Camping in the North Woods
Distracted by the wild beauty of New Hampshire’s Great North Woods region, a traveler could easily pass right by the unassuming entrance to Northern Waters Outfitters. After closer investigation, this family-friendly escape, which is located right on the Androscoggin River in Errol, is a camping gem. Ideally situated at the intersection of Routes 26 and 16, just a frisbee throw from LL Cote, Northern Exposure Restaurant and Black Bear Pub, the Northern Waters campsites offer amenities for every kind of camper. The sites themselves are well-spaced, and many are tucked away down on the banks of the mighty Androscoggin. They offer canoe and kayak rentals as well as paddling and whitewater instruction.
Time to choose your adventure:
Exploring: Explore Dixville Notch by foot or on a leisurely drive past the historic Balsams Grand Resort Hotel and Wilderness Ski Area (both currently closed). Enjoy wildlife viewing, and hit the Sanguinary Ridge Trail to make it a full day of hiking.
Hiking: Percy Peaks is challenging, but the view of the Great North Woods in the distance and Christine Lake just below is to see New Hampshire in its (almost) original form. Get there: Leaving Groveton on Route 110E, take a left onto Emerson Road. Follow this road for 2.2 miles until the road makes a sharp right-hand turn. Turn onto Nash Stream Road, and follow it for 2.7 miles to a small, signed parking area on the right.
Climbing: Mt. Forist is a huge slab that overlooks downtown Berlin. It offers about 25 routes. The approach trail is rough, but can be found behind the boulder near the last house on Madigan Street.
In the Water: Native brook trout abound in the peaceful Nash Stream that flows through Nash Stream Forest. Animal Planet explored this area recently in search of Sasquatch. They didn’t find him.
On the water: Paddling on the flat water of Christine Lake (local pronunciation has it rhyming with supine) is pure Zen. Plus, there are a number of beaches. For a bonus, check out Crystal Falls on the way to the lake.
Adrenaline: Find a rush of adrenaline via ATV. Some are for one; others seat a family of four with room in the back for a cooler. Jericho Mountain State Park in Berlin offers miles of trails for all forms of off-road travel, including 4x4s equipped with winch and other necessary modifications. Rentals and tours are offered at Bear Rock Adventures in Pittsburg.