I would not ordinarily write about my vacation with the kids however this particular trip was Bimble worthy. I love to take the kids camping and I am not sure who thought of going to the White Mtns but it sounded good to me. I was rash in the decision making, which surprisingly turned out great. Forrest had sent me a link to either good hike for kids or beginner hikes which lead me to another page of best day hikes in the Whites. I knew Mt. Washington was out of the question, no way was I force hiking them up that. Wait a minute, I am sure my younger 2 would hike Washington…DEFINITELY not my oldest. So in knowing that, I picked Mt. Moosilauke. It was not a beginner hike in fact it’s rated a difficult trail. But they did not need to know that. They also did not need to it was a 7.8 mile trail loop. So I told them it was an easy hike with amazing views. Sounds good right! The next rash decision was to pick a campground.I called an booked a site at the first google hit in the area, Lost River Valley Campground in Woodstock VT. It was super! Clean, beautiful river, perfect to sleep with the noise of the rushing water, flat big site just as the nice gentleman on the phone said it would be!!
The Hike: The campground was so quiet, with the sound of the water and no alarms set, we got a much later start than I expected. We drove over the Ravine Lodge owned by Dartmouth College and parked there. We set out at about 10:30 am. Callan who is known hence forth as Fairy Dust carried her own hydration pack (like the one Chipper uses) and filter water bottle the entire journey. Cole who is known hence forth as Terminator, carried a full back pack with hydration and extras for about half the journey. Cassie who still has not claimed a Trail Name (because “not everyone can like the trail mom, ya know”… carried nothing. Forrest and I loaded the rest up in our packs and set out. The first section of up on the Gorge Trail parallels the river which was nice for cooling off along the way, then takes a sharp right off the river and continues up. Beautiful stone build in steps and rocks and roots all along the climb. We stopped just before the summit as it turned out for lunch. Sitting dead center of the trail we munched on chicken and cheese wraps or just chicken wraps or just cheese wraps, Terminator eats both… or all and goldfish. Re-fueled and ready another hiker said we had 45 mins to the summit, but we made it up in 20-25 mins. There were some overlooks along the way but nothing like the top. The kids had never been above tree line before. All three were quite taken with the view. I am not supposed to tell anyone this, but Cassie said “mom, don’t tell anyone but it was worth it to come up here”. We spent some time at the summit and took pictures. We then headed down the Carriage Rd Trail which would take us to the Snapper Trail back to the Lodge. I thought we would have a nice leisurely stroll down the mtn. but that was not to be in the cards. We were on the Carriage Trail while Fairy Dust was using the “girls room” for about the 5th time (I think she just likes to pee in the woods!) and Terminator comes up to me and says he need s to poop. I tell him he is in luck and that I did bring toilet paper, he looks at me askew and states in no way is he going to do THAT in the woods. I tell him his choices: 3 miles to the lodge or the woods. He hands me his back pack and starts running downhill. I think to myself how long can this last, right? WRONG. That boy ran the entire way to the lodge. With Fairy dust hot on our heels and Forrest nicely remaining back with Cassie, we made it into the lodge in time with no line at the bathroom. Whew. The girls had a nice rest at the lodge while Terminator spent his 20 mins in the bathroom creating quite a line as all but the one toilet were broken according to Forrest.
The Swimming Holes (the bottom 2):
Moosilauke Gorge: off rt 118 just outside the town of Warren. We decided to check this one out after the hike. It was perfect. Just off the road with a portapot to boot, there was a place to jump in off the rocks if you’re crazy enough and 2 other places quite deep to take a plunge. The cold water was perfectly refreshing and washed the salt and sweat of the day away.
Franconia Falls: The following day we hiked the 3.5 miles into Franconia Falls. The trail head for this is in the same place to start the Pemi Loop in Lincoln NH at the Lincoln Woods Visitors Center. The trail is car wide and bikes are allowed. We walked though and the last little section of trail is single track into the Falls. It was very awesome and VERY cold. The falls are known for their natural water slides and chutes. It was written in the article that when the water is high enough you can ride the falls for 80 ft. The water was not that high on this day. The rocks are amazingly smooth. There was one chute that people were using were you dropped off the chute into the pool below but it looked a bit too uncertain. I would not have let the kids ride the chute but if the kids had not been there I probably would have had a go. I did go down into a pool of water way over my head. It was cold enough to shock the breath out of you. I loved it. The kids had fun climbing around but did not want to dunk in. The walk out was challenging, Terminator was done and coaxing him out was a chore. At one point he started running again. This time not for the bathroom though and it quickly came to a halt, unfortunately short of the end of the trail. Forrest and I managed to get everyone back into the car!
Fairy Dust: She can flit up and down mountains and she left us all in her dust. She was amazing. Several times I had to ask Forrest to stay behind while I ran ahead to find out how far she was. Also I think at least 5 times I had to call out “HALT”! She did listen and wait every time!
Terminator: When he is done he is done. He was either running out or whining out… Luckily he was never carried out!! He’s too heavy now even for piggyback rides!!
Positively HAVE to go back to this area of NH, there is so much to see there I think you could spend 2 weeks just there. The map that I purchased for the surrounding area had 10 hikes on it but that was only a small selection of the trails and loops available!!! I have been wowed!