This serene, pretty region is a place of outdoor sports and recreation in all four seasons of the year. Lake Sunapee, the third-largest lake in the state, and its neighbors, Little Sunapee and Pleasant Lake, provide ample opportunity for all kinds of water sports: swimming, fishing, boating, and more. Nearby are Mount Kearsarge and Mount Sunapee, where winter sports enthusiasts can find skiing and snowmobiling. Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury offers 65 trails as well as a half-pipe and Alpine terrain park for the adventurous skiers in your party. During autumn, there’s no better place to view foliage than here among fields, stone walls, old churches, and barns.
A good day trip to soak up some history as well as outdoor fun can be found at The Fells and the John Hay National Wildlife Refuge in Newbury. This property, formerly the estate of John Hay, secretary to Abraham Lincoln, is an early 20th-century summer estate with outstanding gardens and Colonial Revival buildings. The property’s hiking trails along Lake Sunapee are open year-round. People who love New England’s covered bridges will want to make a stop in Cornish, home of the Cornish-Windsor Bridge, which crosses the Connecticut River from New Hampshire to Vermont and is the longest wooden covered bridge in the United States.
In Cornish, be sure to visit the Saint - Gaudens National Historic Site, formerly the home, studio, and gardens of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of the greatest American sculptors of the early 20th century. Rock hounds should visit Ruggle’s Mine at Mount Isinglass in Grafton. More than 150 minerals are found there, including beryl, mica, amethyst, quartz, and garnet; mineral collecting is permitted. Another fine asset of the region is Dartmouth College, an Ivy League school that attracts top-caliber entertainments for the public.