The White Mountains Hostel is a great place to stay during the winter season. You can venture out for outdoor fun and attend some great events going on. You can watch Dog Sled Races at Chocorua Lake only 15 minutes from the hostel, check the website linked here for the date and time of this exciting event. If you don’t just want to watch dog sled races and want to ride a dog team pulled sled yourself visit New England Dog Sledding located about 45 mins north of us in Gorham NH. A great winter adventure would be heading up Mt Washington in a Snow Cat or on the Cog Railway, both of these options will take you part way up this great mountain for spectacular views and a peak at such an extreme weather area. If you’re into tubing down a mountain with or without your kids we have a few options for you. Cranmore Ski Area is right in North Conway Village, just a five minute drive from the hostel and has a great Snow Tubing area. King Pine Ski Area offers a fun tubing park and is only 15 minutes from the hostel on Rt. 153.
If you want some old fashioned walk up a big hill with your tube and slide back down fun then Great Glen Trails has just the spot for you and is 45 minutes from the hostel. Right in North Conway Village at Schouler Park five minutes from the hostel there is a Ice Skating Rink for family fun or a romantic date. All year round there are live plays at M&D Productions Theater in North Conway Village. It’s a perfect cozy way to end an evening after a day of snowy adventures! 15 minutes north of the hostel in Jackson Village there is an Ice Carving Festival that is sure to impress, the sculptures that are made there are pure art and you won’t want to miss seeing them before they melt away.
If you have little children The Polar Express is not to be missed. A real live train ride to The North Pole to see Santa will excite your little ones and get them excited for the holiday season for sure. This event is only 5 minutes from the hostel but get your tickets as soon as you can this sells out at a rapid rate as it is extremely popular. For any age going on a horse drawn sleigh ride is a quintessential New England winter experience. There are a few different places that offer sleigh rides near The White Mountains Hostel. One is just down the road in North Conway at The Farm By the River. Another option right in North Conway for a cozy sleigh ride is Fireside Sleigh Rides. About 15 minutes north of the hostel in the little town of Jackson The Nestle Nook Farm offers authentic Australian Sleigh rides. Also on Fridays and Saturdays from November 27th to December 19th they have a special event focused around Christmas and a ride to Santa’s work shop with his elves, this is sure to excite the kids!
Skiing is top of the list of fun winter sports here in the White Mountains. Then there are the different types of skiing, from down hill to cross country to back country. We have many ski areas to choose from near the White Mountains Hostel for downhill skiing.
Attitash Ski Resort offers many trails and is only a 20 minute drive from the hostel. King Pine Ski Resort is a smaller very family friendly place to ski and only a 15 minute drive from the Hostel. Along with downhill skiing they have a great network of cross country ski trails on their property. Located only 10 minutes from the Hostel and right in the middle of North Conway Village is Cranmore Mountain Resort. You can hit the slopes all day at Cranmore and be walking distance to the village that offers hip coffee shops like The Met and Frontside and many great local restaurants such as Horsefeathers if you feel like tasty pub food and a sports bar, or Bangkok Cafe if you want some phenomenal Thai food, or Flatbread if you’re feeling like delicious brick oven baked pizza, fun seaweed salad and a mouthwatering brownie sundae for dessert! If you’re wanting to be up in the mountains away from town head up to Pinkham Notch to Wildcat Mountain. They have great downhill skiing and you will see amazing views from the chair lift and mountain while still only being a 45 minute drive from the White Mountains Hostel.
If cross-country skiing is more your speed there are hundreds of trails to choose from near the hostel. Bear Notch Ski Touring is located 15 minutes north of the hostel. They offer a great network of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. They have a cozy hut that serves warm beverages, soups and snacks. Another great place is Jackson Cross Country Ski Touring, also about 15 minutes from the hostel. It’s located in the adorable town of Jackson and offers great groomed trails. Another fantastic place to go is Great Glen Nordic Ski Area, it’s located in Pinkham Notch about 45 minutes north of the hostel. They offer groomed trails that are great for for the whole family no matter what skill level you’re at.
Back country skiing or ski mountaineering are both popular sports in The White Mountains. For this you should be well trained and experienced before heading out to the wilderness to ski. There are great guides and schools in the area to prepare you for this exciting sport.
International Mountain Climbing School right in North Conway will take you on guided tours to terrain from beginner to experienced skier. For this extreme sport, like rock and ice climbing it is well advised to take a course in winter mountaineering and avalanche training International Mountain Climbing School also offers this, specifically for the steep terrain of the east side of Mount Washington. After you’re well trained, able to ski black diamond trails at ski areas and prepared you can head to all sorts of places for back country skiing, such as Tuckerman Ravine and Gulf of Slides, Great Gulf and Huntington Ravine. This website has a great list and descriptions of places to back country ski in the White Mountains, Back Country Ski WM.
Ice climbing is a very popular winter sport here in The White Mountains. There are multi pitch vertical frozen waterfalls to climb and a lot of alpine snow, rock and ice to maneuver here. Unless you are a seasoned experienced ice climber you will want some professional instruction and guidance. The White Mountains are full of climbing schools. IME (International Mountain Equipment) They have a climbing school called International Mountain Climbing School. Another ice climbing school in the area is Cathedral Mountain Guides. A third ice climbing school in the ares is Eastern Mountain Sports Outdoor Schools.
If want to be on top of the ice climbing conditions in the area there is a great website to have handy called NEclimbs.com. This website has a lot of other helpful information for ice and rock climbing in New England.
A super fun winter sport that is fairly new in the last 5 or 6 years is Fat Biking!! Here’s a fat biking video explaining and showing you this rad sport if you’re not familiar. So you’re taking a three season sport and making it four! These bikes have huge tires that go right over the snow and right near the hostel there are trails for this very sport. Just around the corner from the hostel at Echo Lake State Park they have Fat Bike Friendly trails. There are Fat Bike Friendly trails at Great Glen Trails in Pinkham Notch about 45 minutes from the hostel. There are also Fat Bike Friendly trails at the Mt Washington Valley Ski Touring and Snow shoeing Foundation only 15 minutes from the hostel. There are well packed trails to fat bike on at Moose Brook State Park about an hour north of the hostel in Pinkham Notch Gorham NH.
There are a lot of places to go winter hiking in the White Mountains, you might want to wear snowshoes though if there is deep snow. There are hundreds of miles of trails to snowshoe and some are shared with cross country skiers. Here’s a helpful map showing many Snowshoeing Trails around the White Mountains. Here’s a Trail Etiquette reminder list since on many of these trail there are multiple sports and sometimes snowmobiles allowed.