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 Trip with kids and where to stay 
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Flatfoot
Flatfoot

Joined: Sun May 08, 2016 7:28 pm
Posts: 2
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 Trip with kids and where to stay
Hi,
I will be coming to hike with my kids for three days in a few weeks. I would love to backpack (I did frequently many years ago) but we won't be able to bring gear. So I am trying to decide where to stay as a good base for a few days great hiking - I remember and love many hikes but not quite well enough to decide what makes the most sense - North Conway? Near Franconia? My kids are 6 and 10, can hike about 5-6 miles, and love love scrambling on granite and would probably also like to see views.
I would welcome suggestions for where to base ourselves, thanks!!
Oh and we will be driving up from Boston.


Sun May 08, 2016 7:33 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:35 pm
Posts: 2752
Location: south of the notches
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 Re: Trip with kids and where to stay
Depending on the type of camping....

Car camping you could go to Crawford Notch. There's the Sugarloaf campgrounds on Zealand Road and Dry River Campground on 302. Easy/doable hikes include Arethusa Falls, Ethan Pond Shelter, Mt. Jackson, Willard, Sugarloafs, Zealand Hut. These right off the top of my head.

Not familiar with camping options in Franconia area besides Lafayette which is right on the highway but there too lots of options: The Basin, Lonesome Lake hut, Bridalveil Falls, Artists Bluff. There too is the bike path.

The Kanc has some nice options and lots of hiking options including Wilderness Trail, Mts Potash and Hedgehog, Chocorua (and Champney/Pitcher Falls), Sabbaday Falls is an e-a-s-y 10 min walk.

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Sun May 08, 2016 7:45 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman

Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:40 pm
Posts: 1651
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 Re: Trip with kids and where to stay
Welcome to the forum. Are you looking to stay at a no frills campground where you won't be too far from various trailheads? Or staying at motels, cabins, etc? Or not so no frills camgrounds?

Except for once, we've always stayed at the simpler campgrounds. They run anywhere from $18 -$25 per night. If you head up from Boston on 93 (which we usually take because we live in Lawrence) and get off at exit 32 in Lincoln, you can head up the Kancamaugus Highway and they are located at various places. Closer to Lincoln, you could go to Bald Mtn/Artist Bluff (near Cannon). that was our first hike many years ago, a good one for kids. There is also a big campground, Lafayette, which is very popular. If you stay there, the trail to Lonesome Lake is right in the campground.

Rt 302 - Crawford Notch. There is the Zealand Campground and further up Zealand Road there are Sugarloaf I and II. Then you'll be near the Sugarloafs, which have great ledges and views. Go further up Zealand Road and you will come to the big parking area where you can take a 3 mile relatively flat but beautiful hike to Zealand Falls, where there is an AMC Hut (snacks, drinks, etc. and you can refill your bottles! I know you said they like climbing, after the hut it gets steep and you can get to the Zeacliffs, where there is a great view of Zealand Notch. Right off 302, near the Highland Center, there is Mt. Willard and many other possibilities.

North Conway area - we've stayed at Blackberry Crossing, one of those campgrounds along that end of the Kanc. Then you can look up lots of great possibilities - Boulder Loop, Moats (make it as long or short as you think they can handle), Middle and Peaked Mts (near Cranmore). Black Cap (near Cranmore). North Kearsage is nice - a restored fire tower up top.

I'm just scratching the surface here. My daughter Prema and I stay at these inexpensive places if we overnight (unless we have AMC Luxury Night, about once every year or two :D).

I'm sure everyone else will soon jump in and give you some great ideas; one member has young kids and goes great places, another guy will sing the glories of Chocorua for you (lots of possibilities there, and it's south of the Conways).

Whatever you do, DO NOT FORGET THE BUG JUICE!


Sun May 08, 2016 8:11 pm
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Flatfoot
Flatfoot

Joined: Sun May 08, 2016 7:28 pm
Posts: 2
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 Re: Trip with kids and where to stay
Wow, thank you both so much for your quick replies and the great suggestions! I definitely have been to some of those places and would like to explore the ones I haven't been to also. I should have been clearer, I think we will probably need to stay in a motel/cabin or vacation home because we can't really even bring camping gear. Next time, however...but for now, being near somewhere with a non-campground place to stay would be great. Of course we can and will drive to the hikes, but not spending all day in the car would be a high priority (my son does get carsick).
Thanks again,
Carlin


Sun May 08, 2016 8:43 pm
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Mountaineer
Mountaineer

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:37 pm
Posts: 117
Location: Southern NY
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 Re: Trip with kids and where to stay
For vacation home rental I used these guys. Based in Lincoln, in the middle of everything. Reasonable and reliable.

http://www.looncondoconnection.com/rentals/


Sun May 08, 2016 9:19 pm
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Flatfoot
Flatfoot

Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 9:37 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Connecticut
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 Re: Trip with kids and where to stay
The Pemi Cabins are very nice and are located on the Pemi River while conveniently located near Franconia notch and Lincoln, NH. It's a great base for many day hikes as well as some touristy things to do such as Clark's Trading Post.


Sun May 08, 2016 9:44 pm
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 7137
Location: Exeter, NH
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 Re: Trip with kids and where to stay
We frequent the Whites among other places with our three kids. My oldest turned 8 today, the others are 5 and soon to be 3 so we've still kind of stuck to the smaller hikes with them. I think North Conway or Jackson on the east side of the mountains makes the better base, especially if you're looking for lodging. More options to choose from, more restaurants, more shops, stores or whatever you might need. Lincoln is nice too, pretty much the same stuff but less of it.

For hikes in North Conway there is Black Cap that will give you a fairly easy hike with some ledgy scrambling around the top and a nice view of town. Trip report here...http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?t=6663

The Boulder Loop Trail on the Kanc is also a nice one they should enjoy that isn't a lot of effort for the nice view the ledges provide. Another report on that...http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?t=6153

As mentioned above both Hedgehog and Potash on the Kanc would be nice hikes that are a step up from these. South Moat and even Chocorua another step up from that, but if they can handle 7 miles with 2250 feet of elevation gain the Champney Falls trail off the Kanc would be a tough one to beat for scenery and granite scrambling. South Moat is a good hike with a great view of town and the mountains, just not as good as Chocorua for roughly the same effort.

On the other side of the mountains near Lincoln/Franconia the Bald Mountain/Artists Bluff loop makes for a fun hike with great views and some rock scrambling. It's pretty much a perfect mountain only in miniature size. Report :) ...http://www.forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?t=6456

Lonesome Lake is a beautiful hike too for a non-summit. You can take the trail right from the campground or a longer route with lots of waterfalls (or even just to see the falls and skip the lake) as the crossing could be tough where the bridge washed out if there is high water. Trip report on just the lower falls along the Basin Cascades here... http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=6849

Down I-93 just a bit you'll find Welch & Dickey which might be perfect size-wise and full of ledgy granite scrambling. Even Mt. Osceola from Tripoli Road might be possible. Pretty easy for a 4000 footer. Not as easy as the smaller things I listed, but not bad. Same difficulty as Chocorua I'd say, with nice summit views, although not as nice as Chocorua if you're choosing between the two for an all day adventure, especially if you are looking for granite climbing fun.

The Sugarloaf's are also a great little hike about halfway between the towns, as is Mt. Willard. There's a lot more to choose from, but without knowing what exactly your kids are up for it's hard to throw out many more suggestions. Hope you have a great trip, and as mentioned, bring lots of bug stuff, even head nets for the kids that time of year up there.


Sun May 08, 2016 10:24 pm
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