We all want to live like a local when we visit an area we love. This is a snapshot into how a local spends their day, and how they invest in the Mt. Washington Valley community. Support their businesses and the non-profits they donate to. The more you, as a visitor, invest and integrate in the valley, the more local you’ll become!
*Header photo c/o Jo Sorrell Photography*
Meghan is as local as they come! Born at Mt. Washington Valley’s regional hospital, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, NH, Meghan was the first child to live in Hart’s Location in multiple decades. As of 2018 it shows 44 people registered as residences, so you can imagine what that number has grown from since the early 90’s when Meghan was born - maybe it was 11 people? And Meghan made one more
Hart’s Location is the gateway to Crawford Notch - a vortex of history and outdoor recreation, you’ll immediately feel the shift when you drive through the town as you make your way to the mountain pass that will take you to AMC Highland Center, Crawford Notch State Park, Arethusa Falls, The Willey House, Davis Path, a portion of the Saco River - and Crawford Pond which is the source of the 100-mile famed river.
Hart’s Location is a tiny, but mighty town that’s integral to the history of Mt. Washington Valley and the White Mountains, but it’s also Meghan’s home.
Eventually Meghan and her family migrated to the big city and bright lights of North Conway, NH. She was raised with a heavy focus on hospitality, as her parents were chefs that cooked for area ski clubs. (Look for “Ski-Mo’s” as you drive through the valley.) That’s where her parents spent seasons cooking meals that could warm the soul and the bones of all the skiers who made there way up to the valley from major cities at the end of the week, wishing they could crack the code to live in the valley full-time, like Meghan’s parents.
From there, Meghan grew up watching her parents in the kitchen ofRed Parka Pub, and managing the bar at Horsefeathers- a place where her parents originally met.
With years working in restaurants that put Mt. Washington Valley on the map of any foodie scene, Meghan knows where to get a great drink, and a great meal. She loves the overall vibe of The Oxford House - so much so that she got married there! What makes it great is that you can show up in Spandex and a sweater or come dressed to the nines and have an incredible meal either way. The Oxford House is led by a Culinary Institute of America chef, who shares ownership with his wife who spent decades working in every aspect of hospitality in her early career. Meghan loves the Asian and French flare to its menu, and the fact that it buys most of its vegetables from Weston’s Farm, right up the road!
Currently she is sharing her skill sets in management, relationship building, organization, and work ethic sharpened in the kitchen of these notable restaurants to working as the Brand and Marketing Manager at Mt. Washington Auto Road, and Great Glen Trails. She’s an avid skier, ice hockey player, and incredible artist working in digital art and oil. With all of those skills combined, here’s her intel on how to spend a day in Mt. Washington Valley!
The first thing dictating what Meghan and her husband, Dave, are going to do is their dogs! Cady and Roux love to run around at Great Glen Trails (GGT), while Meghan and Dave Nordic Ski. Many of the backcountry trails at GGT are dog-friendly, and you also have the option to Fat Bike and snowshoe the trails in winter, or mountain biking or running the trails in summer. Each season always promises incredible views of the Presidential Mountain Range! GGT is also the home resort to Sue Wemyss, a retired Olympic cross-country skier. You can purchase a three-lesson “Ski with an Olympian”package and get one-on-one instruction from an expert in her field!
The most important stop on the way to Nordic skiing at Great Glen Trails is the one made at Old Village Bakery!There they pick up pastries and coffee; along with dinner biscuits to pair with a soup or stew they have waiting for them at home.
Dave, who grew up on Long Island, wasn’t much of a skier before he met Meghan, but after meeting her, he became one; learning on the slopes of Bretton Woods. A mountain known for incredible grooming and conditions, Bretton Woods lends itself to both an advanced skier - with a plethora of glade skiing and 464 acres to ski; as well as a novice skier - with wide trails that are impeccably groomed.
Now when they ski together, they’ll start at Attitash, because it leads them straight to Matty B’sacross the street from the mountain, where they can enjoy Sriracha Wings and one of the best burgers to be found in the valley.
Driving through Bartlett, on the way home, they’ll make a stop at Alpine Garden Winery, where a childhood friend, has started a cider and winery, making everything by hand from NH grown grapes and apples. Ryan, the owner and winemaker, has cultivated something really unique with his winery, and his passion for what he pours is contagious. The winery also happens to be on the grounds of Alpine Garden Camping Village, a campground that offers glamping with handcrafted hobbit homes, cabins and treehouses.
On a day they’re not skiing, Meghan loves to wander around White Birch Books. This independently owned bookstore has so much personality and is a great stop for finding not only your next read, but specialty stationary, gifts, and more! It’s part of the White Mountain Independents network featuring over 20 independently owned shops and boutiques.
Just a few stops up from White Birch Books, you’ll find theLeague of New Hampshire Craftsmen, a hybrid of a studio and gallery. You can take a pottery class there, or find a beautiful statement piece for your home. A highlight are handblown glasses and sculptures from Nathan Macomber, an artist working out of his studio in Conway, New Hampshire.
As an artist Meghan appreciates the in-roads paved by creatives before her. MWV Art Association is a collection of artists who regularly show their work at places like The Met in North Conway, and in its own gallery right behind the coffee shop.
Settlers Green is also another community asset shining a spotlight on local artists with its public art walk. Currently taking commissions on custom pieces, her work focuses on abstract takes of landscapes, animals, and beloved pets. She loves to play with light and tone, and create layers in each of her pieces.
Meghan’s also involved with the local non-profits like Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, (USVLT). She is proud to volunteer on its board, which serves the community with its mission of “conserving lands for farming, forestry, public recreation, scenic enjoyment and wildlife habitat,” and it helps fuse her love for art and outdoor rec with the sale of it’s annual calendar “Art Celebrates Place.” This calendar is a collection of artwork from local artists paired with each month, and makes for a really striking display in your home or office.
A few more insider tips that are perfect for your summer trip to Mt. Washington Valley is a stop at the Mt. Washington Valley Farmer’s Market. Located next to Schouler Park at 78 Norcross Circle, upwards of twenty vendors display farm fresh vegetables, freshly baked pastries and cookies, Kettle Corn, honey, hand-picked flowers, and more! Live music is playing, and a playground is right next door where kids can entertain themselves.
She and Dave also highlight the experience of enjoying a martini on the deck of Eagle Mountain Housein Jackson, NH. Overlooking its 9-hole golf course, and the mountain ranges of the White’s, this is a true gem when it comes to relaxing at the end of the day.
Meghan and Dave are also avid golfers, and tout the fact that the valley has ten golf coursesto choose from for a round, which means ten porches and martini menus to relax with as well!
Meghan, Dave, Cady, and, Roux love the life they’ve built in Mt. Washington Valley, and believe there are so many ways to integrate into the community as a newcomer. It’s that sense of community that shows up in so many ways - everyone comes together to help one another in big and small approaches.
For example when she was just learning to play ice hockey in the Women’s League at the local Ham Arena, people shared gear with her and shared insight on what to purchase when she was ready to upgrade. The same went for Dave when he was learning to ski, he crowd-sourced most of his gear from those around him who were willing to share a set of ski, poles, and boots. That’s just the valley way, and it also manifests itself in the many non-profits that call the valley home as well.
Another non-profit that Meghan appreciates is the work of Mt. Washington Valley Adaptive Sports. It’s mission to “create freedom, promote independence, support inclusion and help those individuals and their families discover their full social, mental and athletic potential” is one that’s easy to rally around, as so many members of the community find solace in the freedom that skiing, hiking, biking, and more offers.
GET TO KNOW OUR LOCALS, ATTEND THEIR FAVORITE EVENTS, GRAB A DRINK AT THEIR FAVORITE BAR, SUPPORT THEIR FAVORITE LOCAL SHOP, AND DONATE TO THE NON-PROFITS THEY SUPPORT. THE MORE YOU DO THAT, THE MORE LOCAL YOU’LL BECOME!
For complete trip planning resources and information, explore this site, visitmwv.com,or call 800-367-3364 (800-DO-SEE-NH) to talk to a Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce rep. To learn more about New Hampshire vacations, go to www.VisitNH.gov.
What leave no trace means to me
HELP PROTECT WHAT WE ALL LOVE IN MT. WASHINGTON VALLEY - ITS NATURAL RESOURCES! SIGN THE MWV PLEDGE, AND FOLLOW ITS TENETS TO HELP PRESERVE THE WHITE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL FOREST FOR GENERATIONS TO COME!
When recreating in Mt. Washington Valley, please remember the 7 principles of Leave No Trace, and make the MWV Pledge to yourself, to the locals, and to the upcoming generations that you will help preserve and protect the land so we can all enjoy it for years to come.