As one of the original 13 states, New Hampshire has a rich history rooted in preserving freedom; in fact, their state motto is “Live Free or Die.” However, The Granite State isn’t just known for helping America gain its independence. It is also known for its natural landscapes where students can explore mountains and rivers while learning about how to preserve the world around them. Discover why Robert Frost chose New Hampshire as his home and what inspired his poetry. With thrilling adventures and picturesque landscapes, student travel in New Hampshire surely will not disappoint.
Take the Scenic Route and Learn from Mother Nature
Conway Scenic Railroad in North Conway offers an old-fashioned railroading experience. Students ride on vintage trains over tracks that were laid in the 1870s. All rides depart from the 1874 Victorian station. The Valley Train will either take you to Conway or Bartlett and then back to the station. See the Moat Mountain Range, pass through farmlands, and cross the Saco River, Moat Brook and Swift River.
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the farm through a horseback ride with Charmingfare Farm in Candia. Before beginning the tour you will have time to become acquainted with your horse. Your trail guide will take you through pasture meadows, where livestock graze, along old roads and into a forest. Be sure to bring a camera so you can take pictures of the native animals. During the winter months take a sleigh ride along snow-covered trails and see cattle, horses and even native turkeys, foxes, coyotes and deer. Certain packages include a bonfire where students can make delicious snacks like hot dogs and s’mores.
The Northeast is known for its beautiful mountain ranges, and New Hampshire has numerous ways to enjoy the mountains that take up a quarter of the state. As you drive through The White Mountains you can see native animals and wildlife, waterfalls and various types of plants. If you want to get out of the car and see nature up close, there are various hiking trails available. Short trails take you to see a waterfall, Squam Lake, White Mountains National Forest and other natural wonders. There are also longer trails that take you to lakes and mountain summits. Get an aerial view of Cannon Mountain as you ride a tram to the 4,080-foot summit. If the skies are clear enough, you will be able to see the mountains of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York and Canada. Once you reach the summit, you will find scenic walking paths and a 360-degree observation deck for even more incredible views.
Let Your Creative Side Shine
Discover the meaning of your favorite pieces of art at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester. There are various tour themes like Exploring the Elements of Art, New Hampshire People and Places, About Face: People and Portraits, Exploring Narrative in Art and What is Art? Comparing Historic and Modern Work. After each tour students have the opportunity to participate in an activity that corresponds with what they learned. The museum also offers tours of the Zimmerman House, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Speculate on favorite pieces at The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts. Its collection is shown in multiple public buildings in Rochester, Farmington and Somersworth and includes contemporary works from artists all over the world. The mediums vary from painting, sculpture, photography and works on paper. The museum holds a film series in the Rochester Opera house that screens independent films created by professionals and emerging student filmmakers. The Carnegie Gallery displays borrowed works on a bi-monthly basis. In the past there have been exhibits from Susan Kare, The Picasso Estate Collection and Eric Carle.
Visual art is not the only type of art to be found in New Hampshire. Home to one of the best American poets, the state hopes to conserve his legacy while inspiring new writers. The Frost Place is a house museum in Franconia that commemorates the time when Robert Frost and his family lived there. The museum contains signed, first editions of Frost’s works and other memorabilia. Discover what inspired many of Frost’s poems as you sit on the porch or go for a walk on the museum’s half-mile nature trail. Along the trail you will see plaques that have the poems Frost wrote as he lived in Franconia. The museum offers programs for young poets and teachers who want to learn more about how to write and teach poetry.
Heart-Racing Adventure Opportunities
Race down the mountains and through the forest at Alpine Adventures in Lincoln. Three different courses offer multiple ziplines as well as other obstacles. Reach heights up to 225 feet as you see the White Mountains. Some tours include dual ziplines so students can race each other, and all tours ends with an off-road Safari ride. For more adventure, take on the aerial park with bridges, cargo nets, rope ladders, a treehouse and climbing tower.
For centuries dogs were used for travel and for hunting, but that custom is rarely used now. Head over to Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures in Bridgewater to see how people used to travel in the snowy winters through one of their dogsledding tours. Enjoy the view of the White Mountains as you glide into lush valleys and wind through woods and try your hand at mushing. Learn what goes into assembling a great dog sled team and the importance of the role they play as either a lead, point, swing or wheel dog.
Take your adventures on the water with Portsmouth Kayak Adventures, as you take kayak and stand up paddle board tours with a professional guide. Before beginning your tour, you are given basic instruction. Examples of tours are the Sunset Tour, New Castle Tour and Great Bay/Eco Tour. Along the way students will learn historical and biological facts specific to the area. Continue the fun on the water and go white water rafting with North Woods Rafting in Milan. Their tours are perfect for all ages and experience levels—you can make it as exciting as you want. If you prefer for a more leisurely, flat water canoe and kayak tours are available.
Nature, adventure and culture are all awaiting you in New Hampshire. If you know of any great student travel destinations, tell us about it below!