Biking, Climbing, Hiking & Scenic Drives


Hike, bike, drive and explore hundreds of miles of trails

Get to know the region’s best outdoor spots, by foot or on wheels, regardless of your age or skill level. Go bird watching, hiking or cross-country skiing at one of the region’s many conservation trust properties, or bike the Northern Rail Trail through what many consider a cyclist’s paradise. Who knows, a historic walk or scenic drive might even take you to one of the area’s many covered bridges.

On the trail

No matter the time of year of your mode of transportation, adventure awaits around every corner.

Ready to hit the trails or take a drive?

Hiking Trails
Before You Begin

Welcome to the New Hampshire Lakes Region, offering the beauty of nature at every turn. Please be sure to dress properly, bring provisions and do not leave litter on the trails or parking areas. The hiking trails listed here are well-marked. They are maintained by the U.S. Forest Service, New Hampshire Division of Parks, the Appalachian Mountain Club and private hiking clubs. For those nervous about the animal life they may encounter, rest assured these trails are uninhabited by dangerous animals, such as bears and wildcats. On the very unlikely chance that you might encounter an animal, you’ll see that they are afraid of humans and will run faster from you than you can from them. There are no poisonous snakes on these hiking trails. Dress properly for your hike. Cotton shirts, walking pants or shorts, and hiking shoes with appropriate socks are recommended. You can bring extra equipment in a waterproof knapsack: extra shirt or sweater, nylon parka, warm pants, matches and fire starter, compass, map and/or Guidebook, pocketknife with can opener and screwdriver, canteen of water and spare food for two meals.

The Northern Rail Trail

Whether you are a bicycle enthusiast, a casual biker, a locavore, nature lover or history buff, you will love The Northern Rail Trail inn to inn bike tours. New Hampshire is a cyclist’s paradise, and the bike tours combine biking on the Northern Rail Trail with the luxury and convenience of being able to relax nightly in gracious inns, followed in the mornings by a gourmet breakfast before you hit the rail trail again. Seven historic inns throughout the Lakes and Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee regions of New Hampshire are connected by the Northern Rail Trail and are offering inn-to-inn packages. All along the rail trail, cyclists will encounter a landscape of historic covered bridges, sustainable farms, orchards, horse and alpaca farms, sparkling lakes and streams. You will also see a plethora of wildlife along the rail trail routes along with historic places situated in quaint and vibrant New England towns. The Friends group has the goal of extending the Northern Rail Trail from Danbury to Boscawen in Merrimack County. Currently, the trail has been completed as a four-season trail from Lebanon through Grafton and Danbury, Andover to Depot Street in Franklin, but not yet to Boscawen. This information is brought to you from Bike the Northern Rail Trail.


Castle in the Clouds, Moultonborough

Castle in the Clouds’ 45 miles of trails traverse the 5,500 acres of the property, which has been owned and protected since 2002 by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust. This landmark property is part of the Ossipee Mountain ring dike, a circular formation of volcanic origin nine miles in diameter whose impenetrable terrain has discouraged roads and settlement for hundreds of years and has preserved a true wilderness habitat for a wide range of wildlife and vegetation, including several rare and endangered species. Seven of the Ossipee Mountains’ most prominent peaks are on the Castle property, including two of the most popular hiking destinations in the region — Mount Shaw, the highest at 2,975 feet, with its panoramic view of the White Mountains to the north, and Bald Knob, with its spectacular view of Lake Winnipesaukee to the southwest. The trails, many of which were originally built by Tom Plant as carriage roads, are well maintained, marked and mapped, with options for every hiking ability. Parking for hikers is available off Route 171 by the information kiosk, just east of the castle entrance and Severance Road. A picnic area overlooks Shannon Pond, and nature programs are offered on selected afternoons. The Lakes Region Conservation Trust is committed to making the Castle in the Clouds property a resource for everyone’s education and enjoyment. © Castle in the Clouds

Lakes Region Conservation Trust Properties

These LRCT-protected properties are open to the public daily from dawn until dusk for hiking, cross-country skiing, relaxation, wildlife viewing and certain other recreational uses. Camping, fishing, overnight use and wheeled vehicles are not allowed.

  • Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area, Moultonborough and Tuftonboro (5,200 acres).
  • Red Hill Conservation Area, Moultonborough and Sandwich (2,329 acres).
  • Copple Crown Mountain, Brookfield (732 acres).
  • Knight’s Pond, Alton (332 acres).
  • Stonedam Island on Lake Winnipesaukee, Meredith (112 acres).
  • Sewall Woods Conservation Area, Wolfeboro (75 acres, separate paid admission to groomed cross-country ski trails).
  • Roger W. Harris Natural Area on Lake Wicwas, Meredith (52 acres, access by canoe or kayak only).
  • Oliver Butterworth Natural Area, Sandwich (35 acres, access by canoe or kayak only).
  • Five Mile Island on Lake Winnipesaukee, Meredith (112 acres).

For more information and directions to these areas, please contact LRCT by mail at P.O. Box 766, Center Harbor, NH 03226, visiting the office at156 Dane Road, Center Harbor, NH 03226, phone at 603-253-3301, or email at, and please include your name and address.


Belknap Mountain, Gilford

Elevation 740 feet

This easy and invigorating climb will bring the hiker to a magnificent view of Lake Winnipesaukee from the top of Belknap Mountain. On a clear day, the Ossipee Mountain Range rises from the shores of Winnipesaukee and Mount Washington, often snow-capped, can be spotted in the distance. To reach Belknap Mountain, turn off Route 11A at Gilford and drive south through Gilford Village. Stay on this road past the high school (the road makes a sharp left turn), and you’ll begin your climb up Belknap Mountain Road. Follow the road up until you see signs and a parking area on the left. Follow the well-marked trails, which begin on the right a few yards along a wooded road. This challenging trail rises steadily and takes the hiker past spruce trees. Eventually, you’ll see the summit a short distance beyond.

  • Belknap Carriage Road: To reach this road, which provides access to all the trails on the west side of the Belknap Range, leave Route 11A at Gilford Village and follow Belknap Mountain Road south, bearing left at 0.8 miles and right at 1.4 miles. At 2.4 miles, the Belknap Carriage Road forks left and leads to a parking area. Various relatively easy loop hikes may be made from this trailhead. For the Green, Red and Blue Dot trails, follow the road up to the fire warden’s garage (signs on the wall). The Piper Cutoff is a short distance down the road.
  • Flintlock Trail: To reach this road, which provides access to all the trails on the west side of the Belknap Range, leave Route 11A at Gilford Village and follow Belknap Mountain Road south, bearing left at 0.8 miles and right at 1.4 miles. At 2.4 miles, the Belknap Carriage Road forks left and leads to a parking area. Various relatively easy loop hikes may be made from this trailhead. For the Green, Red and Blue Dot trails, follow the road up to the fire warden’s garage (signs on the wall). The Piper Cutoff is a short distance down the road.
  • Blue Dot Trail: This trail runs from Belknap Carriage Road to the Belknap Gunstock col, from which either peak may be ascended via the Ridge Trail. It follows the road past the Red and Green trails, descends slightly to cross a brook, then diverges right and climbs the Ridge Trail.
  • Green Trail: This trail from the Belknap Carriage Road is the shortest route to Belknap Mountain but is rather rough. It leaves the road behind the garage and crosses a service road and telephone line. There are several alternate paths (including the road) any of which may be followed to the warden’s cabin, where there is a well, and to the tower at the summit.
  • Red Trail: This less steep, more scenic route from Belknap Carriage Road to the summit of Belknap Mountain leaves the road just beyond the Green Trail and climbs past a good outlook (west) to the summit.
  • East Gilford Trail: To reach this trail — perhaps the most attractive on the range — turn right off Route 11A on Bickford Road, 1.7 miles south of the Gunstock Recreation Area road. Turn left onto Wood Road and park near the junction. The trail (sign) follows a cart track at the left of the house at the end of the road, circles around to the right, and bears right at a fork. Halfway up, near a brook on the right, the trail turns sharply left and climbs more steeply to the first outlook over Lake Winnipesaukee. It then continues at a moderate grade, mostly on ledges, and joins the Piper Trail. The two trails coincide for the final 0.2 miles to the Belknap Mountain summit.
  • Piper Trail: A continuation of the Ridge Trail, this white-blazed trail leaves the summit of Belknap Mountain together with the East Gilford Trail, then diverges right and drops to the Belknap Piper col. This part of the trail must be followed with care. At the col at 0.8 miles, the Piper Cutoff comes in right from Belknap Carriage Road. The Piper Cutoff ascends along the ridge of Piper Mountain and ends at a large cairn. The true summit is 0.2 miles south across open blueberry fields.
  • Piper Cutoff: This well-beaten but unsigned trail (yellow-blazed at present) leaves Belknap Carriage Road below the last bridge at a yellow-blazed birch, then climbs to meet the Piper Trail in the Belknap-Piper col. Either peak may be ascended via the Piper Trail.
Mount Major, Alton Bay

Mount Major round-trip time: 2.5 hours; elevation: 1,000 feet

With an easy-to-find trail beginning off Route 11 in Alton Bay, this hike is a bit more challenging than Belknap Mountain and offers equally spectacular views at its summit. Near scenic look-offs of Lake Winnipesaukee on Route 11, about five miles north of Alton Bay, a highway sign marks the parking lot for Mount Major. This is a very popular spot, even on a cloudy day, and you’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the many cars spilling from the parking lot during the summer months. Don’t be deterred by the thought that the trails will be crowded. There is room for all. Beginning at a trail in the parking lot, follow the hiking path until it is joined by a logging road. Next, you’ll see old stone walls and an old cellar hole. Soon, a trail sign on a tree marks the way and the path grows steeper with ledges. You’ll be rewarded as views of Lake Winnipesaukee are spotted. The ledges, in places, will require some scrambling, so be sure to wear good hiking boots. At the top of Mount Major, a four-sided stone shelter cuts an unusual figure against the sky. The views are spectacular and certainly make the challenging hike worth the effort. You’ll see Alton Bay to the south and Wolfeboro to the north. Rattlesnake Island sits proudly in Lake Winnipesaukee. This is the perfect place to be on a hot day. Due to its elevation, there are always refreshing cool breezes.

Stinson Mountain, Rumney

Stinson Mountain round-trip time: 2.5 hours; round-trip distance: 4 miles; elevation: 1,390 feet

Many people are unaware they needn’t travel to the White Mountains for some spectacular hikes. The proof that moderate, enjoyable hikes are closer to the Lakes Region is personified by Stinson Mountain. To reach Stinson, drive west from Plymouth on Route 25 to Rumney. Turn north and drive through the village to Stinson Lake. Bear right near the outlet of the lake and drive uphill. Take a sharp left-hand turn and you’re in the parking lot. An old road is the start of this trail and should be followed for about 0.25 miles where the trail turns left into the woods and borders stone walls and an old cellar hole. If there has been enough rain, a tiny brook near the trail may be water-filled. This trail is winding, and you’ll be rewarded all at once when the trail curves right and suddenly you’re in the clearing with spectacular views of the Baker River Valley and the Franconia and Sandwich ranges.

Mount Cardigan, Alexandria

Mount Cardigan round-trip time: 4 hours; round-trip distance: 4.4 miles; elevation: 3,121 feet

This is an outstanding peak with excellent views. The trails leading from the Cardigan Mountain Lodge (AMC) in Alexandria range from moderate to difficult. The base area has a wonderful picnic spot, a pond, an AMC lodge and camping. Bring a container for wild blueberries in the late spring/summer. Most of the mountain is in a state reservation of more than 5,000 acres and is adjacent to the AMC’s 1,000-acre Cardigan Reservation occupying most of the Shem Valley. To reach the trailhead, follow Route 3A N out of Bristol. Two miles from Bristol, turn left at the blinking light at the foot of Newfound Lake (West Shore Road). Follow West Shore Road a few miles and at the intersection where the “sign tree” is, then go straight. (West Shore Road turns right). Follow this road all the way into Alexandria Village, go through the village and take right onto Cardigan Mountain Road. Cardigan Mountain Road is several miles long and intersects with Shem Valley Road, which will take you to the Cardigan Lodge trailhead.

Rattlesnake Mountain, Rumney

Rattlesnake Mountain round-trip time: 1.5 hours; round-trip distance: 1.6 miles; elevation: 1,594 feet

Want a great view without the all-day hike? Beginning on Buffalo Road in Rumney, this is a moderate trail that offers spectacular views of the Baker River Valley and its surrounding fields and mountains. To get to the trailhead, take Route 25W from the Plymouth traffic circle. At the blinking light, turn right into Rumney Village. In the village, take the first left onto Buffalo Road. 2.5 miles west of the village is a small parking area with a historical marker.

Rattlesnake Mountain, Holderness/Sandwich

Rattlesnake round-trip time: 1.5 hours; round-trip distance: 1.8 miles; elevation: 1,260 feet

If you want the best view of the Squam Lakes, this is your hike. The Old Bridle Path is the easiest route to the rock-covered summit and follows an old cart route. Bring your camera; one look won’t be enough. To get to the trailhead, follow Route 113 N from Little Squam in Holderness Village. The parking area is between Center Sandwich and Holderness just after the Rockywold and Deephaven camps. The trail entrance is across from Mount Morgan Trail. Use the same parking. Look for signs to the Old Bridle Path as there is a privately owned trail nearby.

Sugarloaves, Alexandria

Sugarloaf round-trip time: 3 hours; round-trip distance: 4 miles

With breathtaking views of Newfound Lake, hiking the Sugarloaves is well worth the effort. To reach this hike, take Route 3A from Bristol toward Newfound Lake. Follow the signs to Wellington State Park, located on West Shore Road in Alexandria. Trailhead parking is just past Wellington State Park and is marked “Elwell Trail.” You can also park at Wellington for a small fee. (A word of caution: Wellington, on a typical summer day, is an extremely popular park and beach so come early for good parking.) The Sugarloaves trail begins directly across the road from the park entrance with a sign to the Elwell Trail. The trail is well-marked and you’ll hike uphill through large hemlocks and then to a boulder with a yellow marker directing you to turn. After a short distance, you’ll see a sign at a junction marked Goose Pond. Continue straight on past some boulders. At this point, those pretty views of Newfound Lake begin. After climbing a bit more, you’ve reached Little Sugarloaf with wonderful views of Mount Cardigan, Newfound Lake and Big Sugarloaf. Those who are tired can return on the same route to their car, and the hardier hiker can forge on ahead to Big Sugarloaf, with the promise of better views. To reach Big Sugarloaf, follow the yellow markers at a steep downhill pace, pass under a granite rock shelf and past pines, birch and hemlocks. Soon you’ll be climbing over more boulders and ledges, then right at two yellow markers pointing the way up a narrow tunnel to the top of yet another ledge. After this climb, the trail turns right, then uphill and downhill, and finally reaches the end of the trail.

Red Hill, Center Harbor

Red Hill elevation: 2,029 feet

Take Route 25 to Center Harbor. In the center of town, take Bean Road for about two miles. Turn right onto a marked dirt road and follow it to the base. Great views of Lake Winnipesaukee (2,650 acres). The Red Hill Conservation Area is owned and stewarded by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust. The Red Hill Trail (shown in red) is 1.7 miles long and climbs at a moderate grade. Parking is located on Red Hill Road, which can be reached from Route 25 by turning onto Sawmill Way, then turning onto Red Hill Road. Travel for approx 1.5 miles; parking is on the right. The top of Red Hill offers tremendous views of the Lakes and White Mountain regions. The top of Red Hill features a fire tower that provides an even better vantage point. There are a number of trails that access the summit and beyond that are great hikes.

More Information

Mount Fayal, Route 3/Route 113 in Holderness

Mount Fayal elevation: 1,067 feet

This challenging one-mile hiking trail up Mount Fayal provides great views of Squam Lake and the surrounding mountain ranges. The Forest Trail is 2/3 miles long and takes about an hour. This trail is less challenging. There are several other wooded trails at the Science Center including the Gephart Trail, Ectone Trail (1/3 mile) and Davison Trail. There are great views of Squam Lakes. Trailhead is part of the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center admission.

More Information

Gunstock (Mount Rowe), Gilford

This is a four-season recreation area on Route 11 and is operated by Belknap County. It includes a major downhill ski area located on Mount Rowe and Gunstock Mountain, a 420-site campground and a cross-country skiing area. A map of hiking and mountain biking trails is available at the base lodge.

Try-Me Trail, Gilford

This trail ascends Mount Rowe from the Gunstock parking area. Go right under the single chairlift, ascend the novice slope, pass around a fence and follow a ski trail to the top of the lift just below the summit. The Ridge Trail begins at the summit. In descending, take the ski trail to the left from the lift summit station.

Ridge Trail, Gilford

From the summit of Mount Rowe, this blue-blazed trail follows the ridge south, crossing ledges and blueberry fields through the saddle, ascends to a ski trail and soon joins the Flintlock Trail at 0.7 miles. (Descending, turn left on the ski trail at the Ridge Trail sign, then shortly follow the arrow left into the woods.) The Ridge and Flintlock trails coincide with the summit of Gunstock Mountain along the right edge of the ski trails. From the summit, at 1.6 miles, the Ridge Trail continues south on the right edge of the ski trails, then turns right into the woods (watch carefully for the arrow) and descends to the col, where the Blue Dot Trail enters right at 2.0 miles. It then ascends Belknap Mountain and ends at the Red Trail just before the summit.

Sunapee Ragged Kearsarge Greenway

Imagine a 75-mile loop of connected hiking trails passing over three mountain summits, through mixed forests and fields, and along old class VI roads in the heart of central New Hampshire’s Dartmouth Lake Sunapee Region. That loop was a dream in the mid-1980s, but now it’s a reality. The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway is complete, and you are invited to explore one or all of the 14 trails on foot or snowshoes, depending on the season.

Hikes on the Greenway vary in difficulty, surface and distance. It might take five hours to climb six miles over Ragged Mountain (elevation 2,286 feet) in Andover while the segment from Baptist Pond to Route 114 in Springfield is a pleasant and easy four-mile walk along dirt roads. Hikers will enjoy vistas, find places for perfect picnics along lake shores, discover old stone walls and cellar holes, explore state parks, and experience the transformative effect of time spent surrounded by the natural world.
To plan your time on the Greenway visit the website, There you will find information on membership, maps and guidebooks, as well as current trail information. Local inns offer special New England hospitality and are eager to help you plan a trip,

Squam Rangers

The Squam Rangers is a new program initiated by the Squam Lakes Association to encourage those interested to “Hike the Trails.” For the past 84 years, the SLA has maintained a 50-mile network of hiking trails in the Squam Watershed and is one of the prides of the association. The Squam Ranger program has organized the trails in a Trail Log to promote ease in completing all 50 miles of the 26 trails. By joining the Squam Rangers, you will receive a T-shirt, backpack, and Squam Trail Guide and Trail log; upon completion of all 26 trails, you will receive a baseball cap, certification and Squam Ranger patch.

Register for the Squam Ranger Program online or download the registration form.

Whitten Woods

Whitten Woods (414 acres) is owned by the New England Forestry Foundation. The Squam Lakes Conservation Society holds the conservation easement, and the SLA manages the trail network. To get here from the SLA, drive northwest on Route 3 (3.6 miles) heading into Ashland. Turn right onto Owl Brook Road (0.3 miles), turn left into Highland Street (0.8 miles). Parking will be on the right. This property ranges in elevation from 700 feet at the road to 1,170 feet and contains 2.2 miles of trail. There are two small peaks that feature nice views across the length of both Little Squam and Big Squam Lakes and the Pemigewasset River Valley. There is no motorized recreation allowed on this property.

Chamberlain, Reynolds Memorial Forest

Reynolds Memorial Forest (157 acres) is owned by New England Forestry Foundation and managed for public use by SLA. It is located on College Road, between Route 25B and Route 3 in Center Harbor. From the SLA Resource Center, drive south on Route 3 for 2.2 miles and turn left onto College Road. There are two parking areas on the left at 0.3 (West Lot) and 0.4 miles (East Lot) from the Route 3 intersection. There are more than four miles of trails that meander through this managed forest and along a mile of shoreline where you will find several beaches, an elevated swamp boardwalk, and campsites for rent that are owned by the SLA.

Belknap Woods

Belknap Woods (90 acres) is owned and managed by SLA and is located in Center Harbor. From the SLA head Southeast on Route 3 for 2.8 miles, turn left on 25B, travel for just under a mile and parking is on the right. There is additional parking and lake access on the left side of the road as well. There is parking for two cars along the road at each site. The trail features two loops of one mile each. Beaver Pond Loop travels around a beaver pond where wildlife is abundant. The Outer Loop climbs over hills and valleys for a pleasant forest walk. The Pond Trail and Ski Trail offer gradual terrain for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in winter and mountain biking and hiking in warmer months.

Wentworth Trail

The Wentworth Trail climbs Mount Israel (elevation 2,620 feet) from the Mead Conservation Center in Sandwich. Parking can be reached by traveling on Route 113 into Sandwich and turning northeast onto Dinsmore Pond Road, then a left onto Diamond Ledge Road. Stay at the beginning of Sandwich Notch Road to the right to stay on Diamond Ledge Road and park in the dirt lot in front of Mead Base.

The trail is 2.1 miles to the summit of Mount Israel and takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. At 1.4 miles, there is a nice view of Squam Lake off to the left. At 1.8 miles, you will reach West Peak with views to the North.

Biking & Walking Trails
Before You Begin

Welcome to the New Hampshire Lakes Region, offering the beauty of nature at every turn. Please be sure to dress properly, bring provisions and do not leave litter on the trails or parking areas. Visit NEMBA for a complete list of trails, maps, directions, additional information, terrain and the distance of the trails throughout New Hampshire.

Learn More

Franklin falls dam, Franklin

Federal Dam Access Road
Franklin, NH 03235

Easy: 50%; moderate: 40%; difficult:10%

The Franklin Falls Dam federal flood control lands are located on both sides of the Pemigewasset River between Bristol and Franklin. The property consists of more than 2,500 wooded acres and spans five towns. It is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The mountain bike trail system is centered near the Franklin Falls Dam administrative offices on Rout 127, three miles south of I-93 off Exit 22. The system currently consists of approximately 10 miles of multi-use trail, built by mountain bikers for mountain bikers.

Much of the terrain is very “un-New England-like” with very few rocks. As a result, Franklin Falls is known for its flowing, buff single track. It is a great venue for group rides with mixed skill levels. Experts can enjoy high-speed tree-slaloming, while novices can enjoy the trails at a more relaxed pace without getting in over their heads in difficulty level. Even your roadie friends can have fun here. Some of the fastest flow can be found on trails that include Moose Gully, Pine Snake, Bee, Lost Wall Rusty Bucket and Stump. Trails on the slightly tighter side include Rogue, Caddywhompus and Cellar Hole. The newest trail, Sniper is a nice combination of flow and undulating terrain. For advanced riders looking for a more technical challenge, Salmon Brook Trail offers steeper pitches, tight switchbacks, narrow benches, bridges and rock gardens. It rides best when entering at its intersection with the Rusty Bucket Trail.

The signature trail at Franklin Falls is Mighty Chicken. It is sure to put a smile on your face. Mighty Chicken is a gravity trail, built in a natural half-pipe created by the walls of Chicken Ravine. The trail surfs up and down the ravine walls, then finishes out over a series of drops and berms. It continues to be tuned to increase the yeehaw index.

The trail system is open year-round and is a great choice for early-spring riding when other trail systems are closed for mud season. Sandy sub-soil keeps the area extremely well drained so mud is virtually nonexistent.


19 Prince Haven Road
Plymouth, NH 03264

Welcome to Plymouth — the gateway to outdoor recreation in the western White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Lakes Region. You are a short trip away from world-class hiking, skiing, biking, climbing and water sports.

Pemi Valley NEMBA has partnered with the town of Plymouth, the Holderness Conservation Commission and the Oxbow Initiative to create great mountain biking opportunities within riding distance of downtown. For a more detailed map, go to the Fox Park and Gyroscope Trail links on the Pemi Valley NEMBA Page.

  • Fox Park: Fox Park’s singletrack trails are designed with intermediate riders in mind. These trails feature a great mix of flow and technical riding. You will encounter roots, rocks and steep terrain on these trails. For walkers, the doubletrack trails are most suitable. For parking, the town of Plymouth has a large parking lot on Prince Haven Drive, off Langdon Street. There is an informational kiosk and port-a-potty.
  • Gyroscope Trails: The Pemigewasset Riverside Park, on the Holderness side of the river, has long been known to mountain bikers as the “Gyroscope Trails,” or “Gyro”. The trail network is unique in New Hampshire for its absence of rocks, making it a true beginner network. The winding and twisted single track is a great place to develop your turning skills. The jump area contains advanced and expert features. Please use caution. Park at Fox Park or the Plymouth Pump Track and ride across the river to get to Gyro. Railroad Square and Green Street provide a safe, low-traffic around Main Street, for bikers to get from the Pump Track to the bridge.
  • Pump Track: The pump track is a great place for beginners to develop their skills. There is a starting ramp and a figure-eight track of rollers and berms that winds its way through the old concrete supports, which also serve as a public graffiti canvas.

The WOW Trail is a paved, 10-foot-wide, multi-use pathway that parallels the existing RR corridor within the city of Laconia. Now 2.5 miles long, the trail travels from Elm Street in Lakeport to the Belmont Town Line. The trail connects to the new 1.7-mile Winnisquam Scenic Trail that leads to the Agway store on Route 3 near the Mosquito Bridge, giving users a 4.25-mile span to use. A portion of the WOW Trail veers out of the RR corridor, from Bisson Avenue to Lyford Street, to avoid the RR trestle over the Winnipesaukee River. Users will note a widened sidewalk with a dashed line down the middle in this section.

Well-loved and well-used by walkers, runners and bikers, the WOW Trail has become a unifying landmark and point of pride for the City of Laconia. The WOW Trail now sets its sights on bringing the trail to the Weirs Beach area and on to Meredith.


Albee Beach lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from mid-June through the end of August. This secluded and quiet beach offers swimming and picnicking on beautiful Lake Wentworth. Enjoy two charcoal grills during the summer months (first come, first served), relax at one of our many picnic tables or combine a trip to the beach with a bike ride on the Cotton Valley Trail. A favorite afternoon for many locals is to park at Albee Beach and ride bikes on the Cotton Valley Trail to downtown Wolfeboro for lunch or ice cream.

  • Bean Park: This “pocket park” in downtown Wolfeboro is a great place to stop and have a picnic, eat some ice cream, take a rest on your bike ride along the Bridge Falls Path, or just sit and enjoy the views of Back Bay.
  • Bridge Falls Path: Come enjoy this half-mile multi-use trail that connects to a regional network of multi-use trails. The Bridge Falls path provides a scenic walk, run or bike along the shores of Back Bay in between the Railroad Depot downtown to Wolfeboro Falls. After crossing Route 28, it becomes the Cotton Valley Trail and continues on towards Albee Beach, Wakefield and beyond. Popular access points are at the Wolfeboro Railroad Depot, Albee Beach and Fernald Crossing.
  • Cotton Valley Trail: The Cotton Valley Trail connects with the Bridge Falls Path to provide multi-use rail trail access through Wolfeboro, along the shores of Crescent Lake and Lake Wentworth, and onward to Wakefield and beyond. Access points at Albee Beach, Mast Landing, Fernald Crossing and from the Bridge Falls Path.
  • Elie’s Woodland Walk: Located at Ryefield Marsh, Route 109 near Lake Wentworth. Self-guided nature trail co-managed by the Conservation Commission and Parks and Recreation. This is a beautiful marsh that feeds into the north end of Lake Wentworth and is a great wildlife viewing area with herons, beaver activity, deer, moose and more. Located on Route 109 on the north end of Lake Wentworth.
  • Front Bay Conservation Area: A wooded parcel of land on Bay Street along the shores of what is now known as “Back Bay,” this area offers secluded paths, birding, wildlife viewing and picnicking. With a new trail system built in 2012, along with a picnic pavilion and a kayak/canoe landing, this is a great place to enjoy a quiet walk in one of Wolfeboro’s secret gems along the water. Park at the parking area and walk 5 to 10 minutes down to the water’s edge.
  • Northern Rail Trail: The Northern Recreational Rail Trail, also known as the Northern Rail Trail, is a 58-mile (93-kilometer) multi-use trail in western New Hampshire running from Lebanon to Boscawen. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash. The Northern Rail Trail follows the route of the Boston & Maine Railroad as it winds its way along the Mascoma River. The Northern Rail-Trail is one of the most family-friendly trails in New Hampshire. The trail starts in Lebanon and is a pleasant jaunt to Danbury. While many rail trails follow rivers along their course, the Northern gives riders a chance to get up close and personal with the Mascoma River as the trail crosses the river seven times within the first four miles. The trail starts at the Witherell Recreation Center in Lebanon and is obviously a family favorite. Tagalongs, tandems, trailers and training wheels dominate the first couple miles of the trail as children and their parents enjoy this beautiful stretch of the trail that takes full advantage of old railroad bridges to cross the river about every half mile or so. Gradually, the trail population begins to thin out. Trail end points: Spencer Street (Lebanon) and River Road near Hannah Dustin Park & Ride (Boscawen).

In Grafton County, parking is available at the following places:

  • To reach the Lebanon trailhead near the Lebanon College campus, take I-89 to Exit 18 and head south on SR-120 toward Lebanon. The trailhead is at the intersection of Taylor and Spencer streets. If the trailhead parking lot is full, street parking is available.
  • To reach the Grafton trailhead, take SR-4 east into town. Trail access lies opposite the general store. Park in the dirt pullout on the trail side of the highway.
  • Additional trailhead parking is available along Main Street off SR-4 in Enfield and at the end of Depot Street off Route 4 in Canaan.

In Merrimack County, parking is available at the following places:

  • At the southern end of the trail, opposite the State Nursery on Route 3 in Boscawen.
  • In the public lot across the street from the Congregational Christian Church (25 South Main Street) in West Franklin. Access from the lot is by crossing Route 3 and going to the west end of the parking lot behind the church and walking your bike up the short steep hill to the trail. Alternatively, you can drive just a bit farther south on Route 3 to a right turn on Depot Street; drive a short distance and take a swinging left after a few yards, then turn right through an underpass and then left on Wells Street, where you will see an entrance to the trail immediately on your left.
  • In the public lot at Webster Lake in Franklin at the intersection of Route 11 and Webster Avenue. Access is across Route 11 at Chance Pond Road.
  • At the Highland Lake Inn parking lot (32 Maple Street) in East Andover. Access is down Maple Street about 150 feet to the trail.
  • At Blackwater Park at the intersection of Lawrence Street and Park Street. Access is at the park.
  • At the restored railroad station at Potter Place in Andover. Access is at the station or at the northwest edge of the large parking lot north of the station.
  • In the center of Danbury at the intersection of routes 4 and 104. Access and parking are on the west side of Route 4 alongside the trail and just north of the intersection of routes 4 and 104.
  • At the Hannah Dustin Park & Ride on Route 4, which is about a mile west of I93 at Exit 17. Access is down the ramp marked with the Hannah Dustin sign; turn right at the bottom, cross the RR tracks and turn right again. You are now on River Road. Go about a half mile north on River Road, and on your right will be the start of the trail.
I-89 BIKE PATH, Concord

This ride’s general location is southwest of Concord. The bike trail is 2.4 miles long and easy for riders of all ages. The scenery includes mixed fields and woods. This is a good family ride; do not miss the New Hampshire Audubon Center. A short paved bike path in the suburbs? Yes, and the path has some great things going for it. It’s just outside the city of Concord so it’s convenient. It’s beyond the developed areas, and the meadows and woods along the trail are quite pretty. The ride includes a separate bridge over Turkey Pond with a great view. The Audubon Center sits a few hundred feet away from the trailhead and has educational exhibits, a simulated ecosystem and a gift shop. Two hiking trails take you out to prime birdwatching locations around Turkey Pond. Kids will love this ride.

Winter Hikes
West Rattlesnake Mountain

Short and easy hike. Follow yellow-blazed Old Bridle Path for 0.9 miles to its end at a rocky outcrop with spectacular views. Trailhead access and parking off Route 113 Holderness, approximately 5 miles from downtown Holderness. This winter hike is best with traction gear, like microspikes or snowshoes. Cross-country skiing is not recommended.

Whitten Woods

Short and easy trails. Recently conserved 453-acre Whitten Woods property. Trailhead access and parking off Highland Street in Ashland. Trails offer views of the Squam watershed from two different peaks, each within about a mile of the parking area. This area is best for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Chamberlin Reynolds Memorial Forest

Short and easy trail network. 157-acre forest with a mile of waterfront. Several beaches, a swamp boardwalk and more than four miles of hiking trails. Trailhead access and parking off College Road in Center Harbor, between routes 25B and 3. This area is best for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Belknap Woods

Short and easy trail network. A 90-acre forest in Center Harbor was donated to SLA in 1986. Trailhead access and parking are located at the mouth of Dog Cove and along Route 25B. Keep your eyes open for birds and wildlife. This network of trails is best for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Center Harbor Woods

224 scenic acres, equidistant from Winnipesaukee and Squam Lakes, encompassing forests and wetlands. The network of trails is available for four-season use.

Sewall Woods Conservation Area, Wolfeboro

For many years, cultivated by local farmers, this land is now conserved in perpetuity and provides scenic forest and wildlife habitat, year-round trails and recreational opportunities, and a quiet place for nature observation, all within a short walk of downtown Wolfeboro. Located on Sewall Road next to the Wolfeboro Inn.

Trails of Red Hill Conservation Area Moultonborough & Sandwich

These trails are maintained by volunteers and are generally in good condition.

Red Hill (Fire Tower) Trail
Grade: moderate; distance: 1.75 miles

The main trail to the summit fire tower. The trailhead on Red Hill Road. Great views of Winnipesaukee, Squam, the Ossipees, the Squam and Sandwich ranges, and more.

Cabin Trail
Grade: moderate; distance: 1.3 miles

The trail branches off Red Hill Trail at the Horne cellar hole, about a half-mile from the trailhead; instead of going left on the Red Hill Trail, go straight ahead; after 0.2 miles at a junction with a snowmobile trail, go left; in another 0.5 miles, the trail reaches a nicely built, fairly well-preserved hunter’s cabin.

Eagle Cliff Trail
Grade: easy to moderate (except at the cliff where it is steep); distance: 2.6 miles

The trail provides a route to Red Hill fire tower via Eagle Cliff, providing views of Squam Lake and the Squam Range from Eagle Cliff along the way, and excellent views at the summit.

Teedie Trail
Grade: easy; distance: 0.6 miles

This short trail from the Eagle Cliff Trail to Bean Road/Squam Lake Road can be used to avoid a potentially dangerous descent of the cliff in wet weather when coming down the Eagle Cliff Trail. It can also be used to make a loop with the westernmost part of the Eagle Cliff Trail and Bean Road/Squam Lake Road.

Sheridan Woods Trail
Grade: moderate (though most elevation is gained fairly early on); distance: 2.5 miles

The trail runs from the trailhead on Sheridan Road to high ground on southeastern Red Hill, with views of Sandwich Dome and Mount Israel at the highest point.

Scenic Trail
Grade: moderate to steep; distance: 0.5 miles

This trail branches off the Sheridan Woods Trail about 0.5 mi above the trailhead and rejoins the trail in about 0.5 miles, providing an alternate route for part of the climb. Excellent views from two outlooks: across Garland Pond to the Ossipee Range and the Sandwich Range.

Scenic Drives
Lakes Region Tour

Distance: 97 miles
Highlights: views of lakes, mountains and villages; the region’s largest city and year-round recreation

Alton to Gilford:
As the largest and most popular lake in New Hampshire, Lake Winnipesaukee is certainly one of the most scenic. Beginning in Alton, at the southern gateway to the Lakes Region, the route follows Route 11 north through Alton Bay up through Gilford. The Alton area became one of the earliest tourist destinations around the lake with the arrival of rail in the later half of the 19th century. This western side of the lake shows off exceptional views of the lake and Ossipee Range and offers many different recreational opportunities. Take a hike up to the summit of Mount Major for wonderful sights of the lake and surrounding mountain ranges or stop in at Ellacoya State Park for a picnic or a swim.

Laconia to Meredith:
Weirs Beach, with its amusement parks, arcades and shopping, is one of the most popular family resort areas in the state. This area of the Lakes Region Tour is always bustling with activity. A few miles to the north, view scenic gateways to Meredith‘s traditional New England village with a panorama of Lake Winnipesaukee and the White Mountains. Meredith is also a visitor hub and a crossroads for the byway. Continue north toward Holderness for beautiful views of Squam Lake and the Rattlesnake Range, or head east and continue the other half of the tour around Lake Winnipesaukee.

Center Harbor to Moultonborough:
Following the route clockwise, take Route 25 through Meredith and Center Harbor toward Moultonborough. Or, for a less-traveled route, take Route 25B from Meredith east to Center Harbor. This route winds through the hills north of Winnipesaukee and is a less traveled alternative to Route 25. Downtown Center Harbor, near the convergence of routes 25 and 25B, is a quaint town on the north edge of Winnipesaukee. This area has retained much of its charm and offers great views to the south. The eastern side of Winnipesaukee is not as developed as the western side, and as you continue through Moultonborough and onto the Lakes Region offers something for everyone, including boating, hiking, fishing, shopping and much more. The Lakes Tour circles New Hampshire’s largest lake, Lake Winnipesaukee, and offers tremendous views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. In Tuftonboro, the landscape becomes more rural.

Tuftonboro to Wolfeboro:
Heading back around toward, Alton you will pass the site of the Wentworth Estate and the Libby Museum. John Wentworth, the last royal governor of New Hampshire, envisioned four key routes necessary for the economic development of his province. One of these was to run from his summer estate in Wolfeboro to the new Dartmouth College in Hanover. Wentworth saw an east-west road as a necessity to prevent the loss of revenue from goods produced in New Hampshire’s Coos Region (in the north), which traveled south to Connecticut (by river) given the absence of roads. The eastern leg, from Wolfeboro to the Pemigewasset River in Holderness, was cut out for horse travel from 1771 to 1773. This ancient route coincides closely with sections of the Lakes Region Tour. In fact, portions of it now in use in Wolfeboro, Center Harbor and Holderness are still named “College Road.”

Lake Sunapee Tour

Distance: 25 Miles
Highlights: state beach, wildlife refuge, scenic shoreline, boat tours and year-round recreation

Early European settlers were drawn to the Sunapee area’s rich natural resources as were Native Americans, and tourism has been an important part of life in this area for the trains at Newbury Harbor to deliver passengers and freight all around the nine-mile-long lake. Today, the scene has changed, and where once there were grand hotels and boarding houses, now are year round homes and summer cottages.

Newbury has long been a popular summer vacation spot, and the population triples in the summer. Along this route, stop in at the new Bell Cove Caboose, a caboose renovated as a small interpretive center along the byway. Along Route 103, you might also want to stop off at Sunapee State Beach or at Mount Sunapee Resort, a popular ski and winter sports area. From the top of Mount Sunapee, you can look westward into Vermont or look north toward the fabled Franconia Range, and on a clear day, view Mount Washington in the Presidential Range. The Fells Historic Site at the John Hay National Wildlife Refuge is part of 876 protected acres of a forest country estate. This site along Route 103A includes perennial and woodland gardens, hiking trails and abundant wildlife. This 25-mile route borders Lake Sunapee and is a slower paced and beautiful alternative to I-89. Visitors and residents alike know that Lake Sunapee is a destination in itself. Year-round recreational opportunities abound, including boating, biking, swimming, snowmobiling, downhill and cross-country skiing, ice-boating and maple sugaring. Local residents take pride in Lake Sunapee for its exceptional water quality and beauty. Protection efforts have enabled Lake Sunapee to consistently be named one of the cleanest lakes in the state.

Sunapee Harbor, along Route 11, is the heart of the Sunapee region and is a great place to stop and take in the area’s heritage, culture and natural beauty. Go for a walk on the “greenway” or take one of the guided boat tours offered on Lake Sunapee. Also visit the Sunapee Scenic Byway Information Booth on Route 11 for information about other activities in the area.

Special Considerations:
Newbury’s Bell Cove Caboose Information Center and the Sunapee Scenic Byway Information Booth are open seasonally from Memorial Day thru Columbus Day.

River Heritage Tour

Distance: 120 miles
Highlights: superb views, river recreation, agricultural heritage, period architecture and natural wonders

The 120-mile loop begins at Route 3 in North Woodstock. Traveling south along routes 3 and 175, you’ll come to the road to Waterville Valley, a popular winter and summer resort. This southern area of the White Mountain National Forest also offers many hiking and recreational opportunities. Continuing south into Plymouth, you’ll cross the Pemigewasset River and head into the downtown area. Here you’ll find Plymouth State College, a state institution with about 4000 students.

Traveling on Route 25, you’ll pass through country areas and small rural towns. By Warren, you’ll enjoy commanding views of Mount Moosilauke. As you head toward the Connecticut River along Route 25C toward Route 10, you’ll pass through the small town of Piermont and head into Haverhill. The town of Haverhill contains seven uniquely different villages and offers excellent examples of Federal-era buildings.

Woodsville to Kinsman Notch/Woodstock:
As you head to the Connecticut River, you’ll notice the increasingly important role agriculture plays in the area. There are three covered bridges in this section that are among the oldest and longest in New Hampshire; Woodsville (Route 135), Bath (routes 10/135) and Swiftwater (Route 112). Heading north to Woodsville, you can either drive along Route 302/Route 10 through scenic This route provides views of mountain scenery, working farms and the beautiful Connecticut River Valley. Along the way, you’ll pass quintessential New England towns and resorts, as well as forests where you can take advantage of many recreational opportunities. views of nearby mountain ranges and the historic tourist towns of Bath, Lisbon and Franconia, or take a more direct route back on Route 112 to North Woodstock. Along this section of Route 112, the traveler will enjoy views of Kinsman Notch and Mount Moosilauke. The views along this roadway rival those found along the Kancamagus Highway.

Currier & Ives Tour

Distance: 30 miles
Highlights: Native American heritage

The Currier & Ives Trail takes the traveler on a tour of quintessential New England. Along this route, you’ll take in much of the rural and small-town charm that New Hampshire has to offer. The historic center of Hopkinton, with its two covered bridges and agricultural and cultural assets, makes it both a wonderful place to live and visit. Hopkinton is home to the Hopkinton State Fair each September. Colonial homes line Main Street, and its Town hall once served as the state capital. The Contoocook River runs through the heart of the town’s business center and offers many recreational opportunities.

As the arts and cultural center of the area and home to New England College, Henniker retains a rural, small college-town look. In Warner, you can visit Rollins State Park, and take a hike up to the summit of Mount Kearsarge. Another nearby attraction includes the Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum Educational and Cultural Center, which highlights American Indian traditions, philosophy, and art. In the small, rural town of Webster, you’ll pass by many old farms and fields, and can visit the Blackwater Dam and River, a popular white water kayaking area.

Special Considerations:
Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum is open daily from May through October; on weekends in November and December.

Canterbury Shaker Tour

Distance: 12 miles
Highlights: historic Shaker Village, rural farmland, forests, wetlands and a Colonial village green

Take a look back into the ways of a traditional Shaker society in this well-preserved village. Shakers embraced a life of celibacy, hard work and confession as the means to redemption, and the “Shaking Quakers” unique style of worship and communal lifestyle set them apart from the traditional society of the time. Their extraordinary craftsmanship and ingenuity remain as legacies to this day.

Canterbury Shaker Village:
Canterbury Shaker Village, A National Historic Landmark, is located only 20 minutes from Concord, New Hampshire’s state capital. Between 1780 and 1990, more than 2,300 Shaker men, women and children lived and worked here. In the 1850s, at the height of the Shaker movement when there were 19 American Shaker communities, the Canterbury Shakers owned 4,000 acres, including more than 100 buildings. Thanks to the foresight of Elress Bertha Linday (who died in 1990), the site has been incorporated as a nonprofit museum and educational institution.

Today, the 694-acre Canterbury Shaker Village offers 75-minute tours that provide visitors with a glimpse into the lives, times and values of the Shakers. You can visit 25 original Shaker buildings spanning 200 years of their history, or stop in the museum shop where traditional Shaker crafts are offered for sale. Also, take a walk on the nature trails through the woodlands to ponds, mills and dams, or investigate the Physician’s Botanical Garden. Sugar maples planted by the Shakers along Meetinghouse Lane inside the Village and along the perimeter of Shaker Road offer spectacular color for foliage season. Other highlights along this short route include views of conservation areas, open marshes and access to Hutchins Forest (maintained by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests).

Local cultural features along the byway:
Stonewalls, cemeteries, pre-Revolutionary homes and other attractions. Canterbury’s village center, while not part of the Shaker community, has striking visual simplicity with its 1736 Town Hall, Canterbury United Community Church, the country store, gazebo and public library.

Special considerations:
Canterbury Shaker Village is open seasonally from May through November. Check their website for specific times and rates, or call 603-783-9511 for more information.

Lakes and Quaint Village Tour

The Lakes Region, in addition to the lakes it’s known for, the quaint New England towns and villages, many dating back over 200 years. This tour will take you through a few of them.

Start in Milton, originally part of Rochester and settled in 1760. Milton is full of history — their Public Library is housed in a building that was constructed in 1875 as a school house, and continued in that role until 1991. The architecture of the school house is known for its French second empire style with dormer windows upstairs and a mansard-style roof.

As you continue through the quaint village, head north on 153 to bring you to the historic Wakefield, home to several 18th- and 19th-century buildings. The Little Red Schoolhouse was built in Wakefield corner in 1858 at the cost of $1,000.00. This schoolhouse closed in 1943 but is now the home of the Historical Society that still meets in this building today. Also, there are plenty of lakes in the area such as Lovell Lake, a popular recreation area for boating, swimming, waterskiing or basking in the scenic beauty.

Continuing north on Route 153, you will drive through forests and lakes, tucked into the hills hugging Maine’s border. You will continue along the banks of the Ossipee River, where you may be able to see a glimpse of a blue heron, beaver, mink, river otters and much more. During the winter, this area brings skiing and the beauty of snow-laden trees. In the winter, stop at King Pine at Purity Spring Resort for some downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding or tubing. Or any time of the year, you can for a hike in the White Mountains.

This scenic drive will come to an end in Conway, a great place to visit, with historic buildings, cozy inns and shopping in both local and outlet stores. Take a left on Route 16, and take in the incredible sights of Mount Chocorua and Mount Washington. Continue driving to the Kancamagus Highway (Route 112), which is a 34.5-mile scenic drive, known for being one of New Hampshire’s best fall foliage scenic drives. The Kancamagus Scenic highway takes you through a path cut through the White Mountain National Forest with breathtaking views of the White Mountains.

New Hampshire is a four-season vacation wonderland with many activities to choose from including some of the finest skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, golfing, fishing, canoeing, camping, family attractions, scenic tours, shopping and leaf peeping in the entire country.

For All Tours:

Special thanks to the NH Office of State Planning, Scenic and Cultural Byways Program, 2 1/2 Beacon Street, Concord, NH 03301,
603-271-2155, visit website

Regional contact: Lakes Region Tourism Association (LRTA)

Historic Walks: Belmont, Laconia, Plymouth
Belmont Village Tour

All links in this section will take you off our site and to the Belmont Historical Society’s website.

  • Town Hall: Constructed about 1895 by Edwin H. Bryant, the building was used for stores on the ground floor and as a hall or opera house on the second floor. Past site Present site
  • Library: Constructed in 1927 as a gift to the town by George and Walter Duffy, principal owners of the Belmont Hosiery Co., the library was officially dedicated on February 8, 1928. Past site | Present site
  • A Watering Trough: Originally located near the corner of Mill and Main streets near the old “Hose House,” it was relocated further up Main Street when the library was constructed and moved to the present site to the right of the library in 1988. Past site | Present site
  • The Bandstand: Constructed in 1908 from funds gathered by subscription, it originally stood closer to the library. Past site | Present site
  • The Mill: Originally constructed as a cotton mill in 1833, it was the town’s primary economic entity for a century and a half. It was originally a cotton and woolen weaving mill then converted to knitting in the 1860s. In 1998, when the structure was on the verge of being torn down, it was saved by funds through a Community Development Block Grant and citizen volunteer efforts. Past site | Present site
  • Mill Houses: Constructed by the Mill Company when owned by Amos A. Lawrence, these rows of houses were for the use of the millworkers to rent as housing. Past site | Present site
  • South Road School: Originally a country schoolhouse located to the west of the South Road Cemetery, the school was moved to its present location in 1888 due to the consolidation of outlying schools with the village schools. It was later used for Catholic church Services and eventually converted to a dwelling. Present site
  • The Badger House: Probably constructed as part of the Joseph Badger Jr. homestead on Gilmanton Road, it is said to have moved aside when Gov. William Badger built the main house in 1818. It was placed on this site in 1846 and later converted to a two-family dwelling. Past site | School Street site | Present site
  • The Gale School: Built in 1894 with funds donated by Napoleon B. Gale, it served as the village school until the 1950s when the Memorial School was built and then used for educational support services until the mid-1980s. Past site | Present site
  • Dearborn Homestead: This home dates from the 1800s, owned in 1835 by the first known doctor in the Upper Parish of Gilmanton (now Belmont). Dr. Joseph and Sally Gould moved here in 1830 and left the area by 1850. The property was later owned by Brock and Etta Belle Dearborn. Etta became a librarian and held the position for 20 years. In 1951, Harold and Isabella Reed purchased the property. Harold was the Road Agent for 26 years, from 1957 to 1983. Past site | Present site
  • Advent Christian Church: Organized in 1899, constructed in 1900, and dedicated within the same year. Prior to the construction, members met in Hall’s store for a short period of time. In 1904, Rev. David Jack was called to the church, and on May 20, 1951, the name of the church was changed to Belmont Full Gospel Assembly. Today, this building is owned by the town of Belmont and is called the Corner Meeting House. Currently, it’s used for town purposes and community organizations as a meeting spot. Past site | Present site
  • Fuller House: One of the earlier dwellings in the village probably dating from the 1830s. Present site
  • The Hose House: Moved from the present location of the library in 1927. The ground floor housed the “hose house,” a hand pump that was dragged by firemen to a fire. The upper floor housed a combination of library and selectmen’s office. The building was eventually torn down in 2002 and is now a municipal parking lot. Past site | Fuller Street location | Present site
  • The Canal: Very likely the remains of the canal that supplied water power to the cotton mill. The present village store was located by a small pond that held back the water of the brook, as well as water directed from the mill dam. The water flowed across the street to the mill, where it powered a large overshot wheel located on the river bank. Present site
  • Typical Original Village Houses: Of the 1830s. Past site | Present site
  • St. Joseph’s Church: This site has had many uses over the years. The first village store was constructed near the corner in the 1820s. The site was later occupied by a building constructed in 1874 that housed a store and post office on the ground floor, apartments on the second floor, and a hall on the top floor. Near where the present church stands, the church usually referred to as the South Church was built in 1840 and later replaced by a newer structure in 1868 after the original burned. The first St. Joseph’s Church was constructed in 1907. Past site | Present site
  • Veterans Monument: A monument honoring Belmont War veterans was presented to the town by Moses Sargent in 1919. The site was earlier occupied by a platform used as a bandstand. Past site | Present site
  • The Site of the Joseph Fellows House: First occupied here in the 1790s. Joseph Fellows was considered to be the founder of Belmont Village and is said to have constructed a simple dwelling on the site. In 1859, the present structure was constructed by Ira Mooney for use as the village hotel. Directly to the right was located the second village store and post office. The upper floor contained a hall at which the first Belmont (Upper Gilmanton) town meeting was held. this structure burned in the 1890s. Past site | Present site
  • Fellows Dam: The first dam constructed on this site in the 1790s was used for the village grist mill that was owned and operated by Joseph Fellows. In 1825, William Badger acquired the site and continued to operate the grist mill for the village and surrounding areas. During the 1830s, when the village sawmill was removed to make way for the dam of the cotton mill, a sawmill was constructed on the west bank of the river opposite the grist mill. Past site | Present site
  • Baptist Church: Organized in 1810 and first known as “The Third Monthly Meeting.” A meeting house was erected in 1811, possibly of brick, but was removed in 1852 when the structure above was built. In 1860, the parsonage was constructed and by 1889, the church had been raised to accommodate a vestry and the installation of new memorial windows. The postcard shows the Baptist Church stables to the left of the building. By 1907, the Baptist Church added the organ loft, and in 1917, a pipe organ was installed as a gift from Moses Sargent John M. Sargent, the son of the donor organ donated the chimes in 1946. The first minister was Elder Peter Clark from 1810 to 1841. Since then, the church has had approximately 25 pastors, the longest being a tenure of 42 years, Reverend Frederick W. Fitzpatrick. This building burned on December 19, 1975, and was rebuilt in 1976. Past site | Present site
  • Joseph Fellows & 21a.Thomas Fellows Houses: The first house over the bridge was probably constructed by Joseph Fellows Sr. as it is listed in the inventory of his estate. It was passed on to his son Joseph Jr., who occupied the site until it was sold to Gilmanton Village Manufacturing Co. prior to the construction of the cotton mill in 1833. The second two-story house was constructed by Thomas Fellows around 1824 and sold in 1832 to Samuel Cate, who operated the village tavern here in the 1830s. Following Cate’s death, it was operated by his widow and later her second husband, John S. Hill. Joseph Fellows: Present site Thomas Fellows: Past site | Present site
  • Village Blacksmith Shop: In 1819, Joseph Fellows Jr. deeded this site to William Moody, who built a blacksmith shop equipped with a trip hammer that was used to flatten iron. Past site | Present site
  • Historic Mill Pond Site: Joseph Fellows built his sawmill here in the 1790s, and later, Gilmanton Village Manufacturing Co. built the mill pond so the water could be directed through a canal across Main Street. During the 1890s, the dam was removed and a penstock was constructed from the Fellows Dam to the mill. The remains of the steel penstock that replaced the original wooden one are still visible. Past site | Present site

Information submitted by the Belmont Historical Society. View website

Laconia River Walk

Between 1825 and 1925, the Merrimack River watershed in New Hampshire and Massachusetts was one of the nation’s most productive industrial centers. The largest source of water was Lake Winnipesaukee, which occupies 72 square miles. The lake’s outlet, the Winnipesaukee River, dropped nearly 200 feet before it joined the Pemigewasset River 20 miles south at Franklin to form the Merrimack. Four industrial towns — LaconiaTiltonNorthfield and Franklin — developed along the banks of the Winnipesaukee. Laconia is the largest with a land area of 20 square miles. This riverwalk is designed to introduce some of the changes that Laconia experienced. We hope you enjoy the riverwalk on foot, in a car, on a bike, or via canoe or kayak. The riverwalk is a moderate 1.03-mile stretch that can be started at any site. A shorter route is a 0.3-mile walk.

  • Avery Dam: Near the pedestrian bridge. In about 1791, Daniel Avery built a wooden dam to control the water to power local mills. In 1949, it was replaced by a concrete structure. In 1976, the State Water Resources Board and Allen-Rogers Corporation funded six electronically controlled gates. Today, Algonquin Power Systems, Inc., manages the operation. On the other side of the river are the areas of the original Franco-American neighborhoods, at Avery Hill, east of Union Avenue; in the Winter Street area; and in Lakeport. For years, many people walked down the hill to work in the mills.
  • Busiel Mill: One Mill Plaza. Built in 1853, with later additions, this mill became Laconia’s largest hosiery company for a time. Mill owner John W. Busiel helped introduce “Shaker knit” socks here. After the knitting industry declined, clocks, electronic relays and organs were made here. In 1971, One Mill Plaza, Inc., bought the building and converted it for office use. The adaptation won an award from the American Institute of Architects. According to historian Bryant Tolles, this mill is “one of the most striking and best designed small Victorian mill complexes in New Hampshire.”
  • Belknap Mill: The Mill Plaza. According to architectural historian Richard Candee, the Belknap Mill is one of the nation’s most important mills. It was built in 1823 to manufacture wool and cotton cloth. In 1861, during the Civil War, it was one of the first mills in the country to convert from weaving to knitting. Socks were made here until 1869, when the mill was converted into a cultural center. The bell in the tower was cast by George Holbrook, an apprentice to Paul Revere. The hydroelectric power plant was added in 1918. During Urban Renewal, many mill buildings surrounded the Belknap Mill were demolished, including one between the Belknap Mill and river. The Belknap Mill Society was the first organization to receive federal funds and an award from the National Trust for preserving an industrial structure. The effort was covered in LIFE and Yankee magazines and the comic strip Archie. For tours of the building, ask at the lobby or call 603-524-8813.
  • Rotary Riverside Park: Beacon Street. East Mill buildings were removed here to create a parking lot in 1969. In 1994, the Belknap Mill Society conducted a feasibility study funded by the NH State Council on the Arts to convert the parking lot into a park. Laconia Rotary Club led the effort to raise $171,000 in cash and in-kind gifts. Architect Paul Mirski, whose adaptive use design of the Belknap Mill won a national award, designed the bandstand. The city donated labor and equipment and maintains the park. The Belknap Mill Society and the Downtown Association plan concerts sponsored by the Laconia Putnam Fund. This project won Laconia Rotary Club and the city awards from the governor in 1998. It won the Belknap Mill Society a National Museum Service Award from the Institute of Museum & Library Services, presented at the White House in 1998.
  • Stewart Park: Union Avenue Stewart Park was once the site of stores and factories, including the Gilford Mercantile and Manufacturing Company, followed by the Clow and Cormier hosiery mills. The park was dedicated in 1973 and named after Paul N. Stewart, who chaired the Laconia Housing and Redevelopment Authority, which controls the city’s Urban Renewal projects.
  • 84 Union Ave: Erected in 1922, this building was once part of a complex owned by the Pitman Manufacturing Company, the city’s largest producer of wool and cotton hosiery for a time. Established in 1868 as Pitman, Tilton & Company, the company had 250 employees by 1890. The building located at 100 Union Avenue was also part of the complex and used for offices, as well as to board socks (a heating process to give socks their shape before packaging).
  • 89 Union Ave: This structure was originally occupied by the Beaman Box factory, which for a while produced 100,000 boxes per year for hosiery and needle companies. Part of the Laconia Needle Company was later located here followed by J.H. Valliere Plumbing & Heating and Precision Mechanical Contractors.
  • 117 Union Ave: About 1880, Warren D. Huse moved his business here to manufacture knitting machines. The business expanded to include the manufacture and repair of engines, yarn winders and bicycles, and the sale and installation of plumbing and heating equipment. Laconia Needle Company also occupied this building from 1907 until 1962, when the Beauchaine Company took over the property. Vernitron-Beau Products Division later manufactured electronic components here until 1988.
  • Sluiceway Gate: Behind the Busiel Mill. This gate controlled the flow of water that once powered mills. A canal, or sluice, carried water from the river above the Avery Dam to the Busiel and the Belknap mills. Water passed through archways at the base of each mill to turbines under the buildings to power machinery. During Urban Renewal in the 1970s, the canal was closed and archways were filled.
  • Perley Canal: Between 1800 and 1830, Stephen Perley built a canal to carry water from the river above the Avery Dam to power mills. Perley was a farmer who also managed a general store and several sawmills. As the town grew, he established shops that made nails, starch, linseed oil and cotton cloth. He was also involved in the Belknap Mill. The Perley Canal connects the Winnipesaukee River, near Church Street, to the complex once owned by the Laconia Car Company. Today, the canal is a concrete tunnel that runs beneath the city. To trace the canal, begin at the parking lot behind the Post Office and cross Beacon Street East to Canal Street. Turn left on Main Street and then right over to Beacon Street West to the former Laconia Car Company Complex. The canal ends there at the water-driven turbine.
  • John W. Busiel House: 30 Church Street. The rectory of St. Joseph Church since 1929, this house was constructed in 1865 for John Weymouth Busiel and his wife, Julia M. Tilton. At the time, they had three grown sons. Busiel came to Laconia in 1846 and ran a hosiery mill here until his death in 1872. His eldest son, Charles, born in Meredith in 1842, was Laconia’s first mayor and later became a governor of New Hampshire. Laconia architect Arthur L. Davis designed the house as a “French villa.” He was a well-respected architect, whose design was accepted for the New Hampshire pavilion at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876.
  • Laconia Public Library: 693 Main Street. Built in 1901 to 1903, the library was designed by Boston architect Charles Brigham. According to architectural historian David Ruell, it is “New Hampshire’s most important Romanesque Revival library building.”
  • Laconia Passenger Station: Veterans Square. In 1848 the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad reached Laconia, allowing residents to travel to Concord for $0.80 and Boston for $2.30. Established in 1889, the Concord & Montreal Railroad funded many grand passenger stations, including this one, built in 1891 to 1892. New York architect Bradford Lee Gilbert designed the building in the Romanesque Revival style. The city widened the street to accommodate increasing traffic and provide a new gateway to the city. After railroad passenger traffic declined, the city bought the building in 1958. The Chamber of Commerce moved its offices here in 1966. Now privately owned, the station is home to stores, offices and restaurants.
  • Evangelical Baptist Church: Veterans Square After the First Congregational Church on South Main Street burned in 1836, a new building was erected on a site between today’s Stafford House and the library. Architect Arthur L. Davis remodeled the church in 1871. After damage from a fire and explosion in the Masonic Temple, the church was sold to the People’s Christian Church Society (later the Evangelical Baptist Church) and moved to the present location in 1903. The city then widened Church Street. In 1938, a hurricane destroyed the upper steeple and belfry, which were replaced the next year. The wing was added in 1957.
  • Masonic Temple: 653 Main Street. When the Masonic Temple was built in 1892, Main Street was primarily residential, and many people wondered why the Mount Lebanon Lodge chose this location. The next year, Laconia was incorporated as a city, and the post office, as well as city offices, were moved to the building. A hardware store occupied one area on the first floor and stored dynamite in the basement. In 1902, a fire resulted in a massive explosion. The temple was rebuilt on the site in 1903.
  • Piscopo Block: 633–637 Main Street. Built in 1925 to 1926, the Piscopo Block was one of many business ventures of Benjamin Piscopo and helped make Main Street more commercial. A drug store, bookstore and series of music stores occupied the site over time. Piscopo was born in Italy and immigrated to Boston as a teenager. He made his fortune in real estate and bought a summer residence in Winnisquam. Later, he built a house in Laconia on the corner of Pleasant Street and Gale Avenue. Prior to his death in 1926, Piscopo paid more city taxes annually than anyone else.
  • Colonial Theater Building: 615 Main Street. Benjamin Piscopo, a real estate developer, built the Colonial Theater in 1913 to 1914. Until he built the block behind the theater, Canal Street was primarily used as a shortcut between Beacon and Main streets. The theater originally had 1,400 seats. Early programs included vaudeville acts and motion pictures. The stage was used for recitals, meetings, high school graduations and cooking classes. From about 1980 to 2000, the owners operated it as a movie theater. The Perley Canal runs beneath part of the building. Walk along Main Street and look for a drain cover on the sidewalk to see a sign of the canal.
  • Laconia Car Company Complex: Water Street and Beacon Street West. In 1848, the C. Ranlet Car Manufacturing Company (later called the Laconia Car Company) established its business here. The complex includes 54 buildings with woodworking shops, foundries, painting shops and warehouses on 14 acres. By 1899, the company was consuming 4 million feet of lumber per year to make railroad cars and later trolley cars. By 1912, the industry was the city’s largest employer, with 1,000 workers. After the company closed in the early 1930s, the site was divided among other businesses. Allen Rogers owned a large portion from 1934 to 1999. Its factory, partially powered by a water-driven turbine at the end of the canal, made a variety of wood-turned products, including golf tees and eggs for an annual children’s program at the White House. New owners closed the company in 1998 and began negotiating with the city to sell the water rights to Algonquin Power Systems, Inc., which maintains the Avery Dam today. Text by Mary Rose Boswell. Reproduced with permission from the Belknap Mill Society.

To order copies of the full riverwalk brochure, contact the Belknap Mill Society at The Mill Plaza, Laconia, NH 03246. 603-524-8813

Plymouth Heritage Trail

The New Hampshire Heritage Trail is a 230-mile walking trail that stretches across New Hampshire, from its border with Massachusetts to its border with Canada. Following the main stems of the Merrimack, Pemigewasset and Connecticut rivers, the trail showcases the historic and scenic communities along their banks and links those communities together.

  • Plymouth Regional Senior Center/Railroad Depot: This building, originally constructed in 1909, was once a depot for the Boston and Maine Railroad. The railroad brought many vacationers from the Boston area to enjoy the skiing and the mountains of Northern New Hampshire. The old depot has undergone extensive remodeling and renovation and now serves as the community’s Senior Citizen Center. A tourist train now runs seasonally from Lincoln to Weirs Beach with stops in Plymouth.
  • D&M Building: This former Draper-Maynard Co. building, currently owned by Plymouth State University, is located on Main Street. Jason F. Draper and John F. Maynard built their original factory for manufacturing sporting goods in December 1900. That factory was destroyed by fire in 1910, and the current brick building was built in 1911. The Draper-Maynard Sporting Goods company was most famous for its baseball gloves. The Red Sox team visited the factory in 1916, which was memorialized by a now-classic photo of Babe Ruth sewing a cover on a baseball. Ruth endorsed and used D&M equipment throughout his career. The company went out of business in 1937 after more than 60 years of manufacturing.
  • Asquamchumaukee Rock: Located on Route 3, the rock is in front of the Plymouth National Guard Armory. This area was home to the Pemigewasset Indians. A plaque on a low granite rock at this site explains: Asquamchumaukee was the name of the Baker River in the language of the Pemigewasset Indians (meaning “crooked water from high places”). Here was the site of their Indian village. On these meadows they cultivated corn. In the sandy banks of the river they stored their furs. In March 1712, Lieutenant Thomas Baker and thirty scouts destroyed the village and killed many Indians including the chief, Watermummus.
  • Ward Hill: In 1764, this area was the home of Rev. Nathan Ward, the first religious and legal advisor in the township of Plymouth. Pioneers preferred West Plymouth for their settlement due to its immense hardwood trees and rich soil. Legend holds that the poet Robert Frost often walked Ward Hill during the evening hours. His poem, “Good Hours,” written in Plymouth in 1912, grew out of one of these evening walks: I had for my winter evening walk No one at all with whom to talk But I had the cottages in a row Up to their shining eyes in snow.
  • Frost Cottage: Robert Frost taught education and psychology from 1911 to 1912 in Rounds Hall on the campus of Plymouth Normal School, now known as Plymouth State University. While at Plymouth, Frost wrote many poems. According to local legend, an encounter in a Plymouth woods gave him the inspiration for “The Road Not Taken.” The cottage is located on the corner of School Street and a campus walkway (formerly Highland Avenue).
  • Round’s Hall: Built in 1891 as the home of the Plymouth Normal School. The bell in the tower was cast by William Blake and Co., an apprentice of Paul Revere. Round’s Hall is now the visual symbol of Plymouth State University.
  • Plymouth Historical Society: This building, one of the oldest in Plymouth (1774), has been relocated three times during its long history. Originally this building was the Grafton County Courthouse and the place where statesman Daniel Webster earned his first lawyer fees in 1806. In 1876, Senator Henry W. Blair restored this building and had it relocated to its present site. Presented to the Young Ladies Library Association, this building served as the library for Plymouth for 125 years.
  • Holme’s Rock: This rock marks the site of Holmes Plymouth Academy, established in 1808. It was named in honor of Colonel Samuel Holmes of Campton, a Revolutionary soldier who gave $50 toward the academy’s foundation. In 1837, the academy became the first training school for teachers in New Hampshire. In 1871, the academy buildings were presented to the state and Plymouth Normal School opened. Plymouth Teachers’ College was established in 1939. In 1963, the school became Plymouth State College of the University System of New Hampshire and, in 2004, Plymouth State University.
  • Silver Cultural Arts Center: This site was formerly a stop on the underground railroad for the movement of escaped slaves to Canada. Today, the center houses PSC’s Department of Music & Theatre and is the region’s performing art showcase.
  • Plymouth Town Hall: Constructed in 1889, this building served as the Grafton County Courthouse and the former district court for many years. Now it houses the town’s public offices. The cannon in front of the Town Hall is believed to have been used by the British in the Battle of Bennington on August 16, 1777, and was captured by General John Stark.
  • Plymouth Congregational Church: On April 16, 1764, 62 men from Hollis Congregational Church traveled north to accept the Charter for the Grant of Plymouth. The granters were obliged to set up a grist mill and sawmill, as well as build roads, bridges, a meetinghouse and provide a salary for a minister. In 1769, the original log meetinghouse was built on Ward Hill in1788. In 1819, the Plymouth Congregational Church was incorporated and built on this site in 1836. The current building was erected in 1985 following a fire, which destroyed the 145-year-old church.
  • Plymouth Common: See three points of interest:
    1. The kneeling Boy Scout is a 1933 sculpture by George Borst and is believed to be one of only two Boy Scout statues in the United States. 2. The plaque embedded in the granite rock pays tribute to Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–64), the American romantic writer, who gained inspiration from this community. 3. The Bandstand: Built in 1903, the bandstand is based upon a design by the grandson of New England’s first architect, Charles Bulfinch (Faneuil Hall).
  • Pease Public Library: On this site was the Pease House where Captain Harl Pease Jr. lived. Captain Pease, a World War II aviator for whom Pease Air Force Base was named, was killed in action. He was awarded the highest honor, the Congressional medal, posthumously. The present library opened its door on February 13, 1991.
  • Fox Pond Park: This park was named for developer Plummer Fox, who built the dam and constructed the ice houses. The water of Hazeltine Brook was considered to be very pure, and the ice was purchased by the Boston and Maine Railroad to cool the drinking water of its passengers. After electric refrigerators eliminated the demand for ice, the park was purchased by the town to be used for recreation.

For more information contact the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce at 603-536-1001. view website

Historic Walks: Tilton/Northfield, Winnipesaukee, Gilford
Northfield/Tilton Tour

The tour begins in Veterans Square, at the junction of Main Street (Route 3) and School Street, in downtown Tilton.

  • Tilton Town Hall: 257 Main Street. Built in 1879 to 1880 and was probably designed by Concord architect Edward Dow. The Victorian brick building was a gift to the new Town from Charles E Tilton. One of the conditions of his gift was that “The name of the Town shall always remain as it now is.” Originally, the first-floor basement was rented for stores and the post office, the rent paying for the maintenance of the building. But now the entire building is used for town offices.
  • America, Veterans Square: Also a gift from Charles E. Tilton. Three of the sculptures now standing in the village are from a set of marble statues representing the Four Continents. America, a half-nude Indian queen, was the first to be erected by Tilton (in 1873, not 1872, as stated on the base). The sculptor of the Continents is unknown, but an 1884 newspaper item says at least one of the set was “purchased of an English artist of great repute.”
  • World War 1 Monument, Veterans Square: 1919. Proceed west on Main Street.
  • Copp Block: 264 Main Street. Built by contractor TJ Davis for Hazen Copp in 1893 and 1894. The first story has been altered, but the second story still reveals a Victorian delight in an ornament.
  • Loverin Block: 263 Main Street. 1904.
  • Bryant and Lawrence Store: 270 Main Street. Built sometime between 1859 and 1881. It was “long occupied by FJ Eastman,” who retired in 1881. This fine Victorian vernacular store building has been occupied by the same firm since January of 1882, although the business name and merchandise have changed over time. The front porch is a restoration of the original porch.
  • Trinity Episcopal Church: 274 Main Street. Built in 1872 to 1873 for the village’s Episcopalians. (Although the brick tower was completed then, the elaborate wooded broach spire was not added until 1883.) Designed by architect Edward Dow, the church is among the best Gothic Revival churches in the area.
  • Tilton Block: 281 Main Street. 1915.
  • Northfield-Tilton Congregational Church: 283 Main Street. Erected in 1838 by “carpenters for Hopkinton” at a cost of $3,500. The building has been considerably altered over the years. In 1867, the original structure was raised, and a new first story was built under it to house a vestry, kitchen and office. Tall Italianate windows were also added in the Victorian era. And the building was further enlarged in 1887, when it was cut in two, the rear portion moved back, and a new section was built in between. Today, the church is a unique blend of original Federal and Gothic Revival elements and Italianate additions. The Bank Block is a name now applied to three adjoining brick commercial buildings erected between 1886 and 1888.
  • The Eastern Building, the Alfred Tilton Block: 277 Main Street. Built by Charles E Tilton in 1887 as a gift for his son Alfred. The designer of the block, one of the most elaborate Victorian commercial buildings in the region, is not known.
  • The Smaller Central Building: 293 Main Street. Built in 1887 to 1888 for the Citizens National Bank and the Iona Savings Bank, the banks that gave the name to the entire group. The original design of Concord architects Dow & Wheeler can still be seen in the Victorian second story, but in the early 20th century, the first story was given a more fashionable Classical stone storefront by the banks.
  • The Western Building, the Charles E Tilton Block: 295 Main Street. Now appears to be two buildings, but it was erected as one structure for Charles E Tilton in 1886. Later, the building ownership was divided. And the two parts of the building were given different storefronts and, on the east, a covering of paint. In 1926, the western storefronts were replaced by a Classical limestone first story façade designed by Boston Architects Hutchins & French, for the Citizens National Bank and Iona Savings Bank.
  • The Statue of Squantum: The only reminder of the Tilton railroad station that once stood on the lot now used for parking west of the Bank Block. In 1890, the Concord & Montreal Railroad brought and removed the dilapidated buildings east of its station. A circular driveway was laid out. This zinc statue of an Indian, donated by Charles E Tilton, was erected in the center of the driveway and dedicated to Squantum, who had helped Pilgrims in the early days of their settlement. The statue was made by JL Mott Ironworks of New York. (The same company made the Bronze statue of a Union Soldier on the Tilton and Northfield Civil War monument, which stands on Route 3, one-quarter mile west of the Squantum statue.) At the traffic lights, turn south (left) onto Park Street.
  • Winnisquam Mill: Can be viewed from the Lower Bridge, looking west down the Winnipesaukee River. Built in 1868 for RM Bailey, the wooden mill was a cotton mill in its early days. Under latter owners, it has served as a factory for shoes, woolen textiles and leather goods and as a furniture store. Notable for its bell tower and fine design, the mill has been called “the best surviving nineteenth century wooden factory in the state.”
  • Clement House: 8 Park Street. A fine Greek Revival–style cape, notable for the elaborate surrounds of the small windows in its frieze, an unusual, perhaps unique, feature in this area. The house is said to have been moved here from Tin Corner in Tilton by 20 yokes of oxen.
  • Freight House: 11 Park Street. A 19th-century vernacular structure is now the most important surviving railroad building in the village. The Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad was chartered in December of 1844. Construction of the railroad began in 1846. The railroad opened from Concord to Sanbornton Bridge on May 22, 1848. Later, the B,C & M RR merged with the Concord RR to become the Concord & Montreal RR, which in turn was absorbed by the Boston & Maine RR. Today, the railroad line is owned by the state of New Hampshire and leased to the Merrimack Valley Railroad, a tourist line.
  • Hall Memorial Library: 18 Park Street. The gift of Mrs. Mary Cummings to the towns of Northfield and Tilton in memory of her first husband, Dr. Adino Brackett Hall, a Northfield native. As the building is an almost exact copy of the Banister Memorial Hall in Brookfield, Massachusetts, designed by Boston architects Wait & Cutter, it has been attributed to the same designers. The library was erected in 1885 to 1886 by JE Giddings & Son. But, as no provision had been made for a book collection, it sat empty for a year while a library association raised funds for books. Dedicated on October 26, 1887, the library building has served the two towns with little change since its construction. The library is one of the state’s finest Queen Anne–style public buildings and shows all the complexity of form, variety of materials and decoration typical of that style. Turn east (left) on Elm Street.
  • Union School: 5 Elm Street. Erected in 1899 to 1901 to house the Union Graded School, which served the students of Grades 1 through 8 of both Tilton and Northfield villages. Designed by Manchester architect William M Butterfield and built by Daniel Page, the building is a fine example of late Victorian school design.
  • Asa Cate House: 23 Elm Street. Built by Benjamin Chase, probably in the late 1830s, and occupied by him for a few years. In early 1840, it became the home of Asa P. Cate (1813–1874, lawyer, judge, state legislator, president of the state senate, and three-time Democratic candidate for governor). Beyond the Asa Cate house, climb the steps on the south (right) side of the street and follow the path to the arch.
  • Memorial Arch of Tilton: Arch Hill is the most prominent landmark of the village. While visiting Rome in 1881, Charles E. Tilton was inspired by the Arch of Titus to build a similar triumphal arch as a memorial to his family and to himself. Concord architect Edward Dow, although basing his design on the Roman arch, did modify its form and ornament to better suit the rock-faced Concord granite used here. The arch was erected by contractor Leonard Conant in 1882 to 83, although the red Scottish granite sarcophagus, with its sleeping lion, was not installed until 1884. Tilton had at first intended to be buried under his arch. But he chose ultimately to be buried in the Park Cemetery in Tilton, where he is entombed in a large mausoleum. From the arch, follow the footpath east to the parking lot, then follow the access road east and turn south (right) onto Summer Street.
  • Arch Hill Cemetery: Summer Street. Established in 1809, when 18 local men paid Stephen Chase $5 for a burying ground on what was then the main road from the south to the village. The cemetery was later enlarged and embellished with an ornate Victorian gate and fence.
  • Northfield Town Hall: 21 Summer Street. Began its career in 1828 as the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1856, the Methodists built a new church in downtown Tilton. They later sold the old church at auction to a group that wished to establish an Episcopalian parish in the village. The Episcopalians remodeled the church, consecrating it on October 1, 1861. This remodeling presumably gave the building its present Romanesque Revival style. In 1872, the Episcopalians began building their own new church in Tilton and sold the old building to the town of Northfield. The former church has served as the Town Hall since 1873 and as the home of the Friendship Grange since 1885.
  • Samuel B. Rogers House: 23 Summer Street. A brick Italianate house was built for Rogers, a brickmaker in 1857. Now turn around and head north on Summer Street.
  • Archibald Clark House: 16 Summer Street. An attractive mid-19th-century cape was the home of Archibald Clark, who moved to Northfield in 1838.
  • Chase-Hill House: 9 Summer Street. A fine Gothic Revival house on a commanding hillside site was built in 1856 for Thomas Chase Jr. to replace an earlier home that had burned.
  • Stephen Chase Tavern: 2–4 Summer Street. The home and tavern of Stephen Chase (d.1817), one of Northfield’s most prominent early citizens, who built and operated some of the earliest mills on the river. He erected a fulling mill nearby in 1798 and probably built his home around the same time. Continue northeast on Elm Street to the Upper Bridge.
  • Copp Gristmill: The nearest of the two old wooden mill buildings looking downstream from the bridge. Built for Hazen Copp in 1872.
  • The Taller, Western Mill is Copp Mill No. 3: Built in 1877 for Copp. The upper story was added in 1889, when the building was converted into a shoe factory. Walk north to Veterans Square and then turn east (right) onto Main Street.
  • Tilton Inn: 255 Main Street. Incorporates two smaller buildings erected in the late 1870s after a fire destroyed the previous buildings here. In 1903, H.L. Jordan remodeled the eastern building as a hotel. Sometime between 1912 and 1923, the western building was incorporated into the inn, which now appears from the outside as a single building with a two-story front porch.
  • Europe, Main Street: Another of the Four Continents purchased by Charles E. Tilton. Tilton bought the marble statue in London in 1882 and used it to ornament a fountain on the grounds of the newly built railroad station. Affectionately known as “Timetable Mabel,” the statue was placed in storage after the removal of the railroad station. In 1970, she was moved to this prominent site on the highway to resume her role of greeting visitors to the village. (The third Continent, Asia, stands near the Winnisquam Regional High School, three-quarters of a mile west on Route 3 from Veterans Square.)
  • The Island, in the Winnipesaukee River: At first a small island was enlarged with fill from the construction of the railroad and the rebuilding of a mill canal. It was used as a drying place for cloth and as a vegetable garden before its purchase in 1865 by Charles E. Tilton. He converted it into an attractive park. The original Victorian summerhouse and the statuary that once graced the Island are now gone. (A gazebo was recently donated as part of the rehabilitation of the island.) But, the cast-iron footbridge, erected in 1881, still remains. The bridge, manufactured by A.D. Briggs & Co. of Springfield, Mass., employs now rare Truesdell truss. Return west on Main Street to Veterans Square, then turn north (right) onto School Street.
  • Copp House: 6 School Street. A fine Italianate-style side hall plan house was “elegantly rebuilt” for Hazen Copp after an 1874 fire.
  • Quimby House: 24 School Street. A Stick Style residence formerly owned by the Weare family was bought by Tilton School in 1918.
  • Charles E. Tilton Mansion: The Terraces, 27 School Street. A grand Second Empire–style building, one of the most impressive residences in the state. Born and raised in Sanbornton Bridge, Tilton briefly worked in his brother’s New York hardware business, then went searching for business possibilities in the West Indies and prospecting in South America. When the California Gold Rush began, he managed to obtain passage from Panama to San Francisco. Arriving virtually penniless, Tilton was quick to realize the real profits were not in prospecting but in supplying the prospectors. He opened a branch of his brother’s business and prospered. His business ventures in California and Oregon, including merchandising, banking, real estate, shipping and railroads, made him a millionaire. In 1856, he married a Sanbornton woman and soon began building this mansion on the hill overlooking the village. The main block was constructed in 1861 to 1864. In 1879, after his wife’s death, Tilton retired from his West Coast businesses and settled permanently in his native village. He added east and west wings to the house in the late 1870s, and in the 1880s extended the two-story porch around three sides of the building. The mansion remained in the Tilton family until 1952. It served as a guest house before being purchased by the Tilton School in 1962. The building now houses the school library, guest rooms, faculty apartments and, in the former stable, the school’s art center. Save for the stable interiors, the building is little changed since the days of Charles E. Tilton.
  • Fred Andrew Smart Chapel: 43 School Street. Began its career as the First Free Will Baptist Church in Canterbury. Built in 1852, the church was basically Greek Revival in style, although the brackets on the cornice are more typical of the Italianate style. In 1964, the abandoned church was given to the Tilton School by the Community Church of Canterbury. The church was dismantled and moved in large sections to the campus. At its new site, the building was lengthened by 40 feet, set on a high basement containing classrooms, and embellished by the placement of a tall spire on the older two-state belfry. But generally, the rebuilding was quite respectful of the original design. In 1966, the completed chapel was dedicated in honor of a longtime English teacher.
  • Plimpton Hall: 30 School Street. Built in 1926 to 1927 to provide more classrooms and offices for the school. Designed by Boston architects Hutchins & French, the building is a fine example of the Jacobethan architecture so popular in early-20th-century schools. Follow the footpath west (left) into the campus (up the brick steps) to the north of Plimpton Hall and along the top of the sloping lawn.
  • Knowles Hall: Overlooking the village, incorporates in its central block the classroom building erected in 1863 or 1864 under the supervision of Concord architect Edward Dow. The building was then flanked by separate girls’ and boys’ dormitories. In December 1886, a fire damaged the classroom building and destroyed the boys’ dormitory. As the girls’ dormitory was unsound, it was decided to remove to the two dormitories and enlarge the academic building. Designed by C. Willis Damon of Haverhill, Massachusetts, the enlarged building was completed in late 1887. The original building was engulfed in a massive structure that for many years housed virtually all the school facilities, classrooms, offices, library, chapel, meeting halls, dining hall, faculty apartments and student rooms. A new tower marked the center of the remodeled building. In 1909, a dining hall wing designed by C.R. Whitcher of Manchester was added on the rear. Although Tilton School has acquired and erected other buildings, which have taken over many of the building’s original functions, Knowles Hall still remains the center of the campus and is a major dormitory with several faculty homes, as well.
  • Hamilton Hall, West of Knowles Hall: Built in 1905 to the plans of architect Frederic H. Loverin as the school gymnasium. It now houses the school’s theater and student center. A footpath descends the hill to the south to Main Street and the municipal parking lots.

For more information, contact Northfield/Tilton Economic Development Corporation, P.O. Box 659, Tilton, NH 03276. 603-286-4211.

Winnipesaukee River Trail

Interested in taking a walk or bike ride on a scenic historic trail close to the downtowns of the twin rivers area, yet with the feel of wilderness? A three-mile trail parallels the Winnipesauke River and passes the historic Sulphite upside-down covered bridge believed to be the only one in the country and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You will also view mill ruins and remaining portions of dams that tell the history of the five mills that operated on this river in the mid-19th century. You will overlook the Winnipesaukee River, where at any time you may see a kayaker navigating what is becoming a popular kayak spot as the river drops 80 feet in elevation in a little over 4,000 feet as it passes through a spectacular gorge. The trail is open to all non-motorized users and runs from the historic railroad trestle in Franklin to the Surrett battery property just off Park Street in Northfield. In that area, you can also view the collection of antique rail cars and cabooses that operate on the local scenic railway.

Winnipesaukee River Trail Ceremony Marks Milestone
By Roger Amsden, Union Leader Correspondent

Northfield — A grand opening ceremony at Tilton-Northfield’s Old Home Day on Saturday will mark the completion of the first phase of the Winnipesaukee River Trail. Funded in part through a grant from the N.H. Department of Transportation as an alternative transportation project, the pedestrian and bicycle trail will eventually extend from Franklin to Meredith. The ceremony marking the completion of the first phase, a 3.1-mile stretch from downtown Franklin to Northfield, will be at 2 p.m. at the former Surrette Battery site near the Northfield train station.

The first section offers spectacular views of a gorge through which the Winnipesaukee River passes on its way into Franklin. The gorge is frequently used by whitewater kayakers. “This whole project is truly an amazing accomplishment achieved entirely by volunteers, from doing preliminary engineering and trail design to writing grants, negotiating easements and fundraising,” says trail committee member Rick Silverberg.

The Winnipesaukee River Trail Association raised more than $80,000 in matching funds for the first phase, enabling the project to qualify for a $250,000 grant. In all more than $930,000 in grants have been approved for different parts of the project. The association is now working to raise $100,000 for the 1.9-mile second phase, which has received a $300,000 grant and will run past Hall Memorial Library and over Arch Park in Northfield before crossing the Winnipesaukee River and following the existing railroad line out to Route 140. The trail will pass through the 30-acre Richard P. Smart Conservation Area along the Winnipesaukee River, which the town of Northfield acquired from Spaulding Youth Center for $22,500 earlier this year. Construction of the second phase will start in the fall of 2006.

A third section of the trail, which runs through Belmont along Lake Winnisquam, has received a $282,720 federal grant for the construction of a multi-use recreation trail. The Belmont Recreational Alternative Transportation Team is in charge of that project and is raising $75,000 in matching funds. In the Laconia area, a group is working to raise $82,000 in funds in order to qualify for a federal grant for the Winnipesaukee, Opechee, Winnisquam (WOW) Trail, which will connect with the Belmont trail near the Belmont town beach and take it all the way through Laconia and Weirs Beach into Meredith. WOW recently hosted a successful fundraiser at the Winnipesaukee Exposition Center in Lakeport. That project is expected to take six years with work beginning in 2007.

At the southern terminus of the trail in Franklin, a $100,000 federal grant was awarded to the city for the construction of a trailhead park on land donated to the city by Bob and Andrea Grevior of Grevior Furniture. A landing for taking canoes and kayaks out of the river has already been installed and work is expected to start later this year on a parking lot and restrooms at the park.

Gilford Village Tour

The town of Gilford was first settled in the late 1770s as the Upper, or Gunstock Parish of Gilmanton. Samuel Jewett, the original settler, built his home in 1777 in an area later annexed to Laconia. Captain Samuel Gilman followed in 1778, settling on the north side of Gunstock Hill. In 1792, a fine meetinghouse was built on the summit of this hill, and a store and other settlements rose around it. A sawmill was the only structure in the valley below. Gilford Village’s various industries served a largely local market and included shoemaking, blacksmithing, brickmaking, tanning and cooperage. Barrels made from local oak were sent to the West Indies to carry rum and molasses. Iron ore was mined for a short time on Gunstock Mountain and processed in Lakeport. Outside the village, Gilford’s economy was closely linked to agriculture until the early 20th century. Two events in the latter half of the 19th century greatly affected Gilford’s influence and prosperity. Around 1854, extensive fires in the Belknap Range resulted in a decline in water levels and loss of waterpower for most of the village’s industries. In 1893, Laconia, a prosperous textile town and county seat since 1840, split from Gilford with Lakeport, leaving Gilford a primarily farming community once again. However, after 1890, when the railroad reached Gilford, already favored as a resort destination, the area along the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee experienced rapid development.

  • Francis Gilman House: c.1786. Levi Gilman built this house six years before the original meetinghouse was built nearby at the top of Gunstock Hill. The Gilman family settled much of the Gunstock and Schoolhouse Hill area. The house is a well-preserved late 18th- to 19th-century farmstead of simple design. Francis Gilman probably added the Greek Revival–style entrance surround and partial sidelights after he inherited the property from his father, Samuel Gilman, in 1857. The barn, with its hinged doors and a double row of transom lights above the 9/6 sash, was enlarged at an early date. The farm remained in Gilman’s ownership until the early 1900s.
  • Sally Blaisdell House: c. 1795. This house, built by John Allen, is likely the most intact early building within the district. It was owned for much of the 19th century by Sally Gilman Blaisdell. She was married from 1841 to 1856 to John Blaisdell whose blacksmith shop stood on the lot. The house was simply designed, with a four-panel door and four light transoms above. Historic photographs (1908) show a porch added to the south side. At one time, an orchard, joiner’s shop, wood house and carriage house also stood here.
  • Samuel Gilman Jr. House: c. 1796. Samuel Gilman Jr. was one of the four men of the same name who settled on this hill between 1778 and 1850. Samuel Jr., brother of Levi Gilman built this house, and it remained in his family until 1914. He probably added the Greek Revival entrance between 1850 and 1869 before he sold his homestead to Anna Gilman Sargent…”for and in consideration of the love and affection I bear my daughter…and $400”! A fire in the mid 20th c. severely damaged the wing and barn, and the current owners moved and reconstructed another early barn on the site. The property’s first barn had been located across the road.
  • Levi Gilman House: c.1795. This early house has probably evolved more than any other in the district, while still retaining its integrity as a historic structure. Levi Gilman’s original three-room cabin had a single window on each side of a simple plank door. A century later, the windows were paired and the roof was raised to two-and-a-half stories to accommodate a growing family. A porch wrapped around the south and east sides, shaped by lush vines. Still later, the porch was removed and an elegant Federal-style entrance surrounded with sidelights was salvaged and added to the façade. Finally, in the mid-1980s, the ell was raised to two stories and a sunroom replaced the old pantry. Outbuildings at one time included large and small barns and a cider house. George Crosby and his family occupied the farm for much of the late 19th-early 20th century and also owned the Village Store, where they sold their produce.
  • Site of First District #8 Schoolhouse: c.1806–92. Upon this tiny wedge of land sat the first schoolhouse to serve the village district. With 60 to 75 pupils taught together during Gilford’s mid-century heyday, it is little wonder that Alvah Hunter remembered it as a difficult school to manage. Students attended a late-summer/early all-session and a winter session so they could help with spring and summer farm chores. The one-room building was rebuilt in 1854, with a raised platform at the south end for the instructor, graduated double desks for the students, and benches along the side for the littlest ones. After a new schoolhouse was built in the village center, Charles Gove towed this building down the hill and added it to his blacksmith shop.
  • Morrill Farm: c.1798. This extended farm complex was home for more than a century to Gilford Village’s most influential family. Barnard Morrill came to Gilford as a tanner and shoemaker in 1806 and quickly established himself as the owner of the village sawmill and major developer of the village. His son, John Jay Morrill, was a member of the House of Representatives, built the tannery and a store, and expanded the family farm. He died here in the room in which he was born. John Barnard Morrill, his son, served the town in all its high offices and was a Belknap Co. judge of probate. He acquired much of the fine farmland around Gilford Village, including the Village Fields and the Rowe Farm. The first barn still stands across the road, a red clapboard barn with corner trim and an early, probably original, sliding door. It is one of the least altered barns in the district and plays an important visual role in this early farm complex. Another remaining outbuilding is the white icehouse just to the north of this barn, which was enlarged on the north side in the 1930s to become a cottage. The white carriage house sits just south of the red barn, near the tenant house.
  • Site of the First Mill: c. 1900. The stonework visible from the bridge is all that remains of Simeon Hoyt’s and Esquire Ebenezer Smith’s sawmill. The first and most important mill on the Gunstock River, it was for years the only structure permitted on the ministry lot, with the condition that lumber for a meetinghouse would be sawn without charge. The mill building was set over the river, and the present library site was the millyard. A gristmill for grinding grain, a tannery and pottery were soon added to the operations here. This mill provided almost all of the building materials for the village, which sprang up around it.
  • Easy Street: Laid out in 1837 and known as the Gully Road, the main route to Meredith Bridge (Laconia) left Gilford Village here and crossed the Gunstock River at Wadley Bridge. This bridge, located just 50 yards southwest of this corner was named for William Wadley’s blacksmith shop, which stood just beyond the bridge.
  • Rowe Ice House: c.1860. The former ice house from the Rowe Farm has found new life as a garden shed. Built sometime in the mid-19th century on a site behind the Rowe barn, it was relocated here in the 1970s. the windows and front door are original. It is one of only two surviving ice houses in the district that retain their original form. Ice cut-in blocks from the ponds in winter were once stored in sawdust here for summer use.
  • Village Store: c. 1836. The Village Store has been Gilford Village’s primary trading post since its construction by Benjamin Jewett Jr., Albert Chase and Jeremiah Thing. Although the original proprietors went bankrupt in 1843, the store was quickly taken over by a succession of merchants with old Gilford names, such as Munsey, Weeks and Wadley. For many years at the turn of the century, it was known as Wadley’s Store and Grange Hall, since the Grange met in the wing before 1909. Other public entertainment, such as traveling Indian shows, took place here, as well.
  • Gilford Library: c. 1926. This bungalow-style building is the third home for the public library. The library was first organized in 1894 and housed in the Deacon Hunter House, before moving to the Town Hall. The original one-story hip-roof building with a pedimented front portico and Doric columns has partial sidelights around the door. The three-part windows with 12/1 and 6/1 sash reflect the original interior plan of a central hall and flanking reading rooms. The large addition on the north side was built in 1984.
  • Grange 1857: The Mt. Belknap Grange Hall is one of only two structures in Gilford listed on the National Register of Historic Places. John J. Morrill built it as a store for Levi Thompson. It was later S.L. Jones’ store and the post office until circa 1900. Morrill’s son sold the store to the local grange in 1909, its first permanent home since its organization in 1875. The Grange was an important feature of village life for much of the 20th century; ceremonial meetings and agriculturally related programs took place in the second-floor hall, while large socials were held downstairs. In 1990, the building was given to the Thompson-Ames Historical Society. First on this site was the dwelling of trader Jonas Sleeper. A blacksmith shop stood just to the north.
  • Dr. George Munsey House: c. 1814. This house was probably built by Dr. Munsey, a highly respected local physician, who practiced in Gilford for many years. Later occupants included many town clerks, including two tanners and Simon Rowe, a shoemaker, who lived here before he inherited his grandfather’s farm in 1865. This is one of five two-and-a-half-story Federal houses in the district.
  • Albert Chase House: c. 1840. The most stylish of eight one-and-a-half-story Greek Revival houses in the village, this house maintains the basic form of a Federal house: lateral sitting, five-bay facade, broad gables and end chimneys. However, the wide corner boards, broad frieze, entry surround and especially the elegant applied molding on the entry entablature show strong Greek Revival influence. Sash was likely 6/6. The front yard is enclosed by a wooded fence constructed in a wheatsheaf pattern and supported by granite posts with pyramidal caps. 1930s photographs show a deep c. 1900 front porch. The one-story ell was once connected to a barn. The house was built by Albert Chase, who established the Village Store with two partners. When the business went under three years later, he was forced to abandon the house, but not before taking out three eleventh-hour mortgages.
  • Otto Page House: c. 1935. This is the only craftsman-style house in the district. Its distinguishing features include the truncated hip roof, shed dormer that continues the main roofline, shingled walls and vertical-paned windows. The gabled entry has a curved wooden inset with stick brackets, and the entry door has four beveled glass panels. Otto Page built this house on the site of Esquire Ebenezer Hunt’s fine two-and-a-half-story Federal house, which appears in a large photograph in the library. Squire Hunt was one of the original settlers and a prominent local citizen; it is likely that his cooperage was also on this site. His house, which was built in 1823, burned in 1925.
  • Dolly Gilman House: c.1805. Levi Gilman built this house, presumably for his daughter, Dolly, who lived here until 1828. Many of the house’s owners over the years have been single women, probably attracted to its convenient village location and modest size. In addition to the house, the lot had a blacksmith shop and millinery shop around the 1830s. A barn once stood where the garage is now. The doorway surround was added several years ago. A fire circa 1925 resulted in major colonial Revival rebuilding, reflected in the gambrel room line and full-width dormer. Ray Watson, of the Potter Hill family, rebuilt the house in 1926. Known as an inventive man who introduced a mechanical ice-harvesting method to the region, Watson was also a skilled carpenter who renovated other homes in the village.
  • Henry Sleeper/Joseph Sanborn House: c.1810–20 This house is the only one in the village built in two main sections. The earliest section of this house is the northern half, which was built by Henry Sleeper, a carpenter, co-developer of the ministerial lot and owner of the sawmill. For a while, he operated the corrections and poorhouse here. The garage doors may have replaced an earlier entrance and windows by about 1900. the porch dates from circa 1909. The southern half of the house was built circa 1820 by Joseph Sanborn Jr., who ran a store and cooperage on the site. The original, elaborately carved entrance surround, unique in the village, exhibits strong early Greek Revival influence, and may have been copied from Asher Benjamin’s pattern books. For more than 100 years, this house was actively associated with trading, blacksmithing and coopering. During the 1930s, the north half was the Five Corners Tea Room, a local landmark.
  • Village Fields: The 1815 Hurricane uprooted much of the virgin forest that once grew on the floodplain of the Gunstock River, and for many years afterward, the corn, grain and hayfields that followed were surrounded by a fence made of the stumps and roots of the window throws. This fine, rich, flat land was largely owned by Squire Hunt, Jonas Sleeper’s heirs, Benjamin Jewett Jr. and Benjamin Rowe. By 1910, John Barnard Morrill had acquired the fields. They were eventually purchased by the town in the 1970s and the Weeks Bandstand was added in the Bicentennial Year.
  • Thompson-Ames Historical Society 1834: The Universalist Society built this church as the Union Meeting House.
Covered Bridges: A Trip Back in Time

Come and experience an iconic structure in New Hampshire and American history! Covered bridges are as interesting and unique as they are beautiful.

In The Blog, ‘The Current’

Our team at the Lakes Region Tourism Association (LRTA) gathered our favorite covered bridges in a recent blog post: 54 Covered Bridges in New Hampshire.

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NH Department of Historical Resources

Covered bridges are an iconic image here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Find your way to one of these landmarks for a photo opportunity and to learn more about the history of how they came to be. Click below for a direct feed from the NH Department of Historical Resources, compiled and edited by Richard G. Marshall, Chief System Planning, New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

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