4 min read

White Mountains for Tweens and Teens

Vacationing with tweens and teens is not always easy. They’re too old for the magic of Disney, sleep all day, and just want to do crazy TikTok videos with their friends. It’s time to put the phones away for a week and head to the White Mountains for some family outdoor fun. There is an abundance of extraordinary things you can do in the White Mountains from hiking to ATV tours to downhill mountain biking and more, it’s time to get the kids off their phones and back into the great outdoors this summer!

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Day 1

Arrive at the RiverWalk Resort and settle into your home away from home for the week. Send the kids off to the Game Room with a bag of quarters to play foosball, arcade games, and more while you enjoy a wine tasting at Seven Birches Winery. Before dinner, gather the family and head out for a walk along the Pemigewasset River on the J.E. Henry Trail just a short distance from the resort. You’ll want to stretch your legs a bit to get ready for the big hike tomorrow – the Franconia Ridge Loop. Along with stretching your legs, you’ll want to carb load too! And there is no better place to do that than La Vista Italian Restaurant located in the heart of RiverWalk Resort. Choose from pizza to pasta to salad and more, but whatever you choose, don’t forget to try the legendary tiramisu.

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Day 2

Rise and shine! The early bird gets the worm or the prime parking spot at the trailhead. Stop by White Mountain Bagel Co. on Main Street to pick up some trail fuel before conquering the popular Franconia Ridge Trail Loop. The 9.3-mile loop trail traverses the summits of Mount Lafayette, Mount Lincoln, and Little Haystack and provides some of the best views in the White Mountains. The views are so beautiful that National Geographic named it in its “World’s Best Hikes: 20 Dream Trails.” While the hike is challenging, most tweens and teens can handle both the length and difficulty in stride. Depending on how many selfies they’ll want to take along the summit ridge, the hike will likely take about eight hours to complete. Make sure you are fully prepared for your adventure. Check out NH Fish and Game's Hike Safe Tips before venturing out. After a day of hiking, rest your weary body in RiverWalk’s two swimming pools and two hot tubs.

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Day 3

Sleep in and enjoy a leisurely morning at RiverWalk. Wake up with a cup of coffee on your balcony while the teens catch some more z’s. Once everyone is awake, grab a table at The Toast, La Vista’s breakfast restaurant for some brunch before an afternoon of fun on four wheels. Book an ATV tour with Out Back Kayak in Lincoln. An ATV tour is fun for all ages and abilities and a great way to see the beauty of the western White Mountains. Just remember your sunscreen and bug spray!

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Day 4

After a day on four wheels, it’s time to spend the morning on two wheels! For the more adventurous bike riders, rent a downhill mountain bike and experience the thrill of speeding downhill in Loon Mountain’s Bike Park. The new bike park features over seven miles of tracks for beginner and expert riders. There are lessons as well if someone in the family needs a little instruction and confidence building. For a more relaxed ride, take the Franconia Notch Shuttle from Loon Mountain to the Franconia Notch Bike Path with your bike and enjoy a 16-mile paved bike ride back to Loon.

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After a morning of bicycle fun, head over to the Woodstock Inn Brewery for a late lunch. The menu is huge and has just about everything you could ever want. Now that your stomachs are fun of deliciousness, play a round of mini-golf at Hobo Hills Adventure Golf. The pirate-themed 18-hole mini-golf course is fun for the whole family. If you want to make it a little family competition, the loser buys the ice cream at Udderly Delicious Ice Cream Shop afterward!

Tomorrow is a big day so if you’re feeling a little sore from the mountain biking, sign up for a yoga class at Live a Little Fitness to stretch out your tired muscles and get the blood flowing again. It’s early to bed as you’ll need to get up early tomorrow!

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Day 5

Today is the day that you’ll be hiking the crown jewel of the White Mountains – Mount Washington! Franconia Ridge was just the warmup for this grand adventure. You’ll want to leave before the sunrises as the hike will likely take about eight hours to complete. There are multiple routes to the summit, but the most popular are located from the east at the AMC’s Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. If you’re planning to take the Mount Washington Auto Road Hiker Shuttle down, then you’ll definitely want to start your hike from here.

Alternatively, you can take the Jewell Trail from the Cog Base Station Road. The 10.2-mile Jewell Trail is one of the easiest trails up to the Mount Washington Summit. If you’re starting from the Visitor Center, you can’t go wrong with the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. It provides some gorgeous views along the trail and a quick elevation gain. Whatever trail you choose to make your summit attempt, please remember that the weather on Mount Washington can turn on a dime. Always check the weather beforehand and be prepared for anything. You can also visit White Mountain Attractions online for additional information or alternative hiking trails if you're not ready to tackle the highest peak in the Northeast.

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Day 6

On your last full day of vacation fun, it’s time to look toward the sky. After a good sleep-in from yesterday’s adventures, take the family over to North Country Climbing Center in Lisbon for some indoor rock climbing. North Country Climbing Center or N3C for short is the only full-service climbing gym in the White Mountains and is home to over 6,000 square feet of climbing. There is varied terrain and routes for all ages and abilities, so no previous climbing experience is needed! You can also sign up for lessons as well.

Refuel with brunch at the world-famous Polly’s Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill. You’ll thank us later! Next, it’s time to take on the adrenaline rush with Alpine Adventures. Choose from a variety of adventures, but the ziplining is not to be missed. Book the whole family for the Skyrider Tour where you’ll spend two hours flying through the treetops of nearby Barron Mountain. And if that’s not enough high-flying fun, head to the skies with the Franconia Soaring Association. Open first-come, first-served on the weekends and holidays, the Franconia Soaring Association offers introductory glider flights over the mountains from the Franconia Airport.

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Day 7

What a week you’d had! Sleep in and enjoy the amenities of RiverWalk Resort before checking out and heading home. Your tweens and teens will certainly talk about this adventure-filled vacation in the White Mountains for years to come!

 

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