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Lincoln, New Hampshire, is nestled in the picturesque White Mountains. Though it’s the second-largest town by area in the state, the population is less than 2,000 which is definitely a qualifying factor for “small town charm”.
Thanks to nearby Loon Mountain, tourism and skiing are Lincoln’s main attractions. But you don’t have to wait until there’s snow on the ground to enjoy this slice of New England.
We headed for Lincoln for a weekend’s escape from the city. The scenic views, clean country air and lush green forests alone made the six-hour drive worth it.
During our visit, we stayed at the Comfort Inn & Suites in the heart of downtown Lincoln. In addition to providing easy access to Lincoln’s restaurants and shops, the hotel was just a few miles from the Franconia Notch State Park, where we spent a good deal of our stay (see more below).
While at the Comfort Inn, we took advantage of the free coffee, indoor heated pool, hot tub and game room. We also started every day with a full breakfast featuring eggs, meat, cereals, fruits and hot waffles - all of it complementary!
The room itself was spacious, clean and comfortable. It included a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker and free HBO. Put up a little more money for an Executive King Suite and you can enjoy a fireplace and hot tub.
The staff was helpful and courteous. Checking in and out was a breeze, and they took the time to point out the region’s various offerings in outdoor activities.
As I said earlier, we spent most of our time biking in the Franconia Notch State Park. Located in the heart of the famous White Mountain National Forest, Franconia Notch offers nine whole spectacular miles of paved bike paths.
The trail covers the best New Hampshire has to offer in scenery. It winds past Echo Lake, the Old Man of the Mountain site, the Basin, and the Flume Gorge. While the views are spectacular, the trail is not for someone who hasn’t rode a bike since they were a kid. The paved path is easy enough, but there’s an elevation gain of 800 feet that could spoil the experience for some. Our recommendation: get some mileage on your bike before tackling the trail and you’ll have no trouble.
If you don’t want to haul your bike with you all the way to New Hampshire, rentals and maps are available in Lincoln, Franconia and Cannon Mountain for about twenty or thirty dollars.
So if you’re looking to get away from it all for a weekend of breath-taking natural beauty and mountain clean air, Lincoln, New Hampshire, is a perfect destination.