White Mountain Holiday

Destination: Lincoln, NH

| Activities: Hiking, Biking, Kayaking

The White Mountains of New Hampshire were once called the "Crystal Hills" by the early settlers due to their granite faces that reflected sunlight in the valley below. They have been drawing tourists since the mid-1800s when most visitors made the trip from cities by train or horse-drawn carriages. At that time, families came to the Whites to spend a month or more enjoying the fresh air, wonderful hiking and lofty vistas. This trip is designed to give you an overview of what is available and introduce you to the diversity of the Whites. Hiking is the most traditional sport in the area and with over 1,200 miles of trail to choose from, the options are endless. We'll also take advantage of favorite local activities: paddling a pristine river, biking the (downhill) biking trail, visiting the Flume Gorge and exploring the historic Mount Washington Hotel. Our pace will be leisurely to allow us to notice and enjoy the diversity of the forests and meadows and be awed and inspired by the vistas. Whether you are intrigued by forest flora and fauna, birds, waterfalls, mountain vistas, learning about the cultural history, or just seeking less traveled paths, you will quickly understand why the White Mountains continue to draw us to their beauty and majesty.

Maximum group size: 12


  • Hiking a diversity of trails from windswept ridges to hardwood forest
  • Paddling and swimming in a pristine and refreshing NH river
  • Visiting the Historic Mount Washington Hotel
  • Biking to the Flume and seeing the magnificent power of water
  • Staying at The Notch, a lovely and peacefully located hostel in North Woodstock, NH

Departures and Prices

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  • 1 - 2 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • Seven nights lodging in hostel dorm rooms, single beds
  • All meals and trail snacks from picnic lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 7
  • boats and paddles, bikes, shuttles, and instruction
  • Round-trip transportation from Manchester Airport (MHT), transportation during the trip
  • All activities noted on the itinerary
Not included: Travel to Manchester, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, items of a personal nature.

Trip Documents

Trip Info

This trip is for women who want to enjoy the many different facets of New Hampshire’s White Mountains by foot, water and bike. Days will be full of activity. The option to relax at the hostel is always a possibility. If you choose to do all the activities offered, this trip is a challenging level 3. The White mountains are known for steep elevations and trails with frequent roots and rocks to negotiate. Hikes may involve scrambling, walking on balds (flat granite), and heights (exposed ledges). In some sections, expect to hike at a slower speed than you normally would hike, maxing at 1 mph. Prior to beginning the trip, participants should be engaging in aerobic conditioning, such as walking vigorously up hills, using an inclined treadmill or stair stepping for one hour at least 3 - 4 times a week.
Rating: 1 2 [3] 4 5

On this multisport adventure vacation, we'll combine moderate hiking, biking and kayaking with visiting some of the White Mountains' iconic destinations, including the Flume and the Mount Washington Hotel.

We will stay the entire week at The Notch Hostel, a large, well-maintained hostel located just outside of Lincoln, NH. Accommodations will be shared, all single beds (no upper bunks). We will be occupying the 'shared' part of the hostel - plenty of beds to choose from, 'hanging out' space, ample areas for relaxing as well as both inside and outside dining areas where we will enjoy our home cooked meals throughout the week.
An indoor sauna is also available.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

Our journey begins at 10 a.m. at the Manchester Airport or 12 p.m. at the Notch Hostel in Woodstock, NH. We will have introductions and a welcome picnic lunch before heading down the Kancamagus highway to Greely Pond Trail. Our hike to scenic Upper Greely Pond is a good introduction to the rocky paths of the White Mountains but without some of the elevation gain that is typical of mountain trails. If it's a hot day, the pond offers a standing invitation to take a quick dip before heading back. Returning by the same trail, we'll make our way back to Woodstock and our accommodations for the week. We'll begin by settling into our lodging and sharing the first of many delicious dinners. Lodging: The Notch Hostel, Woodstock, NH Mileage: 3.4 miles (L, D)
Today we will hike the Zealand Falls trail. This trail is a beautiful hike though scenic forest, past marshes, and alongside the rushing Zealand River. Our destination is one of the Appalachian Mountain Club huts, Zealand Hut, located next to the spectacular Zealand Falls with a view to match. This is where we'll enjoy the picnic lunch we've packed. For dessert - the hut's "croo" always has something freshly baked along with lemonade for purchase - let's hope for their chocolate chip cookies! After returning to our vehicles, we'll head to the historic Mount Washington Hotel. The hotel has been and continues to be a favorite New England retreat of not only those of us who appreciate history and a bit of pampering but also presidents, poets and celebrities. It is also the place where the International Monetary Conference was held after WWII and articles of agreement signed that established the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that still stands today. We'll grab a rocker on the back porch (with the Crawford Ridge and Mount Washington as our view) and enjoy a refreshing drink before wandering a bit - soaking in the beauty and the history of this historic and majestic hotel. Mileage: 5.6 miles (B,L,D)
Off to the water! Today we'll head to North Conway to paddle a section of the Saco, a local favorite known for it's sandy beaches and crystal-clear water. Our pace will be relaxed with time to enjoy the scenery and the water. We will stop for a picnic lunch at one of the many sand beaches along the way and enjoy both our lunch and a refreshing dip. Depending on water levels and excitement for swimming we will spend 2-4 hours on the water. No previous kayaking experience is necessary to enjoy this delightful day. Following our paddle we have the option to stroll North Conway, a charming village in the heart of the Mt. Washington Valley, or visit Diana's Baths, a 1.2 mile out-and-back hike to explore a chain of small and pretty waterfalls. Tonight we will cap off our relaxed day with ordering pizza from town. (B,L,D)
Back to our hiking boots - today we will hike the Lonesome Lake trail. This trail is a beautiful hike through a lush forest of Birch, Maple, and Beech trees with lots of rocks and roots to test your balance and hiking skills. Ascending up a steady incline of 1,000' elevation, we'll arrive at Lonesome Lake, where the water sparkles and the view of the Franconia Ridge is breathtaking. Sitting on the dock, we'll enjoy a picnic lunch and visit one of the many AMC huts that look over the lake. After returning to our lodging, the rest of the late afternoon is free and you may choose to relax with a good book, lounge on the deck or porch and anticipate an after-dinner fire at the fire pit once the evening cools down. Mileage: 3.1 miles if you do the whole "lollipop loop" (B,L,D)
We have an exciting day planned today, but first? A hearty breakfast at the hostel - no alpine starts today! Next up, we are biking! We'll take a leisurely bike ride on the Franconia Notch Bike Path (north to south) to the Flume where we'll enjoy our picnic lunch before touring the Flume. The Flume is one of the White Mountain's unique geological formations and while a bit more touristy than the other places we have hiked so far; this is not any ordinary waterfall and well worth a visit. Discovered in 1808, the Flume is a natural gorge extending 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty. The walls of Conway granite rise to a height of 70 to 90 feet and are 12 to 20 feet apart. We start at the Flume Visitor Center, framed by a spectacular vista of Mount Liberty and Mount Flume. The 2-mile walk, partly on a boardwalk and part on a gravel path, is moderately graded with some up/down stairs. There are many opportunities for photographs and our pace will be relaxed as we explore this scenic site. Biking: 6 miles. Walking: 2 miles (B,L,D)
Our last day of hiking in the White Mountains will bring us to a local favorite - the Welch - Dickey Loop Trail. This will be is our most challenging day with an elevation gain of just under 1,800' in 2 miles. Welch and Dickey Mountains were two of the mountains visited earliest by regular summer tourists to the White Mountains. Nathaniel Greeley, who pioneered the Waterville Valley in the 1830s, created a system of trails in this area that led directly to his inn. Although the inn no longer exists, the trail - especially the Welch-Dickey loop trail, continues to be a favorite. The trail is moderately graded and both mountains are well below 3,000 feet in elevation, but both have several open rocky ledges with amazing views of the valley below. Naturalists also love this loop because of its diversity of trees, including one of only four stands of jack pine in New Hampshire. Be prepared for multiple steep rock scrambles on this trail, as well as exposed granite slabs near the top. We'll return to our home in time to "freshen up" a bit before going out on the town for our final farewell dinner. Hiking: 4.4 miles (B, L, D)
Sadly, our week in the Whites does have to end. If you are driving, you can plan to leave any time after breakfast. If you are flying, we will have you back to the Manchester Airport in time to fly out any time after 11:30 a.m. (B)


(20 reviews)
4.8 Food
4.3 Lodging
4.8 Safety

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Most Recent

Lisa C.
1 year ago

Ford B.
1 year ago

The hostel had comfortable outdoor seating on every side as well as and beautiful yard and garden. We were well located for our daily excursions. Our guides were A+++ as well as our “home cooked” meals.

Audrey Z.
1 year ago

NH was beautiful, weather cooperated, guides were excellent, hostel made for a cohesive group of wonderful women.

Judy B.
1 year ago

Good location, great guides, other hikers interesting, very good food, nice hostel.

Diane S.
2 years ago

The location and combined activities in the White Mountains. Hiking to the huts always fun. The weather was fantastic!!

Ellen I.
2 years ago

People, place, hostel, guides

Donna K.
2 years ago

The guides were stellar!

Nancy S.
2 years ago

the ladies being supportive, laughing, sharing, and generally just having fun

Carolyn M.
2 years ago

My favorite part was the camaraderie of the group. Everyone got along well and supported each other. We embraced each others' quirks. The guides were fabulous!

Barbara F.
2 years ago

The people

Juluia L.
2 years ago

Jan and Claire's attitude toward ALL the participants. Their respect of everyone. Their level of knowledge that they shared. The FOOD without a doubt was exceptional. The whiteboard itinerary.

Karen C.
2 years ago

The guides, the other women and the variety of what we got to do. Even though I broke my toe half way through I had such a good time.

Marion P.
2 years ago

Each day we gradually built up to the hiking challenges over the week. The guides provided plenty of information ahead of time so we'd know what to expect and how to be prepared. The guides were especially helpful coaches along the way of each hike, bike and kayak activity. If we needed to stop, have a break or fix a problem we were encouraged to speak up and ask for what we need.

Donna V.
2 years ago

Luise M.
2 years ago

The beauty of the White Mountains, great guides, wonderful new friendships and fantastic food!

Donna K.
2 years ago

The guides were amazing. I almost canceled this trip because I wasn't as prepared as I should have been and I did all the hikes. The other hikers were great, as well.

Rita B.
3 years ago

Camaraderie, food

Lisa H.
3 years ago

The guides, the hikes, the overall trip!

Jan R.
3 years ago

A get-away from the normal routine, visiting a new place, a chance to meet new people, and having the details all worked out for us.

Margaret T.
3 years ago

The guides were out of this world: kind, caring, organized. Great meals. Wanted to do Eisenhower and I did!

  1. Where do we eat?

    The guides will be cooking breakfasts and dinners in the lodge. Before you leave in the morning the guides will put out lunch 'fixings' and you'll take a packed lunch. You'll go out for one dinner where you can order off the menu; other nights you'll relax in the hostel and have dinner there.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    Vegetarian options for this trip are available but may be more limited than you are used to. If you are concerned about having enough protein during your trip, plan to bring some plant-based protein sources such as nut butter, instant dried hummus, or high-protein energy bars. If you cannot eat gluten or if you have other dietary restrictions i.e. vegan, you will need to bring some supplemental food with you.
  3. I don't quite understand the accommodations?

    For this trip, we are using all of the hostel. Accommodations are in large rooms with multiple twin or bunk beds. We will be using all of the twin and lower bunk beds. The rooms are large and beds are spaced apart. 2 Single supplements are also available. There are more beds than the maximum number for this trip so spreading out will be easily accomplished. All bathrooms are shared and will be either down the hallway or downstairs.