Mount Washington may be one of those destinations that we take for granted, simply because it's always right there. Just like if you grew up in Salem, New Hampshire with Canobie Lake Park less than a 10-minute drive from you, or if you grew up in Saco, Maine with Funtown Splashtown USA a quick jaunt across town -- it's always there, so you take it for granted.
But Mount Washington is a bit different, because unless you actually KNOW what you can do there, you feel like you've done it all if you drive up to the summit once, take your picture, then drive down. However, there's WAY more to do at Mount Washington, at the base, along the way to the top, and at the summit, than any of us may have ever realized.
According to Lisa McCoy, the Events and Marketing Manager for Mount Washington Auto Road and Great Glen Trails, Mount Washington is such a versatile mountain and experience that you basically get out of it what you want to. For example, Lisa said that even on the way up to the summit, you can pull off into what's referred to as a bit of cow pasture area, which is basically just a parking lot, where you can drop your car and go for an alpine hike from there, hit the top of Mount Jefferson -- it's really what you make of it.
Even at the base, there are activities to take part in, including mountain bike and e-bike rentals. Lisa said the great thing about the e-bikes is if you tire out while going up a hill, you can give yourself a little boost to beat the fatigue and finish getting up and over the hill strong.
Bet you didn't realize you can kayak up at Mount Washington, too. At the Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center portion of the area, there are half-day and full-day flatwater kayaking excursions that you can take part in on the Androscoggin River and kayak up the northern waters near Berlin and Gorham, which Lisa said provides for a very scenic trip, including sometimes spotting a swimming moose!
If kayaking is a little too boring for you, or you're looking to tackle a new adventure instead, Lisa said they offer whitewater clinics, too! Basically, you could spend the day getting ramped up and by the end of it, have gone from zero to a possible Class 3 Rapid!
Who knew there was so much to do other than take in the beautiful scenery while driving up the auto road? You could literally spend a weekend or even an entire week up there! Like Lisa said, the mountain really is what you make of it! Amazing!