Trail Finder, an online resource for finding trails in New Hampshire and Vermont, has launched a new portal called Trailside Services to help stimulate local economies by connecting businesses and attractions with trail users.
You can use this portal to plan out fun day trips or weekend excursions. Look up any New Hampshire region and explore what trails and businesses you can visit there!
We put together this suggested itinerary for visiting the Littleton and Franconia area to show you how Trailside Services can help you plan an outing (inclusion or exclusion of commercial names, logos, products or services does not equate or imply endorsement by Cooperative Extension or the University of New Hampshire).
Before embarking on your adventure, be sure to use Trail Finder and Trailside Services to access directions, read safety updates and check local weather.
Snowshoe up Kilburn Crags for Spectacular Views
Pull into the designated parking lot for Kilburn Crags and strap on your snowshoes for a 1.8-mile out-and-back winter walk. As you make your way up to the top, be sure to use all your senses to appreciate the beauty around you. Notice any wildlife tracks? Can you identify the trees? What birdsong do you hear? Take a few breaks to snap some photos of the scenery. Once you get to the top, the ledges offer outstanding views of the center of Littleton, the Ammonoosuc River, the Presidential Range, Lafayette Mountain and Cannon Mountain.
Hiking Tip: Remember to be prepared for cold winter weather; dress in layers, wear sturdy boots and keep your body temperature warm by wearing a hat and gloves or mittens. Carry a bottle of water and some snacks like trail mix or dried fruit.
Swing by Littleton Bike & Fitness for Bike Services or Fitness Equipment
After your hike, hop back in your car and drive to Littleton Bike & Fitness for their local expertise, which will help you stay healthy and fit this winter! Need some maintenance on a mountain bike? Looking for a treadmill that will fit nicely in your home? They offer a wide selection of bikes and fitness equipment for sale as well as bike rentals and repair/maintenance services.
Shopping Tip: Be prepared to follow COVID-19 protocols. Wear a mask, keep a six-foot distance and wash or sanitize your hands.
Grab a Growler and Pizza to go From Iron Furnace Brewing
Now that you’ve worked up an appetite with a hike and some shopping, head on over to Iron Furnace Brewing, located beside the Gale River in Franconia. They offer up a rotating list of New England IPAs, pale ales, stouts, porters, goldens and sours. Order a wood-fired pizza or other comfort fare like soft pretzels, nachos or a panini.
Local Business Tip: Small businesses have faced great challenges during the pandemic. Beyond grabbing a meal, consider purchasing merchandise or gift cards for future visits!
Do you know a local business that should be listed on Trail Finder? Click here to find out more.
Trail Finder is overseen by the Upper Valley Trails Alliance (UVTA) in collaboration with UNH Cooperative Extension, the Center for Community GIS, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and the National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. Thanks to a grant from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, listings on the new Trailside Services portal will be free through April 1, 2021 to businesses and attractions that cater to trail users.