The North Country comes alive during the winter months. Every year thousands of snowmobilers and outdoor enthusiasts flock to the area’s trails, frozen lakes and ponds, and snow-covered mountains. Bundle up the whole family and enjoy family friendly activities like snowmobiling, sledding, skiing, snowshoeing, and more. You’ll find it all in the North Country!
Pittsburg, New Hampshire, is considered the snowmobiling capital of New England, with more than 200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails through the pine forests, the freshwater lakes and around town. New Hampshire’s largest snowmobiling club, the Pittsburg Ridge Runners, maintains the miles of trails that connect into the 700-mile trail system in the Great North Woods and to the rest of New Hampshire, with its nearly 7,000 total miles of trails. Many of the larger trails connect to Vermont, Maine, and Quebec for an even longer winter adventure.
Throughout the winter months, there are several snowmobiling events that the whole family will enjoy. The annual GoNorth Snofest will take place in early March in three locations — Coleman State Park, Coleman Estates and the Swift Diamond Riders Club House. In February, take the kids to Colebrook Country Club for lots of fun and games at the annual Kiwanis Winter Carnival.
The North Country is home to tons of scenic hiking trails that can be hiked during the snow-covered winter months with snowshoes. Dixville Notch State Park has many year-round accessible trails that are wonderful to snowshoe during the winter. Mount Sanguinary is a scenic trail through the balsam and spruce forest offering incredible views from a rocky pinnacle overlooking Lake Gloriette and the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel. Other popular trails include Table Rock and The Three Brothers Trail.
The Fourth Connecticut Lake Trail is nestled in a mountain valley just below the Canadian border. The trail is a modern, 2.1-mile loop trail around a small pond that straddles the international border. After a day of snowshoeing, head back to your comfortable lodging at Buck Rub Pub & Lodge for a hot shower and a delicious home cooked meal at the pub.
Sledding and Sleigh Rides
Get the heart-pumping and have a great time sledding. Whether you’ve got the whole family or if it’s just the two of you, you’re bound to have a blast and burn some energy. The North Country has several great sledding hills.
There is nothing more comforting and nostalgic than a horse drawn sleigh ride through the snow covered forest and quiet trails. End your day at CJEJ Farm with a romantic private sleigh ride for two or take the whole family (up to 7 people). Don’t forget to call ahead to book your reservation or you might miss out on this authentic North Country adventure. Whatever your adventure, end your day with a nice hot shower and relax with a cocktail in the on-site lounge at the Colebrook Country Club. If a cozy inn with larger suites & a upscale restaurant is your style, Parsons Street is a perfect location to start and end your winter adventures.
The North Country Community Recreation Center is a year-round facility offering a variety of indoor and outdoor recreation for all ages. During the winter months, friends and families across the North Country enjoy ice skating on the outdoor 200’ x 85’ regulation size ice hockey rink complete with four-foot high dasher boards. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional hockey player or a total newbie, ice skating at the North Country Community Recreation Center is great winter fun.
Warm yourself up in the warming hut in between pick-up hockey games, skating lessons, or open skates follow by dinner in town. Ice skating can work up an appetite so it’s time to grab some dinner at Colebrook’s newest sports bar and restaurant. The Black Bear Tavern on Main Street has a full-service bar and welcoming restaurant serving flavorful meals using high quality ingredients. The kids will be happy with the kids’ menu, too.
Theater and Art
When the temperatures start to drop, it’s Mother Nature’s sign to come indoors and enjoy a little of the North Country’s culture and heritage. The Tillotson Center in Colebrook has a long and interesting history within the community. The performing arts and heritage center began its humble life as a horse stable in 1909. In the 1930s, the stable was purchased by the Colebrook Grange and converted to a community center. In 2006, Mrs. Louise Tillotson contributed $50,000 to buy the building from the Nugent family and turn it into the great facility it is today – an art gallery, 171-seat theater, and Historical Society annex museum.
Spend the morning discovering the region’s past with displays of school rooms, kitchens, and farming techniques dating back to the late 1880s. The art gallery showcases work from local artists and craftspeople from the Connecticut River Artisan Group. Browse the many paintings, ceramics, wood carvings and more and maybe take one home as a souvenir. Many of the pieces are for sale. After exploring the North Country’s past and present, head upstairs to the Kaufmann Theater and catch a family friendly movie or show.
So, what are you waiting for? Visit the North Country this winter for a weekend or week of family fun in the Great North Woods. Don’t be surprised to see some of our favorite wildlife, like a moose or a deer!