What to Do in the White Mountains, New Hampshire
I am so excited to be posting a travel itinerary again for the first time in what feels like ages. My trips these days are a little less jetsetter and a little more roadtripper but I am happy and thankful to be traveling anywhere!
Lewis and I just got back from one of my favorite trips ever— and it was only three hours from home!
New Hampshire’s White Mountain area has been practically at my doorstep my whole life, but I hadn’t spent any time in the area until a few weeks ago when a group of girlfriends and I went glamping for a bachelorette. The girls and I had such a good time that a few of us booked return trips with our partners.
Our destination, Littleton, NH, is about three hours from Boston. On a Friday morning Lewis and I picked up sandwiches and departed Boston around 9am. The first stop on our tour was a hike through the Flume Gorge.
About the Flume Gorge: 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. The Flume Trail is a one-way, 2-mile loop that takes about 1.5 hours. We could not believe how GORGE-ous (pun intended) this hike was. It certainly wasn’t a difficult hike (it was more like a walk) but the walk included uphill walking and lots of stairs. Our reccomendation is to make an earlier booking so that you have more of the trail to yourself.
Currently, this is one of the only trails at the park requiring reservations. Pricing is $18 for adults and children age 6-12 are $16.
After being so impressed by the Flume Gorge trail we decided to explore a few more shorter hikes around the area. One of the park rangers suggested the Artist Bluff/Bald Knob trail. To access this trail you can actually park in the ski lot at Cannon Mountain. HOT TIP: The ranger mentioned to us that some of the lots for the popular trails can fill up early in the morning during summer weekends, but he said that Artist Bluff/Bald Knob trail is good if you want to get a later start since the ski lot can hold more than 500 cars.
Artist Bluff/Bald Knob was a short but definitely more difficult hike with a LOT of uphill and even some rock scrambling. The views were TOTALLY worth it though. What a beautiful start to our weekend!
After our hikes we decided to make our way to our accomodation: The Ogontz Rustic Resort. This was my 2nd time staying at Ogontz and it definitely won’t be my last.
Ogontz is a 350 acre private all-inclusive wilderness resort. Nestled deep within the forests of New Hampshire's White Mountains, the camp rests above its own lake and is complete with a spectacular mountain view, streams, waterfalls and miles of wooded trails. The facilities include both indoor and outdoor cabins, meeting halls and lodges, a large banquet hall, on site dining facilities, a provisions store and café, tennis and volleyball courts, boat house, and a private swimming area. I really love it there!
As you may know, Lewis and I met at sleepaway camp, so the fact that Ogontz used to be a sleepaway camp just gave us all the best vibes. If glamping isn't your thing check out The Sugar Hill Inn.
For the bachelorette, we booked “Equestrian” which sleeps up to 10 people. For our weekend, Lewis and I booked the Cottage which sleeps up to 5 people. Full disclosure, Ogontz is rustic. It’s definitely a “glamping” vibe and you do have to be ok with bugs, no AC (but yes to fans) and maybe a little dirt. It is just SO beautiful though.
We checked in, did a little exploring and then got ready for dinner. We went to Rek-Lis brewery in Bethlehem which we would also 10000% recommend (Can you tell we had the best weekend??). Rek-Lis had a beautiful outdoor space with plenty of seating, a live band, dog-friendly and a great beer selection.
After dinner we relaxed by the fire and got some sleep before another big day of exploring.
The MAIN EVENT.
I am not going to lie, 90% of the reason I wanted to come back to the White Mountains was for one reason alone: Polly’s Pancake Parlor. OH MY. Words cannot describe my love for Polly and her pancakes. This place is the best breakfast I have ever had, hands down.
For the bachelorette we went both Saturday and Sunday morning and Lewis and I went two days in a row on our weekend too. Polly’s has more than 1,500 five star reviews on Yelp and has been around since 1938 . They mill all their own grains for the batters and offer interesting choices like Gingerbread, Whole Wheat, Cornmeal and my favorite, Oatmeal Buttermilk. They also have all their own sauces that go on the pancakes. It’s unbelievably good and SO worth the trip (and the wait). PANCAKE TIP: Polly's encourages you to call ahead of your arrival before you get here and put your name on the waitlist.
After stuffing ourselves with pancakes we set off on our biggest hike of the weekend: Lonesome Lake. We started off at the Basin and went along the Appalachian Trail to the Lonesome Lake trail. This was a super challenging hike with a lot of rocks and a lot of uphill. Hiking alongside waterfalls and streams made for a nice distraction from all of the exercise.
At the top, you can dip your feet in Lonesome Lake or visit the guidepost for a snack or bathroom break.
The long hike required another treat, so we stopped at Bishop’s Homemade Ice Cream on the way back to Ogontz.
Back at Ogontz, we had made a reservation to use the waterfall hot tub. The hot tub is a giant barrel outfitted with a wood burning stove that heats up water pumped in from a waterfall. A perfectly relaxing way to unwind after the hike!
After freshening up at the cottage we drove into Littleton downtown, visited Chutter’s — the world’s longest candy counter — and a few other stores before settling in at Schilling’s brewery.
We enjoyed a few beers and then walked across the covered bridge over the river for dinner at the Littleton Freehouse. We also ate at the Littleton Freehouse on the bachelorette weekend and both times I got the Pollyanna salad with blackened shrimp on top: 10/10 delish!!
We got an early night so we could be first in line at Polly’s the next morning. If it sounds like all we did is eat on this trip… you’d be right!
After Polly’s it was sadly time to check out of the cottage. Ogontz really seemed to quiet down on Sunday. Luckily, we were still allowed to use all of the faclities the property had to offer. We played a round of tennis and then trekked down to the Ogontz swimming platform. The swimming hut was well stocked with noodles, floats and even fishing equipment. It was enough to keep us more than entertained for a few hours.
Finally, we had to hit the road for home but not without one last stop. Iron Furnace Brewing was our third and final brewery of the weekend.
All in all it was such a fantastic weekend and we are already planning a return trip back!!
Please leave me a comment below if you do this itinerary or have any recommendations for things for me to check out on my next visit!