Area Activities

Explore All that New Hampshire’s White Mountains Have to Offer!

Bear Mountain Lodge in Bethlehem, NH has something for everyone. Our romantic bed and breakfast lodging in the heart of New Hampshire’s scenic Mount Washington area offers four seasons of things to do for all types of travelers. Spend a leisurely day shopping, touring nearby museums and historic sites, leaf peeping, or indulging in an adrenaline-filled day zip lining, riding ATVs at Jericho Mountain State Park, exploring Franconia Notch State Park, hiking the 4,000 footers, taking in the views on the Cog Railway, dogsledding, skiing or snowboarding. We’re happy to help you design the perfect day. Peruse the activities on the subsequent pages for inspiration.

Mount Washington

Blue cog railway car sitting on a track at the bottom of a tree covered mountain range

Journey aboard the Cog Railway or travel along the Auto Road to the top of Mt. Washington to take in the most sublime views.

Located at the top of Mt. Washington, the Washington Observatory is both a scientific and educational institution whose mission is to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth’s weather and climate. The Observatory can be reached by The Auto Road or riding The Cog. Known for its crazy weather, The Observatory recorded the highest wind gust of 231 mph, which remains a record for a surface station.

Washington Cog Railway

The Cog Railway is one of the world’s great railway adventures. The track runs up a three mile-long trestle with a maximum gradient of over 37%, making it the second-steepest mountain climbing train in the world and the only one entirely built on a trestle. Your train will carry you above the clouds to the top of the highest peak in the Northeast – Mt. Washington – where all of New England spreads out before you.

Operating Dates:
April & November: weekends only
May-Oct: daily (mid-end Oct may not run to top due to snow)

Washington Auto Road

A ride on the Mount Washington Auto Road is a ride unlike any other. With the ever-changing weather conditions on New England’s highest peak, no two trips are the same. Both self-drive and guided coach tours are available.

Operating Dates:
Early May to Mid-October

Hiking, Waterfalls & Covered Bridges

Large gondola complex at the bottom of a mountain range with blue skies above

What better way to explore New Hampshire’s nature than by hiking to see beautiful mountain waterfalls or taking a picturesque drive to visit covered bridges.

Hiking

The White Mountains offer some of the best hiking opportunities in New England, and there are trails for all levels. Whether you want to summit Mt. Washington, Adams or Jefferson or cross the Franconia Ridge Loop to the top of Lincoln or Lafayette, you’ll be sure to find views that will astound. For more information, visit www.hikethewhites.com

Franconia Notch

Franconia Notch was the home of the famous Old Man of the Mountain, the same “Great Stone Face” immortalized by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Daniel Webster. You can spend a day or more exploring Franconia Notch State Park, including a stop at the Flume Gorge Visitor Center and walk through the renowned Flume Gorge, riding the exciting aerial tramway at Cannon Mountain, and visiting the New England Ski Museum. Take your time, stop for a swim or rent a canoe or kayak at Echo Lake, net a trout while fly fishing at Profile Lake, ride your bike on the Recreational Trail, watch for rock climbers, hawks, and falcons on Cannon Cliffs, or hike on the Appalachian Trail.

Opening and closing dates (weather dependent):
Cannon Tram: Mid May to Mid-October
Flume Gorge: Early May to Third Week October

Learn More

Waterfalls

More than 100 of these natural wonders are found throughout the White Mountains. In Spring they display nature’s power as the snow runs off the mountains; they’re a welcome retreat on hot summer days and are the perfect place to enjoy a picnic lunch. While many involve a hike to enjoy their splendor, several are located along major routes or just a short walk along groomed paths. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Arethusa Falls (Crawford Notch) – 200′ high, 1.3-mile hike in of moderate difficulty
  • Bridal Veil Falls (Franconia) – 80′ high, 2.5-mile hike in
  • Flume Gorge (Franconia Notch) – Admission Charged: Follow boardwalks over 800′ through covered bridges, past waterfalls and beautiful views
  • The Basin & Cascades (Franconia Notch) – .1 and .2 miles from the Basin parking lot
  • Silver & Flume Cascades (Crawford Notch) – located right along Route 302
  • Ripley Falls (Crawford Notch) – 100′ high, ½-mile hike in with swimming holes at top

To view a more complete listing of Waterfalls in the area, visit: www.visitwhitemountains.com

Covered Bridges

Over 25 of these “courting bridges” are located in The Whites. Many say they were originally designed because horses were more comfortable crossing an enclosed span, while others believe the roofs were put on to protect the timbers from the weather. Whatever view you take, you’ll be taken back in time as you explore and cross these beautiful structures. To learn about the various bridges, visit: www.visitwhitemountains.com

Moose Watching

Two large moose standing in a river surrounded by fall colored leaves

These wonderful creatures are a somewhat common sight here in The White Mountains.

Moose Watching

For those who want to look for them on their own time, we’ve created a map for our guests indicating some of the most common places to spot them. If you’d rather go on a group bus tour and have fun while learning about these wonderful creatures, here are some options:

Pemi Valley Moose Tours – (Lincoln – 25 minutes away)

Mt. Washington Valley Moose Tours – (No. Conway – 55 minutes away)

Gorham Moose Tours – (Gorham – 25 minutes away)

Shopping & Culture

Cutting board with several blocks of cheese and a wooden cheese knife

Browse for local crafts and foods in eclectic shops and explore the rich arts and history of the area.

Take in all that New Hampshire has to offer during your stay at Bear Mountain Lodge. We would suggest the following shopping and cultural attractions during your stay.

Shopping

Wren

From food to fine art, the Local Works Marketplace at WREN in Bethlehem, NH showcases the products of more than 200 artisan members. Unique, locally produced gifts include jewelry, pottery, specialty foods, bath & body products, candles, textiles, baskets, photography, home decor and fine art.

Harman’s Cheese

Located in picturesque Sugar Hill, Harman’s Country Store is definitely worth a visit. They sell more than 11 tons of the “World’s Greatest Cheddar” each year, as well as lots of other wonderful New Hampshire made products such as jams, jellies and mustards as well as gifts and souvenirs.

League of NH Craftsmen

Located on Main Street in Littleton, this fabulous gallery opened in 2004 to showcase some of New Hampshire’s finest craftsmen, working in jewelry, clay, glass, fibers, wood, metal, photography, baskets, printmaking and mixed media.

Chutters

Discover the sweet life! Home of the World’s Longest Candy Counter, a visit to Chutters is a trip to Candyland, where the air is delicious with the mouthwatering scents of candy and fresh-made fudge. Chutters has something for candy lovers young and old in a lively, fun-filled atmosphere. The longest counter of its kind anywhere, Chutters’ candy counter runs the entire length of the store. An impressive 112 feet of gleaming glass jars filled with brightly colored candy, ranging from yesterday’s favorites and hard-to-find flavors, to the best of today’s most sought-after treats.

CULTURE & HISTORIC PLACES

Colonial Theatre

The Colonial Theatre opened for business July 1, 1915 featuring Cecil B. DeMille’s Girls of The Golden West. Since that time, this historic 300-seat theatre has grown and improved and now presents wonderful films and nationally acclaimed artists in an intimate theatre setting.

Weathervane Theatre

In a typical season, this great little theatre produces seven Mainstage shows over a period of eight weeks from July through August. This year’s Playbill includes: Nice Work if You Can Get It, Speech & Debate, Heathers: The Musical, Broadway Road Trip, Brush Up Your Shakespeare, Top of the Charts: A Rock and Roll Journey through the Decades, Little Shop of Horrors, Miracle on South Division Street, The World Goes ‘Round.

Robert Frost Place

The Frost Place is a “house museum,” a sanctuary for lovers of poetry and books on a quiet north country lane in Franconia with a spectacular view of the White Mountains. In addition to a collection of signed first editions of Frost’s works and other memorabilia from his stay, The Frost Place has a half-mile nature trail with plaques displaying poems written during the poet’s Franconia years.

Golf

Large golf course clubhouse by an expansive green lawn with mountain range in background

With two Donald Ross-designed golf courses close at hand, both rich with touches of old New England, any golfer will find them both challenging and charming.

Bethlehem Country Club

This historic course was designed by Donald Ross in 1909. At a little under 6000 yards, BCC is a relatively short layout when compared to some of today’s 7,200-yard monsters. However, the small “Rossian” greens with their challenging topography provide plenty of challenges for the novice and expert alike.

BCC has hosted tournaments for the NHPGA, NHGHA and NHWGA. Proud of their ability to offer a championship venue for the top levels of competition in our region, BCC remains the type of playable golf course that the novice and purely recreational golfer can feel comfortable on. Outstanding playing conditions on a traditional, timeless design make for a memorable golf experience at Bethlehem Country Club.

Maplewood Country Club

Established in 1914, The Maplewood is located in the shadow of Mt. Washington in the beautiful White Mountain countryside. Rich with old New England charm, the course designed by Donald Ross features century-old stone walls and majestic trees lining the naturally contoured fairways. Complete with a pro shop, golfers lounge & outdoor deck, chipping & putting greens, and a driving range, the professional staff at Maplewood Country Club will make you feel at home in the relaxed surroundings. In addition, the course features a rare par six, which is over 650 yards long, demanding par threes and beautiful water holes that are challenging for any golfer.

Fun on the Water

Two groups of people in red rafts paddling down a river with rapids

Rafting, Kayaking & Canoeing

Get wet and wild on the white waters of New Hampshire’s rivers, no matter what your experience! Or simply go for a leisurely paddle by canoe or kayak.

Whitewater Rafting Excursions

RaftNH is a whitewater rafting outfitter specializing in family adventure, ranging from float trips to Class III whitewater! Check out the website for more information on the two types of trips available.

Kayak & Canoe

There are many reputable outdoor outfitters nearby, including:
White Water Rafting in New Hampshire – by Raft NH
Outdoor Outfitters – Lincoln
Outback Kayak – Lincoln

Ziplining & ATV Rentals

A black ATV sitting on a trail with surrounded by trees in sunlight

Send yourself hurtling through the treetops by zip line or embark on a thrilling ATV adventure along the wooded trails.

Alpine Adventures (Lincoln)

Treetop Canopy Tour – A true treetop canopy tour and the first in New England. You will zip from tree-to-tree through the forest on 6 separate zip lines ranging from 80′ – 900′ long and including a 60′ high x 75′ long suspension bridge spanning “Barron Gorge.” It also includes the famous Zip #7, a 35 mph optional free-fall.

Sky Rider Zip Line Tour – Tree Walk Village offers spectacular views of the western Whites where you begin your descent. Ride dual zip lines, racing your friends to Area 51, a plateau and scenic overlook. A gentle ground takeoff sends you soaring over the skyline, on our longest zip, 1500′ long and 200′ above the ground, arriving at Hemlock Walk. After crossing 2 Burma bridges, get ready for the 1200-foot zip line at Montego Bay Express, named for our co-workers at our Jamaica location. The grand finale, “White Knuckle Pine,” has an 80′ drop and zip speeds of up to 50 mph.

Safari Tour – Buckle up and hold on because you’re in for an off-road thrill like no other in New England. Scale to the top of Barron Mountain for awesome views in this low-speed roller coaster ride. With every season you encounter a different tour: Summer is great weather and an open-air convertible top. Fall is spectacular foliage seen from above with occasional moose, deer & turkeys along the trail. Winter displays the extreme off-road capabilities of these 6-wheel drive Swiss army transport vehicles called Pinzgauers. Spring is mud season!!!

Bretton Woods Canopy Tours

Canopy Tour – The Bretton Woods Canopy Tour is a unique zip line canopy tour experience in the heart of NH’s White Mountains. This thrilling adventure will give you a bird’s eye view of scenic Rosebrook Canyon. The 3 ½-hour tour consists of 10 cable zip lines and two adventure sky bridges suspended 50 feet above the forest floor. Each zip line varies in length, with a maximum span of 830 feet and 150 feet above the ground. The final thrill consists of Williwaw Racing Zip, a dual zip line cable so you can race your friends or family members to the finish line! Our guests save 20% off per ticket with our discount vouchers.

Williwaw Racing Zip – The Williwaw Racing Zip is a great way to sample the last zip line of the Canopy Tour and is a thrilling ride on its own. One ride takes about 20 minutes, including getting harnessed up, transported to the top and getting unharnessed. Plus – you may take multiple rides at a reduced rate, provided you stay in your harness and do your rides in immediate succession!

ATV Rentals/Tours

With the opening of Jericho State Park, New Hampshire’s North Country has miles and miles of wonderful ATV trails to explore and enjoy a day of adventure taking in our beautiful scenery. Whether you want single-seat ATVs or Polaris Razor side-by-sides, a guided tour or to rent machines and head out on your own, these companies offer it all:

Northeast ATV Rental (Gorham – 25 minutes)
Bear Rock Adventures (Colebrook – 1 hour away)

Winter Fun

A skier with a black jacket and green pants coming down a powdery ski hill

Skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog sledding and sleigh rides—the Mt. Washington Valley is a winter wonderland!

Skiing

Bretton Woods – Located just 15 minutes from the Lodge, Bretton Woods is one of NH’s best ski areas with 434 acres of skiing and snowboarding, including 101 trails and glades, as well as four terrain parks – all accessible by 10 lifts, including four high-speed quads. Bretton Woods also has some of the best Nordic trails in the area. All guests save on Alpine & Nordic tickets with our discount vouchers.

Cannon Mountain – Located in Franconia Notch just 15 minutes from the Lodge, Cannon Mountain offers NH’s highest vertical drop with 72 trails plus the Mittersill Backcountry Area all accessible by 9 lifts. Discount vouchers are available to all guests.

Snowshoeing

We offer complimentary use of snowshoes here at Bear Mountain Lodge. Our guests can enjoy them here on our on-site trails or borrow them and head out for the day to The Rocks Estate or other recommended trails. One of our guests’ favorite activities is to join Michael on an evening hike wearing a headlamp and of course, warm gear. Once you experience it, you’ll be hooked. Proper winter clothing including boots is required for the guided hikes.

Snowmobiling

Northern Extremes – Located just 15 minutes away in Bretton Woods, Northern Extremes is conveniently close to the NH trail system. In fact, you can snowmobile directly to Bear Mountain Lodge. They offer both guided tours and daily rentals.

Dogsledding

Muddy Paws Dogsleds – A guest favorite! Experience a truly authentic North Country sled dog adventure at The Rocks Estate. Your ride goes through narrow, “twisty-turny” trails set deep in the woods where you’ll pass a sugar bush, active working forests, historic landmarks, and thousands & thousands of wicked cool Christmas trees! You’ll get to meet the dogs and help setup your sled, then sit back and enjoy the ride.

Sleigh Rides

Snuggle up under a warm blanket with your special someone and enjoy a beautiful sleigh ride at The Franconia Inn. To make a reservation for your private sleigh ride, just call (800-473-5299).