Winter Waterfall Overland Adventure Route
Check out the winter landscapes along the Kancamagus, take some photos of some waterfalls, scope out a couple of old time covered bridges, enjoy local foods, and spend some time in the woods! We will spend some time hiking into some of New Hampshire’s best waterfalls and to the top of some very scenic peaks. There will also be plenty of scenic roads with interesting snow covered features.
Dates: March 7-8
Start Location: NH Tourist Info Center, Conway, NH – 43.979275, -71.134242.
Start Time: 8:30am Saturday
Finish Location: Plymouth, NH.
Finish Time: 4pm Sunday
Trail Difficulty: There will be no off-road trails on this trip. It is winter time and all trails and Class 6 roads are closed to wheeled vehicles and in use as snowmobile trails. 4WD is required. There will be the potential of snow, snowbanks, or unplowed lots. Be prepared for winter conditions.
1: We will be camping Saturday night. It will be COLD! Last year it was 10*F at night. Be prepared with enough blankets, a heater, or whatever else you need to make it through the night. If you are using a heater inside a vehicle – Make sure it is rated for that purpose!! I don’t want anyone dying of CO poisoning or lack of O2. There are motels in the area if you would prefer to have amenities and a heated room.
2: This route is very flexible and open. Nothing is set in stone and we will change things as we go.
3: There is some hiking involved for a couple of the waterfalls. The longest hike is roughly 1.5 miles. There will be opportunities for breaks along the way if required. The second longest hike is 1.1 miles. The rest are all significantly shorter with most being near-roadside.
4: Bring snowshoes, YakTrax, Stabilicers, and/or other appropriate winter hiking gear. Trail conditions will depend entirely on weather. If we get a lot of fresh snow before the trip, plan on snowshoes. If it has been several days since the last snow, plan on YakTrax or other ice-cleats. The trails will most likely be very icy in some places and regular boots can prove to be dangerous. You can wear regular boots if you really want to, but be prepared for what that involves.
5: A WORKING CB IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! This trip will not be nearly as enjoyable if you do not have a CB.
1: All participants will also receive this trip as a packaged “Adventure Route”. This route includes written, turn-by-turn directions, a GPX track of the route for use in compatible GPS devices or apps, lodging options along the route, points of interest, recommended food stops, and more. This Adventure Route packet will enable you to run this route again at any time you please. Just find a partner, hop in your trucks, and go! This particular trip is designed as a winter route but you will find just as much scenic value in the spring and summer and, of course, the waterfalls will be water instead of ice!
2: Lodging is provided Saturday night. Lodging will be a campground with bathroom facilities.
3: All other costs are covered by the participants.
Some expected costs:
1: Fuel – This trip can cover 150-250 miles. Why such a big range of total mileage? It depends on many factors and it is always best to plan for the worst. Our biggest enemy is time. We have a lot of ground to cover and not much time. Winter weather is a big factor. If it snows, either before or during the trip, expect everything to take longer. Road travel will be slower and hiking will be more strenuous. There are other factors like food/bathroom breaks, time for photos, and hiking time that can all contribute. This trip is pretty open ended, flexible, and is more about the journey than the finish line. Whether we travel 100 miles or 300 miles, we will have a lot of fun doing it!
2: Food – You are responsible for all of your own food. Plan to cook breakfast and dinner at camp each day and prepare to have snacks and drinks in the vehicle with you to hold you over until meal times. We will be stopping for lunch at a sit-down restaurant on Saturday. With this said, it is always best to have something that can be eaten as a make-shift lunch in case we get held up on a trail or our schedule is off and we can’t make it to lunch at exactly high noon. Sunday we will be eating lunch in the vehicles/on the trails. We will likely be finishing up the trip just before dinner time. It is probable that some people will head right home to get ready for work on Monday while others may choose to go have an end-of-trip dinner at a local restaurant.
3: Friday night lodging or alternative lodging – Friday you are on your own to find lodging. Some people might stay at Hancock Campground, information about and directions to Hancock Campground are covered in your Adventure Route info packet which you will receive prior to the trip. Others will discreet camp in the area. If you wish to stay in a motel/hotel/B&B on Saturday night instead of the provided campground, that is certainly an option but this is up to you to arrange and pay for.
4: Various state parks – State parking areas and some scenic spots require paying a fee of $3/vehicle/day. We will need parking passes for Saturday and Sunday ($6 total).
1: There will be fuel stops along the way as well as provisioning stops each day for anyone that needs to pick up food or ice for coolers. These stops are also good times for bathroom breaks.
2: Be prepared for weather! It will most likely be cold. Make sure all of your day wear and sleeping gear is up to the task. Bring layers to strip off throughout the day as things warm up. Make sure you have a tent and sleeping bag that are up to the cold. If you have a heater of some sort and plan to use it in a vehicle or tent, PLEASE make sure it is rated and safe for that. I don’t want to wake up and find someone’s truck full of dead people. It will slow down the trip.
3: There will be NO alcohol consumption until we are all parked for the night! This is pretty common sense but I had to say it.
What to pack (extra gear):
In your truck you should have all of your standard recovery and communications equipment along with any food and food preparation supplies you require (stoves, cups, plates, etc). In addition, bring a water bottle to carry hiking, snowshoes, stabilicers, snow pants, winter jacket, hat, gloves/mittens, sunglasses, and plenty of layered clothing. We will be doing a fair amount of hiking. Most of it is short trips but there are two that are a decent hike. The last recommended item is a small sled of some sort. One of the hikes is 1.1 miles up an unmaintained road with considerable altitude gain. A sled to slide down it can save a huge amount of time and energy as well as being very fun. This is not a complete list! Bring what you think is appropriate to the activities outlined above.
Minimum Equipment And Breakdowns On The Trip:
ExploringNH is generally very strict on having the minimum equipment to be able to go on a run. I think I will surprise everyone here and go against the culture by saying that our minimum equipment list will NOT be enforced. This does not mean to throw out your spare tire and fire extinguisher. It does mean that if you do not have the minimum equipment, you are still welcome. The reason for this is that what we are doing here is an Overland Adventure Route, designed to be friendly to stock vehicles. This is overlanding! It is up to you to make the decision about what you decide to carry. If you choose not to bring a spare and you end up with a flat, that was your decision and it impacts how your trip goes! In cases like this, we will do our best to get you to safety and out to a main road. Be aware of the risks involved in this. Once out to the main road with help on the way, we will leave you and continue with the trip. We have a bunch of people that all took time out of their lives to have fun and explore for the weekend. We can not hold up the whole group for you. It is not fair to everyone else. The same goes with breakage. If you break an axle, we will do what we can to get you to safety but then you are on your own. If you are able to get repaired, contact the group and meet up with us later that day or at camp that night. With that said, if it is possible to get you repaired on the trail with a minimal time cost, we will do our best to get you back up and running. We want you to complete the trip and we REALLY don’t want to leave anyone behind, but we will do what we have to in order to keep everyone moving.