing, and snowboarding. Or bundle up for a sleigh ride at Bretton Woods. Some of our favorite ski resorts include: Attitash Mountain in Bartlett Bretton Woods Ski Area in Bretton Woods Cannon Mountain in Franconia

See a Victorian-Era Play in Meredith

The Winnipesaukee Playhouse stages "The Little Mermaid" through December 31 in Meredith. This is not the Disney version. This production is a traditional English "panto"--a musical that features showtunes, dancing, humor, and slapstick. Small children will have fun and so will teens and adults.

Celebrate New Year's Eve All Day in Wolfeboro

Last Night Wolfeboro is a day and evening of activities and events for ages. Events are no-cost or low cost and run from 10 AM to 9 PM. Weather permitting, events include a scavenger hunt, crafts, an interactive puppet show, a lasagna and dessert buffet, and a teen dance. At 6:30 PM, a fireworks display lights up Wolfeboro Bay, followed by a Contra dance at the Great Hall. A host of Wolfeboro-area organizations, churches, and businesses sponsor this popular community event. Check the Last Night Wolfeboro Facebook page for all event details, places, and times. From all of us at Peabody & Smith Realty, warm wishes for a happy holiday with friends and family!

New Hampshire's central region offers unforgettable holiday markets and fairs to enjoy. If you're looking into central NH real estate, you'll have an easy time getting to these seasonal special events. Traditionally Yours Celebration, Jackson Village This popular holiday celebration takes place in Jackson Village each weekend through December 18. During this celebration, local businesses offer a wide range of events, including craft fairs, holiday drink tastings and story telling. The Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour is also part of the festivities. Lancaster Winter Farmers' Market, Lancaster Visit Lancaster Town Hall each Saturday before Christmas to browse the holiday items available for sale at this winter market. From homemade holiday crafts, including wreaths, to seasonal baked goods and produce, there's plenty to choose from at this market. Santa's Village, Jefferson This family-friendly event is held on the weekends leading up to Christmas in Jefferson. Santa's Village features seasonal shops, holiday lights and rides and attractions for kids, including a Christmas Ferris Wheel or Santa's Express Train. Kids can also meet Santa and Mrs. Claus here. Inn to Inn Holiday Cookie and Candy Tour This event takes place on December 8 and 9 this year, but keep in mind that it's held annually, so you can make plans to go next year. This tour gives you a chance to go to 11 different inns throughout the White Mountains region and sample holiday cookies and candy. Christmas at Canterbury Shaker Village, Canterbury This event is held on December 8 and 15 this year, but it takes place annually. You and your family can explore 19th-century holiday traditions in this historic village, and enjoy magic shows, toy trains, caroling, crafts and more.

[caption id="attachment_5271" align="alignnone" width="700"]locavore destinations A commitment to sustainable agriculture and locally-produced foods makes Moulton Farms in Meredith a top locavore destination in the Lakes Region.[/caption] Quaint, picturesque, tranquil—that's often how small towns in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire are described. But take "the road less traveled," as poet Robert Frost suggested, and you'll uncover trend-setting food suppliers that make the area a locavore's delight. Fresh, locally-produced foods are abundant in the Lakes Region. Join the movement and explore these four locavore destinations around Lake Winnipesaukee.

Beans & Greens Farm, Gilford, NH

Beans & Greens is an all-inclusive farm-to-table venue. Its garden center offers a rotating crop of delicious, non-GMO vegetables, and the on-site bakery serves everything from seasonal pies to homemade breads. Special attractions at Beans & Greens include farm dinners, a corn maze, harvest festival, pig roast, and several fields where you can pick your own fruit.

Moulton Farm, Meredith, NH

Moulton Farm takes the locovore experience to the next level. Its farm kitchen offers "field-to-fork" brunch buffets and dinners in a rustic, al fresco setting. Seating is first come, first served. But don't worry—if you get there late, you can order a farm meal to go. Fresh seafood—straight off the fishing boats at Boston's pier—is available Thursday through Saturday. 18 Quarry Road, Meredith

The Sandwich Creamery, North Sandwich, NH 

Is there anything better than cheese and ice cream made fresh on the farm? Following a time-honored tradition, The Sandwich Creamery makes cheese by hand in small batches. It has the distinction of producing the only cheddar cheese in New Hampshire. Other varieties of its farmstead cheese include Jersey Jack, brie, and Coulommier, as well as a variety of soft cheese spreads. 130 Hannah Road, North Sandwich

Bly Farm, Wolfeboro, NH

Talk about the "road less traveled." Located in Wolfeboro just north of Lake Wentworth, Bly Farm is a hidden gem on the side of a country road. It's great place to stop to pick up some fresh corn and vegetables. Bly Farm is also on the New Hampshire Dairy Ice Cream Trail, making it the perfect place to stop after a day at the lake. 620 Center Street, Wolfeboro The Lakes Regions of New Hampshire is brimming with purveyors of locally-grown food. To find out more about New Hampshire Lakes Region real estate, please contact us today.