Explore NH Fall Challenge

GSA Jane Slayton
Sunrise on Mount Major
I have always wanted to be atop a mountain for a sunrise. My daughter and I decided Mount Major in Alton would be the closest destination and most accessible. We left our home in Andover early enough to begin our climb in the dark at 4:00am. We had head lamps on and climbed as quickly as possible to the summit. This was a popular idea as we found almost a dozen other early morning hikers with the same idea.
While climbing in the dark was a little challenging it turned out to be well worth the effort.
The sunrise was amazing! What a great way to start the day!



Sunapee Ragged Kearsarge Greenway Trail
This summer a group of four us set a goal to hike all 14 trails that make up the SRK Greenway. We did our first hike in July and will do our final hike this weekend. We have gotten to know the area we live in so much better. We have a much greater appreciation for our town and the other towns we have traveled through. It is amazing how you can live in a place for almost 30 years and not realize the natural beauty found while meandering the trails.

The SRK Greenway trail is 75 miles of connected trails encircling Lake Sunapee and crossing Mount Sunapee, Ragged Mountain, and Mount Kearsarge. It is made up of 14 different trails of varying length and difficulty. The trails go through Andover, Danbury, Goshen, Newbury, New London, Springfield, Sunapee, Sutton, Warner, and Wilmot.

We are so fortunate to live in NH.



Flags on the 48
On September 12th, I did a solo hike up Mount Moosilauke, one of NH’s 48 famous four-thousand footers. The hike itself was wonderful. Everything about it made for a positive experience! However, the highlight was that my hike coincided with the NH Flags on the 48 Tribute.

The hiking community annually honors those who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001. In a superbly organized effort a US flag is placed atop all 48 four- thousand foot and higher mountains in NH. The purpose is to show unwavering support for families, friends, and communities who suffered great loss.

I felt so fortunate to see the flag raised atop Mt. Moosilauke and be part of this special tribute. It was also incredible to think that at noon time a US flag was waving on top of each of the 48 mountains.

NH is a special place!

GSA Marnie Cinquantini
Kearsarge North

Hiked Kearsarge North on Sunday. I was amazed at how beautiful the foliage still looked in the area. Even driving up north on 16 the color was impressive. Views are spectacular on a clear day on this hike. Cool tower at the summit. Highly recommended! Unfortunately there is very limited parking so an early start is recommended.


GSA Roberta Wells

Let Me Tell You a Secret…

A little off the beaten path, between two major roads (Rts 106 and Rt 140) you can find the Gilmanton Winery. This property was once owned by Grace Metalious – the biggest secret teller of them all – the author of Peyton Place.

Situated on a dirt road in some very picturesque farm country with great views in the surrounding area, it is well worth the trip to find this gem. This morning my husband and I drove over there to enjoy a sumptuous, family style brunch that they do every Sunday, year round. You start off with a plate of fresh fruit with a yummy dip. Next up is the small fried dough which is like a soft, sugary donut. This is followed by a slice of french toast with real maple syrup and two slices of delicious perfectly cooked bacon. The main serving of farm fresh scrambled eggs topped with cheese with a side of homemade fried potatoes and a Hawaiian sweet bread roll topped with sausage gravy. This sounds like a lot of food, but the portions are just right and you are of course welcome to take any left overs home. This morning’s dessert offering was fresh apple crisp. (We decided to save that for tonight’s dinner). They also have an a la carte menu for those with a smaller appetite.

Of course as the name implies, they are a winery and you can see some of the vines planted right out in front of the house. You will probably meet Marshall the wine maker while you are their as he tries to greet most guests. On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays you can go there just to taste the wines and perhaps have one of their lite bite offerings such as cheese and crackers or a charcuterie board. Also look for their specialty dinners offered several times a year. Coming up they have their Military Dinner on November 6th before Veteran’s Day. They are also planning for New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day.

While you are there, take the opportunity to drive around the surrounding countryside for some of the best long distance views in the state. You may also find the near by Lindon Garlic Farm (whose products can be found at local Farmer’s Markets) or Twillingate Farm for Goat Products such as soap & cheese.

[Directions for a short scenic loop: Coming from Belmont, take Rt 106 to Allen’s Mill Road, turn left onto Shellcamp Road, to Meadow Pond Road. Gilmanton Winery is #528 just up on the right. After your visit, continue down to the end of Meadow Pond Road to Loudon Ridge Road where there is a panoramic scenic vista. In season for some local produce turn right onto Loudon Ridge Road stop in at the small farmstand and Ridgeland Farm to the right (best corn I had all summer). From here you can continue on back to Rt 106 or, reverse course and head back down Meadow Pond Road, passing the Winery and crossing Shellcamp Road continuing north. Along the way you will pass by the scenic Shellcamp Pond. Continue to Rt 140 and turn left. This will take you back to Rt 106.]

A River Runs Through It
Periodically, the NH DES draws down (ie, lowers the level of) various lakes around the state. This allows for maintenance of critical structures such as dams as well as for property owners to do shore side repairs. It is a fascinating process. I own a home on Lake Winnisquam and when the draw down occurs I go from having water come right up to my retaining wall to having hundreds of feet of dry land out in front of my home.

The draw down is currently underway so I was curious and took a drive to see what I could see around the area. I know that one lake feeds another and finally drains out into the Winnipesaukee River at the southern end of Lake Winnisquam. Wakewaun feeds into Winnepesaukee which drains into Opechee which feeds into Winnisquam that then feeds into Silver Lake and the Winnipesaukee River. What I didn’t know until I followed the waterway was that in the area between Lake Winnisquam and Silver Lake is the historically significant site of Lochmere. This area was once occupied by a part of the Pennacook Peoples. Later white settler’s harnessed the power of this river for industrial uses such as mills, most of which laid in ruins by 1882 as the larger and wealthier interests of the Mills in Manchester and Lowell bought out the major water rights.

Many of the sites have since been compromised by both home construction in the area and the state’s dredging efforts to widen the river channel. But one of the State’s Historic Markers faithfully reminds us of the significance of this area.


Just a short chuckle:
Lake Winnipesaukee has Becky’s Garden, the smallest charted island on the lake, upon which a lovingly maintained doll house sits and delights passing boaters. Now Sanbornton has it’s Dinosaurs that sit upon a tree stump along Hunkins Pond Road with seasonally changing costumes to the amazement of passing motorists. It can be found on your way to a hearty breakfast at Heritage Farm Pancakes just a short way down the road.

Dog Sledding in NH
On a recent visit to Jeffeerson NH, my husband (Brian) and I visited Muddy Paw Dog Sled & Raft. It is aptly named as at the end of the morning (having rained the prior evening) we were covered in muddy dog paw prints ! This is a true, working sled dog experience. They have 76 dogs, many of them rescues and some of them bred on site and all very high energy and ready to run. We had a chance to wander thru the platforms where each dog has it’s own circle of space delineated by a length of chain and it’s own dog house shelter. With few exceptions the dogs were eager to meet you with exuberance and be petted. After this initial meet and greet and a little instruction is was time to hook up our team. We got a chance to help harness and set in line the 9 dogs – 4 pairs and one single – who would power our cart. As they each got hooked up in turn you could feel the energy grow as they were all eager to hit the trail and had the entire kennel singing before our departure. Ready, HIKE and off we went down a well tended trail into the woods. They follow along a tended path on which no motorized vehicles are allowed. It is instead frequented by bikers, walkers, snowmobiles in the winter, and of course sled dogs. Copper our single dog in the middle was a character. He hadn’t been worked recently and was a little out of practice and preferred at times to smell the grass than pull the cart. But we had a lot of fun as we jaunted along at about 10 miles per hours. On the way back Brian even got to take a hand at the controls. The cart is steered more of less by a bicycle’s set of handlebars and handbrake and the dogs can feel the slightest turn or pressure on the brake and respond accordingly. It was to say the least an exhilarating experience. Of course dog treats were provided at the end of the adventure so we could reward our team and a few of our other favorites Caines. I was partial to Mumford who was a calm canine among the kennel chaos. Good thing this puppies were not for sale or one of them might have been coming home with us.

Who Knew – Berlin:

My husband and I recently went up to the White Mountains for a two day drive through the notches and up towards the North Country. In addition to the beautiful scenery we found a few surprises as we explored. Following Rt 16 north towards Gorham and then on towards Erroll and Colebrook, we passed through the town of Berlin. Berlin sits alongside the Androscoggin River where there was once a booming papermill industry. Though most of the mills are gone, a visible reminder of those days is present in the river itself with series of small man made islands dotting its course. These were known as Boom Piers and had chains and other devices that allowed for separating the log rafts from each other in order to direct them to the correct mill.

The next surprise was just a short way down the road where on the opposite side there suddenly appeared a ski jump! This was the Nansen Ski Jump erected by the Berlin Ski Club in 1937. It was possibly the tallest steel ski jump in the world at 171 feet and was used in the 1938 Olympic Trials and several times for National competition. Who knew?

Lunch with the Governor:

As Forrest Gump once said, life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. On a recent exploration it was a meandering Forrest Gump day. We headed out on the road recently with the intent of taking in whatever scenery nature had to offer, and to travel some highways and byways we’d never been to before.

Of course we first started north on art 93 which itself has some of the best mountain scenery one could hope for. And this year’s colors did not disappoint.

We left the highway at Lincoln (Loon) and headed west on Route 112 and then turned south on Rt 116 towards Benton. Route 116 was the beginning of the path we had never been on before as we headed toward the border with Vermont. We enjoyed smooth roads and lovely views and then saw our first nugget of “chocolate.” A little roadside building, not much more than a shack that simply made us chuckle. We had arrived in Benton.
We actually drove past but had to turn around to take the picture! Turning back around and continuing on we saw a lovely farm with a pasture of cows, some looked like Highland Cattle. Again having driven past we found the next possible turn around and noticed a lot filled with cars. We had found Windy Hill Orchards. You could enjoy apple picking, nature trails, a gift shop, and a cafe with craft sandwiches, hot cider, cider donuts and more. Being near lunch time we could not pass up the opportunity so we went inside to find ourselves in line behind Governor Chris Sununu! He had been in the area for a meeting and his hosts thought he’d enjoy this picturesque spot and their rustic food. I had to snap a quick photo just as proof but he was fully engaged in conversation so I did not enjoy an opportunity to speak with him personally. But I’m still claiming we had lunch together.

header photo: GSA Linda Duquette
I hiked Crotched Mountain and here is a beautiful view of Mt. Monadnock. Foliage is just starting. This was on Sunday Oct 4th.

GSA Maurice Demers
Enjoy these images of Odiorne Point State Park I took while on vacation in Rye back in early August. PhotoArt by Maurice


GSA Maryellen McGrath
Pack Monadnock is part of Miller State Park and off 101 on the way to Keene.  We have never been there but decided to take a peek after our son and his family told us about the hike they took to the top.  We took the easy way up by car.  For seniors who live in the state of NH and are over 65 it is free. The ride up is a much smaller version of riding up the Mt. Washington auto road but it does have a few hairy twists and turns and it is a one-way road with two-way traffic.  It was not a very good day as you can see from the pictures but we still did get a beautiful view. On a clear day you can see all the way to Boston.

The Brenner Bridge in Peterborough NH crosses over the Nubanusit Brook and it is fairly new.  We discovered it on our walk along the Riverwalk in Peterborough.  Very peaceful and lovely views from the bridge.

We have been visiting The Rye Lobster Pound often this summer. It’s a great destination for a stop along the coast of New Hampshire to grab a bite to eat. This place is totally in the rough but there is always something to look at. Pictures include the Lobster hut, Rye Harbor and the Halloween decoration at the entrance to harbor.


Nothing more to be said about Jenness State Beach. On a clear day with a slight breeze, proud to live in the state of New Hampshire.

Slow down, smell the roses; when you don’t feel like venturing out, there is beauty in one’s own back yard!

GSA Linda Duquette
A few photos from volunteering at Bedrock Garden’s Fairy House Festival. I helped sign in the folks that brought in their houses. They were amazing!

GSA Norma Angwin
Visited my nephew yesterday in Merrimack. His daughter (will be 5 in Dec.) Maylee won a local prize for her (over 700 lbs) pumpkin recently. Thought the photo cute and wanted to share.

GSA Roberta Wells
Chester Scarecrows
For a scenic and entertaining fall drive, head to the Town of Chester at the junction of Rt 102 and Rt 121. This picturesque down goes all out for the season with a display of scarecrows sponsored by the Historical Society. Residents buy the canvas bag with faces already painted on them, then their imagination takes over creating unique scarecrows. Some represent historical figures, some are pure whimsy. This year there is even a Covid Scarecrow. Most are found in people’s front yards so you do not have to even leave your car to enjoy. But it is a beautiful town to just walk around for a closer look at the scarecrows and classic homes. Maps of scarecrow locations are available at local businesses. To date there are about 1100 scarecrows around the area. Keep your eyes open as you drive through and enjoy.


GSA Sarah Brown
NH State Library

Today I ventured out to do some genealogy research at the NH State Library now that they are allowing people inside with a reservation. First I said hello to John Winot.
Once I got settled at a microfilm machine with my list of old newspapers from my hometown of Newport, I spent a productive 2 hours discovering new information about my relatives. My Great Aunt Maud’s wedding was on page 1 in 1922. My mother was one of her bridesmaids. My Great Grandfather traveled frequently to New York and Boston on business. You never know what you’ll find!
If anyone wants help doing their genealogy, I’d be glad to offer advice.


GSA Roberta Wells
Civil War Cemetery
Out walking the dog this morning – I’d seen this before but took a closer look today…… roadside grave on a back road in Sanbornton NH dating back to the Civil War. Anyone know more about this? “Sylvester Chapman, 1st NH Cavalry, Company D”

GSA Dan Adams
Artist’s Bluff, Franconia Notch

GSA Marnie Cinquantini

Mount Washington Valley
I went on an adventure this weekend and included a bit of career development. You may already have some of this information but I thought I would share.

I visited the Dahl Wildlife Sanctuary in N Conway and it was a nice scenic walk some of the trail is along the Saco. The trail entrance is from the parking lot at the LL Bean in N Conway.

Great Glen trails and Gorham area is showing some color. The view just off the path of Frankenstein Cliff to Arethusa falls was beautiful. The photo doesn’t really display the colors were slightly darker. So I added the additional photo of the great color of the leaves above.

Also many of the restaurants are closed early in the week but also some are not taking reservations but putting guests on waitlists. So people may want to call ahead.

GSA Jean McGiffin (aka Biker Babe)
Motorcycle Tour

Last Sunday, friends and I visited Lake Sunapee…took a ride on the MV Mt Sunapee…great margarita by the way…ate a great meal at the Anchorage…clam chowder and grilled haddock sandwich were magnificent and then I took a ride on the back of the cycle from there down to Weare…a bit windy…but fun and I hadn’t been on a cycle since I was a kid I think…like maybe around the block?? Just another thing to take off the ‘ol “bucket list”…


GSA Dan Memos
Randolph Memorial

A few weeks ago, I woke up one Sat morning and informed Anita that I wanted to go for a ride and she was welcome to join me. About 3 hours and 200 +/- miles later, we found ourselves in Randolph, NH looking at a memorial to 7 motorcyclists who lost their lives in a tragic accident a little over a year ago. It’s somewhat of a sacred place and the memorial is hauntingly beautiful.

Those of you who may watch NH Chronicle on WMUR are familiar with an entertainment group from NH called “Recycled Percussion”. They have a permanent residency in Las Vegas and perform a show called “Chaos & Kindness”. They also travel around the country doing benevolent things unexpectedly for people and places. They’re the ones who decided to raise the money, have the memorial constructed, and placed at the exact site of the accident. It’s located on US Rte. 2 between Jefferson and Gorham in front of a motel.

Now I know it’s beyond foliage season north of the mountains, but if anyone is traveling anywhere near the area, it’s well worth the extra few miles to visit this special place. I know we’re glad we took the ride.