2024 Insider's Guide of Things to Do in North Conway, NH
North Conway, NH has come a long way baby!
Come on for the ride and explore all the Things to Do in North Conway, NH!
My most favorite things to do in North Conway, NH are eating out at the fantastic North Conway restaurants, riding the Conway Scenic Railroad, and getting great tax-free bargains at the North Conway outlets.
I've lived in North Conway most of my adult life, and I have owned property here for almost 30 years! I still look forward to all of the unique things to do in North Conway.
North Conway, NH started expanding in the 19th century due to its' popularity with artists that flocked to the area to paint the rugged terrain. Their paintings were collectively known as "White Mountain Art" became popular in other areas and ultimately, attracted tourists to the area.
It wasn't until the 1930's and the advent of the snow train to North Conway, NH that skiing became the major draw of the area. North Conway, NH is often referred to as the birthplace of American skiing.
Along with these major changes there were more subtle ones happening; local homes were transformed into antique shops, vacation rentals and restaurants, White Mountain Highway was widened and a parallel byway called North South Road was constructed.
Even the New York Times agrees that today, North Conway, NH is a bustling tourist town with activities and entertainment for all ages surrounded by the beauty of the Presidential Range, Cranmore Mountain and the Moat Mountain Range.
If you've check the North Conway weather and rain is predicted for your vacation dates in North Conway, NH, check out our suggestions for "10 Kid Friendly Secrets for a Rainy Day in North Conway" and for great weather, "Where to Hike with Tykes" or "Doesn't Everyone Feel Happy Playing in a Waterfall?"
The Saco River in North Conway, NH is a perfect river to go tubing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and sun-bathing. Most New Englanders have wonderful memories from childhood of tubing, swimming or canoeing down the Saco River!
During most of the warm weather months, the water of the Saco River moves at a lazy, rambling speed that's perfect for paddle boarding, tubing, kayaking, canoeing and swimming.
Whether you are an experienced kayaker or a first time canoer, you will enjoy a relaxing day floating down the crystal clear waters of the Saco River.
You can enjoy a quiet and relaxing afternoon, full day or longer on the waters of the Saco River. During most of the warm months the depth of the water averages 3 feet.
Your time spent on the Saco River will be rewarded with rope swings, small rapids, sandy beaches, friendly paddlers, wildlife, beautiful scenery, many photo-op stops, places to cool off with a dip plus several picnic spots.
Saco River tubing is a wonderful outdoor activity for all ages. Babies can sleep soundly with an umbrella to shield them from the sun, toddlers can get enough exercise at all the beach stops along the way, tweens can drop a fishing line and test their skills, and Grampy can put a low profile beach chair and be comfy all day.
If you want to go tubing on the Saco River in North Conway NH, there are several companies in town that can set you up with tube, canoe or kayak rentals. My first choice would be Saco Canoe Rental Company. They have been offering Saco River Tubing Rentals for over 27 years. Their convenient riverside location allows you to paddle back to your car. No waiting for shuttles!
Before you set out take a look at this guide to planning a canoe trip. You'll be GLAD you did! Read a few articles like it and take notes. No one guide is complete and you will find all kinds of suggestions online to help you plan the best canoe, kayak, or paddleboard trip ever!
Let's face it, everyone loves to eat out on vacation, even when you are towing the kiddos!
We've compiled a list of our favorite restaurants in North Conway, NH. Hopefully, we can steer you toward some great food and service while saving you money! North Conway has a unique group of home-grown restaurants that have banded together in an organization called "The Valley Originals."
We won't review or suggest any chain restaurants because... because... why would you want to eat at them when there are SO many great local restaurants in North Conway?
If you'd rather relax at your North Conway cabin rental that you've carefully selected, here is a list of North Conway restaurants that deliver! Our favorite is Boston Brother's Pizza in North Conway!
Here are Some of Our Favorite Restaurants in North Conway
Black Cap Grille North Conway 603-356-2225 - A hop and skip from the Outlet Mall
Boston Brother's Pizza North Conway 603-733-5920 - Best pizza in town!
Cafe Noche Conway 603-447-5050 - Authentic Mexican decor.
Cider Company Glen 603-383-9061 - Perfect for a special celebration.
Christmas Farm Inn Jackson 603-383-4313 -
Darby Field Inn Albany 603-447-2181 - Wonderful views of Mt Washington.
Delaney's Hole In The Wall North Conway 603-356-7776 - Great sports bar.
Horsefeathers North Conway 603-356-6862 - Directly across from Conway Scenic Railroad.
Josephs Spaghetti Shed Glen 603-383-6680 - Kid friendly and great prices.
J-Town Deli and Country Store Jackson 603-383-8064 - Browse their store while you wait.
Max's at Snow Village Inn Eaton Center 603-447-2818 - Wonderful view and ambiance on their deck.
Merlino's Steakhouse North Conway 603-356-6006 - Close to Settlers Green.
Moat Mountain Smokehouse North Conway 603-356-6381 - Known for their BBQ.
Nochland Inn Hart's Location 603-374-6131 - Surrounds by the National Forest.
Oxford House Inn Fryeburg 207-935-3442 - Check out the cool pub downstairs.
Priscilla's North Conway 603-356-0401 - Usually no wait for breakfast.
Red Parka Steakhouse Pub Glen 603-383-4344 - Dance after you dine.
Shalimar Of India North Conway 603-356-0123 - Authentic Indian cuisine.
Shannon Door Pub Jackson 603-383-4211 - Irish pub known for their pizza.
The Shovel Handle Pub Jackson 800-677-5737 - Great barn decor after skiing.
Traditions Madison 603-367-4030 - Cool decor and unique drinks.
Wildcat Tavern Jackson 603-383-4245 - In the Village of Jackson.
302 West Smokehouse And Tavern Fryeburg, ME 207-935-3021 - Great specials.
We're not a Valley Original but Russ-Tee Bucket Ranc is a locally owned and operated North Conway cabin rental. Give us a call at 603.662.5391 for more information!
The North Conway restaurants listed above range from delicious fine dining to wicked good breakfasts and everything in between. Check out "7 Restaurants with Insanely Good Food" for more in-depth descriptions of seven great restaurants in North Conway.
If you are like us and have a family member with food allergies or sensitivities check out "You're Allergic to What? Where to Eat Out in North Conway"
The Covered Bridges in North Conway, NH and the surrounding towns are loved by tourists and locals alike. There's something about the history and uniqueness of them that draws folks!
Aside from being great photo-op stops, covered bridges provide a service for the traveler and the community.
A true covered bridge is constructed with timber trusses, has a roof and sides that make an almost complete enclosure. The original purpose was to protect the wood structural members including the floor of the bridge from the elements but they also kept horses from shying away from the rushing water below thereby protecting pedestrians. Long ago, young couples took advantage of the privacy that covered bridges afforded them and some became known as courting or kissing bridges!
According to the Federal Highway Administration covered bridge manual, the timber truss system of construction, whether it be by stone, masonry or timber, circumvented previous length restrictions by other construction options.
These hold-overs from another time dot the countryside of the North Conway, NH area and are a reminder of simpler but hard times. Many folks travel to New Hampshire and the North Conway area to walk through or take a picture in one of these historic landmarks!
Here is a sampling of some of the area’s favorite covered bridges.
Saco River Covered Bridge - According to the Conway Daily Sun, the Saco River Covered Bridge is 235 fee long and it called a 2-span covered bridge. It was built at a cost of $4,000 by Allen and Warren of Conway, NH. It was destroyed once again in 1890 by a tannery fire and rebuilt again by Charles Broughton and his son Frank (who also built the Jackson Covered Bridge)
The Swift River Covered Bridge is just a short walk down West Side Road in North Conway, NH. It was built in 1850 and in 1869 it was swept downstream by raging floodwaters which lifted the bridge from its foundation. When it swept downstream it slammed into the Saco River Covered Bridge and knocked it off its moorings. Both covered bridges broke up and came to rest 2 miles downstream.
The following year the Swift River Covered Bridge was rebuilt incorporating some salvaged timbers from the wrecked bridges. Today the bridge is not open to automobile traffic but you can enjoy a stroll through the bridge and even bring a picnic lunch to eat on one of the picnic tables!
Make sure you have your camera with you. Both the Saco and Swift Covered Bridges make great photo-op stops!
Below you will find a list of NH covered bridges in North Conway, NH and the surrounding area which were all built in the 1800’s. Go vist these wonderful historical landmarks and enjoy a piece of local history!
The Albany Covered Bridge is about 6 miles west of Rt 16, spans the Swift River and is sometimes called the "Lovers Bridge".
The first bridge was built in 1857 and destroyed that same year by a windstorm. It was rebuilt in 1858 for $1,300, it is a paddleford truss and has added arches. The Albany Covered Bridge is eligible to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Bartlett Covered Bridge was built in 1851 and is a paddleford truss with added arches.
This covered bridge is maintained by private owners, Marc and Mary Ellen Frydman who renovated the bridge in 1990 at a cost of $38,000. The renovations decreased the weight of the bridge by approximately 25 tons!
The Bartlett Covered Bridge is eligible for registry with the National Register of Historic Places.
The Jackson Covered Bridge is commonly called the "Honeymoon or Kissing Bridge". It was constructed Charles and Frank Broughton in 1876 and is a paddleford truss with an added sidewalk. The 121 foot long bridge spans the Ellis River and is located at the crossroads of Rt 16 and Rt 16A in Jackson Village.
Town legend says that locals would steal a kiss from their beloved under the cover of this bridge and it was popular for both suitors and honeymooners alike!
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If you like Russ-Tee Bucket Ranch and would like more information please feel free to call me at 603.662.5391
Conway Scenic Railroad is to North Conway, NH what the Citgo sign is to Boston (if you know you know) - THE landmark of the community!
An outing on one of the vintage trains at the North Conway, NH railroad is sure to be a highlight of your vacation. It's an old-fashioned railroading experience as you ride along on two historic rail routes in antique and restored passenger cars. Most cars are vintage 1920's and the train station was constructed in 1874.
The Victorian station was designed by Architect Nathaniel Bradlee of Boston, built by railroad carpenters and became a true testament of their craft. The building design included a ticket office, baggage room and restrooms. Two gorgeous curving mahogany staircases let to offices in domed towers on the upper level.
An E. Howard eight day clock was placed in the front of the building facing Schouler Park and I have to say, every time I have driven by the Conway Scenic Railroad I've checked the time. History almost was made in the shadow of the eight day clock. December 3, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant Mr. Watson attempted to converse over telegraph wires that spanned 143 miles between Boston and the ticket office in the Train Station. Even though they couldn't hear each other they both were still inspired to continue with their efforts. Imagine if they didn't?
You Have Two Options on the Conway Scenic Railroad
You have two options when planning your train excursion on vacation, The Valley Train and the Notch Train. I urge all guests of Russ-Tee Bucket Ranch to pick the Notch Train. It's a gorgeous day trip and worth every penny!
The Valley Train or as some call it...The North Conway, NH Train
The 11-mile, 55-minute roundtrip Conway excursion is a perfect choice for vacationers that don't want to be on the train all day, especially those with young children. This trip takes you on a journey traveling south past the Moat Mountain Range and runs side by side with Route 16 before passing through farmlands off West Side Road and crosses Moat Brook, the Saco and Swift Rivers on the way to Conway. One of the highlights of this trip is watching the engine “run around” the train in preparation of the return trip.
The 21 mile, 1¾ hour roundtrip Bartlett excursion is a longer and more relaxing train ride that takes you “over the river and through the woods” on the same route as the Polar Express trains. Sit back and enjoy the passing scenery or wave at folks in their cars as you travel through fields and woodlands, crossing the East Branch, Saco and Ellis Rivers on the way to Bartlett. On this trip the engine will “run around” the train to make the return trip to North Conway, NH. Through late fall, the train will make a stop at White Mountain Cider Company in Glen.
The Notch Train
This is the ride I suggest. It's much longer, has gorgeous views, and not that much more money!
On the Notch Train you will be traveling on tracks that were laid in the 1870s. This route passes some of the most spectacular scenery in the East, especially in Crawford Notch. Crawford Notch is known for panoramic mountain views, sheer granite bluffs, steep ravines, waterfalls, brooks and streams and plentiful wildlife. The highlight of this trip is crossing Frankenstein Trestle and Willey Brook Bridge making your way to Crawford and Fabyans stations.
The original Frankenstein Trestle was constructed of wood and finished in 1875. The trestle needed to be sturdier in order to carry heavier trains so in 1892 a wrought iron bridge with concrete abutments was constructed. This trestle, although it has had further modifications and improvements and still remains today!
As you make your journey to Crawford Notch, try to imagine what it was like constructing the railroad 140 years ago! It really was an engineering marvel in such rugged terrain. Railroad staff will provide commentary onboard about the history, points of interest and folklore (factual and hearsay)
There is a layover at Crawford Station which is across from Saco Lake. Saco Lake is a scenic pond which in fall is very photogenic. It's also where the Saco River originates. Get off the train, stretch your legs, grab your cameras and take a walk-about!
Call for lodging accommodations at Russ-Tee Bucket Ranch at 603.662.5391
Mount Washington Auto Road is located about 25 minutes north of North Conway, NH. The drive up Route 16 to get there is gorgeous and has plenty of spots to stop for a snack or dip in cool mountain water.
The Auto Road at Mt Washington is located in Pinkham Notch which provides spectacular views of the famous Presidential Range.
There are many ways to get to the top of Mount Washington. My favorite is to hike but for those that want a view almost the entire way to the top, take the Auto Road.
If you're a weenie like my friend Allison, take a guided tour in a 12 passenger van. Aside from not having to worry about smoking your brakes or transmission, you'll reach the top much smarter!
The van drivers blab from the time they take off until the time they safely drop you at the summit.
You'll learn about things like glaciers and alpine zones but trust me, it won't feel like school. :)
I highly recommend taking the guided tour on the Mt Washington Auto Road vans. It's much less stressful than driving, you'll learn a lot, and they will stop for photo ops!
When you get to the top, check out the summit marker, old hotel, the gift shop held down by cables, and the museum below the cafeteria.
The cafeteria offers great food, snacks, and drinks.
Most bikers have a ride on the Mount Washington Auto Road on their bucket list!
Personally, I thought riding to the top in a car was unnerving enough but every time I hike up or drive up there are lots of motorcycles up there.
A ride to the top will allow you to proudly display this world famous bumper sticker too!
Spoiler Alert - You can cheat and go here to get one by mail!
Mt Washington is known to have the "worst weather on earth". Dress for it. If you're wearing shorts, pack pants, jacket, hat, gloves, and sun screen.
Every year there are seasoned and newbie hikers that must be rescued because they did not prepare adequately. Please do research and keep yourselves and our rescue teams safe!
Have fun, dress appropriately for the weather at the top, take lots of pictures, and expect to be surprised!
Also the home of... Tax-FREE shopping & Bring a Friend Weekends
Did anyone ever tell you that New Hampshire is sales tax free? Well, if no one has been kind enough to share that news, here I am. Shop at the North Conway outlets and pay NO tax!
New Hampshire is tax-free! So come take advantage and go shopping at the North Conway outlets. We have our famous Outlets and locally-owned shops in the North Conway, NH.
If you come down to the North Conway Outlets the first two weekends in November, they have a Bring a Friend event! You can get ahead in your Christmas shopping or just enjoy the savings for yourself.
No matter where you go you can skimp out on paying sales tax and enjoy your precious friend-time shopping and emptying your wallets.
Hello Outlet Shoppers!
The Settlers Green Outlets in North Conway, NH are infamous for their tax-free shopping, deals, and fun times. You should make your way out here and reap the benefits of their Bring a Friend Event that happens every November.
This event is full of activities, entertainment, deals, and prizes. As crowded as it sounds, it is completely worth the battle. So come with your weapons ready...but not actual weapons!! I mean like...credit cards and comfy shoes.
Think of all the holiday shopping you can get done! Or selfish shopping that you can fill your own closet and house with.
The most important day to participate in the sales is November 10th! This is when the Outlets give out 2,000 shopping bags bright and early at 8am--one bag includes a $500 shopping spree! Set your alarms people.
The bags contain swag, gifts, and some items from the outlet stores. Even if you don't get the $500 shopping spree, you could still receive a $50 one!
If you miss out on the bags, don't fret. You can still benefit from the event. The sales run the first two weeks of November every year. Ten whole days of savings!
...And There's More!
To get all of the deals you need to get a wristband! They only give out 5,000 wristbands which you show to the clerks at participating stores, so come early to get yours!
If you jump on it early next year you can grab a Reserved Bag. Unfortunately, they sell out early so reserved them so you’re nor out of luck.
Whatever you plan on shopping for come through North Conway during early November to enjoy the exciting giveaways and events that the Outlets are offering.
As crazy as it sounds, it's time to get a jump on that Christmas shopping or to just spend time with family and friends. Snatch up all of your girlfriends and bring them out to get away from the craziness that is life.
Russ-Tee Bucket Ranch is only a few minutes from the Outlets. So grab your friends and book us before someone else does!
If you are feeling really adventurous you could make a day of it and head into Portland, ME. I also recommend driving up to Freeport, ME to visit L.L. Bean to take a picture in front of the big boot!
1937 was the year that Cranmore Mountain in North Conway, NH was officially opened by Harvey Gibson with a single rope tow. The following year a new lift called Skimobile was installed. This new lift which was designed and built by George Morton, consisted of a series of cars traveling on a wooden track.
You can see one of the original cars in front of Delaney's Hole in the Wall Restaurant in North Conway.
Cranmore made a name for itself with its' modern Skimobile, newly built base lodge and a ski school run by European skiers.
Hannes Schneider is the most well know European affiliated with Cranmore Mountain in the early days. He was invited by Harvey Gibson to come to North Conway after he was imprisoned for a brief time in Germany for his anti-Nazi views. Schneider immediately began the expansion of Cranmore by extending the Skimobile to the summit and cutting additional trails.
Cranmore Mountain is westerly facing which causes the snow to get soft or melt in the warmest part of the day and then freeze into ice overnight. This fact spurred the owners in the 1940's, to be one of the first mountains to invest time and money in snow making technology.
In the 1950's and 60's there was considerable expansion of the mountain followed by two ownership changes in the 1980's and 90's. Fast forward to today and you find a thriving enterprise with summer and winter activities!
Cranmore Mountain is listed in my blog entitled, "Kid Friendly Ski Resorts in North Conway". I have to admit, I'm partial to Cranmore. There's so much I like about the mountain; lift passes are lower priced than the bigger mountains, it's a "warm" mountain with its' westerly exposure, has a great team of groomers, parking is close, the après ski music is good, I like the feel of the pub, and the staff is friendly!
Here are some stats for those that like that kind of thing:
Phone - (800)SUN-N-SKI
18 Minutes from Russ-Tee Bucket Ranch in North Conway, NH
Skiable Acres 200+
Longest Run 1 mile
Summit Elevation 2000 ft
Vertical Drop 1,200 ft
Totals: 57 trails and 10 lifts
16 easier (28% of total)
25 intermediate (44% of total)
16 most difficult (8 trails, 8 glades) (28% of total)
5 surface lifts, 1 double, 2 triples, 1 high speed quad, 1 fixed grip quad
Summer fun includes zip lines, summer tubing, trampoline with bungies, hiking, bouncy houses, mini-adventure park and climbing walls and an aerial adventure park.
Check back to this Insider's Guide to Things to Do in North Conway often. I have about 30 more fun adventures to add!
Feel free to call me, Teena at 603.662.5391
Diana's Baths are located off West Side Road just north of Echo Lake State Park in North Conway, NH.
Access to the falls have just been upgraded and now is handicap accessible and there are bathroom facilities. The distance between the parking lot (paid parking) and the falls is about 0.6 miles.
The Lucy family has a long history with Diana's Baths. George Lucy purchased several acres of the lower falls in the mid-1800's to build a sawmill.
Tourists were drawn to the falls even back then and George decided to capitalize on their presence and built a large boarding house. The Village of North Conway had many hotels already and his boarding house did not attract tourists like he thought and unfortunately, was shut down.
In the 1930's the family installed water driven turbines to power their sawmills and ran them successfully for many years. The advent of the portable saw mills made the turbines obsolete and they were torn down. Remnants of the original sawmill and turbines are still very evident in the lower portion of the falls. When you visit Diana's Baths try to imagine how different they looked when the saw mill and turbine structures where there!
The land was owned privately until the 1950's when it was turned over to the government and has been part of the National Forest system ever since.
The stream that is the reason for the many beautiful small falls at Diana's Baths is Lucy Brook. This historic site is part of the White Mountain National Forest.
Although the total vertical drop from start to finish is only 75 feet, the beauty you will see here is unparalleled! The falls are a very popular family spot for exploring and sunbathing.
The falls change from season to season and are very affected by the local rainfall. Even if you've been to Diana's Baths in the past, visit them again. Every time you see them they are different!
Plan to spend relaxing and playing in the crisp, clean water and don't forget your waterproof camera!
According to Wikipedia: "These curious circular stone cavities on Lucy Brook originally were known as the Home of the Water Fairies; tradition says evil water sprites inhabited the ledges, tormenting the Sokokis Indians until a mountain god answered the Indians' prayers and swept the sprites away in a flood. But sometime before 1859 a Miss Hubbard of Boston, a guest at the old Mount Washington House in North Conway, rechristened them Diana's Baths, presumably to evoke images of the Roman nature goddess. The pools are also called Lucy's Baths."
Plan to go early or after supper. During summer peak season, it's packed during mid-day.
Family Fun at the Fryeburg Fair
2 Miles from Russ-Tee Bucket Ranch
Fryeburg Fair's humble beginnings were in March of 1851. According to Wikipedia, a few local farmers and merchants got together to show off their wares and cattle and produce to their friends and neighbors.
Fryeburg Fair has grown and become the largest agricultural fair complex in Maine including 6 days of harness horse racing, a wonderful farm museum and the largest steer and oxen show in the world. The Fair's reputation is well known throughout the United States and Canada.
Fryeburg Fair is referred to as the "Blue Ribbon Classic" and has grown to 8 days and hosts over 300,000 attendees annually. While the fair continues to grow in popularity, officials say they are satisfied with keeping the event at eight days.
The livestock demonstrations, shows, and pulling includes 4-H, beef, dairy, draft horses, goats, horse pulling, rabbits, llamas, poultry, sheep, steers, oxen, and swine and is Maine's largest agricultural event.
If it's the competition you like, Fryeburg Fair has quite a selection including; 4 X 4 pulling, Agricultural Exhibition Center, Christmas trees and wreaths, fiber show, fireman's muster, Grand Parade, skillet throw, and woodsmen's day.
There are nightly shows and entertainer's performing throughout the day. Past fairs have highlighted top notch entertainers including; Clint Black, Joe Diffie and Lady Antebellum. The ticket prices are reasonable and the crowds are very lively!
The Fryeburg Fair features livestock shows, harness racing, horse pulling, antique farm, and forestry equipment displays and demonstrations, horticultural and culinary contests and displays, a petting zoo, agricultural vendor displays, live musical acts, amusement rides, and food stands.
Russ-Tee Bucket Ranch is around the corner from the Fryeburg Fairgrounds...Like it's literally 5 minutes away.
Phone us early if you'd like to book Russ-Tee Bucket Ranch for the fair. Call us at 603.662.5391
Laconia Bike Week and Spectacular Motorcycle Rides
Imagine riding in and among these beautiful mountains?
North Conway, NH motorcycle rides are plentiful and gorgeous! All you have to do is pack for our changing weather conditions, pull up the GPS on your smartphone and head north from North Conway, NH!
North Conway, NH is about mid-way between the site of Laconia Bike Week and many GREAT motorcycle rides in the White Mountains which means you can plan your vacation here during Bike Week or any other time during the 3 warm weather seasons and be minutes away from some of the best rides in NH!
Before you head out for a day of riding you must stop by Harley Davidson North Conway, NH! They carry thousands of products for the motorcycle enthusiast plus their store is also their warehouse so they're never out of stock!
Items for sale ranges from Motorcycle Apparel to Videos and Movies. They do not stock supplies for just one manufacturer of motorcycle, there's something for all bikes here!
Make a long wish list before you visit this store because your dollar will go a lot further with NO SALES TAX!
Laconia Bike Week is Racy and Spicy
If you've never been to Laconia Bike Week you need to put it on your bucket list! It's an eyeful of sights and a buffet of different types of folks!
I suggest going during the midweek because you'll be able to get a table at a restaurant, grab a beer in a pub, and stroll along the causeway rather than going on the weekends when you will have to grab food from an outdoor vendor, get a beer in a plastic cup and become part of the elbow to elbow crowd making its' way north to south.
If you have a list of motorcycle-related gadgets or clothing you'd like to buy, bring lots of cash or a credit card with a high limit! There are merchandise stands set up as far as the eye can see with an endless assortment of goods, some at great prices!
For 14 years, North Conway, NH has hosted their own, tamer, Rally in the Valley!
Aside from the events listed in the picture above, there are lots of other things to do in North Conway during that week. I enjoy the smaller and more local feel to this even rather than Laconia but I'm a biased North Conway resident!
Either way, plan on vacationing in North Conway over Father's Day week so you can enjoy all the sights and get some great riding in too!
Many riders plan to ride to the top of Mt Washington on the Auto Road.
Even if you don't make it to the top, it's a great ride!
Spoiler Alert: There are lots of motorcycles parked at the bottom! Guess I'm not the only scaredy cat!
Kancamagus Highway or more commonly, "The Kanc"
If riding a 30 mile scenic byway, with nothing but nature, passing gorgeous overlooks and many pull-offs sounds like a great way to spend a day then the Kancamagus Highway or Kanc is for YOU!
I'm a horseback rider not a motorcycle rider but I've been told that most who ride LOVE to spend a day riding the Kanc.
See our section about the Kanc below for lots more information!
Travel the Kancamagus Highway - Minutes from North Conway, NH
Ahhhh... vacationing in North Conway, NH! Within a 5 minute drive of the Village of North Conway you can start your journey down the Kancamagus Highway (Route 112) which meanders from Conway, NH (at the intersection of Route 16 and 112) to Lincoln, NH (intersection of Routes 93 and 112) passing mountains, forests, beaches, waterfalls, scenic overlooks and wildlife galore!
The Kancamagus (Kank-uh-mah-gus), or the Kanc as us locals refer to it, travels smack dab through the White Mountain National Forest. Plan on spending a full day making the round trip on this 32 mile scenic highway! Pack a lunch, load up the car with the necessities (sunscreen/sunglasses/camera/hiking boots/rain gear/water/lunch, etc), gas up the car and let's get started!
Now that you're packed and ready to go, your first stop on the Kanc should be the Saco Ranger Station about a 1/4 mile in. You will find a great assortment of trail maps highlighting historic sites, scenic overlooks, great picnic spots, waterfalls and much more. The Rangers are mostly locals and can offer great advice on hiking and camping and also let you know if there is any road construction or bad weather ahead!
Armed with your maps, rack cards and brochures you're now ready to head out for your first adventure of "Things to Do in North Conway"!
Your first stop is a not to be missed historic site. I'll admit I am a science and and nature junky so I stop anywhere there is a plackard but the Russell-Colbath Homestead is a great way to start your journey. For instance, I learned that in 1907 the surrounding area was 95% farmland and 5% forest. Check out this photo of the area then and now!
The farmhouse and barn were built in the 1800's and the farmhouse is all that remains. It's been restored and is now a museum and is all that's left of the farming and logging community of Passaconaway, NH.
Continuing your journey along the Kancamagus Highway you will ascend 2,860 fee upwards toward the Kancamagus Pass which is the highest point of the ride. Pull off into one of the scenic overlooks and spend some time relaxing and identifying the local mountains. My favorite stops are Sugar Hill, Pemigewasset and Hancock overlooks, all make for great photo-op stops!
Don't miss Falls Pond, Rocky Gorge and of course, Sabbaday Falls. All are popular stops along the Kancamagus Highway.
Your drive will lead you directly into Lincoln, NH. It has a short strip filled with restaurants, shops, a grocery store, lots of real estate businesses, and antique shops.
Make the drive back to North Conway a leisurely stroll. Stop at all the spots that were too crowded on your journey west. You'll be glad you did!
Cathedral Ledge - Fun & Gorgeous Views!
Cathedral Ledge is part of Echo Lake State Park and is located less than 20 minutes from Russ-Tee Bucket Ranch.
Standing at 700 fee of granite cliff, Cathedral Ledge towers over Echo Lake and is a landmark of North Conway, NH!
There are several hiking trails leading to the top plus a mile long auto road for the not-so athletic in the crowd!
Sweeping views of the Saco River Valley and the White Mountains are your treat when you reach the top. If you head to the viewing area the edge is marked with a 4 foot chain link fence. Hold tight to your youngsters... only that area is fenced off.
On a nice day the is my favorite thing to do in North Conway! Sit and wait, you'll be treated to a rock climber making their way up and over the top edge of the cliffs. Rock and ice climbing are very popular at Cathedral Ledge and nearby White Horse Ledge. If you listen near the edge you can hear them and get ready for some great pictures!
Make a day of it and head down to Echo Lake after your ascent. There are beautiful views of the ledges from the beach, changing rooms and bathrooms, a lifeguard plus a 3/4 mile loop walk that's perfect for wee-ones that feel so proud that they did a loop hike!
For more suggestions on great hikes check out our blog "Where to Hike With Tykes."
Access to the park is seasonal and there is a fee. Make sure you pay the fee and pay attention to the signs. Expect to be towed if you don't play by the rules.
Saco Valley Sport Center is home to candlepin bowling - have you ever bowled candlepins? It's located in Fryeburg, Maine, just 4 whole minutes from Russ-Tee Bucket Ranch.
Folks from out of town will be thrilled to try their skills at candlepin bowling instead of big balls. It's a blast and most folks think it's much harder than other styles of bowling.
There are many video and action games plus a pool table for folks that are not bowling fans.
For more info contact me, Teena!