White Mountain Holiday

Destination: Lincoln, NH

| Activities: Hiking, Biking, Kayaking

The White Mountains of New Hampshire were once called the “Crystal Hills” by the early settlers due to their granite faces that reflected sunlight in the valley below. They have been drawing tourists since the mid-1800s when most visitors made the trip from cities by train or horse-drawn carriages. At that time, families came to the Whites to spend a month or more enjoying the fresh air, wonderful hiking and lofty vistas. This trip is designed to give you an overview of what is available and introduce you to the diversity of the Whites. Hiking is the most traditional sport in the area and with over 1,200 miles of trail to choose from, the options are endless. We'll also take advantage of favorite local activities: kayaking the Pemi and biking the (downhill) biking trail, visiting the Flume and exploring the historic Mount Washington Hotel. Our pace will be leisurely to allow us to notice and enjoy the diversity of the forests and meadows and be awed and inspired by the vistas. Whether you are intrigued by forest flora and fauna, birds, waterfalls, mountain vistas, learning about the cultural history, or just seeking less traveled paths, you will quickly understand why the White Mountains continue to draw us to their beauty and majesty.

Maximum group size: 12


  • Hiking a diversity of trails from windswept ridges to hardwood forest
  • Kayaking the Pemigewasset River, locally known as the ‘Pemi’
  • Visiting the Historic Mount Washington Hotel
  • Biking to the Flume and seeing the magnificent power of water
  • Staying at The Notch, a lovely and peacefully located hostel in North Woodstock, NH

Departures and Prices

June 19 to June 25, 2022
$1995.00 - Available
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  • 1 - 2 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • Seven nights lodging in hostel dorm rooms, single beds
  • All meals and trail snacks from picnic lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 7
  • Kayaks and paddles, bikes, shuttles, and instruction
  • Round-trip transportation from Manchester Airport (MHT), all transportation during the trip
  • All activities notes on the itinerary
Not included:travel to Manchester, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, items of a personal nature

Trip Documents

Trip Intro

This trip is for women who want to enjoy the many different facets of New Hampshire’s White Mountains by foot, water and bike. Days will be full of activity. The option to relax at the hostel is always a possibility. If you choose to do all the activities offered, this trip has a rating of 3. Prior to beginning the trip, participants should be engaging in aerobic conditioning, such as walking vigorously up hills, using a treadmill or stair stepping for 30 - 45 minutes at least 3 - 4 times a week. Rating: 1 2 [3] 4 5

On this multisport adventure vacation, we'll combine moderate hiking, biking and kayaking with visiting some of the White Mountains' iconic destinations, including the Flume and the Mount Washington Hotel.

We will stay the entire week at The Notch Hostel, a large, well maintained hostel located just outside of Lincoln, NH. Accommodations will be shared, all single beds (no upper bunks). We will be occupying the 'shared' part of the hostel - plenty of beds to choose from, 'hanging out' space, ample areas for relaxing as well as both inside and outside dining areas where we will enjoy our home cooked meals through out the week.
An indoor sauna is also available.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

Our journey begins at 10 AM at the Manchester Airport or 12pm at the White Mountains Visitor Center in Woodstock, NH. We will have introductions and a welcome picnic lunch before heading down the Kancamagus highway to Greely Pond Trail. Our hike to scenic Upper Greely Pond is a good introduction to the rocky paths of the White Mountains but without some of the elevation gain that is typical of mountain trails. If it's a hot day, the pond offers a standing invitation to take a quick dip before heading back. Returning by the same trail, we'll make our way back to Woodstock and our accommodations for the week. We’ll begin by settling into our lodging and sharing the first of many delicious dinners. Lodging: The Notch Hostel, Woodstock, NH Mileage: 3.4 miles L, D
This morning, to fortify us for the trail, we’ll begin the day with Polly - a local favorite and must visit place! It’s Polly’s Pancake House and tradition has it that no trip to the Whites is complete with breakfast at Polly’s! We’ll continue the ‘local favorites’ theme with our hike today - the Welch - Dickey loop trail. Welch and Dickey Mountains were two of the mountains visited earliest by regular summer tourists to the White Mountains. Nathaniel Greeley, who pioneered the Waterville Valley in the 1830s, created a system of trails in this area that led directly to his inn. Although the inn no longer exists, the trail - especially the Welch-Dickey loop trail, continues to be a favorite. The trail is moderately graded and both mountains are well below 3,000 feet in elevation, but both have several open rocky ledges with amazing views of the valley below. Naturalists also love this loop because of its diversity of trees, including one of only four stands of jack pine in New Hampshire. Hiking: 4.4 miles (B, L, D)
Off to the water! Today we’ll kayak a section of the ‘Pemi’, a local favorite with beautiful water and just enough ‘white water’ to give us a good ride. After shuttling to our put-in, we will have both paddling and safety instruction on land before launching our kayaks on the river. Our pace will be relaxed with time to enjoy the scenery and the water. We will stop for a picnic lunch at one of the many sand beaches along the way and enjoy both our lunch and a refreshing dip. While our exact route will depend on the water level, we will canoe 7.5 to 10 miles, about 3-5 hours on the water. No previous canoeing experience is necessary to enjoy this delightful day. Returning to our cars we’ll indulge in another local favorite - ice cream! The perfect ‘after kayaking’ treat! After returning to our lodging, the rest of the late afternoon is free and you may choose to relax with a good book, take a short stroll around the area, relax on the deck or porch, use the sauna or anticipate an after dinner fire at the fire pit once the evening cools down. However you choose to spend your time, we will meet for appetizers on the deck and another hearty dinner. Mileage today will be determined by water levels and our put in and take out spots. B,L,D
Back to our hiking boots - today we will hike the Zealand Falls trail. This trail is a beautiful hike though scenic forest, past marshes, and alongside the rushing Zealand River. Our destination is one of the Appalachian Mountain Club huts, Zealand Hut, located next to the spectacular Zealand Falls with a view to match and this is where we’ll enjoy the picnic lunch we’ve packed. For dessert - the hut’s ‘croo’ always has something freshly baked along with lemonade for purchase - let’s hope for their chocolate chip cookies! After returning to the car we’ll head to the historic Mt Washington Lodge. The lodge has been and continues to be a favorite New England retreat of not only those of us who appreciate history and a bit of pampering but also presidents, poets and celebrities. It is also the place where the International Monetary Conference was held after WWII and articles of agreement signed that established the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that still stands today. We'll grab a rocker on the back porch (with the Crawford Ridge and Mount Washington as our view) and enjoy a refreshing drink before wandering a bit - soaking in the beauty and the history of this historic and majestic lodge. Mileage: 5.6 miles B,L,D
And today another change — we're biking! We'll take a leisurely bike ride on the Franconia Notch Bike Path (north to south) to the Flume where we’ll enjoy our picnic lunch before touring the Flume. The Flume is one of the White Mountain's unique geological formations and while a bit more touristy than the other places we have hiked so far, this is not any ordinary waterfall and well worth a visit. Discovered in 1808, the Flume is a natural gorge extending 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty. The walls of Conway granite rise to a height of 70 to 90 feet and are 12 to 20 feet apart. We start at the Flume Visitor Center, framed by a spectacular vista of Mount Liberty and Mount Flume. The 2-mile walk, partly on a boardwalk and part on a gravel path, is moderately graded with some up/down stairs. There are many opportunities for photographs and our pace will be relaxed as we explore this scenic site. Biking: 6 miles. Walking: 2 miles (B,L,D)
Our last day of hiking in the White Mountains will find us visiting a president - yes, Eisenhower - actually Mount Eisenhower, one of the beautiful 4,000 footer peaks of the Presidential Range. This will be our most challenging hike of the week but by now are muscles are well-tuned and our spirit of adventure is high. We'll start on the Edmands Path to the top, hiking through beautiful hardwood forest and granite boulders leading to the spectacular, above tree line vista where it joins the Crawford Path. We'll follow it to the summit of Mt. Eisenhower (elevation 4760 feet). From there we are treated to open views of the Presidential range, including Mt. Washington, and we'll enjoy 'lunch with a view'! From here we will retrace our steps for a total mileage of 6.6 miles and 2,750 feet elevation gain. We'll return to our home in time to "freshen up" a bit before going out on the town for our final farewell dinner. B,L,D
Sadly our week in the Whites does have to end. If you are driving you can plan to leave any time after breakfast. If you are flying, we will have you back to the Manchester Airport in time to fly out any time after 1:00. B

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  1. Where do we eat?

    The guides will be cooking breakfasts and dinners in the lodge. Before you leave in the morning the guides will put out lunch 'fixings' and you'll take a packed lunch. You'll go out for one dinner where you can order off the menu; other nights you'll relax in the hostel and have dinner there.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    Vegetarian options for this trip are available but may be more limited than you are used to. If you are concerned about having enough protein during your trip, plan to bring some plant-based protein sources such as nut butter, instant dried hummus, or high-protein energy bars. If you cannot eat gluten or if you have other dietary restrictions i.e. vegan, you will need to bring some supplemental food with you.
  3. I don't quite understand the accommodations?

    For this trip, we are using all of the hostel. Accommodations are in large rooms with multiple twin or bunk beds. We will be using all of the twin and lower bunk beds. The rooms are large and beds are spaced apart. 2 Single supplements are also available. There are more beds than the maximum number for this trip so spreading out will be easily accomplished. All bathrooms are shared and will be either down the hallway or downstairs.