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White Mountain School of Art: Shapleigh Exhibition Opens in Jackson, NH

‘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.

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Pumpkin People Return to Jackson, NH, October 1, 2013

Pumpkin People JugglerLionClown500MakeupClown500The 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.

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Inn at Ellis River’s Cookie Recipe Published in New Cookbook

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!

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Foliage is Arriving in the White Mountains!

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.

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A Black Bear visits the Inn at Ellis River

Thanks to our guests and staff for these photos of the bear who has been a frequent visitor to the Inn this summer. It is one of the stable population of about 5,000 black bears living in New Hampshire. Now that the berries and apples are ripe, our bear seems to enjoy feasting in the woods near the property, and sometimes takes a stroll or a dip in the river where guests can enjoy this wildlife at a distance. A number of bears have been seen in the Jackson and North Conway areas, but our friend Baxter the Bear seems to be the only one who visits the inn regularly.

Many of our guests have been enjoying the chance to see our local wildlife and to take photos from a distance ~ just remember to not get too close and to be sure that both you and the bear have a clear escape route. Bears typically move away when they hear loud noises, so you can clap your hands or bang metal objects together. NH Fish and Wildlife reminds everyone not to leave bear attractants like food in vehicles or on patios or balconies such as those we have at the inn. (Yes, bears can climb up to balconies, just like trees!) Remember that feeding a bear is against the law and can be punished by up to a $1,000 fine. It also threatens the well-being of the bear, which may have to be destroyed if it becomes a nuisance habituated to human food sources. So keep your eyes open and camera ready when you visit, and you may have a chance to see Baxter!bear on rocks in Ellis River

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Railfans Days at Conway Scenic Railroad, Sept. 14-15, 2013

train in Crawford NotchAre you a railroad fan? When you visit the North Conway and Jackson area in late spring, summer or fall, you can enjoy many railroad attractions including the Cog Railway up Mount Washington, the Notch Train or the Valley Train to Bartlett on the Conway Scenic Railroad, as well as the Hartmann Model RR & Toy Museum and the North Conway Model Railroad Club that holds open house hours from May – October 18.

Plan to come the weekend of September 14-15, and you can enjoy a special excursion on the Conway Scenic Railroad to celebrate Railfans Days. Here are some of the excursions offered on Saturday and Sunday that weekend. Engines to be used on various runs include #216/252, #1751, #7470, RED #23, #573/4266 and the steam locomotive. For a complete schedule of train rides for each engine, please visit the Conway Scenic Railroad website. In addition to dining car options shown below, box lunches are available, and there are snack cars on the trains. The day-long excursions offer the most White Mountain scenery, and the Conway excursions the least. Before or after your excursion, plan to visit the Model Railroad Club’s layout in the Freight House at the Conway Scenic Railroad. (Open 10:00 am – 4:30 pm Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; free admission but donations accepted).

Saturday, September 14, 2013 ~ Conway Scenic Railroad offers 11 excursions including:

  • Hazen ~ ‘Day White Mountains’ excursion departs from North Conway at 9:15 am and returns at 5:00 pm with engines # 216/252. (Luncheon in dining car Hattie Evans offered as part of the first class package).
  • Sawyers River and Redstone (Passenger Extra with RDC #23) departs North Conway at 11:00 am and returns at 3:10 pm.
  • Bartlett regular excursion but with a steam locomotive leaves North Conway at 11:30 am and returns at 1:10 pm. (Note the locomotive faces West, and this excursion offers a luncheon seating option.)
  • Conway regular excursion but with a steam locomotive leaves North Conway at 1:30 pm and returns at 2:25 pm. (This excursion also offers a luncheon option.)

Night Photo Session 7:00 – 9:00 pm with professional photographers at the North Conway yard (free).

Sunday, September 15, 2013 ~ 9 excursions including:

  • Fabyan ~ ‘Mountaineer’ excursion with #216 departs North Conway at 10:00 and returns at 4:50 pm. (Luncheon in dining car is offered as part of the first class package).
  • Conway regular excursion with a steam locomotive leaves North Conway at 10:30 am and returns at 11:25 am.
  • Bartlett regular excursion with a steam locomotive leaves North Conway at 11:30 am and returns at 1:10 pm. (Note the locomotive faces East, and this excursion offers a luncheon option.)
  • Conway regular excursion with steam locomotive leaves North Conway at 1:30 pm and returns at 2:25 pm. (This excursion also offers a luncheon option.)

So plan on coming to Railfans Days this September, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the eastern White Mountains while riding the rails!

 

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Celebrate Labor Day with a White Mountain Getaway!

Jackson-Falls_2005_SBrownCelebrate the end of summer and the hard work you do all year with a relaxing getaway this Labor Day weekend. Our discounted holiday package includes a three night stay, dinner one evening at a local restaurant, discount for the Mt. Washington Auto Road, free use of Great Glen’s hiking trails, plus breakfasts and afternoon refreshments each day, of course!

Honoring the contributions of workers has been an American tradition for over 130 years, beginning at the Central Labor Union in New York in 1882, with a street parade demonstration and festive picnic for workers and their families. Labor Day spread to other regions and becameg a national holiday in 1894, celebrated on the first Monday in September. The traditional celebrations still include parades and enjoying recreational activities. Since many people have a day off from work, shopping sales at retail stores has become another way to enjoy the holiday. In recent years, ways to celebrate have broadened to include all kinds of leisure activities and barbeques or picnics to mark the end of summer vacations.

So here’s how you can celebrate Labor Day traditions with a getaway at the Inn at Ellis River before the lazy days of summer slip away ~

  • Make your own parade up one of our nearby hiking trails, or join the parade of cars up the Mount Washington Auto Road for a view from the highest mountain in New England.
  • Take advantage of the Sidewalk Sales at Settler’s Green August 29-31, 2013. While you’re in North Conway, you can also enjoy the Crafts and Artisans Fair with offerings by local artists and artisans. You’ll find it at the Gibson Center in the heart of the village from 10 am -5 pm.
  • Stop by J-Town Deli in Jackson for picnic supplies, then cool off with a dip in Jackson Falls or Diana’s Baths while you enjoy your al fresco feast. Prefer barbeque? You’ll find great options in North Conway including Moat Mountain Smokehouse.
  • Finally don’t forget it’s a time to relax and enjoy the end of summer, so plan some time just sitting in our Adirondack chairs by the river, or lying on the chaises by our heated pool!
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Go on a Moose Safari in New Hampshire’s White Mountains

mooseMoose enjoy their habitat in the White Mountains, especially boggy areas such as those created by beaver dams. Although you may not see a moose close to the Inn, drive north a bit toward Pinkham Notch, go west through Crawford Notch and along the Ammonousuc River, or take Bear Notch Road to the Kancamaugus Highway, and you may see these majestic animals near dusk or dawn. If you see vehicles pulled over by the side of the road, there’s a good chance moose are nearby. Watch carefully, as vehicle collisions with moose can be deadly!

There are about 4,500 moose currently in New Hampshire. In the White Mountains, the density of moose is about one per square mile, while to the north of Route 2, it is about one and a half per square mile. Venture farther north toward the Connecticut Lakes, and the density increases. If you want to be sure of seeing moose, book our Moose on the Loose package that includes two tickets for Dan’s Moose Tour leaving May – September evenings from Gorham, NH. Dan promises you’ll see moose or you can return for another tour for free. His tour also includes lots of local lore while you travel along some of the moose herd’s favorite haunts. So if you’ve ever wanted to see these famous White Mountain residents, come see us soon!

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Stroll the Village at Jackson NH’s First Art Gallery Walk, August 24, 2013

Several art galleries in Jackson are hosting their first Art Walk from 4 to 8 pm on Saturday, August 24, 2013, come rain or shine. You’ll have the chance to explore the galleries, including White Mountain Photography, Cassidy Gallery, and Group 8 Gallery, see demonstrations by gallery artists, and enjoy refreshments. Galleries on the Art Walk feature photography, watercolors, pastels, oils, acrylics and mixed media, ceramics, fiber art, wood art, and more. Several galleries will have special offers ~ a free 8×10 matted print with purchase over $80 at White Mountain Photography (value $20) and free Cassidy Gallery Cardinal or Peacock mug with purchase over $50.

Group 8 Gallery also will be featuring Lunch with an Artist from noon to 2 pm on August 17, 24, and 31, 2013. Chat with the artists about their sources of  inspiration and techniques while you enjoy a light lunch (first come first served, or bring your own brown bag). Featured artists are Terri Brooks and Carl Owen (August 17), Barbara McEvoy and John Girouard (August 24), and Valentina Kobilansky and Sean Stull (August 31).

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White Mountain Art and Artisan Festival is August 17 – 18, 2013

The annual White Mountain Art and Artisan Festival in Jackson, NH is one of the premier art festivals in the Northern New England. Surrounded by scenery made memorable by the 19th Century White Mountain School of Art, this juried event features over 40 artists and artisans who will display sculpture, pastels, watercolors, etchings, photography, ceramics, hand blown glass, fiber arts, wood arts, fine jewelry, and more. While you visit the artists” exhibits and demonstrations, you’ll also enjoy live entertainment by Al and the Revtones on Saturday, and the Matt Bowman Jazz Quartet on Sunday. The Festival also features a silent auction (Saturday 10 am – 3:00 pm) with thousands of dollars of items, as well as plenty of good eats, including local BBQ, and arts and crafts for children. Don’t miss the fun of this great annual event in the heart of the White Mountains, sponsored by the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce.

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Cool off with a refreshing glass of our Citrus Mint Iced Tea

Four mint plants in potThe Inn at Ellis River’s herb garden is thriving, and these warm summer afternoons are the perfect time to enjoy a cool refreshing glass of our Citrus Mint Tea ~ preferably beside our outdoor pool or in an Adirondack chair by the Ellis River. If you can’t get away for a visit to the White Mountains, here is the recipe for our tea to enjoy at home. We feature a different herb during the Country Inns in the White Mountains Inn to Inn Herb Tour each June, so be sure to check out the other Herb Tour recipes we have posted including this year’s great White Chocolate Coconut Mojito Cookies and Minted Pea Soup while you sip your iced tea.

Here’s the recipe for our Citrus Mint Tea: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add 2 tea bags and 4 sprigs of fresh mint. Cover and let steep for about 10 minutes. Combine 1 ½ cups hot water, ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar, 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice and 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice in a 1 quart pitcher. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove the tea bags from the tea mixture; add to pitcher with the fruit juices, and stir well. Adjust sweetness if desired and chill. Serve over ice, garnish with a fresh sprig of mint and enjoy! Makes 1 quart.

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INDEPENDENCE DAY Celebrations Begin June 28, 2013!

fireworksPlan to get a head start on celebrating Independence Day with Jackson, NH’s fireworks display on June 28. It’s an old-fashioned community event where you can stake out your spot on the golf course and watch the festive display beginning about 9 pm. Come early to claim a spot and sample some treats from the Jackson Chamber of Commerce (popcorn, corn dogs, etc.) and the Fire Department. J-Town Deli & Country store also will be open with treats and fireworks specials.

Thursday, July 4, 2013, plan to enjoy Conway’s Independence Day Parade in the morning, then choose between fireworks that evening in North Conway (by the train station) or up through Crawford Notch at Bretton Woods and the Mount Washington Hotel.

Wildquack Duck RaceThe fun continues Saturday, July 6, 2013, with the long-awaited Wildquack Festival (usually celebrated Memorial Day weekend). It’s an old-fashioned village celebration with booths, a silent auction, Cake Boss competition, and THREE duck races. We still tickets for sale for the races ~ $6 for one or 4 for $20. If you haven’t seen enough fireworks, there will be more on Saturday evening at Bretton Woods.

So plan on an old-fashioned celebration and getaway to celebrate our nation’s birthday!

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Wildquack Festival now will be July 6, 2013, in Jackson, NH

Wildquack Duck RaceThe Wildquack Festival and Duck Races have been postponed again until Saturday, July 6, 2013. The ducks will swim that day regardless of weather! We know it’s been great weather for ducks but not for everyone who enjoys the village festival. The river is running too fast for the safety of the kids of the Stuck Duck Patrol who make sure the little duckies head downstream. So if you couldn’t come to the White Mountains for Memorial Day weekend, you’ve still got a chance plan your getaway. All the Festival events will be held ~ the parade, Cake Boss competition, silent auction, food and craft vendors, and of course, all three duck races ~ you’ll have a chance at thousands in cash and prizes. So make your plans now to cheer on the ducks!

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Mt. Washington Auto Road is open for the summer season!

Mt. Washington Auto RoadYou may find some snow still capping Mt. Washington, but the Auto Road is open to the summit for the summer! You can drive yourself, or choose to take one of the guided tours ~ this year they are two hours long, including a full hour at the summit where you can tour the Tip Top house, observatory museum, etc. Hours are 8:30 am – 5:00 pm until June 7, then 7:30 am – 6:00 pm June 8 through September 2, 2013. Slightly shorter hours in September and early October.

For a very unique experience, plan a sunrise drive, possible only three times each summer. This year, sunrise drives are available Sunday June 30 (open 3:30 am), Sunday, July 28 (open 4:00 am), and Sunday, August 25 (open 4:30 am). If you are a bird-watcher, make plans to take a Bicknell’s Thrush Tour available June 6, 8, 9, 11, 17, 19 only (advanced reservations required).

Be sure to ask us at the inn for a voucher that will give you a discount on the tour or allow a passenger to ride free if you are driving yourself. The voucher also gives you access to Great Glen Trails walking, hiking, and biking trails, right at the base of the mountain. Make sure you include a trip to Mt. Washington in your plans this year!

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Getaway to the Wildquack Festival for Memorial Day Weekend!

Jackson, NH, is the place to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday this year, in the heart of the White Mountains. You’ll celebrate at the Wildquack Duck River Festival on Sunday, May 24, 2013, with an old fashioned day in the village park. There’s not one but THREE duck races. Stand along the banks of the Wildcat River and watch 3500 traditional yellow duckies race down Jackson Falls to the finish line. The first duck wins a $1,000 prize, while some slower ducks win 50 other prizes such as vacation stays, dining certificates, tickets to attractions, and more. The striped Olympic Ducks have their own race for a special prize, and then there is the Big Duck race, with many ducks sponsored by local businesses. We’ll be there to cheer our favorites on – last year one of our guest’s ducks was the big winner in the classic race, and the inn’s “Chuck the Duck” is a past winner in the Big Duck race.

While the ducks are the stars, save time to stroll the park and vote for your favorite in the Cake Boss Competition, participate in the Five Minutes of Fame Competition, or bid for artwork, dining, gift baskets, photos and more in the Silent Auction. No excuse for going hungry, either – you can enjoy the talents of local and visiting chefs throughout the day.

So plan on a great getaway weekend this year. Our Wildquack Package has all you need – a great discount on a three night stay, duck tickets, a souvenir rubber ducky, and more. We also have some two night packages available. So book now and be sure to visit our Facebook page to help name our Big Duck entry for this year.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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Come celebrate 4th of July in the White Mountains!

fireworks above train stationThere are ways to celebrate Independence Day all week in the Mount Washington Valley, so plan to come and enjoy traditional Fourth of July celebrations during your getaway to our quintessential New England village of Jackson, NH. Jackson starts the celebration off June 29 with a Fireworks Display enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. You can see the fireworks from some of the inn’s balconies, or take a front row seat on the golf course.

Saturday, plan a visit to the Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm from 4-6 pm and immerse yourselves in a Civil War program featuring a soldier from each side in full uniform, Civil War era food to sample, and many period artifacts. Return to the present century for the first annual music and art festival featuring a weekend of local artists and musicians at coffee shops, galleries, pubs and restaurants throughout Mt Washington Valley. Don’t forget to check out the great tax-free shopping bargains at Settler’s Green and other regional stores as well!

July 4, 2012 is full of traditional celebrations with a morning parade in North Conway and fireworks at Cranmore at 7:30 pm, and at North Conway’s Schouler Park at 9:45 pm, or travel up Crawford Notch to see the fireworks against the backdrop of Mount Washington at Bretton Woods. It will be a holiday getaway to remember, and don’t forget, the fourth night of your stay is free on the Fourth!

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Make the Inn at Ellis River’s Savory Crepes Caprese for a breakfast treat!

crepe caprese and baconWe had great fun at the Annual Inn to Inn Herb Tour this past weekend. The herb we featured was basil, and guests enjoyed it in Lemon Basil Coffee Cake and our savory egg entree with sweet basil at breakfast, and in some wonderful homemade lemonade flavored with lemon basil and Basil Pignoli Bites with Pesto for afternoon refreshments.

We learned a lot of fun facts about basil. In Greek, it means “royal,”, in India, it is a symbol of hospitality, and in Italy, a symbol of love. What a perfect combination of meanings ~ part of the inn’s hospitality is to prepare your food with love!

Sweet basil typically is used in Italian food: the most common Mediterranean cultivars are “Genovese”, “Purple Ruffles”, “Mammoth”, “Cinnamon”, “Lemon”, “Globe”, and “African Blue”. The round, often pointed leaves of the basil plant looks a lot like peppermint to which it is related. Basil is an annual easily grown from seed, and is not frost tolerant at all, so don’t plant it too early when cold weather may be possible. It needs full sun, and more moisture than some herbs, so keep it watered; especially in pots. As colder weather approaches, you can bring basil inside as a window herb if you plant the seeds in the late summer in pots and set them in a bright sunny window. Be sure to pinch the tops of your plants so they won’t flower – flowering will stop their growth. Harvest just before you start your recipe for maximum flavor.

There’s still time to grow some basil in your own garden or herb pot this summer, and enjoy it fresh in the Inn at Ellis River’s Savory Crepes Caprese.

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Train Rides on the Mount Washington Cog Railway

Cog Train Climbing Mount WashingtonToday is the first day of the 2012 season for the historic Cog Railway, and some of the inn’s guests this weekend plan to enjoy the spectacular views from Mt. Washington’s summit without needing their hiking boots. Sylvester Marsh of Campton, New Hampshire, was inspired to build this easier mode of transportation while hiking and nearly becoming lost near the peak of Mount Washington. Construction was not easy, however ~ in fact, Marsh had no trouble obtaining permission to build the ‘Railway to the Moon’ from the doubting state legislators. Materials had to be hauled by oxen 25 miles to Bretton Woods, and then another six miles through the forest to Mount Washington. The Cog carried its first paying passengers partway up the mountain in 1868, and the inaugural trip to the summit was July 3, 1869.

It is the second steepest rack railway in the world, ascending from the Marshfield station near Bretton Woods at an elevation of about 2,700 feet to the summit at 6.288 feet, the highest point in the Northeastern US. The average grade is over 25% with a maximum of over 37%. Trains take a little over an hour to ascend the three mile long track, and 40 minutes to descend. Passengers have about an hour at the summit to enjoy the views and visit the Observatory. The Cog is open weekends only until May 25, then daily through the summer and fall. Although most of the trains are diesel powered, a steam locomotive makes the run at 8:30 each morning from mid-June until late October. The Cog asks passengers to arrive 30 minutes prior to departure, and the trip from the inn through Crawford Notch to the station takes about 45-50 minutes, so if you are a steam buff booking the 8:30 train, please ask us for a Breakfast to Go. See our Attractions Map for directions and further information about The Cog.

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We’ve Got a Great Recipe for ROMANCE!

Inn Love Recipes for RomanceInn Love ~ Pamela Lanier’s Recipes for Romance is hitting the bookshelves in April with more than 150 recipes from inns, including our own Triple Chocolate Banana Muffins. The recipes, selected from romantic getaway destinations from coast to coast, will help you ” bring your B&B romance home, and enjoy creating scrumptious dishes to enhance your pleasure morning, noon and night”. Recipes include not only breakfast and brunch favorites, but main courses, accompaniments, and sweets for the sweet.

Our copies just arrived, so it is available to take home as a memento, or look for it as part of a romantic getaway package in the future. We hope you’ll be visiting us soon for your own romantic getaway, but if you just can’t wait to seduce your special someone with our muffins, visit our recipe section for the secret to a sweet breakfast treat.

We hope you’ll make your own special memories Inn Love!

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MARCH MADNESS in New Hampshire means MAPLE!

Inn at Ellis River Maple French ToastSpring temperatures mean sugaring has begun in the Mt. Washington Valley, so let’s hope for lots of that sweet goodness from Black Mountain to top breakfast favorites at the inn. We’re featuring a special Maple Package at the inn for March and April.

The New Hampshire Maple Producers will be hosting Maple Weekend March 24-25. That weekend you can visit the Crowthers at Black Mountain Sugar House here in Jackson to see where our syrup comes from and watch boiling if weather and sap cooperate (Saturday and Sunday 11 am – 4 pm). They’ll have maple syrup, maple butter, maple coffee and baked goods for sale.

The Remick Museum Sugar House in Tamworth will be open Saturday March 23 (11 am -3 pm) demonstrating Native American, colonial and modern sugaring-off methods. You can sample maple syrup and sugar on snow, explore the sugarbush and Museum for $5 per person. Don’t miss the sweetest season in the White Mountains!