You can reach the top of the highest peak in the Northeast by hiking, riding or driving, and there are two special ways to do it this month. Seek the Peak, a hiking event which supports the non-profit Mount Washington Observatory, is Saturday, July 19, 2014. Hikers choose many trails ascending Mount Washington, each offering slightly different views and experiences. If you are staying at the Inn and participating in Seek the Peak, let an innkeeper know and we will be happy to contribute to your fund-raising efforts. Sunday, July 27, 2014, the Mt. Washington Auto Road will open at 4:00 am for a Sunrise Drive. Visitors can hope to view a spectacular sunrise over the mountains and possibly even the Atlantic Ocean. Don’t worry ~ if the summit is in the clouds there are plenty of places along the road to catch the glow and possible mix of clouds in the cool mountain air. Please note that you must drive yourselves for the Sunrise Drive (no guided tours are available), and plan to arrive early at the Toll House due to higher than normal traffic. You will have one more chance for a Sunrise Drive on Sunday, August 31, 2014, when the Auto Road opens at 4:30 am, and you may even have a chance to see the earliest tinges of foliage colors on the mountains. If you are planning either of these drives, let staff at the Inn at Ellis River know when you check in, and we will be happy to fix you an early breakfast snack to take along ~ and you’ll be back at the Inn in time for your full gourmet breakfast, too!
Author Archives: lyninnat
For the third summer, 20 landscape artists have been selected as Hudson River Fellows to spend three weeks in Jackson painting en plein air in the White Mountains. Former Fellows and Jackson residents Erik Koeppel and Lauren Sansariq are instructors. The artists are selected each year by the Grand Central Academy of Art in New York City. The Jackson Historical Society helps implement the program, which is supported by a grant from the Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund.
If you’re planning your summer vacation getaway for late July, stay at the Inn at Ellis River on Thursday, July 24, 2014, and hear Bob Cottrell speak on “A Tour of the Notches: Following in the Footsteps of the White Mountain Artists”. The free public lecture will be at 7:00 pm in the Whitney Center in Jackson village. Mr. Cottrell is Executive Director of the Conway Historical Society and the Curator of the Nella Braddy Henney History Room at the Conway Public Library. Visiting the Mt. Washington Valley later in July? Plan to view the art exhibition of works created by the Hudson River Fellows. The Hudson River Fellows exhibit will be at the Whitney Center on Thursday, July 31, 2014, beginning at 7:00 pm. Many of the pieces will be offered for sale at modest prices. If your travels to or from Jackson take you through southwestern New Hampshire, plan to visit Canvassing the White Mountains, an art exhibit at the Historical Society of Cheshire County, Keene, NH, from June 21 – September 12, 2014.
Planing a foliage season getaway to Jackson? The 12th Annual White Mountain Art Sale will be held October 17-26, 2014, featuring White Mountain scenes by 19th Century artists as well as selected landscapes by contemporary landscape artists. The Museum of White Mountain Art’s Exhibition ~ White Mountain Scenes: Different Artists ~ Different Views will be open for a year from October 17, 2014 until October 31, 2015. You can see it in the Jackson Historical Society’s home in the Old Town Hall (built by Andrew Harriman who built the original Inn at Ellis River buildings in the 1890′s).
The hills will be alive with the sound of music this summer in the White Mountains, so plan to include enjoy an outdoor concert and picnic as part of your New Hampshire summer vacation or weekend getaway. The 32nd Arts Jubilee Annual Summer Concert Series begins Thursday evening, July 17, 2014 at the base of the North Slope at Cranmore Mountain. Each of these concerts includes an early concert at 6:00 pm featuring local musicians as well as the main event, so plan to have the Inn at Ellis River pack you a gourmet picnic, spread a blanket on the lawn, and enjoy the music! Admission is $10 for adults. For more information, e-mail: email@example.com . The Thursday evening performances include:
- July 17 Beatlemania with Bob Halligan, Jr as Paul McCartney. Early concert by the Mount Washington Valley Band beginning at 6 pm
- July 24 Don Campbell & Band Celebrating the Music of Dan Fogelberg. Early concert by Chasing Asia.
- July 31 Jonathan Edwards Trio. Early concert by Junco.
- August 7 A Salute to Hollywood & the Movies with the New England Society Orchestra, Clayton J. Poole, Music Director, plus
- FIREWORKS FINALE! Early concert by Dennis & Davey.
- August 14 Roomful of Blues, an eight-piece band led by guitarist Chris Vachon. Early concert by the Mo’ Blues Band.
If your stay at the Inn includes a Tuesday evening, you can catch the Mount Washington Vally Band in the Gazebo next to the Community Center in North Conway, beginning at 6:30 pm. Programs feature familiar classical pieces, marches, popular songs, and show tunes. Themes for the 2014 summer season are shown below:
- July 8 Swing Band Countdown
- July 15 Broadway Goes to the Movies
- July 22 Symphony Hall
- July 29 Teddy Bear Picnic
- August 5 Vocalist Invitational
- August 12 Beatles 1964
- August 19 Band Members Choice
At Attitash, the Attitash Mountainside Music Series offers live music on Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. during July and August. You ‘ll hear:
- July 5 Chasing Asia
- July 12 Played Out
- July 19 Ross Livermore Band
- July 26 Full Circle
- August 2 Dean Machine
- August 9 Pat Foley Band
- August 16 Blue James Band
- August 23 The Gravel Project
- August 30 The Jonathen Sarty Band
- August 31 Livin’ the Dream
Finally, White Mountain Musical Arts will present the 2014 Bach and Friends Festival on Saturday August 24, and Sunday August 25, 2014 with the Bach Festival Chorus.
Celebrate the Fourth of July with a Fourth night Free on your holiday getaway to New Hampshire’s White Mountains this year. You’ll declare independence from holiday weekend gridlock on the highways when you come to stay early (on Wednesday, July 2) or stay a day late (Sunday, July 6) and receive a 25% discount on your total four night stay. Cool off in the mountain breezes and enjoy the traditional Independence Day celebrations including parades, BBQs and fireworks. Thursday is a great time to explore Mt. Washington and use your free admission to Great Glen Trails’ walking and hiking trails, or visit some of the regions many waterfalls. July 4, you’ll find parades, food, music and fireworks. Tamworth and Lincoln/Woodstock host day long festivals, and North Conway’s celebration includes a weekend-long craft fair and fireworks display on Friday at 9:30 pm. You can plan a Loon Cruise on Squam Lake, or try an Evening Lantern Tour at Lost River Gorge. Saturday evening, July 5, Bretton Woods hosts it’s annual Celebration of Freedom with a Barbeque Bash, live music, and a fireworks display over the Presidentials. Right here in Jackson, fireworks are planned for 9 pm Saturday as well. You can stroll over to the village from the Inn for a classic New England celebration. J-Town Deli & Country store will be open during the festivities, and the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce and Fire Department will host concessions. After all the celebrations, Sunday will be a great day to just relax by the river and go for a swim at Jackson Falls or in our heated pool!
June is the ideal time to see fields of Lupine and Mt. Washington’s Alpine Garden in bloom. Many alpine flowers in the White Mountains are native much farther north in Canada, and traveled south with the last ice sheet to be left behind in the high elevations of the Presidentials. This year, local naturalists report many different alpine flowers are abundant. You can see white diapensia and purple lapland rosemary from the six mile point on the Auto Road, and in the Alpine Garden, you will see the diapensia, alpine azalea, and alpine bearberry willow. If you are a hiker, flowers on the lower summits of the more southern Presidentials are the earliest to appear. Good hikes are Mt. Eisenhower, Mt. Clay, or later in June, the Caps Ridge Trail up Mt. Jefferson.
In addition to the alpine flowers on the mountain heights, fields of lupine are in bloom in the lower elevations this month. You’ll find some here at the Inn at Ellis River, and along the five mile circuit road and Thorn Hill Road in Jackson. For the greatest concentrations, drive the Scenic Byway (Route 302) west to the area of Bethlehem, Sugar Hill, and Franconia. Their 21st annual Celebration of Lupines continues throughout June. You can download a map to guide you to the best spots for Lupine viewing and photography or stop at the Information Center on Main Street in Franconia at Exit 38 of I-93 for the free booklet that includes the map, list of events, and coupons for area businesses.
The Inn’s White Mountains and Waterfalls package is perfect for this getaway ~ book it and you’ll be ready for your travels with a picnic lunch and cooler, Wildflowers of the White Mountains, and a discount for the Mt. Washington Auto Road.
Chives are much more than just a garnish, although a sprinkling of chives provides both a fresh fragrance and bright green color on a plate. When blooming, the entire scape is a decorative addition to the plate, or you can pull apart the blossoms into ‘confetti’ to add to a salad. The mild onion flavor of chives plays well with eggs, goat or cream cheeses, potatoes, salads, soups, fish, and shellfish, and herbs such as parsley, mint, or tarragon. A Chive Vinaigrette is as simple as combining extra virgin olive oil, white wine or champagne vinegar, a touch of garlic, salt, and a generous handful of freshly cut chives.
We harvested lots of the chives that grow at the Inn for this year’s tour. It’s a good thing you can harvest the outer leaves of this perennial, and they quickly grow back, because we served chives all weekend long! The Welcome Reception Friday for inn guests featured Lemon Chive Hummus with pita chips, Sun-Dried Tomato Chive Pesto Spread and Herbed Cream Cheese with crackers, and a chance to sample our Frosty Virgin Marys in a more spirited version with the addition of pepper or lemon vodka. Saturday morning our guests enjoyed Chive Parmesan Roasted Potatoes with the Quattro Fromaggio Frittata garnished with cherry tomatoes and a fresh Basil Pesto, and Sunday’s savory entree was Chive and Cheddar Strata with a Red Pepper Tomato Coulis. Everyone on the Inn to Inn Herb Tour sampled the Frosty Virgin Marys, together with the Sun-Dried Tomato Chive Pesto and Italian Cheese and Chive Biscuits. Since we still had some guests from the Tour staying Sunday evening, Monday’s breakfast featured our newest variation on Eggs Benedict ~ an English Muffin topped with prosciuto, egg, asparagus, and hollandaise flavored with theSun-Dried Tomato Chive Pesto. We’ve added some of the recipes to this site, and you can find ones from past tours as well, when we featured dill, oregano, sage, lemon basil, and mint. The Inn to Inn Herb Tour is an annual event in June, so if you missed our Chive extravaganza, we hope to see you next year and in the meantime, we hope you enjoy the recipes!
It’s time for the Inn-to-Inn Herb Tour, named as one of Yankee Magazine’s Top Twenty New England events. This year, the Tour has added tours of Moat Mountain and Tuckerman’s Breweries, family farms, a chocolatier, and an organic market to the 10 inns on the tour. Each inn features a different herb with samples of two tasty herb-based treats, recipes, and herbal lore. Also new this year, chefs at four of the inns will present cooking demonstrations.
This year, the Inn at Ellis River will be featuring chives, which can be found growing at the inn along with herbs featured in past tours, such as mint, sage, lemon basil, oregano, and dill. Chives are members of the same family as garlic, shallots, and leeks. They are a hardy perennial plant with beautiful purple flowers, native to both the Old and New Worlds. Chives add an onion-like flavor with a hint of garlic to savory foods such as eggs, potatoes, soup, and fish., so we’re planning some tasty breakfast potatoes and a spicy soup for sampling.
Book our two night package that includes a welcome reception, chive-themed breakfast, your tickets to the tour, a notebook of recipes, and a commemorative linen tea towel. Our deluxe package also includes a three course “plant-to-plate” dinner at one of four of the inns on the tour. Spring has come to the Mt. Washington Valley, so it’s time to enjoy a foodie getaway that will help you enjoy the bounty of local produce all summer long. For more about the annual Herb, Food & Beer Tour, read Peter Johansen’s recent article.
Come celebrate chocolate in Jackson any of the first three weekends in June! This year you don’t have to wait until December to enjoy Jackson’s favorite chocolate treasures on the popular Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour ~ for 2014, Jackson is also hosting a Jingle Bell Chocolate Challenge in June! The White Mountains may be green and not snow-covered, and you’ll have to drive your own ‘sleigh’ (vehicle) but there will be lots more stops that the December tours can make, when they only travel the village loop. The afternoon tour from noon – 4 pm includes 15 properties from Crawford Notch to the Intervale as well as in Jackson village, so you’ll enjoy the scenic mountains and waterfalls as you take the tour. Your tour ticket entitles you to a Jingle Bell, a festive bag to hold any chocolates you wish to eat later, and a Jingle Bell Chocolate Card to fill in what you think each property has included as a secret ingredient in its chocolate treasure… Cards listing all the correct secret ingredients will be entered into a drawing for a Jackson Vacation Package valued at $500.
Your Chocolate Tour stops include:
- Notchland Inn
- Bernerhof Inn
- Lodge at Jackson Village
- J-Town Deli & Country Store
- The Wentworth, An Elegant Country Inn (except June 7)
- Eagle Mountain House & Golf Club
- Christmas Farm Inn & Spa
- Backcountry Bakery & Cafe
- Cassidy Gallery ~ Jackson
- Snowflake InnInn at Jackson
- Flossies’ General Store
- Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce
- Glen Oaks Inn
- and of course, the Inn at Ellis River
After your tour, you can work off some calories with free passes to Great Glen Trails for hiking or biking, or swim a few laps in the Inn’s heated pool. Not that energetic? You can just relax with a book in Adirondack chairs by the river or in the gazebo.
In addition to your lodging for two nights with full gourmet breakfasts and afternoon refreshments, your package includes two tickets for the Jingle Bell Chocolate Challenge and special chocolate gift from the Inn. So come take the Challenge of the Chocolate Tour!
Make plans for a holiday weekend getaway to the Inn at Ellis River and don’t miss Jackson NH’s 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Wildquack Duck River Festival, Sunday May 25, 2014! There will be more than $10,000 in cash or prizes, wagon rides through Jackson’s famous covered bridge, a Cake Boss Competition featuring local bakers, the 5 Minutes of Fame Stage, and of course, the Duck Races down the Wildcat River! The first duck across the finish line in the 25th Running of the Ducks wins a $1,000 prize, while other fast finishers win prizes for their ticket holders such as vacation stays, dining certificates, tickets to attractions, and more. We’ll be there to cheer our favorites on – in past years a guest’s duck was the big winner in the classic race, and the Inn’s “Chuck the Duck” won the Big Duck race.
Here are some of Sunday May 25th’s events:
- 8:00 AM – close – Vendor booths with ‘Duck Stuff’, food, games, and more
- 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM – Silent Auction with lots of great items, big and small
- 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Five Minutes of Fame
- 2:00 PM – Jackson’s Cake Boss Competition
- 2:30 PM – The Duck Parade
- 2:45 PM – Big Ducks Race (many ducks sponsored by local businesses)
- 3:00 PM – The Running (or Swimming) of the 3,500 Ducks
- 3:20 PM – Announcement of Race Winners and Best Named Duck
So plan on a ducky Memorial Day Weekend getaway to the New Hampshire’s White Mountains this year. Book our Wildquack Package that includes a great discount on a three night stay, duck tickets for the race, Good Luck Duck hors d’oeuvres on Saturday, a souvenir rubber ducky, and more. Some two night packages also are available. Be sure to visit our Facebook or Google+ pages to help name our Big Duck entry for this year ~ there’s a prize for the best name!.
Ellis River House became the Inn at Ellis River on May 5, 2004, and we’ll be celebrating all month!
- 2004 room rates most of May mean up to 32% off the current Quiet Season rates, so call for the rate on your favorite guest room and book now !
- Enter to win a free night’s stay in two different contests ~ Post photos of the Inn, Jackson, NH, and your White Mountain adventures on the Inn’s Facebook and/or Google+ pages and be entered in a monthly drawing for a prize, plus a December drawing for a free night’s stay.
- Complete our ‘10 Then and Now’ Quiz by the end of May for the chance to win a free night’s stay. The Quiz is shown below, and you don’t have to have a great memory to play ~ We’ll be posting Then and Now images and quiz hints on our Facebook and Google+ pages all month, so watch for them to score a perfect 10 on your quiz. You can submit your answers with your name and e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org anytime until May 31, 2014.
Celebrate the Inn at Ellis River’s 10th Anniversary in May! Lyn and Frank purchased the Inn on May 5, 2004, so plan a getaway to help us celebrate! Daffodils are traditional for a 10th anniversary, and ours in Jackson, NH, will be blooming. Many things have changed over the past decade from the name and color of the Inn, to updated decor, new gardens, and more. We value most what hasn’t changed ~ so many of you that have become our guests and shared your special times with us. To celebrate both old friends and new, we’ve got special 10th Anniversary gifts for our guests all month!
Just for the month of May, we’ve brought back 2004 room rates! For specific room rate, call us (800-233-8309) or request the 2004 rate online. Sorry, but these rates cannot be applied for Memorial Day weekend May 23-26, or combined with other discounts or use third party gift certificates or gift cards.
We’re having a ‘10 Then and Now’ Quiz for guests all May ~ answering the 10 questions correctly about changes at the Inn 2004-2014 will enter you in a drawing for gifts including a free night’s stay. You don’t have to rely on your own memory ~ even a new guest who has never stayed here before will be able to find the answers!
Foodie Fun ~ We’ll bring back some of the breakfast menu items and afternoon cookies from 2004 ~ freshly made, of course! Recipes for guest favorites will be posted on our website.
Romantic Moments ~ For those who have shared engagements, weddings, honeymoons, and anniversaries with us at the Inn, we hope you will help us celebrate with a visit during May ~ we have some special ‘10′ anniversary gifts for you ~ just let us know when you make your reservation. We know guests who will receive three gifts because they became engaged, honeymooned, and celebrated an anniversary here ~ is there anyone who deserves four gifts? Just let us know!
Photo Contest ~ We know lots of our guests have great photos taken on their getaways to the inn. Every month this year beginning in May we’ll be asking you to post your favorites to our Google + and Facebook pages. Anyone who posts a photo of a current or past getaway will be entered in a monthly drawing, plus a drawing in December for a free night’s stay. Each photo/album posted will earn an entry in the drawing, so post several times during the year! Here are some photo ideas for Spring. In addition to photos at the Inn, you might post the following subjects:
May ~ Anniversaries, of course, plus Spring in the White Mountains, and May events such as the Wildquack Festival.
June ~ Wild flowers and waterfalls, engagements and weddings, plus the Inn to Inn Herb Tour and the Jackson’s June Jingle Bell Chocolate Challenge (self-guided tour with 15 stops in the Jackson area).
Changes continue, with three newly refreshed rooms to experience in May. As you can see from the image above, the first of the cherubs to fly away was on the old sign for Ellis River House…the last will be part of our special anniversary celebration of the Inn at Ellis River.
Come and join us as we begin our second decade ~ we’ll do our best to make your visit a ‘10′!
This was the Inn at Ellis River’s first year to participate in the March Maple Madness Inn-to-Inn Tour. The Inn was decorated with a March Hare theme accented with early spring flowers. We greeted guests with Maple Banana Bacon Mini-Muffins and Make Your Own Mini-Maple Parfaits with Maple Yogurt, the Inn’s Maple Granola, and fresh berries. Our bunny decorations and our goodies both won first place awards among the inns on the tour ~ Check out our Facebook page for pictures of maple treats and our favorite bunnies! You’ll find the recipes for our Granola and the Maple Muffins in the Recipe Section of this web site.
We use syrup from Jackson, NH’s Black Mountain in the Inn’s recipes, but there are many other sugarbushes in the Mt. Washington Valley. Maple syrup comes in different grades with the most delicate being Grade A Light Amber. Grade A Medium Amber, Grade A Dark Amber, and Grade B increase in darkness and the strength and robustness of the maple taste. Although Light Amber may add a graceful note to pancakes or waffles, many New Englanders prefer the darker grades, especially for cooking. When you bring home that jug of freshly boiled maple syrup from one of New Hampshire’s sugar shacks or farm stands, you’ll find many uses besides the traditional French Toast, waffles, or pancakes. Maple is a wonderful complement to apples, bacon, bourbon, chocolate, brown butter, pecans, walnuts, and coffee.
- At breakfast, you can drizzle maple syrup over warm apple cider doughnut holes, or add several tablespoons of syrup and a dash of cinnamon and lemon juice to chunky applesauce.
- Glaze thick-sliced bacon with syrup, or mix it with mustard to glaze grilled salmon or chicken and complement maple’s sweetness with a spicy citrus salsa.
- Vegetables? Add a glaze to carrots, sweet potatos, or brussels sprouts.
- Maple can satisfy the sweet tooth in everyone. In addition to maple cookies, try a maple coffee or maple walnut sundae for dessert. For pie lovers, there’s always maple pecan pie or a maple apple tart.
So enjoy maple syrup all year long, and don’t forget to make a weekend getaway to Jackson to sample the Inn’s maple treats and take home the best maple syrup from the White Mountains!
The Upper Saco Valley Land Trust will present the 5th Annual Art Celebrates Place art exhibit at the Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany, New Hampshire from April 4 to May 17, 2014. Plan to make seeing this art show as part of your spring getaway to the White Mountains. The show features works by North Conway area artists celebrating the agricultural heritage of the Mount Washington Valley. Works by Meredith Brooks Abbot, April Costa, J. Gaudreault, Janet Gill, and Carl Owen will be featured.
This year, Art Celebrates Place will highlight the Land Trust’s new conservation easement at Weston’s Rivercroft Farm in Fryeburg, Maine. For seven generations, the Weston Family has provided area residents and restaurants with fresh, locally grown produce. The protection of this family farm helps preserve the area’s rich agricultural resources for future generations of residents and visitors.
A portion of each artwork sold at the exhibit will benefit the Land Trust. The Trust’s mission is to preserve the ecological systems and cultural values of the Upper Saco River Valley. They achieve this mission through stewardship and partnerships for conservation that sustain land for forestry, farming, wildlife habitat, recreation, and scenic enjoyment by future generations. For additional information about the Art Celebrates Place exhibit, contact the Tin Mountain Conservation Center (603-356-9863).
The snow keeps falling but the March temperatures are warming in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It’s the perfect time for a late winter weekend getaway to cross country ski or snowshoe through the fields and forests and enjoy the mountain scenery. The Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, just steps from the Inn at Ellis River, has the largest trail system in the East. It’s over 150 km of trails span 60 square miles and three river valleys. Trails vary from easy to challenging and offer views of the Presidential Range of the White Mountains, including Mount Washington. Jackson Ski Touring trails connect with Appalachian Mountain Club trails to the north in Pinkham Notch and with the White Mountain National Forest backcountry trails.
The Ellis River Trail is a favorite among our guests. The Trail begins across the Ellis River from the Inn. The 7.7 km trail offers a gentle ski north through the rolling terrain and forests along the West Bank of the river. A heated cabin is found 1.5 km from the beginning of the trail, where you can pause to warm up, and on Saturdays and Sundays, take a break to enjoy waffles and hot chocolate. There are several one-way loops along the trail for variety, such as the easy 1.0 km Riverbank Loop that follows river’s edge and rejoins the Ellis River Trail just south of the warming cabin.
So make plans for a skiing or snowshoeing vacation in New Hampshire this month. The Inn at Ellis River offers midweek and weekend xc ski packages, plus a guided snowshoe nature trails package. The trail conditions are great in Jackson ~ as of March 11, there is a 26-40 inch base, with 3 inches of fresh snow last night, and more predicted for tomorrow!
If this is your first cross country skiing adventure, Jackson offers a Super Saver Package that includes assistance with fitting your rental equipment, one hour of instruction at their Learning Center, and suggestions for the trails you will enjoy the most.
Jackson Ski Touring Foundation’s quote of the week: “We make fun of winter.”
Celebrate March Maple Madness with a sweet getaway weekend in the White Mountains, March 21-23, 2014. This annual event is a self-guided tour on Saturday that includes visits to a sugarbush and sugar houses to see maple syrup being made, plus stops at eight country inns in the Mt. Washington Valley to sample maple treats both sweet and savory. You’ll end the day with recipes to remember your maple sugaring adventure all year long. To add to the fun, you can join in a wacky scavenger hunt for prizes.
Turning sap into the liquid gold of maple syrup is a centuries old tradition in New England, dating back centuries. It is an original North American food, which European settlers learned to produce from Native Americans. There are a number of legends about syrup’s origins including replacing water with sap to boil the venison served to a chief. Native Americans knew maple syrup was a source of energy and nutrition, and celebrated the time of the Sugar Moon (first full moon of spring) with rituals centered around sugaring.
You’ll be “Mad as a March Hare” if you miss the special weekend vacation, because there is no better way to welcome spring in the mountains. We’ll feature maple goodies morning, noon and night at the Inn at Ellis River, Jackson, NH, plus tickets to the March Maple Madness Tour and trail passes for Great Glen Trails to work off those calories! Two night packages are $279-$519, but better yet, stay an extra day for $99-$149 depending on room selection.
Are you chilly with all our snowstorms in New England? Then warm up with the Chili Cookoff Stroll in North Conway, NH on Saturday, March 1, 2014! Over 40 chefs will prepare their unique chili offerings, whether mild or spicy. A portion of the proceeds will benefit New Hampshire Public Television. The Cookoff features three competitions:
- The Professional Chefs Division, featuring chefs from local restaurants, for which a panel of judges will select winners based on taste, aroma, and consistency
- The People’s Choice Division for talented amateur chili cooks who will represent their favorite not-for-profit organizations
- The Best traditional and Non-traditional Cornbreads to balance all the spicy heat, open to both divisions of chili chefs.
The festivities begin at 11:30 am on Saturday, March 1, 2014 and sampling continues until 3:00 pm. The Cookoff for the professional chefs will be held at the Gibson Center for Senior Services, while the People’s Choice chili entries can be tasted at the North Conway Community Center and some retail stores throughout the village.
General Admission Tickets are $15 for adults and include entry to the Chilly Chili Cookoff and the chance to vote for your favorite in the People’s Choice Division. VIP Tickets are $35 and include early entry to the Cookoff, wine, beer and mead tastings, an entry to the awards ceremony, and a gift bag. For more details about the Cookoff, names of the participating chefs and judges, and to purchase tickets, please visit the Chili Cookoff ~ A Chilly Chili Stroll’s website.
So make plans for a weekend getaway to the Inn at Ellis River, and add some spice to your life! We’ll be featuring our Dilly Corn Cheddar Muffins (shown on the right) and a little something spicy too, so don’t miss this chance to warm up with a ‘Festive Foodie Adventure’ when it’s chilly outside!
Were you a turtle making plans for you and your special someone? The Inn at Ellis River’s two night Valentine’s getaway is available throughout February, as is our one night romantic midweek escape. Jackson, NH has been named as one of the ten most romantic ski towns, and the fresh snow has created a winter wonderland for skiing, snowshoeing, and sleigh rides.
Can’t get away? Make our Turtle Chocolate Pecan Crepes for Lovers and your sweetheart may forgive you! We were thinking about how to create a pancake breakfast with the flavors of the classic Turtle candy ~ perhaps adding mini chocolate chips and pecans into pancakes and topping with a caramel pecan sauce. We decided that was great for breakfast, but not indulgent enough for a Valentine’s dessert, so that’s’ how Turtle Chocolate Pecan Crepes were born. The recipe is easy to make ahead so you can just warm the crepes and sauce and assemble at the last minute. If you don’t have time to make the crepes, purchase some at the grocery store along with the caramel sauce.
When your sweetheart swoons over the crepes on Valentine’s Day, tell that special someone you have made a reservation for a romantic weekend at the Inn at Ellis River later this year!
The winter can be a great time to be on foot on the trails of the White Mountains. Hiking, climbing, and snowshoeing are abundantly available for people of all ages and experience. With the leaves off the trees, the views from the trails with glistening snow and ice all around provide some of the best sights in the White Mountain region.
The fun is likely to be directly related to how prepared you are for the changing conditions of mountain weather. Know thyself, is probably the first rule of thumb. Be respectful of your level of experience in cold weather and your level of fitness. If you are a beginner or novice winter enthusiast, educate yourself and/or talk to knowledgeable people about how to prepare for and manage cold weather conditions.
Hiking and snowshoeing are especially vigorous activities as compared to hiking on dry trails. You can plan on going about half to one-third the speed or slower than your typical hiking speed. It is especially important to stick to well-marked trails in the winter, as there may be hidden dangers beneath the snow and ice. Winter nights come early in the mountains so be back relaxing by a cozy fire by late afternoon.
No matter what your plans are, on the day of your outing check in and find out the conditions of trails at either one of the AMC centers, such as Pinkham Notch, Highland, or Great Gulf visitors centers, or any of the Ranger Stations, such as in Conway or Lincoln Woods, on the east and west ends of the Kancamagus Highway. There also are great snowshoeing trails in the region, including equipment rentals at the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, Great Glen Trails (at the foot of Mount Washington), Bear Notch, and other touring centers in the region. So be prepared, check on conditions, know your limits, and enjoy the trails! ~ Peter Lique Naitove
January 24-26, 2014, are the dates for the annual New Hampshire Snow Sculpting Competition to be held at Black Mountain in Jackson. The winners of this year’s New Hampshire championship, open only to sculptors 18 and older who live or work in New Hampshire, will be invited to the National Championship in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in 2015. In addition to the sanctioned state competition, awards include the Jackson Invitational Prizes awarded by the judges, and the People’s Choice Award, determined by all visitors to the event. Professional and amateur artists of any age are eligible to compete for these other awards. Snow sculptures are judged based on technique, creativity, and message. Some sculptures from 2013 are shown above.
In preparation for the event, cylinders of snow 8 feet high and 4 feet in diameter are prepared. Teams who come from Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont as well as New Hampshire, have from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning to complete their sculptures for judging. Lights allow sculptors to work into the night if they wish. Onlookers can enjoy roasting marshmallow by a bonfire (weather permitting), scavenger hunts Saturday at 11 am and Sunday at 10 am, and live auctions during the weekend to help support this event.
The Inn at Ellis River is one of the sponsors for this special winter art form. The Inn hosts a team, and all competitors find the Inn’s lip balm and our homemade oatmeal raisin cookies in their welcome bags. In 2013, we hosted Wade Parsons who won with his spectacular carving of Scat. You can see his work in progress on the left, and the award winning sculpture on the right. We look forward to seeing this year’s creative snow art only found in Jackson’s winter wonderland!
We look forward to the first snowfall and the chance to enjoy all the wonderful outdoor sports from downhill and xc skiing to snowshoeing and snowmobiling, or the romance of a horse drawn sleigh ride on a cold winter’s evening. We are thankful that we can return to a cozy fire, a warm drink, and afternoon cookies, of course! We enjoy the the beauty that surrounds us throughout the year, but especially when Mt. Washington and all the Presidentials are truly the ‘White Mountains’, whether snowflakes are falling gently through the air, or it is a crisp bluebird day to enjoy Jackson’s mountain vistas.
So from all of us at the Inn, we thank you for being our guests, and allowing us to share our special place with you. Happy Thanksgiving from Lyn and Frank, Christine, Peter and Tamara, Christie, Tini, and Autumn.
The Inn at Ellis River’s guests who participated in the Ghosts and Goblins Trail all had a great time, and two of our guests won first place among all the Trail participants for their Zombie costumes. The inn was decorated festively for Halloween ~ in fact, so well that the inn won first place among the inns on the Trail for our decor! Carved pumpkins welcomed the guests, ghostly images haunted the pub, and Fiona the pumpkin person came inside to warm herself by the fireplace ~ too bad her head was in the ice bucket beside her! If you didn’t come on the Trail in costume, you had to kiss Fiona to earn your treat! All the guests enjoyed Spirited Chocolate Raisin Treats and apple cider, and took away a bag of Halloween goodies. We hope you will try the cookies for yourselves ~change the color of the decorative frosting and they’re good any time of year, and not just at Halloween!
‘Shapleigh from the Inside Out’ is the new art exhibition opening October 18, 2013, at the Jackson, New Hampshire Historical Society. The opening is paired with the 11th annual White Mountain Art Sale from October 18th – 20th, 2013. The art sale features 19th century paintings by artists of the White Mountain School of Art as well as contemporary White Mountain landscapes. Some of the 19th century artists represented include Benjamin Champney, Benjamin Newman, John Ogilvie, Aaron Shattuck, and Frank Shapleigh. Scenes include Mt. Washington from the Intervale, Echo Lake in Franconia, Diana’s Baths, and other White Mountain landmarks. An on-line catalog of both the 19th century paintings and contemporary paintings is available. The Shapleigh exhibit is open in the Historical Society’s building from October 18, 2013, until January 31, 2014. Even October’s Pumpkin People display at the Historical Society is artistic, with the White Mountain Pumpkin Artist painting a rustic building en plein air.
Frank Henry Shapleigh (1842-1906) studied painting at the Lowell Institute of Drawing in Boston and at the studio of Emile Lambinet in France. He is famous for his New Hampshire landscapes and genre scenes, as well as paintings in Florida, California, and Europe. He was artist-in-residence at Crawford House in the White Mountains from 1877-1893, and later built a summer home and studio, ‘Maple Knoll’, in Jackson, NH, in 1896. He died there a decade later. Shapleigh painted many well-known mountain vistas, including Mount Washington, as well as more intimate landscapes and genre scenes depicting rural New Hampshire scenes viewed through an open door or window. The exhibit juxtaposes many of these paintings to allow comparisons, and its catalogue includes essays by historians Charlie Vogel and Bob Cottrell.
The Pumpkin People have returned with the foliage season in the Mt. Washington Valley. A Jackson village tradition for 26 years, there are over 55 displays to view until October 20.. Themes vary from White Mountain artists, to the newest British royal, to Despicable Me, Eskimos, Pumpkin Flowers, Harry Potter and more. Here at the Inn at Ellis River we are ‘Clowning Around’. Tara and Tony, the two little children, are enjoying the fun under the Big Top, while Fiona, our featured Pumpkin every year, is selling popcorn to one and all.. The trained Pumpkin Bear waits patiently while Sebastian the Pumpkin Lion leaps through one clown’s hoop and another clown juggles three balls in the air. Backstage in the corner, the clown for the next act is busy finishing his makeup. So come join the fun and pose for your own picture ‘Clowning Around’ at the circus.
A Taste of Northeast Country Inns, by Jackie White Simak, has just been published as an ebook on Amazon.com. The cookbook features over 250 recipes from about 100 Bed and Breakfasts and Country Inns in 11 Northeastern states. Originally published as a paperback in 2002, it has been updated with new recipes and translated into a convenient electronic format. Recipes include breakfast amd brunch treats, biscuits, muffins and breads, soups, luncheon and dinner entrees and side dishes, and last but not least, desserts and teatime treats. One of those treats is the Inn’s recipe for Oatmeal, Craisin, Toffee and Chocolate Chip cookies. These cookies were featured at the 2004 Inn to Inn Cookie Tour, and are a perennial favorite with our guests.
The Cookie Tour is held annually the second weekend of December, and features 13 inns in the Mt. Washington Valley. At every inn guests can get new ideas for holiday decorations as well as sample holiday treats, and take home the recipes printed on convenient cards.
You can find the recipe for the Oatmeal, Craisin, Toffee, and Chocolate Chip cookies on our website in the Recipes section. To sample the contents of the new cookbook, visit A Taste of Northeast Country Inns at www.Amazon.com. Note it is not necessary to have a Kindle to purchase the ebook. There is a free Kindle App available for smartphones, computers or tablets. Enjoy!
Cool nights and warm days mean the leaves are starting to turn, especially in higher elevations. Our foliage drive north past Mt. Washington this week showed early color through Pinkham Notch, and north toward Errol and Dixville Notch. For a scenic drive through the northern White Mountains, follow Route 16 north from the Inn at Ellis River to Gorham. Detour for a trip up the Mt. Washington Auto Road for wide scenic vistas if you wish. At Gorham, turn left on Route 2/Route 16, and continue on Route 16 along the Androscoggin River through Berlin and Milan to Errol. Make a stop if you wish at the Androscoggin Wayside Park just south of Errol. Then take Route 26 northwest through Dixville Notch ~ if you’re in the mood for a hike, stop at the state park where you will find a scenic gorge and waterfalls on two mountain brooks. Park hiking trails lead to Table Rock and mountain views. Continue on Route 26 to Colebrook. At Colebrook, Route 3 south follows the Connecticut River valley, so you’ll have views of both New Hampshire and Vermont. At Groveton, head east for higher elevations on Route 110, which will take you back to Route 16 at Berlin, where you can head south to return to the inn.
If you prefer a slightly longer loop that includes the colors turning in Crawford Notch, at Groveton continue on Route 3 south to Lancaster and Whitefield. You can follow Route 3 from Colebrook, or cross the Connecticut at several points (Colebrook, Northumberland) to follow Route 102 on the Vermont side, returning to Route 3 via Route 2 east to Lancaster. If you wish, make a detour from Route 102 to Guildhall, VT (via Grandby Road) with its typical New England architecture bordering the common. At Whitefield, NH, consider a short detour from Route 3 west on Mountain Grand Road to see the Mountain Grand Hotel and the views south from its portico. Continue on Route 3 south to Twin Mountain, where you turn left on Route 302 heading east, past the Mount Washington Hotel and through Crawford Notch. At Glen, turn north on Route 16 for your final few miles to the inn and the afternoon cookies that await you.