- Places to Explore
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Sports and the Outdoors
Appalachian Mountain Club Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. The Appalachian Mountain Club Pinkham Notch Visitor Center has lectures, workshops, slide shows, and outdoor skills instruction year-round. Accommodations include the adjacent Joe Dodge Lodge, the Highland Center at Crawford Notch with 100-plus beds and a 16-bed bunkhouse next to it, and the club's eight high-mountain huts spaced one day's hike from each other in the White Mountain National Forest portion of the Appalachian Trail. The huts provide meals and dorm-style lodging from June to late September or early October; the rest of the year they are self-service. Rte. 16, Box 298, Gorham, NH, 03581. 603/466–2721; 603/466–2727 reservations. www.outdoors.org.
Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center. Amenities at this fabulous lodge at the base of Mt. Washington include a huge ski-gear and sports shop, food court, climbing wall, observation deck, and fieldstone fireplace. In winter it's renowned for its dramatic 24-mi cross-country trail system. Some trails have snowmaking, and there's access to more than 1,100 acres of backcountry. It's even possible to ski or snowshoe the lower half of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Trees shelter most of the trails, so Mt. Washington's infamous weather isn't such a concern. In summer it's the base from which hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners can explore Mt. Washington. The center also has programs in canoeing, kayaking, and fly-fishing. Rte. 16, Pinkham Notch, NH, 03581. 603/466–2333. www.greatglentrails.com.
Pinkham Notch. Although not a town per se, scenic Pinkham Notch covers Mt. Washington's eastern side and has several ravines, including Tuckerman Ravine, famous for spring skiing. The Appalachian Mountain Club maintains a large visitor center here on Route 16 that provides information to hikers and travelers and has guided hikes, outdoor skills workshops, a cafeteria, lodging, regional topography displays, and an outdoors shop. Pinkham Notch, NH. 603/466–2721. www.outdoors.org.
Wildcat Mountain. Glade skiers favor Wildcat, with 28 acres of official tree skiing. The 47 runs include some stunning double-black-diamond trails. Skiers who can hold a wedge should check out the 2½-mi-long Polecat. Experts can zip down the Lynx. Views of Mt. Washington and Tuckerman Ravine are superb. The trails are classic New England—narrow and winding. Wildcat's expert runs deserve their designations and then some. Intermediates have mid-mountain to base trails, and beginners will find gentle terrain and a broad teaching slope. Snowboarders have several terrain parks and the run of the mountain. In summer you can go to the top on the four-passenger gondola ($15), ride a zip line, and hike the many well-kept trails. Rte. 16, Jackson, NH, 03846. 603/466–3326; 888/754–9453 snow conditions; 800/255–6439 lodging. www.skiwildcat.com.
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