Foliage Views on Welch-Dickey Trail

A great foliage hike is a must for a true New Hampshire adventurer.  It can be challenging to pick just the right one on just the right day because you want peak colors but with clear sky and no rain! This year the Welch- Dickey Loop Trail was just the trail to hike. It’s a very popular hike and considered a moderate hike. This is a good rating for this hike so long as it’s not wet. Welch-Dickey can be found off of 93 by taking the Campton/Waterville Valley exit, from the south it’s exit 28. At the end of the exit you’ll follow route 49 through Campton toward Waterville Valley. You’ll turn left onto Upper Mad River and then you’ll turn right onto Orris Road. The parking lot is on this road.  The trail head is located in Thornton, which was named after Matthew Thornton, who was one of the members of the continental congress. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Remember when hiking to pack your hiking backpack appropriately. On top of any mountain the weather can suddenly get cold and/ or rainy so warm clothes and rain gear are always advisable.  Hiking boots are strongly recommended because the rock can get slippery when wet. Trekking poles aren’t a bad idea either. Always remember safety first!

This is a great hike with the opportunity to hike two mountains, Welch first at 2605’ and Dickey second at 2734’.  The first ledged clearing is only about 45 minutes to an hour in and offers a stunning view of Waterville Valley and some amazing foliage colors. You can also see the way up to the top of Welch Mountain from here and some of the rock face you’ll be traversing.  Due to the open slabs, hiking up the steep rock face slopes when wet can be extremely slippery. So while in a dry cycle this hike can be pretty family friendly, even adults should take caution when wet.   The loop is a fairly relaxing 4.5 miles with stunning views all the way up and down. The trail travels counter clockwise. It crosses a small brook that continues to run parallel with the trail for some time. After the first clearing the rare jack pine can be seen along the trail. These trees are only found in five locations in New Hampshire. After the clearing the steady climb up Welch really begins. It’s a steep hike with impressive panoramic views of New Hampshire. The top of Welch Mountain does not skimp on views either. The colorful foliage brightened up the slightly grayer day. Even the decent of Welch Mountain was lovely.

The second half of the trail was the trek up and down Dickey Mountain. The incline up Dickey is a little less steep then the climb up Welch. Dickey offers beautiful views at the top and nice place to sit and rest but for prime scenery the most amazing outlook is on the open face slab on the descent. The view here is amazing because you can see the two mountains you have hike over as well as a beautiful color filled valley below. The peaking foliage fills the valley with amazing coloring.  It’s a slab rock clearing affording a 180 degree view. The descent after this is a pretty fairytalish hike through lovely trees, and bright yellow foliage. In the spring forest flowers dot the landscape. The trail down is like a romantic scene from a fantasy. It’s well groomed and easy to follow.

This is a beautiful hike so if you don’t mind a few extra people around it’s a wonderful way to enjoy a day! When the hike is finished there is a tavern on the way back to the highway called The Mad River Tavern.   It offers warm tasty food after a long hike. I suggest the chili or the chowder after a cold fall hike.


Fall Festivals

A new chill and the fresh smell of crisp leaves fill the air. Pumpkins sit out decorating front steps. Kids skip through apple fields while harvesting a tasty treat.  Football season is well under way and many televisions will be assaulted in unjust ways after a few bad calls.  Of course it’s also fair season as well. The first fair of the October season that I attended was Warner’s Fall Foliage Festival and this weekend I checked out Hudson’s Pumpkinfest.  I found some amazing crafts, fun people and great food at these events.

Warner’s Fall Foliage Festival was a large event from October 5-7 on East Main Street in Warner.  The festival was a merge of a craft fair, a regular fair (with kiddie rides and farm animal events), a talent show and flea market.  This festival was very large and spread out, up and down roads, in building and on lawns. In the heart of the festival was a flat stage set up for the performers. Singers and dancers congregated here.  Many talented young children or groups of children flashed their performance skills for on looking parents and guests. The talent didn’t end here though strolling around amongst the crafter I was astounded by crafty and creative group assembled here. Handmade pottery, quilts, purses, scarfs, hats, gloves, home décor, soaps and more; New Hampshire is very innovative. A woman sat at her booth spinning wool into yarn from Loosen Ends Weaving/ Fiber Arts. Another woman, CraftyKathi, turned her old plastic grocery store shopping bags into new reusable woven bags. She offered totes, picnic bags, coin purses and more. Amazing and ecofriendly! Another man from Dogwood Studios, made amazing wildlife shaped puzzles and other wood crafts. Not to mention the number of people selling handmade Christmas items; stocking, tree skirts, and table runners in a variety of Christmas patterns.  This was great but the local creativity didn’t end here! The Festival offered your average fair cuisine of deep fried everything but the creative residents also got involved in this too! Restaurants opened booths serving comfort food and local growers got products out farmers’ market style. Fall comforts were available, like cider, and apple crisp. Fun, stay at home and relax foods like chili and mac and cheese were on the menu. They even offered homemade ice cream! Buffalo meat from Yankee Farmers’ Market was available if you wanted chilli, a burger or a hot dog. It turned out to be a great day and only sprinkled a little and the foliage was at about 50% of its prime color change.

The Hudson Pumpkinfest was a small festival that took place October 12-14 off Route 102 in Hudson. Of course the day I chose to go was the last day. It was rainy and cold so there were few people and not as many vendors as there had been on Friday and Saturday when the sun was out but it was still fun. Fair rides were set up for the kiddos but because of the rain the children seemed more drawn toward the small petting zoo and the pony rides. The petting zoo offered pigmy goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, a small donkey, a baby donkey, turkeys, a llama, an alpaca, a cow and a baby llama/ alpaca hybrid called a Inca. The babies animals were extremely wet muddy and cute especially the donkey and the Inca!! Pony rides were offered under a heated tarp so kids could have a ride and stay warm and dry. The pumpkinfest had some fun crafts. Although my favorite vendor was a wood crafter, named John Holmes, he made clocks, planters and even toilet paper roll holders out of wood in the shape of bears and moose. The most creative item he made was the convertible picnic table. The table converted into a backed bench.He doesn’t seem to have a website but I’m looking into more details but his workwood was awesome!  The pumpkinfest also offer a vendor selling home brew soda in barrels, Martial Arts instruction, handmade jewelry, a car show, and on Saturday night it had fireworks.

By John Holmes




Keep in mind fall fairs aren’t over yet. Keene’s Pumpkin Festival is coming next Saturday October 20th from noon to 8:30 p.m.

Strange Brews and Rhythm Method

Halloween is only a few weeks away and what’s the best way to pre-celebrate? How about a tavern hidden in a dark alley off the main drag looming nestled between darkness and light?  Strange Brew is a crafty bustling bar with great atmosphere, food, music and, of course, brews. The beer menu is impressive, so take some time to check it out.  A magic seems to surround this eclectic place. Inside the tavern, books line the walls. They fill the windows in front of the kitchen, line walls between the tables and run around the tavern. Amongst the fantasy, fiction, mystery and mayhem you almost expect to find a book of special purpose. This adds a creative level of charm to the atmosphere. Strange Brew is in an old brick building. During the warmer months tables are set up outside for patrons to enjoy but make sure you make your way inside, you’ll never know what you’ve missed if you stay outside. You may find an amazing band.

Strange Brew is located 88 Market Street in Manchester. Parking may be a challenge especially if there is a concert going on.  A visit to Strange Brew last Friday would have led to the discovery of a band called Rhythm Method.

Rhythm Method had an astounding lead singer. Yamica Peterson was an amazing singer. She was as good as Tracy Chapman herself as she sang Give Me One Reason. The band was amazing. Pete Peterson and Chuck Wentzel also were amazing singers. Wentzel also dominated as lead guitar. Gene Guth was rocking the drum and Tom Martin jammed on the bass were also fantastic.  This band brought down the house Friday.  Talent is at the heart of this band.

So if you’re in Manchester check out Strange Brews . Don’t miss Rhythm Method either!       

Ladies Night for a Cause

Every woman has that old dress; she had thought she’d never wear again, stuffed in the back of her closet just waiting for its next show case.  The dress may not have been seen since a prom or a wedding. It may be a year old or fifty years old. Some dresses are even found on eBay. These dresses are getting their second chance at the Mom Prom. So shake the dust off your dress just into those dancing shoes because Saturday April 20, 2013.

Mom Prom is a night out for women to celebrate as they raise money for a great cause!! Mom Prom Nashua is raising money for St. Joseph’s Breast Cancer Center.  This year Mom Prom is moving from Nashua to Alpine Groves in Hollis.

More to come but please share this and check out Mom Prom Nashua website.


New Hampshire Foliage Festivals

Happy October!!

The weather is cooling. The air is crisp with wisps of wood stove smoke and fresh apples.  Fall is upon us and it’s time to celebrate. Pumpkin pie, apple cider and foliage for all. It’s time to make some hardy comfort food and nestling by the fire during the eventing! But what to do during the day??? See foliage, hike … How about a foliage festival? New Hampshire Magazine has released a list of festivals. Check out the attached article.