Author Archives: lyninnat

Remembering NH’s Old Man of the Mountain

ProfilePlazaIt’s hard to believe 10 years have past since we lost this symbol of New Hampshire, though you can still see him throughout the state on road signs, license plates, and souvenirs of the Granite State. The Old Man was made of five layers of Conway granite, and probably was formed by a retreating glacier over 12,000 years ago. On May 3, 2003, when clouds that had obscured the mountain cleared away, the Great Stone Face had collapsed.

You can still make a pilgrimage to where the Old Man stood when you visit the inn. Just plan to take the 100 mile scenic round trip through the White Mountains, and about half-way, as you go through Franconia Notch, stop at Exit 34B from I-93. Turn left at the wooden sign for the Old Man, and at the parking area, follow the path to Profile Lake. There you can look up at Cannon Mountain where the Old Man stood for so many years. The Profile Plaza has steel Profilers that recreate the image of the Old Man who once watched over the lake and guarded the Notch.

While you are traveling this scenic route, make time to view the surrounding mountains from the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway (theree’s an easy hike with views of both the Green and White Mountains at the top), and visit the Basin and Flume Gorge, all located close by.

Spring arrives with one last snow for lots of fun!

We’re welcoming spring in Jackson with fresh snow for spring skiing, freshly groomed xc ski trails, snowshoeing, tubing, and even sleigh rides until the end of March! Plan a last minute getaway to enjoy some spring snow play before Frosty disappears for another year. Where but in Jackson can you find nearby choices of five downhill ski areas ~ Black Mountain, Wildcat/Attitash, Cranmore, and Bretton Woods, plus three times more miles of cross country trails than roads? Choose xc skiing, snowshoeing, and tubing at nearby Jackson Ski Touring Center, or head north through Pinkham Notch to Great Glen Trails where your trail pass is free with our compliments. Finish your day of snowplay with a sleigh ride at nearby Nestlenook Farm, a soak in our hot tub while you watch the xc skiers still on the Ellis River Trail, or a cozy drink in front of the fire at the inn. P.S. ~ Quiet season rates begin March 25, 2013, so enjoy great spring savings, too!

Happy Valentine’s from All of Us at the Inn at Ellis River

Yellow tulips and glasses of champagneValentine’s Day brings thoughts of champagne, strawberries, and chocolate, of course! We’re looking forward to treating our guests to a special breakfast on the morning of Februrary 14, but if you can’t join us, what about making some of our Triple Chocolate Banana Muffins to start a romantic breakfast off right? They’re easy to bake the night before if mornings are busy. We’re planning to pair the muffins with a tropical fruit cup, and homemade Granola (we’ll add some dried cherries for an extra treat) and yogurt, of course! The main course? It’s time to show off those strawberries as a topping for crispy Belgian waffles, and if you dare, garnish with double chocolate chips and whipped cream as well. Some thick-sliced applewood smoked bacon is just the right accompaniment. Here’s a special trick – lay the bacon strips out on parchment paper on a baking sheet, and rub the bacon lightly with brown sugar before baking in a 400 degree oven until the bacon is crisp. No time for breakfast romance? Why not plan to make a special late night chocolate snack like our Holiday Joy Cookies – just decorate them with some red sugar sprinkles instead of the almonds, serve with fresh strawberries and that glass of bubbly, and enjoy! Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at the Inn, and remember that Valentine’s is a state of mind, not a date ~ we’re always ready to help you celebrate!

Snow Sculpting Competion Results, January, 2013

Snow Sculptor at workSnow Sculpture of Ice Age's ScratJackson hosted the New Hampshire Snow Sculpting Competition January 25-27, 2013, and we are proud to announce that the winner of the People’s Choice and Invitational Awards stayed with us during the competition. Wade Parsons of Massachusetts won People’s Choice and tied for First Place in the Invitational Competition with his sculpture of Ice Age’s “Scrat”. You can see him working in the photo on the left, and the finished sculpture on the right. The other entry tied for First Place was “Hang in There Kitty” by Audrey Meyer and Scott Lewis of Maine (far left photo in the collage). The team who won the New Hampshire Sanctioned Event, with the honor of representing the state at the 2014 National Competition at Lake Geneva, WI, is Sandy Hall, Kathy Fraize, and Eric Marnich with their angelic entry (far right in the collage).The sculptures are judged on creativity, technique and overall message, and are viewed by 2500 visitors to the White Mountains each winter. For video and images of the sculptures being created this year, you can visit WMTV.com

Annual Snow Sculpture Competition January 25-27, 2013

snow sculpture of two people embracingJackson is the site of the annual New Hampshire’s Snow Sculpting Competition, to be held January 25-27, 2013. Each team of two or three people begins with a cylinder shaped block of snow 4 feet in diameter by 8 feet tall to create their snow sculptures. Teams begin sculpting on Friday, and continue working all day and sometimes through the night on Saturday to complete their sculptures for the judging at noon on Sunday. Sculptures are judged based on creativity, technique and message.

This annual event draws artist teams from across a four-state region to compete for the Overall and the People’s Choice Awards. The NH State Champion is selected only from sculptures completed by teams who live or work in New Hampshire. The National Championships are held each year in Lake Geneva, WI, where the George Grady Jr. 2012 winning team is representing NH this winter. Other states which hold championships each year include New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Alaska. The winning team at the Nationals is eligible to represent the US at international competitions offered by sanctioned member countries such as Canada, Norway, Switzerland, France, Italy, Japan, China, and Russia.

The Inn at Ellis River is happy to help sponsor this unique Jackson event. A two-person team will be staying at the Inn, and all the competitors will find our homemade cookies and lip balm in their welcome bags.

Come See Ice Carving & Snow Sculpture Competitions in Jackson, NH

January brings out a variation on White Mountain artists ~ our brave sculptors of ice and snow! The Wentworth, here in Jackson, will host the 18th annual Great Ice Carvers of New England Invitational Ice Carving Competition on Monday, January, 7, 2013. The challenge begins at 10:00 am, and competitors have until 1:00 pm to create works of art from 300 pound blocks of ice. Chisels, picks, even chain saws make the ice chips fly, and blow torches smooth edges to create animals, birds, mythological figures and other flights of fantasy.

Pictured are some of the 2012 creations, which, like Frosty the Snowman, vanished with the first thaw. New this year is a People’s Choice Award, so plan to stop by the Wentworth to see the ice sculptures beginning next week. They will be on display on the porch (with special lighting at night) as long as arctic temperatures allow.

Competitors in the New Hampshire Snow Sculpture event will have longer for their competition later this month – from Friday, January 25 until noon Sunday, January 27, 2013. We’ll post more about this upcoming competition soon.

Museum of White Mountain Art hosts ‘On the Road to Jackson’ Inaugural Exhibit

Jackson, NH’s newest museum and art gallery opened this fall, and it’s free inaugural exhibition is on display through January 6, 2013. ‘The Road to Jackson: A Glimpse of the White Mountains of New Hampshire’ features a selection of 47 nineteenth century paintings from private collections that depict scenes along routes south from Gorham, north from Tamworth, and east from Crawford Notch as well as around Jackson. Visit the Jackson Historical Society’s website to see a selection of images from the exhibit. There also is a giant topographical map of the Mount Washington Valley.

The new museum was created through a $200,00 renovation of space in the historic Town Hall. The original builder of the Town Hall, located along the Wildcat River near Jackson’s stone bridge, was Andrew Harriman. In 1893, Harriman also built the home that became the Inn at Ellis River.

The Museum of White Mountain Art is open 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays. A hard cover catalogue of the inaugural exhibition is available for $75, and includes 58 full color images and an essay “A Glimpse of White Mountain Scenery” by Charles Vogel.

It’s time to plan you holiday getaway to New Hampshire’s White Mountains!

Holiday tree decorated in blue ornaments and white snowflakesSnowflakes are falling in Jackson, and soon we will be surrounded by a winter wonderland. Ski areas at Bretton Woods, Wildcat, and Cranmore are open! The Inn at Ellis River has packages for all kinds of holiday getaways – before Christmas, plan a Shopping Getaway, or a just a Midweek Escape from pre-holiday stress. Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour Sleigh Rides are available every weekend until Christmas, or share the holiday spirit of giving with our very special offer to ‘Be an Elf’ from December 16-22. Can’t get away until Christmas week? Stay three days during December 26-29 and you get a special rate for your third night or your fourth night is FREE! We’ve got an intimate New Year’s Package to welcome 2013, or plan for Sleigh Bells and Candlelight to share with that special someone. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Inn, and we’re waiting to welcome you for some holiday revelry or just a relaxing inn-terlude during this busy season.

Milk Chocolate Fudge ~ Our Gift for the Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour

The Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour returns to Jackson, NH, for Thanksgiving weekend through the weekend of December 22, 2012, with a festive sleigh ride through the village that stops at inns and shops for chocolate treastures.  One of the Five Tasty Tours in the Granite State named by the Concord Insider, this popular holiday event combines two holiday favorites ~ a sleigh ride and chocolate.  The Tour departs from Nestlenook Farm and circles the village loop with stops at the Inn at Jackson,  Backcountry Bakery, The Wentworth, J-Town Deli and Country Store, the Snowflake Inn and Flossie’s General Store.

The Inn at Ellis River’s two night package includes two tickets for the Tour and a gift our homemade milk chocolate fudge. (A limited number of one night packages are available). We hope you will jingle your way into the holidays with this special sleigh ride, but if you can’t, here’s the recipe for our Milk Chocolate Fudge:

Ingredients

  • 1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) margarine or butter
  • 2 4.2 ounce bars Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate
  • 2 4.4 ounce bars Hershey’s Milk Chocolate
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 7  ounce jar marshmallow whip
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Place evaporated milk, sugar, and margarine or butter in a large saucepan. Stir together over moderate heat until margarine is melted and ingredients are combined. Bring to boil and boil exactly 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add chocolate bars and chocolate chips gradually, stirring constantly. When chocolate is completely combined with the milk mixture, add marshmallow whip and vanilla and stir until fudge is a uniform color. Pour into a 9×13 inch pan and refrigerate until firm.

Let it snow! Guess when we’ll have our first snowfall in Jackson, NH?

Path through snow with trees and mountains in the backgroundNovember is here, and our thoughts at the Inn at Ellis River turn to snowflakes, skiing, sleigh rides, and our winter wonderland. This year the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce is holding a contest to predict the date and time of the first 6 inch snowfall in one continuous storm. The winner receives half of the proceeds, and half will be donated to support the Mount Washington Observatory and the New Hampshire Sanctioned Snow Sculpting Competition here in the village January 27-29, 2013.

Tickets are $2 each and can be purchased from the Inn or the Chamber. We’re thinking SNOW, so if you book a new reservation for a stay between November 9, and December 22, we’ll include an entry in the contest ~ just say ‘Let it Snow’ when you make your reservation (or put in the comments section if you book online), and tell us the date and time you want to pick for your entry in hour and 15 minute intervals – for example November 9 at 2:15 PM, December 1 at 10:30 AM, etc. (Here’s a hint ~ in 2011, we had a foot of snow to celebrate Thanksgiving weekend.) Official measurement will be in a location by the Chamber office, and you can check progress on a webcam they will be installing there. The Mount Washington Observatory also offers a number of webcam views of Mt. Washington and environs.

If we don’t have a big snowstorm in the next two weeks – or even if we do – Black Mountain Ski Area has plans for their Biggest Snow Dance on Saturday, November 17, 2012, from 4 -8 PM, so if you want to hedge your bet, be sure to pick a time and day soon after that for luck. The Record Breaking Snow Dance at Black Mountain will feature Snow Dancer Carlene from Symmetree Yoga, music by the Revtones, a bonfire, plus food and beverages in the Lostbo Pub. Plan to come and set your feet tapping and flakes to falling that Saturday. (To participate in the record breaking dance, please be at Black Mountain by 4:45 PM).   Let it snow, Let It Snow, LET IT SNOW!

Get Ready for the Holidays with Easy Party Appetizer Recipes

The Holiday Season is approaching, and we want to help you get ready to enjoy the festivities with friends and family. November shopping bargains abound in North Conway and Jackson, and we’ll help you with some easy recipes for entertaining. The Inn at Ellis River is partnering with some other members of Country Inns in the White Mountains for a Get Ready for the Holidays’ weekend November 16-18 . Your two night escape includes Saturday morning appetizer cooking demonstrations, an afternoon for shopping, four-course wine dinner at the 1785 Inn, Sunday morning’s breakfast featuring easy brunch treats for a crowd, and recipes of course!

We’re keeping our appetizer recipe a secret for now (we’re planning to have fun with lots of tasting as we perfect it!), so check out some of our recipes from the Inn to Inn Cookie Tours (like the Chipotle Cheddar Savory Shortbreads) or Herb Tours (like Basil Pignoli Bites) for savory snacks you can prepare ahead and have handy for a holiday party or unexpected guests. Here’s is a suggestion for an easy hors d’oeuvre for four or forty to complement either of these savory treats:

Antipasto Skewers

On each 6 inch skewer, thread an olive, a piece of roasted red pepper, a cube or small ball of mozzarella cheese wrapped in a thin piece of Prosciuto, a small marinated artichoke heart (or 1/4 or a larger heart), and a cherry tomato. (For vegetarian skewers, omit the Prosciuto). Place in a flat baking dish, brush with Oregano Vinaigrette and chill for 30 minutes.

Oregano Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, minced

Combine the vinegar, garlic, mustard, and oregano in a small bowl. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking constantly until all the oil is incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and stir in tomatoes. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use on the Antipasto Skewers or a mixed green, pasta, or grilled vegetable salad.

Time for a Shopping Getaway in Tax-Free New Hampshire!

You’ll find lots of great shopping bargains and artisan crafts, so plan your getaway any time this November for a great late fall escape. We’ve put together a great MIDWEEK package with special savings. For WEEKEND getaways, November 3-4, 2012, is NH Open Doors, when you can visit studios of members of the League of NH Craftsmen to see works in progress under the skilled hands of these artisans, and distinctive shops featuring New Hampshire made products and artwork. The weekend of November 10-11, 2012, offers shopping specials at Settler’s Green in North Conway, with free shopping bags for first 2,000 shoppers on Saturday, starting at 8 am. There will be raffles, entertainment, a gift with $100 and $500 purchases, and discount coupons, of course!

Mt. Washington and Valley in NovemberFor NH Open Doors, plan a leisurely loop through the Lakes region to enjoy both the scenery and the artistry. Stop at the League of NH Craftsmen in North Conway (2526 White Mountain Highway) Hours: Nov. 3: 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Nov. 4: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Or head directly to Meredith, where you’ll find another of the League’s stores (279 Daniel Webster Highway). Hours: Nov. 3 and 4: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Open studios at 5 Winona Road in Meredith include:

  • The Arts Collaborative Artisan Gallery and Studios: Hand-crafted home furnishings, original art, and art activities. Hours: Nov. 3 and 4: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • Hayden Arts Studios: Handmade furnishings and sculpture with studio tours & demonstrations. Hours: Nov. 3 and 4: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • McCrillis Hill Copperworks: Hand crafted copper enamelware, bowls, plates, etc. Enamel, and copper spinning demonstrations. Hours: Nov. 3 and 4: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Winnipesaukee Forge: Wrought iron home furnishings, candlesticks, lamps, and fireplace accessories. Afternoon blacksmith demonstration. Hours: Nov. 3 and 4: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

You can also stop in Meredith at Artist in My Garden c/o Cackleberries (419 Daniel Webster Highway) which features Lakes Region artists, photography, pottery, and graphic design. They will have demonstrations and refreshments from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Nov. 3 and Nov. 4.

Extend your loop by driving west to Bristol, NH, to visit Earthly Treasures at 150 Lake Street to see hand-crafted items from over 300 American artisans. Hours: Nov. 3: 10:00a.m.-5:00 p.m. Nov. 4: 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

From Bristol, return through lakes or take I-93 north to Bethlehem, NH, to visit The Rocks Estate for its gift shop full of New England products, (4 Christmas Lane, open 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.) and the Local Works Marketplace at WREN (2013 Main Street, open 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) to see works by over 200 artists and artisans. Then return to Jackson via Route 302 through Crawford Notch.

Visit NH Open Doors for complete information on November 3-4, 2012, activities and to see a list of participating artisans.

Halloween is coming, so visit Cranmore Mountain’s Ghoulog on your weekend getaway!

Headless maid and her pumpkin headEvery year, Cranmore Mountain turns into a frightful place on weekends in October with their Ghoulog. What’s a ghoul? According to folklore, it’s a monster that resides in graveyards and similar uninhabited places whose favorite snack is human flesh. Then what is a Ghoulog? A frightful hour-long experience that leads the unsuspecting through a series of dark rooms, mazes, and other scary places where the macabre lurks. This year, Cranmore Mountain’s nightmarish extravaganza is located indoors in a secret location reached by shuttle from their base lodge. If the Ghoulog isn’t frightful enough, those seeking the ultimate terror are invited to experience The Cult of the Ghoulog, which includes a trip up the chairlift to Cranmore’s summit. Hungry for even more adventure? The Haunted Playground transforms their Zipline, Mountain Coaster and Giant Swing into scary Halloween-themed rides under the stars, and an outdoor food court and the Bloody Noose Pub offer refreshments for humans instead of ghouls.

So plan to add some White Mountain fright to your late October weekend getaway with a ghoulish adventure at Cranmore Mountain. Advance reservations are strongly advised. Tickets for the Ghoulog are $25, or plan to visit both the Haunted Playground and Ghoulog for $46. The Cult experience is $30 per person. For full information on dates, times and restrictions, please visit the Cranmore Mountain website.

Pumpkin People Have Returned to Jackson, New Hampshire

King Pumpkin, Queen Pumpkin, Stepmother Pumpkin PeopleFor the 25th year, Jackson is celebrating the “Return of the Pumpkin People”, with over 70 displays for everyone to enjoy. You’ll find Pumpkin Man in the Mountains, Angry Birds, Circus clowns, the Grinch, ET, artists, leaf peepers in a pickup, Sesame Street favorites, plus many other movie, TV, and fairy tale characters. It often takes several weeks to create each display, which must use real pumpkins for the heads of characters. Visit the Pumpkin People in Jackson, Hart’s Location, Bartlett, Glen, Intervale, and North Conway, NH, on a self-guided tour ~ each official host property is marked on the map available at the inn or from the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce. You can vote for you favorites for the “People’s Choice” award.

Since it is the 25th anniversary celebration, the Inn at Ellis River is hosting an Anniversary Ball where Pumpkinella charms her Prince Pumpkin. Like many of our guests who love to return to the inn again and again, some pumpkin people from past years have come back too, and are celebrating at this gala event. It wouldn’t be October without Fiona, our favorite Maid! She’s on duty passing out champagne at the ball. Remember one year when Fiona had to bring extra pillows to the Princess who could feel a little pumpkin under all those mattresses? She and her Prince are now King and Queen, reigning over the ball. Then there was the year of Fionarella, when she hoped her prince would come. She tried on the glass slipper while her jealous stepsisters and her stepmother watched in dismay. The stepmother and stepsisters have returned to dance again, still hoping that Prince Pumpkin’s heart can be won. The Prince seems to have eyes only for his Pumpkinella, but thankfully there is a gallant noble willing to dance with the stepsister. The chandelier twinkles and the dance goes on until October 21, so be sure to come to this gala ball!

It’s Time for the Fryeburg Fair ~ Maine’s Blue Ribbon Classic

Pumpkins and Purple Mum PlantsFoliage season in the White Mountains means it’s time for the Fryeburg Fair, September 30 – October 7, 2012. The biggest agricultural fair in Maine began 162 years ago, organized by the West Oxford Agricultural Society which includes 16 towns in Western Maine and 6 in Eastern New Hampshire. It’s a family-oriented country fair with livestock events, harness racing, a steer and oxen show, carnival, concerts each evening, and more.

The Farm Museum depicts almost 250 years of history since the settlement of Fryeburg in the 1760s. Almost all the early crafts and activities needed for the challenging life in the White Mountains are represented there ~ not just farming, but also lumbering and log driving, blacksmithing, harness making, cider pressing, carpentry, ice cutting, maple syrup making, candle making, and more. Butter and ice cream are made the old-fashioned way, and food is cooked on a wood stove.

Monday’s events at the Fair include the Woodmen’s Day and the Skillet Toss competitions; the Grand Parade starring the livestock is held on Saturday morning. Food is always a highlight, whether it’s sampling the Fair’s french fries with vinegar or a stop at the new Special Foods Pavilion with 30 vendors. You’ll want to enjoy the many local artisans and organizations who have booths offering food, crafts, and fun as well. A visit to the Fryeburg Fair is a great addition to your leap-peeping plans in the North Conway – Jackson area.

A Scenic Foliage Drive in New Hampshire’s White Mountains

Road to Mount Washington

Road to Mt. Washington

Fall foliage color is arriving in the White Mountains. Frosty nights mean that the reds, oranges and yellows of New Hampshire’s spectacular foliage season are appearing along the Kancamagus Highway, and in the Great North Woods and the Mount Washington Valley. From Jackson, try a foliage itinerary that will take you over Hurricane Mountain Road, north through Evans Notch and then south past Mount Washington through Pinkham Notch back to the inn.

Another colorful route will take you north 20 miles to Gorham, then continuing on Route 16 north through Berlin to Errol, where you follow Route 26 west through Dixville Notch to Colebrook. From Colebrook, take Route 125 north to Pittsburg for more North Woods color, or turn south on Route 3 and follow the Connecticut River along the border between New Hampshire and Vermont. When Route 3 intersects Route 110, turn east and follow Route 110 back to Berlin, or continue south on Route 3 to Lancaster where you can turn east on Route 2 for great views of the Northern Presidential Range, and then south on Route 115 to Route 302 at Twin Mountain. There you’ll turn left and follow Route 302 east past Bretton Woods and the Mount Washington Hotel, through Crawford Notch, and back to Jackson via Route 16 north at Glen .

There is good color on the higher elevations of the Kanamagus Highway as well, so for this loop, go south from the inn to Glen, and turn right (west) on Route 302. If you’re thinking of a picnic lunch on your travels, stop at the White Mountain Cider Company’s deli to stock up. At Barlett, turn left at the blinking light and follow Bear Notch Road to Route 112 (The ‘Kanc’). Turn right toward Lincoln (note that there are no gas stations between Glen and Lincoln on this route). If you are in the mood for a short hike, stop at Sabbaday Falls, which is a relatively easy trail to the waterfall. Splashes of red and yellow will surround you as you go through the higher elevations, then descend into Lincoln.

At Lincoln, go north on I-93 toward Franconia Notch. You may want to make time to stop at the Flume to see Avalanche Falls (about a 2.5 mile round trip, but easy walking). Then you’ll pass the site where the Old Man in the Mountain once stood as you go through Franconia Notch. If it’s a bright clear day, consider taking the tram to the top of Cannon Mountain, where you’ll have great views of both New Hampshire’s White Mountains and the Green Mountains of Vermont. You can return to the inn via Route 3 to Twin Mountain and then Route 302 east, or continue farther north on I-93 and take Route 142 to Bethlehem (which as some interesting shops) before taking Route 302 east through Crawford Notch and back to Jackson via Route 16 north at Glen.

Check our Attractions Map for many of the locations mentioned on these drives. For frequently updated White Mountain foliage conditions you can check the Visit NH web site or their mobile site if you prefer. You can also call their Fall Foliage hotline at 1-800-258-3608. For maps showing the progression of 2012 New England foliage, visit the Foliage Network. After any of these drives, you’ll be ready to enjoy the cozy fire and afternoon refreshments waiting to welcome you back to Jackson, NH and the Inn at Ellis River!

Enjoy a Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch on your Fall Weekend Getaway

aerial image of American Chunker Corn MazeWhat is a fall weekend without a trip to a pumpkin patch, farmstand, and corn maze for outdoor fun? Plan to include Sherman Farm in nearby East Conway, NH, in your getaway plans. Visit their Farm Stand and Pumpkin Patch to pick out your own pumpkins and produce to bring home. Then take a hayride and challenge your labyrinth navigating skills in their corn maze, which is open every Saturday and Sunday from September 22 through October 28, 2012, from10 am until 5pm (last two weekends in October the maze closes at 4 pm due to darkness). Admission is $9 per person. A concession offers fall treats like cider donuts and kettle corn as well as hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks.

The Sherman Farm MaiZE this year is “Go Team American Chunker” with several miles of pathways. A wizard can follow the correct path in 20 to 30 minutes, but the average human takes about one hour or more. There are two phases to the maze as well as a “mini maze” to accommodate all ability levels. Generally one phase is a little shorter than the other and less difficult. To help you find your way, you can use a series of passports with questions. Correct answers to the questions gives you clues to guide you along the correct path to the exit. This is the sixth year of Sherman Farm’s maze ~ to create one, the farm owners must choose a variety of corn that has the right stalk strength and height to create the feel of a labyrinth of pathways. Mazes require about 20,000 plants per acre, with a growing schedule two to three weeks later than crops being planted for grain.

Are you looking for a scary nighttime adventure? Their MAiZE Massacre (A Haunted Maze) is open weekends October 5 & 6, 12 & 13, 19 & 20, 26 & 27 from 7 to 9 pm. A Flashlight (non-haunted) Maze is open October 19 & 20, 26 & 27 from 7 to 9 pm as well. Admission is $9 per person.

Plan on some great outdoor fun during your fall visit to the White Mountains!

Perfect weather to hike or bike the White Mountains!

Sabbaday Falls, New Hampshire

Sabbaday Falls, NH

September is a perfect season for hiking and biking the White Mountains of New Hampshire ~ the days are warm and nights are cool, summer crowds have gone, and just a few leaves are becoming tinged with autumn color. Walks and hikes from easy to challenging abound, and you can return to the inn to enjoy a soothing interlude in the hot tub overlooking the Ellis River, or later in the month, curl up in front of a cozy fire with a hot drink and cookies warm from the oven.

When planning your stay, check out the different hikes near Jackson, New Hampshire. Since all the Inn at Ellis River’s guest rooms are named for White Mountain waterfalls, you can choose to explore your ‘own’ waterfall during your stay. Each of the room descriptions includes an image of the waterfall and how to reach it from the inn ~ just click on the room name for details. Easiest to see are Jackson Falls, a short walk or drive from the inn, and Silver Cascade, viewed from Route 302 or the Conway Scenic Railroad’s Notch Train. It’s just a very short hike to visit Glen Ellis Falls or Diana’s Baths, both 10-15 minutes from the inn, and Sabbaday Falls, Champney Falls, Ripley Falls, Thompson Falls, Crystal Cascade and Arethusa Falls are within 30 minutes or less.

If you want to do some biking around Jackson, there is a new bike rental shop right across from the inn, or plan to take advantage of the 50% discount off a bike rental package at Great Glen Trails located at the base of Mount Washington (package includes helmet and trail use, four hour minimum).

Our Eco-Adventure Package is a perfect choice for your hiking and/or biking getaway. Your two night stay includes your choice of one of five hiking or biking guidebooks, a picnic lunch for two packed in an insulated cooler bag that is yours to keep, and complimentary use of the walking, hiking, and biking trails at Great Glen Trails,.

Mt. Washington Valley’s Bach Festival is August 24-26, 2012.

Mostly Bach Festival logoThe White Mountains will be alive with the sound of music ~ Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, and fellow composers of the Baroque era ~ at the 24th annual Bach Festival. Book our ‘Back to Bach’ package that includes two tickets with our compliments to either the Saturday evening OR Sunday afternoon performance. The annual music festival features professional and amateur musicians performing both instrumental and choral works of Baroque masters ~ this year including Bach’s “Christ lag in Todesbanden” and Handel’s Messiah.

The Festival begins August 12, 2012, at 4 pm with an Organ Recital featuring Ray Cornils, Municipal Organist from Portland Maine, who will perform on the newly restored 1984 Moller Pipe Organ at the First Church of Christ, Congregational, in North Conway, NH. The concert will feature works by J.S. Bach and contemporaries Buxtehude and Handel. Tickets range from $10-$25 and are available at the door.

Programs August 24, 25, and 26, 2012, will feature vocal and instrumental soloists, and the Bach Festival Orchestra and Chorus. These performances will be at the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center, Fryeburg Academy, Fryeburg, ME, just a short distance from North Conway and Jackson.

Friday, August 24, at 8 pm is a Special Family Night ~ “Bach to the Future” featuring Ray Cornils as Herr Bach in a light-hearted program introducing ” Un-stuffify” Bach.

Saturday, August 25, at 7:30 pm is a more traditional program featuring Robert Lehmann, conductor, Zoia Bologovsky, violin, Debby Dabczynski, cello, and Barbara Prugh, trumpet. . Works to be performed include: Arcangelo Corelli’s Concerto Grosso in C minor, Op. 6, No. 3, Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for two violins in A minor Op. 3, No. 8, RV 522, and three works by J.S. Bach: Cantata No. 51 “Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen”, Orchestral Suite No. 3 BWV 1068, D Major, and Cantata No. 4, “Christ lag in Todesbanden”.

Sunday, August 26, at 4 pm concludes the Festival with a performance of G .F. Handel’s Messiah featuring Julianne Gearhart, soprano, Emily Marvosh, contralto, George Eisenhauer, tenor, John D. Adams, bass, and the Festival Orchestra and Chorus. Robert Lehmann is the conductor and Paul McGovern the chorus master.

So don’t let August slip away before you book your ‘Back to Bach’ package for some great music in the White Mountains. If you wish tickets for other performances as well, those for ‘Bach to the Future’ are $10 for adults and those for the Saturday and Sunday concerts are $20 each for adults. For full program details, please visit the Festival’s website.

Jackson meant a special babymoon at the Inn at Ellis River!

rubber duck with pacifierWas it the sparkling cider on a moonlight night, the gentle massage, the afternoon relaxing by the pool, or just the choice of Jackson, NH, for a babymoon when you plan to name your baby boy Jackson? Who knows, but it was a very special pre-baby getaway for two of our guests this past weekend when their baby decided if he was in Jackson, it was time to make his appearance! Fortunately, they had time to go to the hospital in North Conway, and we are delighted to report that Mom, Dad, and baby Jackson all are doing well. However, we do think it was selfish of the baby to make his parents miss our gourmet breakfast on their wedding anniversary! Of course, we’re inviting Mom and Dad back to finish their unexpectedly brief romantic getaway and enjoy another bottle of bubbly in the moonlight when Jackson is old enough to stay with his doting grandparents.

If you’re expecting a new addition to your family, why not plan some quiet, romantic time together? You can add our babymoon package to any stay in any room ~ so even if you can get away for just a single night, you can enjoy a pre-natal massage at Moondance Massage, a candlelight dinner for two at the White Mountain Cider Company, sparkling cider with fruit and chocolates in case someone is hungry for a snack, a leisurely gourmet breakfast, and a rubber ducky for the new little one’s bath. Worried about an unexpected arrival on your getaway? It’s never happened before in many a baby moon package, so unless your bundle of joy is going to be named Jackson (or maybe Ellis?), it’s not likely!

Once a year you can dance on the covered bridge in Jackson

musicians at covered bridge danceThe covered bridge over the Ellis River at the entrance to Jackson, New Hampshire has been a symbol of the village for over a century, and Saturday, August 4, you can put on your dancing shoes and come to the annual COVERED BRIDGE DANCE from 6 pm ’til midnight. Tap your toes or just sit and listen under the stars to Jon Sarty & The White Mountain Boys. Enjoy this free event ~ only in Jackson can we have our old fashioned community block party on a covered bridge!

Constructed by Charles Broughton and his son Frank Broughton about 1876, the ‘Honeymoon Bridge’ is a favorite of both photographers and romantics who steal a traditional good luck kiss (or two…). The Broughtons used their carpentry skills to build the Paddleford truss structure with added arches, which is just over 121 feet long with a clear span of 103 feet. The 16 foot wide roadway means some vehicles wait politely to cross if a car is already on the bridge. The photographs highlight the Paddleford truss design which was popular for bridges in northern New Hampshire and Vermont in the 19th century. The walkway on the north side of the bridge was added about 1930, and the bridge restored in 2004. It is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

The White Mountains of New Hampshire are home to many covered bridges, including others designed with the Paddleford truss. See our Covered Bridges Circuit Itinerary for a suggested tour of some of them within an hour’s drive of the Inn at Ellis River.

Add a Mt. Washington, NH sunrise to your bucket list!

What can be more spectacular than standing on the top of the highest mountain in the Northeast and seeing the sunrise over the mountains and valleys to the east? In the pre-dawn darkness of Sunday, August 26, you’ll start up the Mt. Washington Auto Road, just 13 miles north of the Inn at Ellis River, and reach the top in time to await the new day. Plan ahead, since there are only three times each summer when you can drive up the auto road yourself to witness this spectacle ~ the last Sunday mornings in June, July and August. The opening time for the Auto Road is different each month to allow for the changing seasons: 4 pm on July 29, 2012, and 4:30 am on August 26, 2012. The inn will provide you with a voucher that will let your passenger ride free ($25 charge for auto and driver) and a romantic continental breakfast picnic to enjoy.

New at the Mount Washington Auto Road this year is another option if you would like photograph the mountain top sunrise or sunset: Guided Photography Tours, led by photographer Ernie Mills, offers three hour tours every Friday. The cost for the Guided Photography Tour is $150. Here are some photos by Ernie Mills of a June sunrise to inspire you.  It’s a bucket list must!

Jackson Falls, NH is a beautiful place for wedding vows!

It’s been a romantic few weeks at the Inn at Ellis River, with a proposal, two elopements, an intimate wedding reception for family and friends after a Jackson Falls wedding, several honeymoons, and anniversary getaways galore! The scenic beauty of Jackson Falls is a natural backdrop for many of these special moments, or sometimes guests choose the inn’s gazebo, nearby Glen Ellis Falls, or the heights of Mount Washington. Of course, every couple makes a tradition of kissing on Jackson’s Honeymoon Bridge!

All of us at the inn take special pride in creating just the kind of experience guests want, from a renewal of vows followed by cake and champagne for just the two of you to a small gathering of immediate family or even a weekend long celebration that fills the inn. We’re happy to take care of all the details with the help of Carrie’s floral creations from Dutch Bloemen Winkel, a wedding cake from Vintage Baking Company, and of course a JP like Kim Steward to officiate! Here are some photos from these recent happy events with our best wishes to all the couples celebrating special commitments to each other this summer.Couple cutting wedding cake and food at wedding reception

Jackson NH Area Farmers’ Market is now open Saturdays!

Jackson NH farmers market & churchvegetable stand at Jackson NH farmers marketSummer is in full swing in New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Valley, and it’s time to sample all our wonderful local products. We’ve been visiting our local strawberry farm almost every day to get fresh berries for breakfast treats like this morning’s waffles topped with sliced berries, dark chocolate mini chips, whipped cream and maple syrup, fresh baked strawberry banana bread, or just a heaping bowl of berries with sliced melons on our fruit platter. Schartner Farm on West Side Road in North Conway allows you to pick your own berries if you want to take a taste of NH home with you ~ it’s a fun and rewarding way to spend an hour or two in the shadow of White Horse Ledge. Strawberry season is always too short, but now Berry Knoll on Old Portland Road in Eaton is open for picking blueberries, raspberries, and currants, too! Come visit the inn this month for a BERRY enjoyable stay!

If you’re planning a weekend stay at the inn, after breakfast Saturday, you can walk from the inn around the loop and across the bridge to the Jackson Area Farmers’ Market ~ it’s open every Saturday morning from the beginning of July until Columbus Day weekend. You’ll find locally grown produce, maple syrup from Jackson’s Black Mountain, baked goods, flowers, jewelry, pottery, fiber bags and garments to wear, doggie treats, and many other items. If you enjoy the toast we serve at breakfast from the Old Village Bakery, you’ll find their artisan breads at the Farmers’ Market, too. If you like flowers, check to see if Dutch Bloemen Winkel, our favorite flower shop, is selling some of their beautiful grab ‘n go bouquets and plants at the open air market (or just step across the street to their shop next to the Post Office). Don’t miss this Saturday morning excursion – it’s a real village treat!’s

It’s time to Seek The Peak July 21 and hike Mount Washington!

sign at end of Crawford Trail at Mt. Washington summitSeek the Peak is an annual event to support the Mount Washington Observatory by hiking to the summit of Mt. Washington. It’s not a race, so you can choose any trail and any pace you wish to reach the top. Mt. Washington has some of the worst weather in the world, but some of the best views, too. On a clear day, you look east from the summit across Maine all the way to the Atlantic, north to Canada, and west to the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks beyond.

Seek the Peak is the biggest fund raiser for The Observatory, which is a private, non-profit organization that maintains the weather station at the summit, conducts research and educational programs and helps interpret the heritage of the Mount Washington region. In addition to recording and disseminating weather information, it serves as a benchmark location for many types of severe weather research.

Since 2001, Seek the Peak has raised nearly $1,000,000 for the Observatory. Participants enjoy a kick off party in North Conway, NH on Friday evening, tours of the Observatory at the summit and a post-hike celebration complete with live music, a turkey dinner and lots of raffle prizes. For more information and to register, visit the Seek the Peak website. We make a donation to the Observatory for each of our guests who Seek the Peak, so plan your hike and book your stay for the weekend of July 20-22, 2012, at the Inn at Ellis River now!