You will be among the clouds as you ride the cog railway to the top of Mt. Washington.

 

Squam Lake and the nearby White Mountains region offer absolutely breathtaking scenery. Driving through the White Mountains and winding alongside Squam Lake, I was in sheer awe of the natural and unblemished beauty. 

Chug up Mt. Washington on the first mountain- climbing cog railway.

Squam Lake, which is perhaps best known for its appearance in the movie “On Golden Pond” starring Katherine Hepburn and Jane Fonda, has the ability to transport you to another universe. The fresh air, beautiful foliage and clear water are almost too much to take. A visit to Squam Lake may require you to pinch yourself to know it’s real. During my visit to Squam Lake I stayed at The Manor – a private dream home built in 1904 turned Photographic Colony run by Lifetime Magazine photographer and editor, Harold Fowler, turned inn owned by Brian and Mary Ellen Shields.

My room was spectacular – large bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, wood-burning fireplace, porch, and best of all, a spectacular view. Other in-room amenities included wireless internet, cable television, personal climate control, hair dryer, plush bath robes, etc. Each day started with breakfast in the Van Horn Dining room of The Manor. An extensive menu is offered and breakfast food to go is also available for those on the run. While owner Mary Ellen recommends their eggs benedict, no item on the menu will disappoint! Picnic lunches are available upon request, and afternoon tea is served each day from 4-5 p.m. on the patio overlooking the lake or fireside in the library or living room. The Van Horn Dining room opens again for dinner serving delicious dishes from an a la carte menu or the chef’s tasting menu.

For a more casual dining experience, M Bistro is also open for dinner serving up locally grown, organic food options and more. The Manor’s quiet atmosphere and understated elegance provides the perfect backdrop for a relaxing and romantic getaway and is an excellent escape for rest and relaxation. With multiple dining options and superior service, it’s easy to kick back and relax. 

Squam Lake Inn

Explore Squam as you hike Rattlesnake Trail. A covered bridge in Squam Lake.

Since meals were served at The Manor, there wasn’t much reason to go elsewhere. However, I did make my way over to Squam Lake Inn for dinner at their onsite restaurant one evening. Upholding the motto “food among friends,” the incredible and eclectic atmosphere makes dinner at Squam Lake Inn an enjoyable experience for all. Serving locally grown, organic food, Squam Lake Inn is an absolute must-try. And don’t forget to stop by the Red Barn Shop on your way out! For more information about Squam Lake Inn, visit squamlakeinn.com. Squam Lakes Natural Science Center Located only minutes from The Manor, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center features numerous exhibits and lush gardens. See bears in their natural habitat and see the American bald eagle up close and personal. Or, for a more intimate view of Squam Lake, book a boat tour with the Science Center. For more information, visit nhnature.org.

Mt. Washington

All aboard Mt. Washington on Lake Winnipesaukee! There’s no better way to see the lake than by boat, and what better way than a ride on Mt. Washington. Lake Winnipesaukee can be found approximately 20-30 minutes from The Manor. As you follow winding roads through the hills and around the lake, you will soon arrive at Lake Winnipesaukee where you will find the historic Mt. Washington. With three decks, snack bars and live music entertainment, a trip on the Mt. Washington is not only fun, but serves as the perfect way to tour the lake and learn about life in the White Mountain Region of New Hampshire. Take in the stunning views of mountains in the distance and watch the water ripple as you cruise the lake. To learn more, visit cruisenh.com.

The Manor on Golden Pond.

Cog Railway

Ride on the first-ever mountain-climbing cog railway! New Hampshire, which used to be perhaps the hottest vacation spot in the continental U.S., can be seen in a whole new light while riding the cog. Located along the Appalachian Trail, this railway was constructed during the Civil War in 1866. Rich in history and with only a few cog railways in existence in the world, a ride on the cog is a ride of your life. You’ll literally be among the clouds as you chug up the mountain in one of the cog’s historic steam engines or in one of their new biodiesel, ecofriendly trains. Stop at the top for a panoramic view of the White Mountains and be sure to try a cup of delicious New England clam chowder! For more information, visit thecog.com.

Steam engine at the cog railway at Mt. Washington.

Rattlesnake Trail

The word rattlesnake will make almost any native Texan shake in their boots; so naturally, my immediate reaction upon hearing the name of the trail was one of hesitancy. But after quickly realizing I wasn’t in Texas anymore and being assured there were certainly no rattlesnakes on the trail, I threw out notions of poisonous snakes and put one foot in front of the other. Clearly marked and nicely manicured, the trail was easy to follow. As I set out on the trail, I began to think Tolkien’s middle earth just might exist. Although it was drizzling and cold the day I ventured through the hills, the fog that settled in the forest was magical. And the dew drops on the limbs and leaves of the trees caught the light and lit up the forest in a sparkling scene. Be sure to take in the unsuspecting beauty of the forest on this hike as surprises lurk on every tree trunk and in every nook of the trail ... fascinating fungus, lush leaves, a babbling brook and more. Best of all, this beginner 20 to 30 minute hike provides a bird’s eye view of Squam Lake when you reach the top! Photos, top to bottom, clockwise: You will be among the clouds as you ride the cog railway to the top of Mt. Washington. The Manor on Golden Pond. Steam engine at the cog railway at Mt. Washington. A visit to New Hampshire in the fall will leave you breathless as you take in all the colors of the rainbow found in the changing of the leaves. 

Lake Winnipesaukee.





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