This text is part of the special Plaisirs booklet
The US land borders have been open for more than a month to fully vaccinated Canadian travelers. Before the new wave of contaminations which forced the authorities to advise against all non-essential travel outside the country, our collaborator had made a short stay with our neighbors to the South. Story.
As you pass through customs in Stanstead, you tune in to the local radio station, country music is playing, and a feeling of freedom comes in all of us. We head south towards Lincoln. The White Mountains appear all dressed in white. This mountain range that includes Mount Washington (1917m) – the highest peak in the northeastern United States – leaves no room for hikers, snowshoes and ski enthusiasts.
This immediately makes you want to go stretch your legs at the gorge Flume, at the foot of Mount Liberty. Although winter hikes are at the discretion of visitors – the trail of just over 3 km is not maintained in the cold season – the location is scenic. It must be said that the vast gorge extends for nearly 250 m. In summer, a wooden footbridge runs along its sides up to a height of 27 m. The little story goes that the gorge was discovered in 1808 by a certain Jess Guernsey, 93, who was fishing in a nearby river.
Nice snowy village
We spend the two nights of our stay at Snowvillage Inn, a country inn located in the small town of Eaton, south of Mount Washington. Built in 1916, it was originally the summer home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank H. Simonds, best known for his 5-volume book, History of World War.
Since 2012, Kevin Flynn has bought the property he owned in 2005. Together with his wife, Jen Kovach, they welcome visitors so warmly that it feels like we are staying with our favorite uncle and aunt. As soon as we arrive, Jen brings us tea and homemade cookies to the room, enough time to settle down. It sets the tone.
Long live winter sports
The same goes for breakfast. It’s Kevin who cooks. Fresh eggs from the farm next door, homemade muffins, locally roasted coffee … “We really wanted to recreate a welcoming place and a restaurant where we want to eat, not just because we’re stuck here,” says Jen Kovach.
Sated, we are ready to play outside; a great way to make the most of winter. Then, in these times of timid resumption of travel, it is also safer to do outdoor activities than in a crowded room.
Since this morning, large flakes have fallen en masse. The skiers are in heaven, just like the hikers that we are. We first take the Arethusa Falls trail. Its name says it, this hike is known for its impressive drop of about 60 m in height. Over the winter, the waterfall freezes, sometimes completely, depending on the very cold days. Or, a few trickles of water persist and trickle down the icy columns.
Time to have a snack, we continue our journey towards Nestlenook Farm, to Jackson. Large wrought iron doors announce its entrance like an enchanted villa. The farm of more than 25 hectares has a large natural ice rink and various snowshoe trails. After having taken almost all the marked trails, we pass by the enclosure where magnificent horses have fun and bicker.
After a day of playing outside in the great outdoors, there is nothing more satisfying than a home-cooked comfort food. This is exactly what can be found on the menu at Max’s Pub, the restaurant at the Snowvillage Inn. We opt for the stew-style chicken pâté, garnished with two “biscuits”, these typical American cuisine rolls.
Favorite of the stay
Before returning home, we make a small detour through Tamworth to get to the distillery Tamworth Distilling. There are all kinds of craft distilleries in New Hampshire, but this one catches our eye. Their rye, for example, is made with 100% local organic rye, rather than being mixed with corn. While their gins are infused with Damson plums, wild flowers or hops among other things. “We wanted to create unique products,” explains David Grasse, director of operations at Tamworth Distilling. We also have amazing spirits, such as Musk Water, a bourbon flavored with castoreum. [substance huileuse produite à partir de glandes spécifiques du castor qu’on utilise surtout en parfumerie, mais qui ajoute des notes vanillées et de framboise en bouche]. “Whiskey, brandy, gin and rye enthusiasts will find what they are looking for here. This is what ends this short stay on a very good note.
Obligations for travelers
Our reporter was a guest of the New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism Development.