With our 5th wedding anniversary and soon to be born baby girl around the corner in leu of our usual anniversary pub crawl we decided to double up and take an anniversary / babymoon trip to the White Mountains.
This was our first trip but it won’t be our last. The White Mountains are huge, with tons of trails, hikes, and points of interest. It is also a National Forest, not a National Park so it is maintained for a larger variety of activities – fishing, timber, recreation, wildlife, etc. vs. a National Park which is maintained more for preservation and limits human activity.
With Martha being 8 months pregnant we did have limit the difficulty and time of our hikes and other activities but that didn’t stop us from having a great experience. We stayed the Inn by the Ellis River which was a great place and has many different packages from basic stays to honeymoons and even babymoons. It was also relatively close to various Forest entrances and activities as well as close to North Conway for shopping, supplies, restaurants, and more attractions.
Our itinerary centered around seeing waterfalls, covered bridges and sites on the Kancamangas and in North Conway in a three day span.
Day 1 – Breakfast at the Inn then off to Pinkham Notch visitor center to get some maps and a lay of the land. From there we went to Wildcat Mountain and a very short and easy hike to Thompson Falls. Afterwards we spent time exploring North Conway followed up by carving our names into the Honeymoon Covered bridge near Jackson and then diner out at the Red Fox.
Day 2 – A further and longer hike out to Glen Ellis falls which where huge and gigantic! Just off route 16. There’s parking but its very limited. It is a more man made trail with railings and stone steps. Very quick, easy and beautiful. Afterwards we enjoyed a couples massage as part of our babymoon package and took a trip down the Kancamangas highway stopping off at Rocky Gorge scenic area to walk around the river bed which is also a popular cool off and swim spot. We finished the day with a nice diner out at Cider Mill Restaurant, also included in our babymoon package.
Day 3 – This was the return home day but we popped into North Conway and took a ride on the historic railroad before heading off. It was worth upgrading to the first class tickets so you can sit in comfortable wicker chairs facing outwards helping you take in the scenery more easily.
All and all it was a great final trip before we became parents and we’re excited to bring our child back there once she’s old enough to hike and enjoy it.
There are also lots of attractions such as Story Land, Santa’s Village, etc. in the area. While not of interest to us per say they are worth noting though we recommend not letting attractions like those, good as they are, take all your focus when there’s many great hikes, trails, and outdoor activities around.