Spring in the White Mountains

Spring is a fantastic time to visit the White Mountains Hostel. There are many activities you can only do in Spring that should not be missed.  Don’t miss the Local Mountain Garden Club who puts on a walking tour of Jackson NH with floral interpretations of art in June.  In North Conway Village just 5 minutes from the hostel there are Artisan Craft Fairs right in the middle of town all through Spring.  There are many handmade treasures to be found from jewelry to furniture to amazing quilts and much more!  Spring is a great time to go see a play or a show and we have a lovely local theater in North Conway just 5 minutes from the hostel.  M&D Productions puts on a great show that’s perfect to go watch after a Spring day filled with adventures around the White Mountains.

Perhaps the most exciting part of Spring in The White Mountains is the alpine flowers blooming on top of our great mountains.   Peak blooming occurs in May and June.  You will see Lapland Rosebay, Labrador Tea and Diapensia just to name a few.  These tiny, delicate yet hardy flowers are rugged and have to survive harsh winters and high speed winds all year round.  There is an Alpine Garden on Mt Washington, so whether you want to hike up, drive up or take a train, you can see this beautiful sight.  These flowers and gardens can be found all over the peaks of the White Mountains and Presidential Range.

For Ornithology (bird watching) fans, Spring is a fantastic time of year to go out.  In June there is a Bicknell’s Thrush Tour up the Auto Road of Mt Washington.  The Bicknell’s Thrush is a rare bird that breeds and nests around 3000 ft. It would be a spectacular rare bird to add to your ‘life list’.

Spring skiing is some of our hostel guests favorite time of year to ski!  You’re out on the slopes for those last runs till next year and you could be wearing a t-shirt!  Tuckerman’s Ravine is a very popular back country spring ski spot, though with snow melting this time of year check out the Mount Washington Avalanche Center website for current conditions and advisories. We also have many ski areas to choose from near the White Mountains Hostel for downhill Spring 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 Spring 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.[While the waters are running high in the rivers all around the White Mountains in Spring it’s an exciting time to do some White Water Kayaking.  We have some great rivers near the hostel you can get out on and have some fun.  The Saco River from North Conway to Conway is a great white water route and offers a class I water experience.  If you’re looking for class III-IV try head 20 minutes north of the hostel to upper Saco River from Crawford Notch to Bartlett.  The Swift River is on many white water kayakers lists of favorite rivers and it’s just around the corner from the hostel.  It offers class I-IV waters, so Swift River from Bear Notch Road to The Kancamagus Highway is not to be missed in Spring.  If you don’t have your own kayak there are options very close to the hostel for rentals, they also shuttle you to and from the river with the boat!  Very convenient.  Northern Extremes Canoe and Kayak is very close to the hostel and they offer shuttle service to the Saco River.  Another option is Saco Canoe Rental Company, they are just around the corner from the hostel and also offer shuttle service for canoes and kayaks for trips on the Saco River.

Spring hiking is spectacular with the smells of new growth and all the little streams trickling down the mountain sides. There are many flowers blooming and new green buds on trees, it’s a special time of year. Hiking to waterfalls in spring is a great experience because the snow melt is coming down the mountains and the waters are rushing as high as they will possibly all year.  Here is a great List of Waterfalls in The White Mountains near the hostel.  If you’re worried about the trails being a bit moist, just wear some sturdy hiking boots and some gators. There are plenty of outdoor gear stores in the area to choose from. LLBeanEMS and Ragged Mountain (who makes their own clothing and gators right here in the valley!) If you’re looking for the sturdiest of hiking boots look no further than Limmer Boots, a family owned and run business who hand make each pair of hiking boots.

Spring is a fantastic time to hit the shops, outlets and sales.  They are all only a 5-10 minute drive from the hostel.  Settlers’ Green has a vast variety of shops from home goods to hip clothing to children’s clothing and gadgets. They also have a great Italian Restaurant Brandli’s Pizza Pasta Grill, with a lovely outdoor patio if you’re feeling like dining alfresco. Going for a scenic leisurely drive is lovely anytime of year but during Spring it’s a nice time to head to our Covered Bridges to see the rushing waters underneath.  Here’s a list of scenic Covered Bridges of The White Mountains Take a drive to one or a few of them and feel like you’re going back in time as you cross over and see the flowing river below and stop to take a picture. We have two Covered Bridges just a five minute walk from The White Mountains Hostel! One is a one car at a time driving bridge and the other is just for walking, a perfect spot for lunch and some great photos.

If you like a train ride Spring is a beautiful time of year to ride our two trains near the hostel.  The Conway Scenic Railway offers an old fashioned train ride experience and is only 5 minutes from the White Mountains Hostel.  You can take a ride from North Conway to Conway or Bartlett and back again or you can take The Notch train and see the beautiful views of Crawford Notch.  It takes you by bluffs and beautiful streams, overlooks mountain vistas and takes you across a scenic trestle and bridge.  The Conway Scenic Railway also has a dining car that serves lunch on certain days, it’s a great way to relax and watch the scenery as you enjoy a meal.  The Mount Washington Cog Railway is an exciting experience and is only 45 minutes from the White Mountains Hostel.  This train will take you up Mt Washington on a 3 hour adventure offering views all the way from NH to VT, ME, Canada and east to the Atlantic Ocean!  At the top of Mt Washington you can explore a visitor center and a weather observatory and see why this great mountain is famous for it’s diverse weather and high winds!

Spring in New England brings out the best from our Maple Trees!  Maple syrup is flowing at this time of year and we have many sugar shacks near the hostel to visit.  You can watch them boil down that sweet tree nectar, have a sample and if there’s still snow they will pour some warm fresh syrup on the snow and it will harden into the most delectable sweet treat you’ve ever tasted.  Don’t forget to buy some maple candies for the road! 15 minutes from the hostel in Chocorua you’ll find Turkey Street Maples, they are a small family run sugar shack.  A half hour from the hostel in North Sandwich you will find Young Maple Ridge Sugarhouse, owned and run by old friends of ours, this little family maple sugaring operation will not disappoint!