life in the Kearsarge area

what's happening in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area of NH

Archive for January, 2015

Zing into Spring!

We are getting super excited about our first annual Zing into Spring event! This month we’re getting the Chinese auction raffle items in order, and the list is looking spectacular:

  • Gift certificate to a belly dancing class at Raq-on Dance
  • 5-class yoga pass to Namaste Newport
  • One private dance lesson with The Newport Ballroom
  • Travel set from Honestly Simple Soaps
  • Framed watercolor print by Leave It to Leslie
  • Gift certificate to Switchback Consignment
  • Mini tote and gift certificate to Totes with Tales
  • Gift basket from Avon
  • Cosmetic bag set (medium and large) from Sew There!
  • 6 tickets (3 sets of 2 tickets) to NNE Rep’s spring production of “Educating Rita”, opening May 1.
  • Fiber Art by Susan daisy pin
  • Kearsarge Magazine‘s “Take Care of You” kit: book, blanket, candles, gift certificates, soaps, chocolates, and other editor favorites!
  • Kid Stuff “Kid Fun” kit: Books, toys and other fun things for boys and girls!

So mark your calendar: Saturday, March 21, 2015, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Brave the weather (hopefully winter will be on its way out) and join us at the Lake Sunapee Country Club on 289 Country Club Lane in New London, N.H. Buy tickets early at

Discover Thetford’s History

Just released: Thetford is a pictorial history authored by Thetford, Vt., resident Susanna H. French. It has over 200 images depicting scenes of days gone by.2290THETcvr.indd

Soon after Thetford was chartered in 1761, settlers from southern New England arrived and began transforming the forestland into a community. They took advantage of both the Connecticut River and the Ompompanoosuc River to forge a lively and self-sustaining collection of mill villages within the town. The railroad arrived in 1848, enabling three depot villages to blossom. Thetford Hill, with neither mills nor transportation, became home to the renowned Thetford Academy, the first coeducational secondary school in Vermont. Thetford’s mill-based commerce ebbed significantly by 1900, but tourism became a prevalent industry, with city dwellers flocking to summer retreats such as Camp Hanoum and the Lake Fairlee camps. Despite fires, floods, and hurricanes, as well as the construction of the Union Village Dam in 1950 and Interstate 91 in 1971, Thetford has retained its resilient spirit and looks much as it did a century ago.

Highlights of Thetford include:

  • Thetford Academy is Vermont’s first—and oldest—coeducational secondary school. The first woman in America ever to earn a college degree was a Thetford Academy graduate.
  • Philanthropist George Peabody, who founded the company that would become J.P. Morgan, spent time in Thetford as a child. He later founded Thetford’s Peabody Library.
  • Thetford had two stops on the Underground Railroad: one in Thetford Center and one in Post Mills.

Thetford is available at area bookstores for $21.99.

See New Hampshire from skis

Cross country skiing is one of the benefits of living in the Granite State. If there’s not a groomed trail nearby, you can always take a few spins in a neighboring field. You can ski before work; sometimes you can even ski to work. According to Ski New Hampshire, 147,259 people visited a ski area to cross country ski in 2013-14, and many more skied in their yards, at local parks, and on rail trails. Here are a few places you can’t miss.

Eastman Cross Country sees up to 6,000 skier visits a season, depending on how much of the white stuff falls. There are some challenging trails, so the center offers private or group lessons on weekends, and weekly clinics for season pass holders. It also offers a restaurant, skating pond and sledding hill. “You can get whatever you are looking for,” says Leslie Moses, activities director. “You can stay close to the lodge with trails on the golf course, or ski further out for a feeling of being out in the woods. You can work out for 45 minutes, or pack a lunch and ski all day.”

The Fells is a popular site for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. “Cross country skiers who enjoy breaking their own trails through woodlands and meadows can ski at The Fells seven days a week from dawn to dusk,” says Darlene Marshall, The Fell’s education director. As part of the Fells’ Trail-Walk Series, a guided cross country skiing tour is held in February, participants ski around the main house, with a nice view of Mount Sunapee, then follow guides through the gardens and woodland trails. The trails are ungroomed, but there are existing tracks from people who have already skied on the grounds.

Pine Hill Ski Club, established in 2005, maintains 13 miles of cross country trails in New London, Wilmot and North Sutton. There’s parking, a porta-potty, a first aid/information shelter, and Robb’s Hut open on Saturdays, but “it’s not a full blown resort,” says member John Schlosser. “We are giving people groomed and skiable trails. Because skiers have used these trails since 1976, you don’t need much snow to get going early in the ski season.”

Dexter’s Inn in Sunapee offers 20 kilometers of groomed trails for cross country skiing and 10 additional kilometers of ungroomed backcountry trails for back country skiing and snowshoeing. Owner John Augustine describes it as “classic old fashioned skiing. You can meander through woods and fields. The trails are not on a golf course or lake, so there are no super highways to ski. Some are flat, some are hilly.” Although you feel like you’re out in the wild, don’t be fooled. Norsk pays quite a bit of attention to the Dexter’s Inn Trails; they are groomed daily to provide a variety of terrain for novices, intermediates and advanced skiers.

The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition knows that hiking trails also make good cross country trails. “SKRG has 75 miles of trails,” says Andy Hager, a New London resident. “Not all of it is suitable for cross country skiing in the winter, but there are no restrictions and it’s free.”