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01 December 2014

Thanksgiving 2014: Trekking to Mt. Major, and Wanderings in Wolfeboro, NH

A portion of this past Thanksgiving 2014 holiday season was made special by doing a variety of pleasant wanderings in the village of Wolfeboro, NH, as well as doing a trek to Mt. Major (1,786 ft).

For the hike to Mt. Major, there are a number of loop options available from the trailhead near Alton Bay.  However, there was only enough time to do a simple 3 mile (round-trip) out and back hike via the Mt. Major Trail.  Despite its extreme popularity, this was my first visit to Mt. Major.  However, it's somewhat typical of me to be neglectful about hiking to popular destinations such as this.  Much of my time is spent exploring lesser visited corners of National Forests, State Parks and other public lands.

But admittedly, each time I eventually get around to hiking to one of the more trendy destinations, it's always easy to understand why these places have such great appeal, and Mt. Major is no exception.  This mountain provides a superb view overlooking picturesque Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in NH.  Shown below is an example of the magnificent vistas that I experienced from atop Mt. Major.
An example of magnificent vistas that were experienced from atop Mt. Major
While descending Mt. Major, I happened to spot a rather forlorn leaf that had refused to join the other leaves who had surrendered to Autumn and fallen to ground.  As a reward for this leaf's tenacity, it will be immortalized in this photo!
A tenacious leaf that refused to surrender to Autumn
At the beginning of this report, it was mentioned that in addition to the hike to Mt. Major, a visit was also made to the quaint village of Wolfeboro, NH.  It was incorporated in 1770 and named for General James Wolfe who was the hero of the Battle of Quebec in 1759.

While in Wolfeboro, my wife and I experienced the delightful contrast of going outdoors where we wandered around a snow covered village, and then coming indoors where we enjoyed the cozy fireside warmth of the Wolfeboro Inn and had a scrumptious Thanksgiving meal.
Charming covering of snow outdoors, contrasted to cozy fireside warmth indoors
One of our outdoor wanderings led us to the Wolfeboro town docks which had a barren beauty during this late Autumn season when the hubbub of the boating season is over.
Wolfeboro town docks during late Autumn
Our favorite outdoor activity of the day was snowshoeing on the Bridge-Falls Path which begins at the old Wolfeboro Train Depot, and follows the corridor of the now defunct Wolfeboro Scenic Railway. The tracks are gone, but the scenic views remain.  It's an easy out and back trek of about one-mile (round-trip).

The path takes you along Wolfeboro's Back Bay.  After passing some interesting rock outcroppings, you come to the remains of the Berry Mill, which was built in 1840 and was still making excelsior as recently as the 1980s.  After crossing the bridge at Wolfeboro Falls, the Bridge-Falls Path comes to an end.  But, if you still have some time and adventure left in you, then you can cross over Rt. 28 and continue onto the Cotton Valley Rail Trail which runs for about 12 miles.  We had the "adventure", but regrettably we didn't have the "time", on this particular day!
The Bridge-Falls Path in the village of Wolfeboro, NH
To sum it up, Wolfeboro and the surrounding Lakes Region has a lot to offer.  It's likely we will be making the relatively short drive from our home in Bethlehem, NH to re-visit this location at various seasons of the year.


Ellen Snyder said...

Hi John,

My nephew and I climbed Mt. Major last winter on a cold, windswept day. We saw only a few people and the views were fantastic, as winter vistas can be.

What I am most impressed with in your post is that you had a quiet, delicious Thanksgiving meal at the Wolfeboro Inn, while many of us were having large gatherings with family and maybe wishing we were having a quiet, prepared meal somewhere else! :-)

Regards, Ellen

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Ellen,

Yes! Aren't those views from Mt. Major truly fantastic! I was very impressed!

And yes, I must admit that having a quiet, delicious Thanksgiving meal at the Wolfeboro Inn was truly a delightful experience. Our family is now so spread out that it has become quite a logistical challenge to have family gatherings at Thanksgiving. But, as the saying goes, "The only thing constant in life is change." And one might argue that "change" can be a good thing! :-)

Regards, John

JustJoe said...

You just made it to Cardigan, and now Mt Major? You need to get out more John. ;-) I've actually done very little in that area myself. Love the photos of Wolfeboro. The one with the bandstand is a beauty.

Thanks for Sharing,

Summerset said...

Glad to see you've come down to my neck of the woods! There is a whole network of trails to explore in the Belknaps. Looks like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Joe,

Thanks for reading and posting a reply to my blog. Glad you enjoyed the photos of Wolfeboro. It’s a picturesque town for sure.
And I totally agree with you, I really do need to get out more! :-)


1HappyHiker said...

Hi Summerset,

Believe it or not, I was thinking of you as I hiked to Mt. Major, and wondered how many times you might have climbed this mountain.
I’m aware of the extensive trail network in the Belknaps, and hope to enjoy hiking some of those trails on some future adventures in that area.

And yes, we did have a very nice Thanksgiving. Hopefully you and your family also had a very enjoyable holiday!

Regards, John

One Day in America said...

Wow! Magnificent vistas indeed! Such a beautiful place to celebrate Thanksgiving. I loved the idea of contrasting the lovely out-of-doors with the warm-and-inviting indoors.
Also, the tenacious leaf photo is priceless! And the autumn docks picture captures perfectly the end of boating season stillness.
From the descriptions of your wanderings to the artistic photography—I enjoyed everything about this post, John!

1HappyHiker said...

Rita . . . we all have things for which to be thankful. Your faithful following of my blog and your kind words are among those things for which I’m thankful!