Summer in the White Mountains
Mt. Washington Valley has been a summer resort for over 150 years. During that time it has developed an enormous variety of facilities: four golf courses - North Conway Country Club (18 holes in the center of North Conway, Wentworth), Wentworth Golf Club (18 holes in Jackson), Hales Location (nine holes next to White Mountain Hotel off West Side Road in North Conway), Eagle Mountain House (nine holes in Jackson); several dozen tennis courts with 4 indoor at Mt. Cranmore Recreation Center in North Conway; swimming in the Saco, Swift, Ellis and Wildcat rivers as well as in Echo, Silver, Conway, Crystal, Chocorua, Loon, Kimball and Ossipee Lakes; scenic train rides; Story Land, hiking, fishing, picnicking, or riding to the top of mountains in chairlifts or gondolas.
The Saco is a river made for canoeing; one day take the trip from North Conway's First Bridge to the covered bridge at Davis Park in Conway (where you see the public tennis courts). Another, put in at Conway's Smith-Eastman Park (at the end of the short road next to the Conway Police Station) and cruise to the beach in Fryeburg, Maine. If you don't mind getting out to push the canoe over shallow places, go from Humphrey's Ledge off West Side Road in Bartlett to First Bridge in North Conway. There are several excellent canoe rental firms that will take you and your canoe to the point of origin and pick you up where you decide to come out.
Prime blueberry picking sites are often jealously guarded secrets, but hints are available if you know whom to ask. Commercial strawberry and apple areas are publicized. There is much in the forest that is edible; the Appalachian Mountain Club in Pinkham Notch is the place to ask about seminars before sampling delicacies like mushrooms.
Idea: Take along a pail and the chairlift to the top of Bartlett's Mt. Attitash, at the end of July or early August when blueberries are ripe. There are excellent patches up there - Attitash is Abenaki for blueberry - and this is the comfortable way to get to them.