Great North Woods

A stomp on your brakes to marvel at a bull moose … A decision to ditch your vehicle for an off-road tear on an ATV or snowmobile … A tranquil morning casting for trout … A kiss beneath a covered bridge … A photo op at the 45th parallel, halfway between the North Pole and the equator … A reimagined grand hotel and spa when your body craves comfort … A cozy cabin on a lake when it's your spirit that needs soothing … A stay in New Hampshire’s Great North Woods will take you far away from your everyday world.

Boston is a mere three-hour car ride from this pristine wilderness, but somewhere along Route 2, you'll start to sense that you've left civilization in your rearview mirror.

Keep your eyes straight ahead, though. Most of New Hampshire's estimated 4,000 moose know that the Great North Woods Region is the place to roam, and you don't want to literally run into one. "Moose Alley"—the stretch of Route 3 between Pittsburg, New Hampshire, and the Canadian border—is New England's most notorious roadway for encountering these magnificent creatures. Slow down, and enjoy this vast, natural expanse, where every road is a back road and—when you leave the pavement behind—there are more than a thousand miles of rugged OHRV trails for winter snowmobiling or summer ATVing. The Great North Woods is famous for its “Ride the Wilds” network of interconnected trails crisscrossing the region's wild terrain, and rentals are readily available if you want to give off-roading a try.

An outdoorsperson's paradise, the Great North Woods and its daisychain of glacial lakes at the headwaters of the Connecticut River offers lodging properties and guide services that cater to those who've come to hike, canoe, hunt, or fish. Even if you're not the type to readily trade your electronic devices for a backpack, paddle, rifle, or rod, you'll relish being away from the land of overwhelming e-mail and incessant text messages. Train your camera lens on an eagle soaring overhead. Tour uncrowded yet remarkable historic attractions. Listen to real sounds. Reset your biorhythm.

Know what's really rough? Deadlines and demands. You'll be far from them here in this leisurely "land up above."