Snowshoeing is becoming more and more popular as a winter past time because it is a relatively inexpensive sport to get outfitted for, and it is accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. New Hampshire offers some of the best snowshoeing in the New England reason for many reasons. For one, this area has long been travelled by snowshoe from the Native Americans to the first European settlers; this form of transportation is often the only way to cross snow that may be 6 or more feet in depth. Another reason is that New Hampshire offers more trails due to the presence of the Appalachian Trail system than many other regions. These trails often overlap with the private ski center areas and the ski centers have connected to them with their own snowshoe facilities.
Learning to snowshoe
You can just strap on a pair of snowshoes and go, but there is an actual technique to it. It is more than just “hiking in winter,” snowshoeing can allow you to run, walk and jog through the mountains and across lakes with ease. You can review this overview of beginning snowshoe techniques to pick up some pointers, but it is also a good idea to take a lesson or workshop at a local center or ski resort in New Hampshire so you can also learn more about what goes on around you while you are snowshoeing and how to prepare for a day long trek. Once you have an idea of how to snowshoe efficiently, you will probably want to visit our gear shop to get a pair of your own. Unlike skis, snowshoes are easily transportable by plane, train or automobile. You don’t have to go out and purchase a pair; almost all towns in New Hampshire will have a local business that will rent you a pair.
Traditional or modern snowshoes?
It is best to learn on the modern snowshoes that have the metal frames. If you notice, these are usually much shorter than the traditional wooden snowshoes and they lack the trailing end that makes them look so much like tennis rackets. If you are going on a groomed trail or hard snow, the modern design is most manageable. That long tail on the traditional wooden snowshoes didn’t just happen as a result of how they are made; it is designed to help you walk in a straight line in deep and powdery snow by providing you with a kind of rudder.
Best places for snowshoeing in New Hampshire
The quick answer for where the best places to snowshoe in New Hampshire are located is “everywhere,” but there are definitely trails that offer you much more. Bretton Woods, Lake Sunapee, Mount Washington and Lonesome Lake are all well known for their loops and trails for snowshoe enthusiasts. The key to picking the one that will be best for you is to decide what you like about the snowshoeing experience. For some people it is the level of physical fitness that can be challenged by running or racing on the trails. Some enjoy the experience of being able to hike in winter and see how the mountains look under snow. For still others, it is the ability to practice tracking and hunting from snowshoes that makes it most worth their while. Once you have an idea of what you want in your experience, you can look towards any of the lodging to find a place that offers the most for you. If you do plan to do any hunting or fishing while snowshoeing, make sure to get the appropriate sports license for New Hampshire.
Combining snowshoeing with other activities
One of the things that most visitors to New Hampshire overlook is that most of the lodging and winter sports centers offer a combination of activities that can make it easy to travel with people of different abilities and interests. For example, Cannon Mountain features some of the highest ski slopes in New Hampshire and is a popular downhill destination. It also maintains back trails for those who prefer to snowshoe or cross country ski that allow you to access the entire mountain, including the restaurant at the top of the slopes. This allows everyone to do the winter sport that appeals to them most, but still remain connected and together by being able to enjoy lunch or dinner at the top of the slope. You should also find the spa facilities that are available in most of the towns and resort areas as well as time your visit to any local events, festivals or competitions.