Exploring The Rugged and Breathtaking Great North Woods Region
The Great North Woods exists for those who wish to be transported to a wilderness dreamland. Its wild and untouched forests, sparse population and teeming wildlife beckon those who desire to explore New Hampshire’s “last frontier.” Even the towns seem to blend seamlessly with their forested surroundings. So, pack your camping gear, put on your best hiking boots, and venture toward this rugged, northernmost area of New Hampshire.
What specific attractions does the Great North Woods region offer?
The Northern Forest Heritage Park in Berlin offers a three-acre site with plentiful waterfront access and walkways. It also features a replica of a full-sized logging camp, an outdoor amphitheater, interactive exhibits, museums, art galleries and gift shops. For more information about touring this park, please refer to this link: www.northernforestheritage.org
If you plan on heading to the area in the summer, make sure you check out the Jericho Lake ATV Festival in Berlin. They claim to have one of the most entertaining mud competitions in all of New England. The festival continues for three consecutive days and offers cash prizes for winning contestants. Also, the entire town of Berlin opens up to visitors for the festival by making their roads ATV friendly, having nightly events at bars and restaurants, and generally promoting an overall good time.
If you are interested in military and war memorabilia then you will certainly appreciate The Moffett House Museum and Genealogy Center in Berlin. It has two floors complete with artifacts, books and other collected items ranging from World War I to Desert Storm. They also display local historical artifacts and offer research assistance.
Did you know that New Hampshire is home to the oldest skiing lodge in the country?
The Nansen Ski Club has been in operation since 1872. On their grounds one will discover the Nansen Ski Jump. It was once the site where Olympic Ski jump trials and state championships took place. It has been closed since 1988 but still remains an awe-inspiring structure. It has a 225-foot vertical drop and is roughly 260 feet in length. This is definitely a landmark for skiing enthusiasts!
The Great North Woods Snowmobile Race is another fantastic attraction in Northern New Hampshire. It takes place in Pittsburg during the month of January every year. They have a series of races on different types of snowmobiles that cruise through the powdery winter snow.
Have you always wanted to hunt or fish but feel too inexperienced or daunted by prospect of trying it for the first time? Great North Woods Guides in Loudon specializes in introducing hunting and fishing novices to these much beloved outdoors pastimes. Seasoned hunters and wilderness guides Craig, John and Scott offer guided hunting and fishing expeditions throughout the Great North Woods region. They offer many excursions including hunting for whitetail deer, black bears, moose, turkeys, snowshoe hares, and also fishing trips for local trout, salmon and smallmouth bass. These guided trips bring you to the very heart of the New Hampshire wilderness. If you need gear for your trip, save yourself some time and check out these helpful links: Guides and Outfitters , Gear Shop
A trip to New Hampshire is not complete unless you have seen a moose. This majestic, stately creature can be spotted on one of Gorham’s Moose Tours. Boasting a 97% chance of seeing moose, this tour bus ambles quietly through the forest seeking out these gentle, multi-antlered beasts. The tours typically last around three hours and run around $25 a person. The tours are open from Memorial Day through September.
If you need a few hours to unwind from all of the outdoor adventuring, consider visiting St. Kieran’s Community Center for the Arts. This Berlin located facility provides an extensive variety of artistic and cultural events in a historic, late nineteenth century building. They even have a pipe organ that dates back to the 1890s. Its baroque style interior and soaring ceilings allow for optimal acoustics as well. Here is a link for event information: http://www.stkieranarts.org/
White water rafting is one of those activities that everyone should try at least once in a lifetime. The North Woods Rafting company located in Milan is the original and finest white water rafting and outdoors facility in New Hampshire. Experienced owners guide visitors through white water rafting as well as offer rentals for other equipment including canoes, kayaks, river tubes, and stand-up paddle boards. As you are immersed in nature, you are likely to see plenty of local wildlife such as eagles, turtles, loons, geese, ospreys and they insist that even an occasional moose deems it fit to lumber across rivers from time to time.
A beloved autumn activity in the Great North Woods region is foliage site-seeing. Around the end of September up through October, the lush green trees of the forests begin turning into flaming reds, vibrant oranges and bold yellows. Here is a link that reveals all the best spots to see the most beautiful autumn foliage as well as a peak time “barometer” to guide you: Great North Woods Foliage
For hunting and gun enthusiasts, this region has an exceptional gun range for you. The Androscoggin Valley Fish and Game Association has a shooting range complete with targets, clay pigeons and a rifle range. Unlike exclusive gun ranges where one would need to buy a yearly membership, this association offers day passes for singles and families. The single pass is $30 and the family pass is $50. Those passes can be purchased at Berlin Mills Variety in Berlin, The Milan Lunchenette in Milan and Joe’s Gun Shop in Berlin.
If you are seeking accommodations for extended visits in the Great North Woods region, allow this link to guide you: Lodging and Accommodations. If you are looking for more of a rugged, outdoors experience, here is a link with camping information:
All of this exploring has made me very hungry. Where are the good places to eat?
The Northland Restaurant and Dairy Bar in Berlin features an enormous menu with traditional American cuisine. They offer delicious sandwiches, burgers, seafood killer ice cream selections at a very reasonable price. Their interior is also very very spacious and the restaurant has been owned by the same family for over fifty years.
For a taste of Italian in the Great North Woods region, head toward Saladino’s Italian Market and Restaurant in Gorham. Saladino’s prides itself on offering authentic Sicilian cooking and Italian imports since 1976. They have a wonderful selection of pasta, insalata, Italian style sandwiches and more. Here is a link that offers their daily menu and also their online store: Saladino’s Italian Market and Restaurant
Don’t let this silly name fool you. Hawg Trauf in Errol has some of the best, finger-licking barbeque around. They offer delicious ribs, pulled pork, sumptuous burgers and all of your craved fixings. This authentic little joint has all of the locals hooked!
- Jericho Lake ATV Park
- The Moffett House Museum and Genealogy Center
- Nansen Ski Jump
- Great North Woods Snowmobiling Race
- Northern Forest Heritage Park
- Gorham Moose Tours
- St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts
- North Woods Rafting
- Foliage Watching
- Androscoggin Valley Fish & Game Association
- Northland Restaurant and Dairy Bar
- Saladino’s Italian Market and Restaurant
- Hawg Trawf
- Groveton Fish and Game club Groveton
- Northern Forest Heritage Park Berlin
- Poore Farm Family Homestead Stewartstown
- Gorham Moose Tours Gorham