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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Alex and I have made two trips to the Believe in Books Literacy Foundations trail network over the last month. It is an excellent area to explore if you only have an hour or two, just 10 minutes north of North Conway Village.

100 Acre Wood Trail System

100 Acre Wood Trail System

On our first excursion with our friends Kaelan & Heather we wandered around without referring to the map and basically took “Polar Path” to “Railroad Alley” and “Winnie’s Wandering”, right down to a beautiful little swimming hole on the East Branch River. The highlight for the boys was seeing a train from the Conway Scenic Railroad cross the trestle.

Don't forget to grab a map!

Don’t forget to grab a map!

Views of Cathedral Ledge in the distance

Views of Cathedral Ledge in the distance

This is where the "North Pole" is for the famed Polar Express!

This is where the “North Pole” is for the famed Polar Express!

A small reservoir

A small reservoir

Skipping rocks and exploring

Skipping rocks and exploring

Well signed trails

Well signed trails

Choo Choo

Choo Choo

On our way out another hiker told us of the “Storybook Trail”, and while we were out of time for this day I brought Alex back a week later so we could check it out. This short half mile trail has stations every 100 feet or so with the next page of a story. It makes for a fun interactive hike!

This week's book "Dragons Love Tacos"

This week’s book “Dragons Love Tacos”

This place is another great family destination in Mount Washington Valley. You should check it out!

From their website:

100 ACRE WOOD TRAIL SYSTEM
Hours: Generally 9am-4pm • Trail passes are $3 per car load for the day, An annual pass is $50 and can be purchased at the Foundation office. (The 100 Acre Wood Trail System is open when the entrance gate is open)
1/2 Mile Storybook Trail:
“Dragons Love Tacos” by Adam Rubin
TRAIL CONDITIONS: Perfect Fall Conditions!
COMMENTS: Walk, bike or run. Dogs are Welcome on a leash but please clean up after them!

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A last minute cancellation of some work plans today allowed me to take advantage of the perfect pre-Fall weather and get the whole family out for a bike ride. I’d been wanting to show my wife the Maine Mountain Bike Trail after riding it this past May with Alex so we headed over to Fryeburg, ME. After running into our good friend Marty Basch in the parking lot at the visitor center we hit the trail with Alex in tow behind my bike. A short stop at a small pond alongside the trail allowed us to spot a couple Sun Turtles basking in the September sun.  A casual 35 minutes from leaving the car we had reached the end of the 4 mile trail. Alex stretched his legs, investigated a Wooly Caterpillar (no touching, they can sting), and had a quick diaper change and snack. During this time I switched over the trailer to Michelle’s bike for her inaugural run. I had posted a review of this Burley Bee Bike Trailer back in June and had mentioned I wanted to order an extra hitch. Since it took less than 5 minutes to move the hitch over to her bike I’m not so concerned about getting an extra hitch down now!

Previously I had made a loop ride by heading out on Route 113 and going through Fryeburg Village. Today we opted to return via the quiet bike path as Michelle got used to towing the trailer.

"Paved Paradise" - Marty Basch

“Paved Paradise” – Marty Basch

Crusin'

Crusin’

We got back to the car in one hour and 17 minutes. After stopping into the quaint visitor center (free local farm apples inside!) we headed over to one of our favorite watering holes, the 302 West Smokehouse and Tavern. This place has some of the nicest outdoor seating in the greater Mount Washington Valley, and since we know our outdoor dining days are quickly coming to an end we took advantage of the sunny, breezy, 65 degree day to sit outside and snack on some nachos and sliders while Alex got his exercise dancing up a storm on the empty deck while listening to the cheers of a packed pub watching the Patriots game inside. Perfect day!

7.9mi, 1:18hr, Avg 6.1mph, Max 20mph

7.9mi, 1:18hr, Avg 6.1mph, Max 20mph

Our sites are set on the Franconia Notch Bike Path in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that adventure!

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Seeing a break from the recent rain appear we made for the 4.1 mile loop hike a few miles from our house. I hiked this trail counter-clockwise years ago before Alex, and made a couple rock climbing trips to the cliffs last Fall, so I decided to hit the loop with Alex clockwise today. We parked in the White Ledge Campground off Route 16 at about 10:20am. A small parking lot towards the back is signed for “picnicker’s and non-camper’s”. Alex seemed excited to be out and even hiked for himself a 100 yards before asking “up”.

Alex felt quite a bit heavier than he did a few weeks ago on our last hike, but it was probably the 100 oz of water I was toting that made the difference. He’s just over 25 lbs now, and the additional 15 pounds of pack-weight, gear & water, had me climbing at a snails pace for the first hour.

Here we go

Here we go

Slowly climbing up to White's Ledge

Slowly climbing up to White’s Ledge

After about 40 minutes of slow climbing Alex seemed to loose interest judging by the occasional snores I would hear behind my head. Things started to level off a bit as we neared the top.

Nice stretch of trail...

Nice stretch of trail…

That was a lot of work huh buddy?

That was a lot of work huh buddy?

Alex woke as I tried to get him back on my back so we decided to break for some leg-stretching time and a snack. He was pretty excited to see some familiar letters on the ground. “MEIA”. I gave it to him.

Some leg stretching back restin' time...

Some leg stretching back restin’ time…

We saddled back up and began a gentle descent on the opposite side of the loop.

Interesting view of the elusive "Crag Y"

Interesting view of the elusive “Crag Y”

A slick bit of trail

A slick bit of trail

Greatest trail shoes ever!

Greatest trail shoes ever! REVIEW FORTHCOMING!

2 hours in Alex was starting to whine a bit but that was easily quelled with a dozen verse’s of “A Bear Went over the Mountain”, and coincidentally that bear saw every person Alex knows by name. We reached the car just after 1pm.

Red Line Complete!

Red Line Complete!

This hike was 4.1 miles, which is coincidentally the same distance I’ll be hiking to summit Mount Washington this July with Alex for the annual Seek The Peak event. If you would like to support my climb and the Mount Washington Observatory please check out my sponsorship page here. Even a $5 donation would help me reach my goal!

Thanks for reading, lots of product reviews in the works, stay tuned!

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