Monthly Archives: June 2011

Northern New Hampshire Wilderness Adventure

Great Blue Heron - Connecticut Lakes, NH

Great Blue Heron – Connecticut Lakes, NH

By Phoebe Backler

Has your wanderlust returned with the spring? Come to northern New Hampshire for a true wilderness adventure! Only 3 hours north of Boston along I-93, Coos County, NH boasts exquisite mountains and rivers and historic Grand Hotels. While you are in the area, don’t miss…

  • The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT), a 740-mile, internationally recognized inland paddling trail which traces historic travel routes from New York to Maine. The Trail traverses Coos County on 3 distinctive and beautiful rivers: the Connecticut, the Upper Amonoosuc and the Androscoggin. NFCT’s Travel Itineraries and Vacation Packages highlight some of the best ways to explore the area’s waterways (by canoe, kayak, whitewater raft and pontoon boat) as well as the visitor services available in the area. Many of the campgrounds listed are set up for RV’s.
  • Before passing into Maine, the Northern Forest Canoe Trail crosses the Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, home to nesting bald eagles, loons and osprey. The refuge was ranked by the Boston Globe in 2009 as one of the top 10 paddling destinations in New England.
  • The Connecticut River Byway snakes along one of the region’s mighty rivers once used to drive logs south to paper mills. North of Colebrook, NH the byway is known as Moose’s Alley; a prime stretch for observing grazing moose.
  • If there are fishermen in your group, bring along a rod or two. The Connecticut Lakes are renowned for their landlocked salmon and lake trout. The Connecticut and Androscoggin rivers are also known far and wide by fishermen seeking wild brook, rainbow and brown trout.
  • Heading east along Route 26 you will pass more excellent moose sighting spots, lovely waterfalls and the dramatic cliffs of Dixville Notch. The Notch is home to the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, built in 1866 in an era when visitors traveled to the region by train and horseback to enjoy its natural splendor in luxury. Residents of Dixville Notch still vote in the Balsams’ Ballot Room; the first site in the nation to report primary voting results in Presidential Elections.
  • Learn more about the region’s logging history in Berlin at the Northern Forest Heritage Park. This re-created, circa-1900 logging camp hosts several events including a Cultural Heritage Festival and River Day in June and a Lumberjack Competition and Festival in October. Narrated river boat trips on the Androscoggin River are operated seasonally.

Coos County’s spectacular wilderness adventures, quaint towns, and Grand Hotels are worthy of a visit from anywhere in the U.S.

About the Author
Phoebe Backler lives with her family in Milan, NH and has worked on economic development initiatives for the Northern Forest Canoe Trail since 2008.

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RV Camping to the Kerrville Folk Festival

Right in the heart of Texas Hill Country, the Quiet Valley Ranch has been hosting an annual eighteen-day music festival since 1972. The Kerrville Folk Festival, named for the nearby Texas town, features five stages, dozens of musicians and non-stop entertainment each May and June. RV camping music fans love this festival, thanks to the on-site campground where jam sessions are numerous and the atmosphere is family-friendly.

Traveling to the Kerrville Folk Festival
If you’ve never been to West Texas, you’re in for a treat. Tree-studded hills surround wide green meadows, and the Quiet Valley Ranch promises the perfect setting for an extended stay. Kerrville lies two hours west of Austin, the Ranch is fifteen minutes south of Kerrville on TX-16. Coming from the west, take Hwy 285 south from Albuquerque and then I-10 to Kerrville. From there it’s a quick trip on TX-16 to the Ranch.

So that you can mark your travel calendars, the festival is held in late May to mid-June each year. Temperatures are in the eighties and nineties during the day, so dress cool and plan for warm temperatures in this “no generators” camping venue.

What to Expect at the Kerrville Folk Festival
One of the reasons this festival has maintained a loyal following for forty years is the chance amateur musicians have to learn from world-class entertainers. Along with a spectacular line-up of talent the likes of Judy Collins, Marcia Ball and Suzy Bogguss, the “campground sessions” are lively outdoor classrooms for budding musicians.

The evening music performances offer stellar musical experiences, with more than seventy-five performers like Asleep at the Wheel and Del Rey keeping things hopping each year. The sheer volume of musical excellence, dynamic energy and crowd camaraderie at this eighteen day event makes the Kerrville Folk Festival a family favorite that spans generations.

And it isn’t just about the music at “Kerrville”. Canoe trips, yoga classes and a crafts fair might be on the agenda. Children are catered to with special concerts and fun activities throughout the event. Songwriting contest finalists appear on-stage and highly entertaining “song circles” keep things lively. Everywhere you look at the Kerrville Folk Festival, people are having a great time in a relaxed, Hill Country atmosphere.

Where to Get More Information
Ready to roll to the Kerrville Folk Festival in your RV? You’ll need to do some advance planning, as RV campsites are highly coveted. Here’s where to make reservations online to camp at the Kerrville. An RV traveler’s tip: Even if the sites with hook-ups are sold out, you’re welcome to camp in the overflow parking area for the duration of your stay.

For information on tickets, scheduled performers and the Quiet Valley Ranch facility itself, is your best source for details. The music is playing this May in Kerrville, Texas. You owe it to yourself to be a part of the Kerrville Folk Festival experience.

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