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Known as one of the single best places for a ski vacation in New England, the Mount Washington Valley has quite a bit to offer skiers. Beginners, intermediates, and experts will all find suitable trails
Between the months of November and April, several feet of fresh powder fall in the Valley and create a winter wonderland like no other. There is terrain available for all levels of skiers and riders along with a myriad of other fun winter activities to take advantage of. Ski lessons are available, as well as rentals for skis and other equipment.
The ski season runs from late November to the middle of March, when the most snow fall is experienced. There are several places to choose for lodging, meals, and nightly entertainment, but the biggest attraction during the winter is the skiing, of course.
If your kids aren’t quite ready for the black diamond trails, but you are, there are multiple resorts that offer full-day care and even lessons for all ages. This allows the parents, not able to sneak away for a romantic get-away, to bring the kids along but still get out and rip it up at their own pace.
The Mount Washington Valley is a great place for a family vacation and the variety of activities is second to none.
I started moonlight hiking when I was a teenager prowling the streets and fields of North Conway. I later found that if I timed my backpacking trips to coincide with a full moon, I could hike every night. The two primary motivations for doing this are the adventure and mystery of night hiking, as well as the practical advantages that it has.
Moonlight Hiking – A Unique Experience
It’s a great experience to hike away the hours of the night under a full moon. My first time doing this on a longer backpacking trip was on a five-day hike in the White Mountains. Every night I would sleep in the silence of the woods, waking up when the cool temps bothered me. Then I easily hiked through the rest of the night by moonlight.
This meant getting up between two and four in the morning and hiking the rest of the night. I was moving during the coldest part of the night, so I was able to get away with a lighter sleeping bag on this trip. In fact, since there wasn’t a cloud in the sky during those five days, I just slept in the open, without a tent or tarp every night. Most afternoons I took a leisurely nap in the sun to catch up on sleep.
Hiking at night meant no other people on the trail. Crowded trails were not actually a problem where I was, but I would like to go moonlight hiking to avoid the crowds the next time I am in Yosemite National Park, or in the Smoky Mountains. Sometimes it is nice to have the trails and whole mountain valleys to yourself.
You can hike a lot of miles at night, without any problems of over-heating. When the sky is clear and the moon is full, or within three days of its fullest, the moonlight is more than bright enough for hiking in fairly open terrain. In thicker woods you may need a flashlight for assistance.
If you do try this, plan your trip with the full moon coming right in the middle of the time span (if you can). This is how you get the maximum use of the moonlight before, during and after the full moon. Also note the time that the moon rises. About an hour after moonrise you’ll have enough light to hike, unless it is overly cloudy (something else to check on). Currently the moon is visible before sundown. This has been making for some very nice sunsets!
When hiking at night you’ll be able to clearly see animal tracks in the snow or soft sand of the trails. They included fresh bear tracks. Though black bears in this area are not usually dangerous, it keeps your senses tuned in when you know there are eyes in the woods watching you and none of them are human.
The lakes and ponds reflect the moon, owls swoop by almost without sound, and animals move in the bushes as you pass. The many shadows hide things, but you walk on by them, leaving these little mysteries unsolved. The trees and rocks take on a different, starker appearance than during the day. Moonlight hiking is a beautiful and unique experience.
If you will be traveling to North Conway for a romantic getaway, you could take a quick trip over to Lost Valley Ski Resort. Located on 300 acres in the middle of Maine, the resort offers many different types of terrain, hills, streams, bridges, and fifteen well maintained trail systems.
The Lost Valley Resort is best suited to beginners and intermediate skiers, but there are more thrilling trails available for expert skiers as well. There are three lifts to accommodate skiers, including two chair lifts and one surface lift.
Equipment can be rented for all sports that are catered to at Lost Valley Resort, including ski equipment, snowboarding equipment, mountain bikes, and paintball equipment. Ski and snowboarding lessons are also available for private parties and groups.
At the lodge, you will experience a warm family environment with outstanding food and beverages. This is an absolutely wonderful place to bring a family.
There are training programs, adaptive ski programs, racing events, a snowboard terrain park, mountain biking, and a huge twenty acre paintball park. Lost Valley Resort is also a great place to hold meetings, family reunions, weddings, and other special events. Catering is available.