White Mountains Attractions Kick Off Summer this Holiday Weekend

North Woodstock, NH – Many of the eighteen major attractions in New Hampshire’s White Mountains Region are opening this holiday weekend, with updates and additions all over the region.

“There’s a lot of pent-up demand this year for summer to get started,” said Jayne O’Connor, President of the White Mountains Attractions Association. “After a long, cold winter, everyone is eager to get outside and enjoy what the White Mountains have to offer.”

In celebration of its 60th anniversary, Story Land in Glen unveils a new dinosaur-themed area in the park, featuring one of Northern New England’s only wooden roller coaster – aptly named the “Roar-O-Saurus.”  Rory, “the little dino with the big roar,” leads the 1,242 foot long, 40 foot high coaster that will have riders screaming as they experience moments of gravity-defying air time.  The roller coaster will be surrounded by animatronic dinosaurs, confirming Story Land’s famous moniker, “The Land Where Fantasy Lives.”  The park will be open from 9:30am to 5pm all 3 days of Memorial Day Weekend then each weekend through June 8th, daily from June 13th through September 1st 9:30am to 6pm, then weekends through October 13th.

Attitash Mountain Resort located in Bartlett is home to the longest Alpine Slide in North America and the resort continues with their record setting ways this season with what will currently be the longest single span zip line in the contiguous United States, the Flying Bear and Attitash Aerial Zip Lines, totaling nearly 8,000 feet in length.  The new ZipTour (opening early summer) will carry riders from the summit of Bear Peak to the base of Attitash Mountain reaching heights greater than 400 feet off the ground as it crosses the valley between the two mountains. Along with the new ZipTour, Attitash’s Nor’Easter Mountain Coaster, Alpine Slide, Eurobungy Trampoline, 24-foot Climbing Wall, Airbag Jump, and Slacklines are all scheduled to open for weekends only beginning Saturday, May 24th (including the Memorial Day Monday). Starting Saturday, June 14th, the Waterslides, Buddy Bear’s Playpool, Scenic Chair Sky Ride, Horseback Riding and hand-led Pony Rides along the Saco River also become available.

Opening this weekend is Clark’s Trading Post, in Lincoln, with Segway Safaris, train rides on the White Mountain Central Railroad, and the ever-popular bear shows on Saturday, May 24 running each weekend through June 15th then daily through September 1st.  Clark’s Trading Post Gift Shop is open daily for shoppers through October 13th.

Jefferson’s renowned Santa’s Village welcomes guests each weekend from May 24th – June 8th with a daily summer schedule beginning June 14th.

The Northeast’s highest peak will be humming with activity with both the Mt. Washington Cog Railway and the Mt. Washington Auto Road making trips to the summit.  The Cog Railway will begin its daily climb to the top on May 24, and the Auto Road is already open daily for guided tours and self-driving excursions from 8:30am to 5pm,  and the.  These iconic New Hampshire attractions are weather-dependent so visitors are encouraged to call ahead for details.

A well-known Jefferson attraction has reinvented itself for 2014 and the former Six Gun City is now the Fort Jefferson Fun Park.  Admission, parking, shows and access to the picnic grounds are free and visitors can purchase either an all-day ride pass or a coupon book to choose the rides they want to experience.  Overnight guests can stay where they play by renting a cabin right on the park’s grounds or setting up camp at the adjoining Fort Jefferson Campground.  Fort Jefferson Fun Park will be open on weekends from May 24th through June 8th then daily from June 14th through September 1st.

Set within the White Mountain National Forest, Wildcat Mountain in Pinkham Notch opens for summer beginning Saturday, May 24th at 10am offering New Hampshire’s only ZipRider zip-line cable ride and the highest scenic gondola in the state, the Wildcat Express.  TheZipRider & scenic gondola will operate 10am to 5pm, weather permitting, during weekends only (including the Memorial Day Monday) beginning Saturday, May 24 and then will operate daily Saturday, June 14th through Labor Day, then return to weekend only operations from September 6th to October 13th.   Wildcat Mountain also offers hiking, a lift-serviced 9-hole alpine disc golf course, and weekly guided tours and outdoor interpretive programs with the Tin Mountain Conservation Center and Appalachian Mountain Club.

Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway welcomes the summer season on Saturday, May 24th with fun-filled outdoor thrill rides.  Their Mountain Adventure and Aerial Adventure Parks offer days full of play each weekend through June 8th then daily from June 14th through September 1st with ropes courses, giant swings, ziplines, a mountain coaster and much more.

Lincoln’s Hobo Railroad begins their scenic train excursions along the Pemigewasset River May 24 and each day through the extended holiday weekend.  The Hobo Railroad’s one hour and twenty minute round trip train rides will then operate weekends through June 15ththen daily from June 28th through October 19th.  The Hobo Railroad has teamed up with the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center once again this summer to entertain and enlighten guests with free presentations highlighting the wonders of New Hampshire’s wildlife and ecology.

Travelling a short distance east on the legendary Kancamagus Highway, the Loon Mountain gondola takes riders to the 3,000 foot summit. The Loon Mountain Adventure Park features a climbing wall, a 700 foot zipline across the Pemigewasset River, and a bungee trampoline and bicycle rentals to enjoy the paved paths and woodland trails throughout the property.  Loon is open the 3 days of the upcoming weekend then weekend through June 15th.  Daily hours begin on June 21st.

Polar Caves Park in Rumney is already open for the season , and new for this year the park has guided tours available to explorers who want to learn all about the 9 boulder caves that make up this natural attraction.  Visitors are welcome to investigate on their own as well.  Polar Caves Park is open every day from 10am to 4;30pm through October 19th.

The Conway Scenic Railroad currently has twice-daily train trips and will offer a total of five trips May 24-26 on their Valley Train schedule giving rail fans an opportunity to enjoy scenic rides at 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm and 4:30pm.  Twice daily operations will continue through June 13th with the full complement of 5 trips running through the end of August.  The popular Notch Train will start its schedule through Crawford Notch on June 17th.

More caves plus thundering waterfalls are waiting for sightseers at Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves in North Woodstock which is open daily through October 19.   Evening Lantern Tours are available each weekend from May 24th through October 18th.  A major expansion is currently under construction at Lost River Gorge and guests can watch the work in progress.  When completed this summer, a new Forest Adventure Trail will bring guests to a suspension bridge leading to a forest treehouse and 750 feet of winding boardwalk that snake through dense woods near a glacial boulder field at the foot of towering Dilly Cliffs.  Bird cage overlooks atop the boulders will provide breathtaking, soaring views of the gorge and Kinsman Notch.

In Franconia Notch State Park, the Flume Gorge is now open and the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway will begin its high-flying schedule on May 23rd.  Both of these famous sites have daily hours from 9am to 5pm.

Alpine Adventures headquartered in Lincoln is open year-round offering thrill seekers everything from a variety of Zipline Canopy Tours to off-road adventures aboard 6-wheel Swiss Army transport vehicles.

Opening a little later in the season is the Whales Tale Water Park in Lincoln, with its 11 water slides, a wave pool, the one-quarter mile lazy river and more watery activities.  It will operate daily from June 4th through September 1st.

A Value Pass for 2 people to all 18 of the attractions is available at the White Mountains Visitor Center in North Woodstock, New Hampshire for $329, which has a value of over $1000. For pass details, or for updated operation dates and more information on the attractions, visit the WMAA website at www.VisitWhiteMountains.com.

The White Mountains Attractions Association was founded in 1958 as a regional co-operative marketing association for the region. In 1983, it was also designated the State’s official Regional Association for the White Mountains of New Hampshire, able to assist the press and visitors with information about the region.

Posted in adventure parks, amusement, entertainment, events, family, lifestyle, travel, white mountains, white mountains attractions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MOUNT WASHINGTON OBSERVATORY SEEKING VOLUNTEER DOCENTS

North Conway, New Hampshire—March 24, 2014—Mount Washington Observatory is seeking volunteers to lead programs at their new Extreme Mount Washington museum on the summit of Mount Washington this summer.

Opening in May 2014, Extreme Mount Washington is an interactive educational experience located in the Mt. Washington State Park Visitor Center. Hands-on, high-tech exhibits will share the science and wonder of a Mount Washington winter—the peak’s most extreme season—with more than 100,000 summer visitors from all over the world. Docent-led programming will offer more in-depth information on topics explored in the exhibits, such as rime ice formation and the work of Mount Washington Observatory.

The volunteer docent position will be based at the Observatory’s mountaintop facility, providing the unique opportunity to live in a real, working weather station atop the tallest peak in the Northeast. Docents will follow the same eight-day shifts as the Mount Washington Observatory weather station crew, working Wednesday to the following Wednesday. Transportation to and from the summit, bunk room accommodations and all meals will be provided.

Requirements for the volunteer position include a cheerful disposition, a passion for education, and a love for working with people. Docents must have a positive attitude and be comfortable living with people of different ages, backgrounds and personalities. A criminal background check will be required, along with a three-day training session in April 2014. The training will be held at the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center in North Conway, New Hampshire, and at the Observatory’s weather station on the summit of Mount Washington. Transportation to the summit will be provided.

Given the summit’s remote location, docents must also meet Mount Washington Observatory’s standard health and safety requirements for summer guests. More information about these requirements may be found on MountWashington.org/Safety.

Interested applicants should send a resume and letter of interest to jobs@mountwashington.org or Mount Washington Observatory, Attn: Docent Program, P.O. Box 2310, North Conway, NH 03860. Applications are due April 4, 2014.

About Mount Washington Observatory

Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported institution with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth’s weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been monitoring the elements from its weather station on the summit of Mount Washington, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For more information, call (800) 706-0432 or visit MountWashington.org.

####

Posted in entertainment, events, family, hiking, mount washington, national forest, travel, white mountains | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MOUNT WASHINGTON OBSERVATORY PRESENTS ‘AN EVENING WITH GOOD MORNING AMERICA METEOROLOGIST AND STORM CHASER GINGER ZEE’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Cara Rudio, Director of Advancement
(603) 356-2137, ext. 212 • crudio@mountwashington.org

North Conway, NH — On Friday, April 4 Good Morning America Meteorologist and storm chaser Ginger Zee will light up the stage of the Port City Music Hall in Portland, Maine in an exclusive benefit event for the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory.  Presented by WMTW News 8, the Residence Inn Marriott North Conway and the Mt. Washington Cog Railway with support from Vigilant Capital Management, ‘An Evening with Ginger Zee’ will offer an inside look at the world of storm chasing through the eyes of America’s favorite meteorologist.

“I’ve been fascinated by weather for as long as I can remember,” says Zee, who grew up watching storms over Lake Michigan. “For everything we know, there is still so much we don’t—this is what inspires me to continue learning and pushing the limits as a meteorologist and a storm chaser.”

Recently replacing Sam Champion as Good Morning America’s Chief Meteorologist and Senior Meteorologist for ABC News, Zee is an Emmy award-winning meteorologist and a former member of storm chaser Reed Timmer’s team of experts. Through heart-pounding video and first-person narration, she’ll detail some of her most challenging and frightening experiences in the field.

The evening will also feature a live video connection with Mount Washington Observatory’s famous weather station on the summit of Mount Washington, New Hampshire, where Observatory scientists will share what it’s like to live and work in the “Home of the World’s Worst Weather.”

The entire WMTW News 8 First Warning Weather Team will be on hand to meet viewers, and WMTW Meteorologist Roger Griswold will provide opening remarks.

Doors will open at 5:30pm for a cash bar cocktail hour and heavy hors d’oeuvres, followed by the live connection with Mount Washington Observatory at 6:30pm. The feature presentation will begin at 7:30pm.

Tickets are $79 for supporting members of Mount Washington Observatory or $89 for non-members. Preferred seating is available for $99. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit MountWashington.org/Events or call (603) 356-2137, ext. 231.

“Storm chasing and severe weather phenomena capture the attention of academics and adrenaline junkies alike,” says Mount Washington Observatory Executive Director Scot Henley. “Mount Washington Observatory has been living this adventure for more than 80 years, and we’re excited to be partnering with Ginger to offer an inside look at this incredible world.”

About Mount Washington Observatory
Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported institution with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth’s weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been monitoring the elements from its weather station on the summit of Mount Washington, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For more information, call (800) 706-0432 or visit MountWashington.org.

####

Posted in entertainment, events, family, travel, white mountains | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

First SnowCoach of Winter 2013 Makes Its Way Up the Mt. Washington Auto Road

(Photo Courtesy Mt. Washington Auto Road)

(Photo Courtesy Mt. Washington Auto Road)

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH- Winter on the Auto Road is officially underway with one of the earliest starts ever to the SnowCoach season. The four massive treads of the unique vehicle easily gripped the fresh snow that covers the Mt. Washington Auto Road, offering a surprisingly smooth surface up to treeline for day one of the 2013 season.

The three SnowCoaches have a team of specially trained drivers, who surely have one of the most unique jobs in the United States-a sentiment echoed by passengers as they rode up and the northern Presidential Range revealed itself. Among the passengers for the inaugural ascent were father and son Peter Reddy, 71, and Patrick Reddy, 39 of Bristol, Connecticut, who cross country skied their way back to the base lodge from treeline. “These mountains are just magnificent and the opportunity to take the SnowCoach up with my Dad and ski down is something not to be missed,” Patrick said. “I’ve been here many times, winter and summer and it is always amazing.”

The SnowCoach is indeed a unique way to travel. These custom built four wheel drive Chevy passenger vans ferry guests up the Auto Road in summer, albeit with four tires instead of the winter treads.  Capable of carrying up to 9 passengers, each trip up the road in a SnowCoach can be as unique as a snowflake, depending on the always interesting weather.

“What’s really terrific about the SnowCoach is that we can take anyone, at any age, into an alpine environment they might never see otherwise. It really is a comfortable adventure for the whole family, in an unforgettable place,” said Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center and Auto Road General Manager, Howie Wemyss.

The SnowCoach tour up Mt. Washington takes approximately 1 ¼ hours and departs daily, weather permitting, on a first come, first served basis. The price for adults is $45, $30 for kids ages 5-12. A Total Trails Ticket ($69) includes a SnowCoach tour as well as an all day trail and tubing pass at Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center, as well as snowshoe and/or ski rentals.

For more information call the Mt. Washington Auto Road or Great Glen Trails at (603) 466-3988 or online at www.greatglentrails.com

Posted in amusement, entertainment, family, lifestyle, national forest, travel, white mountains, white mountains attractions | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Busy Winter Season Expected in New Hampshire!

CONTACT:
Mr. Tai Freligh, Communications Manager, NH Division of Travel and Tourism
Email:  tai.freligh@dred.state.nh.us
Phone: (603) 271-2343, Option #2 / Cell: (603) 545-4840  

New Hampshire – Old Man Winter visited New Hampshire early this year, dumping a foot of snow this past weekend and another half a foot this week.  Many ski resorts were able to open early this year and just this past weekend, the state’s more than 7,000 miles of snowmobile trails opened for the season.

Snowmobiling at White Lake State Park on 12/17/13”.  Courtesy NH Division of Parks & Recreation/Grant Klene.

Snowmobiling at White Lake State Park on 12/17/13”. Courtesy NH Division of Parks & Recreation/Grant Klene.

Lori Harnois, director of the Division of Travel and Tourism Development (DTTD), said the state is already on track for a busy season.  “We are expecting about 6.5 million people to come here between now and the end of February and that would be about 5 percent higher than last year,” Harnois said. “More than spending time, these visitors will spend about $891 million, which is up by 7 percent over last year.”

The Institute for New Hampshire Studies compiled the numbers, Harnois said, which are based on  several national indicators which include ski bookings, travel sentiment, weather and the previous year’s activity.

“While most of our winter visitors will be from other New England states, we expect more travelers from New York State and Eastern Canada this year,” said Harnois.  “Enjoying skiing, snowmobiling, shopping and our classic New England scenic beauty top the to-do list this winter!”

Throughout the winter season, New Hampshire tourism will be sharing photos and information on its social media platforms of Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube using the hashtags #NHSnowDay and #WinterInNH.

ABOUT THE DIVISION OF TRAVEL AND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

The Division of Travel and Tourism Development, as part of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, works with the state’s seven travel regions to increase visitation, travel and visitor expenditures in order to expand business activity and employment throughout the state. The division is responsible for domestic and international advertising and public relations, literature publication and distribution, www.visitnh.gov administration, grant administration and research to monitor and measure the impact of travel and tourism to the state. For more information about New Hampshire tourism, call 603-271-2665 or visit http://www.visitnh.gov.

Posted in amusement, entertainment, family, lifestyle, travel, white mountains | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

WOODEN ROLLER COASTER WILL DEBUT AT STORY LAND FOR THE 2014 SUMMER SEASON!

November 20, 2013 – Glen, NH – Story Land is excited to announce the addition of a one of a kind wooden roller coaster for the 2014 summer season!  Joining Story Land’s popular Polar Coaster, the new coaster, designed and built for Story Land’s unique natural setting by The Gravity Group, LLC in Ohio, is the only wooden roller coaster of its kind in northern New England.  The coaster, named “Roar-O-Saurus” is the major component of Story Land’s new Dinosaur themed section of the park.

“This unique wooden coaster will provide children of all ages the experience and memory of riding their first ‘big’ coaster with Mom or Dad, or vice versa,” explains Story Land’s General Manager Eric Dziedzic.  “Our niche in the theme park industry has always been young families with children 2-12.  Our new coaster will expand that demographic slightly and add to the family memories created here in the Land Where Fantasy Lives.”

Roar-O-Saurus, with a colorful train of 12 passengers is led by Story Land’s newest family member, “Rory” the little Dino with the big roar!  The coaster has a lift height of 40 feet (providing a spectacular view of the surrounding area), sends riders soaring down a first drop of 38.5 feet, features 1,242 feet of track length, and provides riders 12 unique airtime moments.  For the safety of all riders, children must be at least 42” tall to ride.  Visit storylandnh.com for more information.

About Story Land
Story Land, a Palace Entertainment park, is one of the premier family attractions in New England and celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2014.  It is a children’s theme park providing lifelong family memories since 1954.  Story Land is located at 850 NH Route 16 in Glen, NH 03838.  For more information, call (603) 383-4186 or visit storylandnh.com, facebook.com/storylandnh.

About Palace Entertainment
Palace Entertainment owns and operates amusement, water parks, and family entertainment centers nationwide, including Lake Compounce, Water Country, Kennywood, Dutch Wonderland, and Story Land on the east coast, and Raging Waters on the west coast.  The company entertains millions of guests annually and is one of the largest park operators in the United States.  For more information please visit palaceentertainment.com.

Posted in adventure parks, amusement, entertainment, family, travel, Uncategorized, white mountains, white mountains attractions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BUFFALO AND TOUGH COOKIE TO APPEAR IN LINCOLN NH DECEMBER 7

LINCOLN, NH -  When hiker Dan Szczesny and his nine-year-old ward, Janelle, first set foot on the trail to Mt. Kearsarge in November 2011, neither of them knew that this easy hike to one of New Hampshire’s most popular mountain tops would change both their lives. But what followed was a hiking odyssey that lasted over a year as the two hikers cross-crossed the state on their way to a 225-mile epic attempt to complete a little-known hiking list called The 52 With a View.

The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie, published by Bondcliff Books of Littleton, is a hiking memoir that chronicles the journey of the author and his young but ambitious hiking partner as this unlikely pair formed a unique and unforgettable bond that transformed both their lives.

On Saturday, December 7, at 7:00 pm, Dan and Janelle will be giving a reading, slide show and book sigining at a free event hosted by the Lincoln Public Library and the Mountain Wanderer Map & Book Store at the Father Roger Bilodeau Community Center, located at 194 Pollard Road in Lincoln.  It is one of a series of author appearances sponsored by the Lincoln Public Library throughout the year.

Patricia Herr, author of last year’s bestselling book Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure, writes in her foreword to the book that “Not only did the two share outdoor adventures, but they forged a friendship that bridged the traditional gaps of age and gender. Theirs is a team not formed of traditional family ties but, instead, an earned and mutual respect. Dan and Janelle are a unique and inspiring duo.”

“It’s about 80 percent memoir and 20 percent guidebook,” said Bondcliff publisher Mike Dickerman. “Dan’s stylish, heartfelt prose is sure to touch the hearts of all readers, whether a peakbagger or an armchair hiker.”

And while The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie takes readers to some special mountains, the book is also a personal memoir and travelogue of two friends. This personal account of what happened when the author and his wife unexpectedly became part-time caretakers of nine-year-old twins is a wonderful meditation on the transformative power of friendship, commitment and the many meanings of family.

Dan, the associate publisher of the weekly Hippo publication in Manchester, is a long-time journalist and writer. He’s a member of the AMC’s 4,000-footer club and has written extensively about the outdoors and hiking. Most recently, he spent a month in Nepal trekking to Everest Base Camp. For more information about the book or the ongoing adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie, go to the book’s website at http://www.52withaview.com.

The event with Dan and Janelle begins at 7:00 pm.  For information and directions to the Community Center call the Lincoln Public Library at 603-745-8159. Admission is free. Copies of the book will be available at the event for purchase and signing by both Dan and Janelle, or by advance order from the Mountain Wanderer, 57 Main Street, Lincoln (www.mountainwanderer.com; 800-745-2707).

Posted in events, family, hiking, lifestyle, white mountains | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment