FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Dick Hamilton, 1-800-FIND-MTS (800-346-3687)
WHITE MOUNTAINS OFFER LARGEST CLUSTER OF TOURIST TRAINS
- Half-dozen railways operate for train fans (and non-fans) in the White Mountains
BRETTON WOODS, NH - There is no greater cluster of tourist trains in one area - in terms of diversity and number - than in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Steam train? Got it. Diesel? Got that, too. Wood-fired? Yup. Dining train? Ditto. "Even got a coal-burning pufferbelly," said a smiling Dick Hamilton, president of the White Mountains Attractions.
The oldest tourist train in the world is based here in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest. The coal-fired Mount Washington Cog Railway, which goes back to 1869 when Peppersass - now on display as part of the museum at the base of the tracks which climb Mount Washington - completed the first ascent of a mountain by a train...anywhere.
In addition to "the Cog" and its daily three-hour roundtrips to the top of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast (elev. 6,288 feet) there are:
- The Conway Scenic Railroad operating daily out of a double-bubble train station in North Conway that looks like something left over from the set of "Dr. Zhivago." The Conway Scenic Railroad has three different routes - the "Valley Train" rides between North Conway and, to the south, Conway, and between North Conway and, to the northwest, Bartlett. The CSR's "Notch Train" runs beyond Bartlett, through splendiferous Crawford Notch before stopping at another newly renovated old-time train station.
- The diesel-powered Hobo Railroad runs south daily from North Woodstock, along the Pemigewasset River. It's about a 15-mile trip, down and back.
- The wood-fired White Mountains Central, featuring a onetime logging locomotive from the heyday of the timber industry in the region earlier in this century, runs several times each day from the depot at Clark's Trading Post in North Woodstock. The hour-
White Mountains Trains
long roundtrip includes a running feud with Wolfman, an irate local character.
- Dining trains - the Hobo Railroad has its Cafe Lafayette dining car nightly while the Conway Scenic Railroad runs its dining car, Chocorua. Reservations are almost a must to ensure a seat at dinner.
In addition, just south of the White Mountains, visitors can ride the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad during summer months between Weirs Beach and Meredith daily.But everything got started with the Cog Railway 140 years ago. The notion of a mountain-climbing train was considered so absurd when it was proposed in the 1850s to the New Hampshire Legislature for approval, the legislators gave the investors the rights to "build a railroad to the moon!" They never tried to reach the moon, but - once they got started - the original investors laid down a three-mile set of tracks to the top of Mount Washington, the highest (6,288 feet) peak in the Northeast.
"The Cog was the first. Everything starts here," said Dick Hamilton, president of the White Mountains Association, a regional travel and tourism organization.
The train, which is 6 miles east of the Mountain Washington Hotel - but was built three decades before the hotel went up - chews through a ton of coal and about a thousand gallons of water on each three-hour roundtrip to the summit. The engine - with its picturesque, tilted boiler - pushes the passenger cars up the hill on a tooth-and-cog gears system; when everyone's had time to prowl the peak with its weather observatory, remains of the first hotel on the mountaintop, and other sites, the train slowly retreats down the tracks with the engine backing its way through terrain that reaches about 35 percent steepness.
After a successful demonstration, the state legislature approved the idea of the "train to the top" in 1858. The Civil War interrupted the project but construction began in 1866; on
July 4, 1869, Peppersass completed the first ascent.
"You get a whole new appreciation for the brilliance of the engineering and technology that made it possible 130 years ago. The Cog is such a unique experience. As you might expect, they get dozens of rail buffs - and a surprising number of photographers, both amateur and professional - who come to ride it at least once a year," Hamilton said.
The Cog shutdown for a year during World War I and for three years during World War II. Otherwise, it runs from Memorial Day to mid-October every year.
For Immediate Release Contact: Jayme Simoes
NEW HAMPSHIRE’S MAPLE RESOURCES
New Hampshire Maple Hot Line
Sponsored by the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association
Find sugarhouses; order association’s maple cookbook
New Hampshire Maple Producers Association
President: Bill Eva
Publicist: Barbara Lassonde
New Hampshire Department of Agriculture
Dick Uncles, state regulations, inspections and statistics
University of New Hampshire, Extension Offices
Sumner Dole, maple expert
Can answer technical questions about sap harvesting and the sugaring industry in New Hampshire.
Maple Sugaring Facts & Figures
New Hampshire is in the center of Maple Country. Pure maple syrup is only produced in North America in a region stretching from southeastern Canada to northern Ohio. Sugar maples grow nowhere else on earth.
One in every four trees in northern New England is a sugar maple.
Abolitionists promoted maple syrup in New England to reduce reliance on cane sugar, which was harvested by West Indian slaves. "Suffere not your cup to be sweetened by the blood of slaves," they advised.
Maple syrup is processed on small farms and family-run operations throughout New Hampshire, with 600 to 1,000 producers turning out 60,000 to 80,000 gallons annually.
Sap can be tapped from a tree only when nighttime temperatures are below freezing and daytime temperatures are above freezing. In New Hampshire, that means the harvest or "sugaring season" is an intense six weeks or less.
Raw sap looks like water and contains 2 percent sugar. It takes 25 to 75 gallons of raw sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup.
The darker the syrup color, the stronger the maple flavor.
Ten Things You Might Get to Eat at a New Hampshire Sugarhouse
Sugar-on-Snow: This unofficial symbol of the sugaring season is made by pouring newly boiled syrup over snow or shaved ice. This produces a taffy-like substance you eat by twirling with a fork. Also called "leather aprons" or "leather britches"
Maple pepper (sprinkle it on vegetables)
Rolled pancakes or homemade donuts dipped in hot syrup
Maple milk shakes or sundaes
Maple-flavored coffee (brewed with sap instead of water)
Mapled baked beans
Pickles (it cuts the sweetness of the syrup)
Sweet Sampling Itineraries:
*Call the New Hampshire Maple Hot Line
It’s a good idea to call ahead to the specific sugarhouse the day you plan to visit.
The sugarhouses listed below are just a few of the 50 sugarhouses open to the public during maple season.
*Maple Season highlights
Pancakes, French toast, waffles, mapled black beans and ham
MOUNT CUBE FARM
Orford, New Hampshire
Owned by the son of a former New Hampshire governor. Located just off the Appalachian Trail, this place attracts a lot of "through hikers."
*Maple Season highlights
The former New Hampshire first lady serves a special rollup pancake. Butter, roll, dip and eat. Groups can call ahead and arrange for a meal.
STUART AND JOHN’S SUGAR HOUSE
Junction of Route 19 and 63
Westmoreland, New Hampshire
In a picturesque valley, this sugarhouse has its own restaurant and serves "anything you can put syrup on." Open weekends beginning the second weekend in February through the first weekend in April.
Center a sugaring weekend in this southwestern corner of New Hampshire, easily accessed from Vermont, New York, and Boston. Dominated by Mount Monadnock, an easily climbed mountain with astonishing summit views, visitors could combine hiking with sugaring. Keene and Peterborough are the predominant towns.
Follow Route 9 West out of Keene
This educational, working farm demonstrates the sugaring process to families, groups and visitors throughout the sugaring season.
*Maple Weekend Highlights
Witness the Sap Gathering Contest, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Contestants drive teams of draft horses through sugar maples to gather 40 buckets of sap, earning points based on speed, amount of sap gathered, and teamwork. Children can join sap-carrying relay races using old-time wooden yokes.
Crane Brook Road off Route 123-A
Alstead, New Hampshire
A museum of sorts, the owners are happy to explain the sugaring equipment as they demonstrate its use.
BASCOM MAPLE FARMS
Alstead, New Hampshire
Call for directions
Bascom Maple Farms in Alstead quietly goes about being the largest producer of maple syrup in the state.
Maple Weekend highlight
A free dish of vanilla ice cream as long as supplies last
*NOTEWORTHY IN THE KEENE AREA
For lodging, try the Post and Beam Bed and Breakfast a few miles northwest in Sullivan. Call 603-847-3330 and ask about their maple itineraries. Hannah Grimes Market, 42 Main Street in Keene sells local folk art and foods and is within walking distance of the best restaurants in town. L. A. Burdick Chocolates on Main Street in nearby Walpole is becoming a hot spot for Swiss chocolate gifts and inspired dining.
MAPLE HILL FARM
16 Coll’s Farm Road
Jaffrey, New Hampshire
Just off Route 202 between Jaffrey and Peterborough, Maple Hill features habit-forming maple soft-serve ice cream.
MORNING STAR MAPLE
Dublin, New Hampshire
Centrally located between Keene and Peterborough, you’ll know Morning Star Maple by its swanky red roof. Maple creams and maple brittle candies are made onsite, year-round.
*Maple Weekend highlights
Sugar-on-snow and other samples
PARKER’S MAPLE BARN
1316 Brookline Road
Mason, New Hampshire
This sugarhouse and full-service restaurant is a busy place throughout March and early April. Pancakes, of course, are a specialty. The town of Mason is the boyhood home of the original Uncle Sam.
Berlin, New Hampshire
The owners here give a complete educational program on sugaring and serve maple syrup on ice cream.
*Maple Season Highlight
All-day events in late March in conjunction with the Northern Forest Heritage Park, right next door, including horse-drawn sleigh rides if weather permits.
The Rocks Estate
This Christmas tree farm, operated by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, offers a two-hour program in which visitors make their own syrup and learn the history of sugaring. Special weekend programs in March. A team of horses takes visitors to the trees. The nearby Adair Inn offers special weekend packages, 603-444-2600, including The Rocks workshop and a maple gift basket.
Christies’ Maple Farm
246 Portland, Route 2E
Lancaster, New Hampshire
Christie’s is a large producer open every day. Visit the museum or belly up to the taste-testing bar to sample the various grades of syrup. The nearby Jefferson Inn, (800) 729-7908, offers an elegant place to stay and locally produced maple products in the hearty breakfasts.
*NOTEWORTHY IN THE NORTH COUNTRY
The towns of Bethlehem and Littleton have plenty of quaint shops. The Village Bookstore is popular, along with several antiques dealers and the Duck Soup gift shop. In Sugar Hill, find Harman’s Cheese Shop. Outlet stores are a one-hour drive away in North Conway.
For Immediate Release Contact: Jayme Simoes
First-in-the-Nation: A Proud New Hampshire Tradition.
No state has a richer, deeper, or longer political identity and tradition than New Hampshire, home of the premier political event in the United States -- the quadrennial first-in-the-nation presidential primary.
From the time of its first European settlement in the 17th century, this small state has led the way in participatory government. Today, New Hampshire holds more regular statewide and local elections more frequently than any other state in the U.S., providing easy ballot access by permitting voter registration on election days.
Traditionally, New Hampshire ranks among the states with the highest voter turnout in national elections. And New Hampshire voters have a reputation for both focusing on issues of national interest and picking winners!
First in the Nation- A Dixville Notch Voting Tradition:
In 1952, New Hampshire provided its residents the opportunity to vote in a Presidential primary election. Eligible voters (registered as Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or uncommitted) cast their ballots for candidates of their choice. Based upon the total popular vote cast, delegates are selected to attend party conventions where they represent the popular vote.
In 1960, the State of New Hampshire recognized Dixville Notch as an unincorporated town whose status permits Dixville Notch the privilege of being a voting community. Since then, Dixville Notch voters have agreed to turn out every four years to meet the many candidates that come to the Notch seeking their vote, as well as arriving at the polling places (The Ballot Room in the BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel) just before midnight on Election Day. More information at:www.politicallibrary.org.
BELOW IS A SAMPLING OF THE VACATION PROPERTY RENTAL BUSINESSES IN THE STATE’S MOST POPULAR REGIONS
THE LAKES REGION
Preferred Vacation Rentals
Strictly Rentals Inc
Knoll Point Realty
THE SEACOAST REGION
Harris Real Estate
Preston Real Estate
Carey Associates Realtors
THE WHITE MOUNTAINS AND SKI REGIONS
Waterville Valley Realty
Loon Reservation Service
Top Notch Vacation Rentals
Crossroads Property Management
Franconia Notch Vacations
Linderhof Vacation Rentals
Find New Hampshire travel information and events on-line at
www.VisitNH.gov - Visit our new Media Room at www.MediaNH.com
Order a free New Hampshire Guidebook at
1-800-FUN-IN-NH, ext. 100.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: JAYME SIMOES
Warblers, Bobolinks, Eagles, Osprey, and the
Occasional Three-Toed Woodpecker, oh my!
With its diversity of wildlife habitat, the small state of New Hampshire is quietly becoming a big destination for birders and wildlife wanderers. The state’s mix of Northern Hardwood and Boreal Forest, its plentiful fields and mountain trails, its remote lakes and 18 miles of seacoast all present everything a bird--and therefore a birder--could ask for.
Bobolinks and warblers are the bird stars of southern New Hampshire, while eagles, osprey and loons, along with resident boreal species, are the draws for the northern third of the state. As for moose and wildlife, the North Woods are rich in moose wallows, hiking trails, and viewing blinds.
Wings really start flapping in May when the woods, rivers, and lakes come alive with all sorts of rare and distant species. Check out the state’s 18 miles of seacoast later in the season, in June, when nesting shorebirds are abundant.
We hope that the data below will help you flush out a story. For photos, trip planning assistance, or questions, call Jayme Simões, New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development,
603-464-4783 or 603-271-2665.
Find New Hampshire travel information and events on-line at
www.VisitNH.gov. Order a free New Hampshire Guidebook at
1-800-FUN-IN-NH, ext. 100.
NORTH WOODS BIRD HIGHLIGHTS
American Pipits, Bicknell's Thrush, Black-backed Woodpecker, Common Goldeneye Eagle, Gray Jay, Green—Winged Teal, Northern Finches, Osprey, Peregrine Falcons, Pine Grosbeak, Spruce Grouse, Three-Toed Woodpecker, Wilson’s Warblers (and about 19 other species)
As the snowmobiling, skiing, and winter sports wind down in the North Woods, birds come alive around the Connecticut Lakes at the Canadian border and at Lake Umbagog Wildlife Refuge on the border with Maine. The Great North Woods lie in the southern-most tip for some boreal species. Adventurous birders can be rewarded with check marks on their life lists.
NORTH WOODS BEST SITES
A. Lake Umbagog Wildlife Refuge
The Bird Checklist for this untouched refuge is a long one. Three popular draws are its nesting osprey, bald eagles, and loons. All are best viewed from a canoe, kayak, or pontoon. Boreal species are here too: Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, the much rarer Three-toed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, and Spruce Grouse. Moose abound along the muddy shores.
B. Connecticut River Area
New England’s longest river, the Connecticut, makes its unruly beginning at the northernmost border of New Hampshire. Its shores and connecting lakes are home to nesting species beloved by birders--Bicknell's Thrush, Spruce Grouse, Three-toed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Warblers, Northern Finches, and American Pipits, among others.
C. Moose Mucking in the North Woods
Throughout the north country, spring is great for viewing moose, when they gather at roadsides to lick salt. These huge "twig eaters," though majestic and seemingly friendly, are bigger and faster than you. It’s wise to keep your distance. Route 3 near Pittsburg is known as "Moose Alley."
MONADNOCK BIRD HIGHLIGHTS
Bobolinks, Dark-eyed Junco, Eastern Towhees, Loons, Oriole, Red-winged Blackbirds
Swainson’s Thrush, Veery, and Warblers: Wood, Blackburnian, Black-throated Green, Nashville, Magnolia, Yellow-rumped, and Canada
An easy climb up 3,165-foot Mount Monadnock, in southwestern New Hampshire, yields sightings of coveted warblers: the Blackburnian, the Magnolia, and the Black-throated Green. Swainson’s Thrush, Veery, Dark-eyed Juncos, and Eastern Towhees hang out here too. Look for them where mixed hardwoods turn to spruce-fir. The towns and rural areas surrounding Monadnock feature modest spruce forests and plenty of rural areas and hikes. Bobolinks are the stars in the plentiful open, uncut meadows. Birders watching at field’s edge on a morning will likely be rewarded with the Bobolink’s endless song.
MONADNOCK BEST SITES
A. Mount Monadnock, Jaffrey
Trail maps: qcc.mass.edu/brink/qcc/monadtr.html
Look for northern species stopping off in the higher elevations of this easily-hiked mountain.
B. The Connecticut River, Walpole
The Connecticut River valley from Walpole south to
Westmoreland, New Hampshire is an excellent locale for migrating water fowl in early May.
NEW HAMPSHIRE BIRD AND WILDLIFE RESOURCES
New Hampshire Audubon Society
New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism Development
Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge
Erroll, New Hampshire 03579
Harris Center for Conservation Education
NORTH WOODS INNS AND LODGINGS
The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel
Dixville Notch, NH
The Balsams Hotel is the destination lodging for northern New Hampshire. Hotel staff are well-versed on local wildlife viewing.
Tall Timber Lodge
Special mid-season rates apply May 1 to May 23. Staff love to help spot loons, eagles and American bitterns.
Spruce Cone Cabins & Executive Retreat
To bird the Connecticut Lakes, this cabin and retreat facility makes an excellent home base.
MONADNOCK INNS AND LODGINGS
Goose Pond Guest House
This inn in rural Keene puts a traveler near city amenities, but within sight of hawks, woodpeckers, ducks, and geese. A recreational area is within walking distance.
Inn at Valley Farms
Owner Dane Badders, an avid birder, and the nearby Connecticut River make this inn an excellent choice for birding visitors. This 1774 colonial home has 105 acres and a certified organic farm.
The Currier's House
Near 14 trails leading up Mount Monadnock, this B & B in historic Jaffrey Center makes a great base
for easy birding strolls or hikes up Monadnock.
New Hampshire Division of Travel Office Development
Provided by American Roads Travel Magazine - Visit American Roads Travel Magazine website.