With temperatures quickly dropping and snow piling up, travelers can set their GPS for New Hampshire’s Grand North, which boasts a variety of wintertime events and fun. With winter in full swing now, New Hampshire Grand, the official visitor information source for the Great North Woods and the Northern White Mountains, is highlighting winter fun, including the Snodeo, the Great North Woods Vintage Series, Ski and Shoe to the Clouds, Bretton Woods Nordic Marathon and the Great North Woods Sled Dog Challenge. Along with these events and more, the Grand North features plenty of opportunities to get outside—and inside—this winter.
“There is never a dull moment when it comes to wintertime activities in New Hampshire’s Grand North,” said Karl Stone, NH Grand Marketing Manager. “Once again we’re enjoying another great season of snowmobiling, dog sled racing, cross-country skiing and snow shoeing. Pair this with outstanding dining, opportunities to relax, and breathtaking beauty, and New Hampshire’s Grand North offers a spectacular vacation destination, close to home.”
Riding snowmobiles manufactured prior to 1973, racers will hit the throttle for 10 laps during The Great North Woods Vintage Series race in Errol on February 21. Now in its 8th season, the four-race series, which culminates in Pittsburg on March 14, gives snowmobile racers the opportunity to tune up their old sleds and take a step back in time. The roar of the engines and the speed of the racers is sure to bring excitement to all ages.
For plenty of fun and excitement, check out the 23rd annual SnoDeo, one of the premier snowmobile events in the Northeast drawing about 6,000 snowmobile enthusiasts. Taking place the weekend of March 6 and 7, this event gives snowmobilers the chance to check out the latest and greatest snowmobiles. The event, which takes place at Coleman State Park, began in 1993 as a fundraiser for the Swift Diamond Rider’s Club.
Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing
Cross country skiers and snowshoers who are up for a challenge may compete at this year’s Ski and Shoe to the Clouds. Dubbed North America’s toughest 10K, Ski to the Clouds, which takes place March 1, takes racers up the steep slopes of Mount Washington, offering a challenging opportunity to push yourself to new heights.
On March 8, the Bretton Woods Nordic Marathon offers long-distance cross-country skiers an opportunity to compete against some of the stiffest competition in the region. Hosted by Bretton Woods Nordic Center on the grounds of the Omni Mount Washington Resort, this event features marathon and half marathon distances. Since 2009, cross-country skiers have hit the trails in this annual race on one of the largest Nordic systems in the northeast between the Mount Washington Hotel, the Presidential Range of the White Mountains and Bretton Woods.
For a uniquely New Hampshire experience, The Great North Woods Sled Dog Challenge offers a weekend of dog-sledding fun and excitement for all. The three-stage race kicks off at Back Lake Road in Pittsburg on March 13. Dogsled teams continue from Pittsburg to the Mahoosuc Inn in Milan before finishing at the Colebrook Country Club on March 15.
Or, maybe you would like to see the view from a dogsled yourself? Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel in Jefferson offers a variety of tours and adventures, ranging from two-hour trips to full-day trips.
Relaxing Outdoor Fun
Enjoy some relaxing family fun with a sleigh ride at Bear Tree in Pittsburg. Take in the Grand North’s scenic, wintertime beauty as a team of Clydesdales does all the work. Rides will take place Saturday afternoons through March 1, which makes for a great Valentine’s Day date, February 14.
Looking for a more relaxing snowshoeing experience? Starlit Snowshoe Tours at Great Glen Trails offer great family fun under the stars of northern New Hampshire. A guide will help snowshoers navigate unlit trails using the stars as beacons in the night. Snowshoers ages 8 and up are welcome.
Hitch a ride on the Mt. Washington SnowCoach and take in Mount Washington in all its snow-covered glory. Relying on a 4-track, all-wheel-powered drive-train, the SnowCoach takes passengers to treeline at about 4,200 feet in elevation, providing a glimpse into a sub-arctic world.
After a day of fun outside, it is time to warm those red cheeks and numb fingers. Pop over to the family-owned Schilling Beer Co. in Littleton for a hot meal and a cold, craft brew. The Grand North’s brewpub, which boasts a selection of 14 beers and great food, is a continental European-artisanal brewery.
Schedule a massage at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel. With a full array of massage options, treat yourself as you unwind and work out the kinks after a long day in the fresh mountain air.
Warm up with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or a steaming mug of hot chocolate at the Moose Muck Coffee House in Colebrook. Have a hot sandwich or cup of soup while you’re at it. And maybe throw in a piece of key lime pie as well. Moose Muck relies on local ingredients whenever possible.