Written by Terry Leavitt
Some people are stuck in the places where they live — others choose to be there. In their new book, "Mountain Voices: Stories of Life and Adventure in the White Mountains and Beyond," local writers Doug Mayer and Rebecca Oreskes bring to life in their subjects' own words what it has been like to spend their lives in the shadows of the mountains.
Last Updated on Friday, 18 January 2013 11:11
Written by Terry Leavitt
In his new book, "The History of Cranmore Mountain," published by The History Press, Conway Daily Sun reporter Tom Eastman writes that he has always felt that the story of Cranmore is a great one to tell, because it has at its core all of those ingredients.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 December 2012 20:07
Written by Laura Lucy
First and foremost is the acknowledged bible on hiking the region, The Appalachian Mountain Club White Mountain Guide. The 29th edition came out in 2012, edited by Steve Smith and Mike Dickerman. The book comes with Trusted by hikers for over a century, the “AMC White Mountain Guide” published byt eh Appalachian Mountain Club is an indispensable resource for the magnificent White Mountain National Forest. With comprehensive coverage of the region's hiking trails, this completely updated and revised edition features detailed descriptions for more than 500 trails, six pull-out, topographic maps with trail segment mileage, recommended hikes, and camping and safety information. The authors updated trail information following tropical storm Irene's impact in August 2011. Add in the “AMC Maine Mountain Guide” and the “AMC Southern New Hampshire Trail Guide” to cover all of New Hampshire and neighboring Maine.
A close runner-up in the must have category is the AMC’s “Best Day Hikes in the White Mountains.” The beauty of this book is that author Robert Buchsbaum has gone through the bigger guide and picked out the trails with the most rewards, whether it’s the best views, most dramatic waterfalls or the nature-rich trails. There’s an at-a-glance trail planner that points out if the trail is great for kids, has a view, waterfalls, wildflowers or whether wildlife is likely. This easy-to-follow guide is an ideal book for families and beginner hikers, too.
Also from AMC is “Discover the White Mountains” (second edition), by Jerry and Marcy Monkman. In addition to 50 of the region’s best hiking trails, they’ve compiled 50 biking and paddling trips as well. Instead of buying separate books for each, this one gives a comprehensive look at the top-ranked outdoor recreation around the entire White Mountains and it’s perfect for all ages and abilities. Visit www.outdoors.org for further information.
If you’re looking for a guide to take the guesswork out of picking hikes – narrowing down the selections to what they consider the optimum - try Daniel Doan and Ruth Doan MacDougall’s “50 Hikes in the White Mountains.” Again, we’re dealing with fifty hikes and they’ve done the work to pull out the best of the best. The at-a-glance index provides the distance, elevation rise, whether there are views, waterfalls or if the hike is good for kids. In addition, each hike has a very succinct summation. For instance, Sabbaday Falls off the Kanc, is noted as “simple and lovely.”
Another favorite is “Hiking in the White Mountains,” part of the Falcon Guide series, written by Lisa Densmore. The book focuses on 39 of the best hiking adventures in the area. Each trail has a full description, but a fun addition is the level of canine compatibility – in other words, whether the trail is dog friendly. That makes perfect sense, as Densmore is also the author of “Best Hikes with Dogs, New Hampshire & Vermont.” This guide covers a broader scope – two states – but is a perfect addition to your hiking library if you travel with a canine companion.
Two more books that include the White Mountains and beyond are the “Hiker’s Guide to New Hampshire” by Jared Gange and “New Hampshire Hiking” by Jaqueline Tourville, a spotlight guide published by Moon Travel. Gange’s book contains 200 day hikes all around the state, including classics in the White Mountains. Just a fun note for those hikers who bemoan the size change to the classic “White Mountain Guide” several years ago, the “Hiker’s Guide to New Hampshire” is a trim 4 ½ by 6 ½ and is certainly the “smallest” hiking book out there. While there are not a lot of maps in the Moon spotlight guide, it packs lots of information in a slim package: trail descriptions with all the requisite information, as well as little symbols that rate the difficulty and quality levels.
The list is rounded out with two niche guides that also expand the hiking area beyond the White Mountains. First, “Best Loop Hikes: New Hampshire’s White Mountains to the Maine Coast” is perfect for the hiker who hates to see the same scenery twice. Written by Jeffery Romano, the book covers 60 hikes throughout the two states and even specifies in which direction to hike the loop for the best effect. And finally, for parents and grandparents, there’s “Best Hikes with Kids: Vermont, New Hampshire & Maine.” Featuring a variety of trails, from rugged walks for the real little ones to more challenging terrain for more experienced youngsters, the guide includes several tips for hiking with children, which are good reminders for everyone.
Armed with this information, any hiker can pick the book best suited to their purpose and take to the trails. Have fun and be safe!¨
Laura Lucy is the owner of White Birch Books, an independent bookstore located in North Conway Village.
UPDATED BY TE 5-16-12
Last Updated on Monday, 13 August 2012 15:22
Written by Mark Guerringue
CONWAY — Those who love the history of northern New Hampshire will want to obtain a copy of “Beyond the Notches: Stories of Place in New Hampshire's North Country.”
Published in June 2011 by Bondcliff Books of Littleton, in partnership with the Monadnock Institute of Nature, Place and Culture of Franklin Pierce University of Rindge, the book was edited by Mike Dickerman of Littleton and project coordinator Kay Morgan, the latter of whom was the first project director of the Frost Place in Franconia.
At a June 2011 forum at the Conway Public Library, Morgan explained that the volume is organized into five sections — “First Stories,” “Transformation and Change,” “Working the Land,” “Conservation and Recreation,” and “Competing Visions.”
Dickerman was not present at the Conway event, but outlined the focus of the book in preview that was distributed at the event.
“ ‘Beyond the Notches’ captures the essence of life in New Hampshire's rugged North Country,” wrote Dickerman. “Its essays, many penned by longtime residents of the region, reflect the natural beauty of the forests and mountains of the Great North Woods and White Mountains — which drew many of us here in the first place — but also the hardships and challenges of living and working in this isolated paradise I happily call home.”
The collection includes pieces by Conway Public Library Henney History Room curator Bob Cottell, longtime North Country newspaper columnist John Harrigan, Jack McEnany of Sugar Hill, Yankee Magazine contributing editor Edie Clark; Kim Nilsen, humorist Rebecca Rule, Jeff Woodburn of Dalton, Sylvia Smith, hiking columnist and AMC White Mountain Guide co-editor Steve Smith of Lincoln, Dr. Peter Crane of the Mount Washington Observatory, Fran Lavoie of Littleton, Dartmouth College writing professor Ernest Hebert, and Daily Sun writers Barbara Tetreault of Berlin and Tom Eastman of Conway.
Five northern New Hampshire high school students also wrote stories for the book.
Along with Cottrell, writers on hand for the event at the Conway Public Library were Bob Goodby, Alan Leveillee, Pavel Cenkl, Sarah Goodby-Botting, Crane and Eastman. All were asked to speak about their essays.
Topics covered in the 400-page book include: a history of life in the notches, patterns in the landscape: a look at White Mountain art; the history of “Pathways to the Top” on Mount Washington; logging camps of old; the history of how a vacant, non-productive agricultural lot in Glen was transformed into Story Land, and a look at the “Two Conways, North and South.”
At the June 2011 event, John Harris, director of the Monadnock Institute, noted that the book is available for sale at bookstores and gift shops throughout New Hampshire.
Harris said the latest volume is the institute's second, as an earlier work was focused on the Monadnock region.
The new book was designed by Stephen Stinehour and features artwork by local artists as well as 160 photographs, many of them from Dickerman's extensive White Mountain history collection.
The project was supported through a grant from Jane's Trust and the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund.
Upcoming forums and/or book sales are scheduled to be held July 29 at the Weeks Act Centennial Celebration at the base of the Mount Washington Auto Road; Aug. 13 at Mead Base (visit www.nhwritersproject.org for more information); Aug. 13 at the Frost Place in Franconia; and Aug. 20 at a forum on literature of the White Mountains in North Conway (visit www.nhwritersproject.org for further information).
The price of the book is $29.95.
For further information, visit www.northcountrystories.org.
UPDATED BY TE 5-16-12
Last Updated on Monday, 13 August 2012 15:20
Written by Laura Lucy
This guide to the best 100 getaways for a vacation or a lifetime singled out towns where the comforts and artistry of civilization blend easily with nearby natural grandeur for the perfect vacation or town in which to live. North Conway is the only New Hampshire locale included in the book, and is described by the Vokacs as “the peerless gateway to New England's biggest mountain playground.”
To be selected as a “great town,” North Conway competed with all cities and towns with less than 80,000 population. “From 221 semi-finalists, 100 communities were selected for their successful combination of scenic grandeur and memorable leisure-time features. Since being revised as a follow-up to the original “Great Towns” book released in 1998, 12 of the original towns were replaced by new communities in the current edition. However, the authors report that North Conway retained its status among the nation's best due to its scenic beauty combined with a multitude of historic attractions and lodging properties.
Vokac says “unspoiled high country and historic attractions are still here, along with many others now vying for travelers' attention.” Covered bridges, a colorful depot, a whitewashed landmark inn and other vestiges of earlier times are as beguiling as ever. They go on to say, "There are also plenty of contemporary restaurants and lodgings, along with notable art galleries, a crafts center, antiques and regional specialty shops. Along the main road into town is a major collection of tax-free outlet and name brand stores."
In guidebook-style, the book includes an extensive list of attractions and scenic spots, lodging properties, and restaurants found throughout Mount Washington Valley not just in North Conway. A special concluding chapter provides livability and affordability tables comparing North Conway to the other great towns in the book.
Vokac, a former urban planner turned travel writer, is the author of ten earlier guidebooks. He and his wife, also a former planner, devoted two years and 80,000 miles criss-crossing the nation in search of the hundred best communities among 221 semi-finalist communities. Their rigorous field work in every town resulted in a comprehensive guidebook full of descriptions of the attractions, restaurants and lodging in not only the towns, but regions beyond. The book sells for $23.95 and is available in bookstores. For more information about The Great Towns of America guidebook, visit http://www.greattowns.com.
To learn more about Mount Washington Valley, visit www.mtwashingtonvalley.org or call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364) for all the trip planning tools you need.
UPDATED BY TE 5-16-12
Last Updated on Monday, 13 August 2012 15:18