Off the Slopes Outdoor Fun

New Hampshire’s adventurous spirit doesn’t die down during the winter months when the mercury drops—it’s more like love at first snow! And while we’re known for our trail-blazing ski history, world-class ski resorts and all-around deep-rooted passion for skiing, there are many more ways to explore our breathtaking outdoors. So without further ado, here are a few of the heart-pounding activities you’re going to want to try in the Granite State this season.
Just like our motto says, we like to “live free” in New Hampshire. And there’s perhaps no more “freeing” feeling than cruising above stunning snow-dusted tree tops, surrounded by breathtaking mountain views. Ziplining is not just reserved for the warm air and green canopies of summer. It wows year round—including the winter—as Estlin Loparto of White Mountains Attractions Association can attest, “It’s awe-inspiring…that rush you feel gliding above a glistening landscape is something that simply has to be experienced.” So bundle up and get ready for a one-of-a-kind winter adventure at these exciting ziplining locations in New Hampshire.

Snow Tubing
Finally, an activity everyone can agree on! But watch out. This ultimate family-friendly outing will have your kiddos begging to go back. And who can blame them? Sledding is a national pastime and New Hampshire just happens to put on an excellent snow tubing show. Long, fun runs, DJs playing popular jams, warming centers well-stocked with snacks, and even night tubing sessions.

Goes without saying really, but we’ll go ahead and say it anyway: Dogsledding in New Hampshire is a truly unique and wonderful experience. Discover the history of this treasured tradition at one of the many locations across the state, from Bartlett to Bridgewater and Campton to Canaan, where sweet, powerful dog teams will take you on an unforgettable ride to calls of “hike!” (let’s go!) or “haw!” (turn left). There are also some incredible events like the Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby and The Great North Woods Sled Dog Challenge.

Sleigh Rides
One of the most quaint and cozy ways you can experience picturesque New Hampshire during the winter is snuggled up in a horse-drawn sleigh. From southern New Hampshire to the Great North Woods, you can have family or friends gather in one of the large, old logging sleighs, or if you’re looking for a romantic ride complete with champagne and local chocolate, you can choose a private sleigh ride.

Did you know there are snowshoe races in New Hampshire? Yeah, it’s a thing. From December through March, enthusiasts strap on their snowshoes and participate in racing events across the state. It may sound strange, but there’s a reason snowshoeing has grown in popularity. For starters, it’s great exercise. Beyond that it’s a budget-friendly, out-of-the-ordinary and enjoyable way to navigate New Hampshire’s natural beauty. You can rent them near most of the major ski areas and even take guided evening snowshoe tours. Have your own pair? Head over to one of the New Hampshire State Park trails that are great for snowshoeing.
If powerful, snow-loving machines are your cup of wintertime tea, you’ve come to the right place—there are 7,000 miles of thrilling snowmobiling trails in New Hampshire after all. Whether you’re new to the sport and want to rent a sled with friends for the day, or you’re an enthusiast looking to make tracks at an awesome event like the GoNorth Snofest, there’s no better place to snowmobile in the Northeast.
Fat Biking
Cyclers rejoice! No longer must you bid farewell to biking for the season when cold weather comes calling. Traverse rugged, snowy terrain all winter long on a fat bike. Fat bikes have wide rims, and low-pressure, oversized tires—approximately 3.7 inches to 5 inches wide—that help provide superior traction on challenging trails. These chunky-wheeled bikes may look big and bad, but no need to be intimidated. Fat bikes are actually pretty easy to ride and handle, so you won’t necessarily need lessons, although guided trail rides can be a nice option. There are fat bike rentals across New Hampshire, including at Great Glen Trails and Bretton Woods.
Ice Fishing
You know that excitement that comes from catching your first fish of the day? Take away the bite of mosquitos and buzz of flies, add a serene winter scene, and you’ve got ice fishing in New Hampshire! That’s right. The fun doesn’t end when the state’s 1,300 lakes and ponds freeze over. Just ask the Lake Winnipesaukee ice fishing folks. Get a taste for yourself this winter and you just may fall for it hook, line and sinker.