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Archive for new hampshire

An Old Post Office in Hinsdale

By Linda Tancs

Opened in 1816, the Hinsdale, New Hampshire, post office is the oldest post office in the United States operating continuously out of the same location since its inception. Other post offices have been in operation longer than Hinsdale’s 200-plus years, but not out of the same locale. Located on Main Street, the postal service was once a small part of a general store. One of its most cherished features is the line of brass mailboxes from the 1800s, complete with letter combination locks. 

A Cornish Colony

By Linda Tancs

Cornish, New Hampshire, was the center of the Cornish Art Colony, a popular art movement from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. Said to resemble an Italian landscape, the bucolic environment of Cornish and neighboring areas attracted artists and enthusiasts of all disciplines to the region. Its central figure was Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of America’s foremost sculptors, who catapulted to fame following his sculpture of Admiral Farragut, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans. His home (named Aspet after the French birthplace of his father), gardens and studio in Cornish form Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park. A variety of guided tours of the park are offered daily, where you’ll find several of his bronze sculptures, including the Farragut monument. You can also explore on your own, including the trails that wind through the woods.

Old Man of the Mountain

By Linda Tancs

Spanning Flume Gorge in the south and Echo Lake at the north end, New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch State Park was home to the legendary Old Man of the Mountain, a series of five granite cliff ledges on Cannon Mountain that appeared to be a human face when viewed from the north. It collapsed in 2003, so you’ll have to settle for an old man’s foot instead. You’ll find it at The Basin, a granite pothole 20 feet in diameter at the base of a waterfall. Below The Basin is a rock formation called Old Man’s Foot. Located in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest, the park is named for Franconia Notch, a spectacular mountain pass dominated by Cannon Mountain. You can take the aerial tramway to its summit where, on a clear day, mountains of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Canada and New York come into view. Be sure to reserve your seat on the tram because it sells out frequently.

America’s Oldest Attraction

By Linda Tancs

First opening on August 8, 1861, the Auto Road is America’s oldest man-made attraction. It’s a steep, narrow mountain road without guardrails that leads to the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Called Agiocochook by some Native American tribes, Mount Washington is the highest peak in the northeastern United States at 6,288 feet. You can drive up the road yourself (in season) or take a guided tour with a “stage driver” for some history and insight into the area. The Auto Road tour company refers to their vans as stages because the first visitors to the road (known then as Carriage Road) traveled in horse-drawn stages. The mountain is notorious for having some of the strongest winds in the world; check for weather updates before you venture out.


To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Scaling the Heights in Monadnock

By Linda Tancs

The region of Monadnock in southwest New Hampshire is named after Mount Monadnock, the highest peak in the area. Although less than imposing at a height just shy of 3,200 feet, it’s remarkably touted as the most climbed mountain in the world after Japan’s Mount Fuji. Regardless whether you believe that claim, the views from the summit as far south as Boston attract novice and experienced hikers alike. The ascending and descending trails are both short at about two miles, but rangers generally recommend the White Dot Trail for climbing and the White Cross Trail for descending. The hike is popular throughout the year, even in winter.

A Model of Conservation

By Linda Tancs

On February 15, 1911, the United States Congress passed the Weeks Act, a law enabling the federal government to purchase private lands for the purpose of creating a forest reserve. Thanks to this act, New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest was officially established with the preservation of 7,000 acres. Today, this national forest is nearly 800,000 acres large. You can explore the area’s vast heritage via the Weeks Act Legacy Trail, a driving tour exploring 40 sites of interest along a scenic 100-mile loop. You can take the tour using the trail map on the forest’s website (with an optimized mobile version) or download an audio tour and printable guides.

Loons in New Hampshire

By Linda Tancs

It’s high loon season. No, we’re not talking harried travelers; we’re talking waterbirds, like ducks and geese. Their closest relatives, however, are penguins and albatrosses. The common loon is the most widespread species. Marveled at for its yodels, hoots and hollers, the Granite State has about 280 pairs of loons to delight visitors at most lakes. Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness, New Hampshire, is a particular favorite of locals and tourists. The seasonal boat cruise is a great way to learn about the natural history of the lake and its popular wildlife. You’ll also view locations where the movie On Golden Pond was filmed.

One of America’s Prettiest Towns

By Linda Tancs

In 2009, Forbes Traveler listed Portsmouth, New Hampshire as one of “America’s Prettiest Towns.”  It’s also one of the oldest.  Settled in 1623, it is reputedly the nation’s third oldest city.  The locals suggest that it even has the most restaurants per capita.  Whatever the homage, this relatively small city near the mouth of the Piscataqua River offers more than 70 points of scenic and historic significance along the Harbour Trail, including 10 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings, 10 National Historic Landmarks and three historic homes.

Superstar Beach

By Linda Tancs

Just 20 minutes away from the seaport towns of Newburyport and Portsmouth is one of America’s best beaches.  Named a Superstar Beach by the Natural Resources Defense Council, New Hampshire’s Hampton Beach is one of four beaches deemed the safest thanks to water cleanliness.  But there’s plenty more to keep you coming back, like 80 free evening concerts taking place throughout the summer, fireworks displays every Wednesday (as well as today’s July 4 celebratory shoot), a sand sculpting competition each June and a seafood festival in September.  Sounds beachy keen, doesn’t it?

High Flying Pumpkins

By Linda Tancs

It’s pumpkin season.  What better way to celebrate than with a good old-fashioned pumpkin catapult, like the one in Milford, New Hampshire at this weekend’s Pumpkin Festival.  The annual event at the Milford Oval will also include beer tasting, a craft fair, a talent show, the pumpkin weigh-in, a chili roundup and scarecrow making for the kids.

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