Category Archives: Outdoor activities

hiking Outdoor activities Scenic Drives

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.

Annual Fairs and Festivals Mount Washington valley Events Outdoor activities

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 Fairs and Festivals Mount Washington valley Events Outdoor activities

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.

Getaway Packages Mount Washington valley Events Outdoor activities Shopping Skiing

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.

Annual Fairs and Festivals Mount Washington valley Events Outdoor activities Recipes

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.

Annual Fairs and Festivals Mount Washington valley Events Outdoor activities Skiing XC Skiing and Snowshoeing

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!

Fall Foliage hiking Outdoor activities Scenic Drives

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!

Annual Fairs and Festivals Getaway Packages Outdoor activities

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!

Getaway Packages hiking Outdoor activities Water Falls

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,.