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 Lupine in the Spring

Top 10 Things to do in North Conway NH in May

January 09,2022 - By: D. Chandler - May Things to Do

Top 10 Things to do in North Conway NH in May


Its the beginning of another exciting season in the White Mountains and there are many attractions available in North Conway, NH during May.  Whether it will be hiking, exploring waterfalls, climbing Mount Washington or exploring New Hampshire on an ATV, we're sure you will enjoy.  We have picked a few adventures for you.

  • Mount Washington Cog Railway
  • Glen Ellis Falls
  • Jackson Falls
  • Living Shores Aquarium 
  • Conway Scenic Railroad
  • Diana's Bath
  • Cathedral Ledge State Park
  • Kancamagus Highway
  • Mount Washington Auto Road
  • Arethusa Falls
     

The Cog Railway Climbing Mount Washington img
 The Cog Railway Climbing Mount Washington

Mount Washington Cog Railway


The Mount Washington Cog Railway continues to thrill passengers with its round trip to the summit of Mount Washington.  Since, 1869 folks far and wide have come to experience the epic trip to the tallest mountain of the Northeast.

Accent at a 25% grade up the cog rail line and enjoy the most spectacular views of the Mount Washington Valley.  At the summit of the mountain, you will experience dramatic views of New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont as well as the extraordinary sight of the rocky summit of Mount Washington.  Spend some time on the summit and then travel back down the steep incline to the base station.

This is a unique experience which is steeped in historical significance and traditional mountain excursions.

The Mount Washington Cog Railway offers rides in either their classic steam engine or modern biodiesel locomotive.  These locomotives leave daily from Marshfield Base Station located at the end of Base Station Road in Mount Washington, NH.  Check with their website for additional details.
 

Mount Washington Cog Railway
3168 Base Station Road
Mount Washington, New Hampshire   03589
https://www.thecog.com
Directions

Glen Ellis Waterfalls - Pinkham Notch img
 Glen Ellis Waterfalls - Pinkham Notch

Glen Ellis Falls


Glen Ellis Falls is a great idea in May as the water flow is usually high and the falls is at its dramatic climax.  During this period expect several hundreds of gallons of water to be making its way down the Ellis River to its free fall drop of 64 feet to the large pool below.

There is a $5.00 parking fee at the lot just off Route 16 and then a short walk to the top of the falls.  From the top of the falls, you can choose to travel down the staircase to the base of the waterfalls.  There are many good spots along the way for photo ops.

Watch out for lingering snow or ice during May.  This may cause the trail to be slippery.

Glen Ellis Falls
Route 16 - Pinkham Notch
Jackson, New Hampshire   03581
Directions

Jackson Falls - Jackson, NH / Carter Notch img
 Jackson Falls - Jackson, NH / Carter Notch

Jackson Falls


Jackson Falls is a popular spot to enjoy a 150-foot staircase of cascade of waterfalls.  It’s a great place to sit and relax in and around the falls.  Pools, chutes and natural waterfalls are throughout this area.  Jackson Falls has many shallow pools and lots of rocks to sit and admire.  It is the water park of the forest built by nature.  Again, in May this set smaller water falls and swirling pools will enjoy increase water flow.

Jackson Falls is also feed by the Ellis River as with Glen Ellis Falls up above in Pinkham Notch.

The falls is a great place for a picnic, to sit and take-in the swirling waters, a family photo op or to just relax and unwind.

Jackson Falls is located right off the Carter Notch Road so it is easily accessible.  There is limited parking so get there early before the crowds.

Jackson Falls
Carter Notch Road
Jackson, New Hampshire   03581
Directions


Living Shores Aquarium


The Living Shores Aquarium in the White Mountains newest attraction.  The aquarium is open year-round and its a great for families or couples.  Enjoy the many exhibits including tropical birds, reptiles, amphibians and the large tank with a variety of fish and creatures.

Explore the Tropical Walkthrough Aviary with tropical larikeets, the Freshwater Red Garra Touch Pool, the Otter Experience, the Ray Touch Pool or the Clownfish Exhibit.  They also have the Augmented Reality Sandbox which you should check out!

The Living Shores Aquarium is located only a few minutes from North Conway  in Glen, NH. 

Living Shores Aquarium
850 Pinkham Notch Road, NH-16
Glen, New Hampshire   03838
https://www.livingshores.com/
Directions

Diana's Bath - White Mountain National Forest img
 Diana's Bath - White Mountain National Forest


Diana's Bath

Diana's Bath is one of the most popular attractions in the White Mountain National Forest and many days has a line waiting to get in.

Take a short hike through the forest to the wide open area of Diana's Bath with small waterfalls, swirling jets and pools, potholes and rushing water.  This is a popular spot year-round to get wet during the warmer months, a peaceful hike or to explore the area during Winter.

Diana's Bath is popular with families, couples and the nature enthusiast.  It's a great place to relax and enjoy the atmosphere of running water and birds chirping. 

During May the water should be flowing well with the Spring run off and snow melt.

Diana's Bath
3725 West Side Rd
Bartlett, New Hampshire   03812
https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/whitemountain/recreation/recarea/?recid=74963&actid=70
Directions

Conway Scenic Railroad


Take a ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad beginning in late May.  Choose between heritage train rides or scenic railroad excursions from their historic Victorian Era Train Station.  See what's its like to travel from town to town on a classic 1950s-era streamlined passenger car with stellar views of the Mount Washington Valley and the experience of a lifetime.  

You can choose from a variety of different experiences including traveling in first class style in the Dome Dining Car.  These offer the best views of the surroundings, mountains, streams and villages along the way.  This dome car provides 360-degree views from the top of the rail car.  Look up, down and all around.

This is one of the most unique experiences in New England.  Whether you are the railroad aficionado or someone looking for a memorable experience, the Conway Scenic Railroad is a nostalgic trip into yesterday. 


Conway Scenic Railroad
38 Norcross Cir
North Conway, New Hampshire   035810
https://www.conwayscenic.com/
Directions

Cathedral Ledge


Looking for an epic overlook of the Mount Washington Valley and North Conway?  Cathedral Ledge located in Cathedral Ledge State Park is your go to.  Positioned on the West side of North Conway, it offers nice views of the mountains and surroundings.

There is a 1 mile long road that leads to the top of Cathedral Ledge.  The Ledge is 700 feet high and with a drop off cliff facing the Saco River and beyond.

The state park is pet friendly and it is handicapped accessible.

Drive to the top of Cathedral Ledge and check out the valley when you're in North Conway.

Cathedral Ledge
579 Cathedral Ledge Road
Bartlett, New Hampshire   03812
https://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/cathedral-ledge-state-park
Directions

 

Kancamagus Scenic Byway


 "The Kanc" (known by locals) or Kancamagus Highway is a great scenic drive any time of the year.  During May, the Kancamagus is lush and green with a fresh cover of plants, leaves on the trees and you can see both the Mount Washington Valley and the lower Franconia Notch Region.

If you're wondering how to pronounce "Kancamagus"....here it is.  

Kancamagus Pronunciation: The correct way is "Kanc-ah-mah-gus”  

This scenic byway is name after the most notable leader of the Pennacook Peoples....Chief Kancamagus.  Kancamagus means "Fearless One."

The Kancamagus Scenic Byway is a 34.5 mile highway that travels between Lincoln and Conway.  Along the route, the highway shadows the Swift River on the Conway side and the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River on the Lincoln side.  There are numerous spots to stop and take in the views of the mountains and river valley.  Two great spots to stop and explore are the Rocky Gorge Scenic Area and Lower Falls Recreation Site.  Both are located on the Conway end of Route 112 (Kancamagus Scenic Byway).

Kancamagus Highway
NH-112
Albany, New Hampshire   03818
Directions

 

Mount Washington Auto Road


The Mount Washington Auto Road is a monumental traverse to the Summit of Mount Washington.  You can drive your own car or take a guided tour.  The views that can be had from this trek are simply unique and breathtaking.  I would plan to do this trip on a clear day so you can see all of the White Mountains, portions of Maine and Vermont and even into Canada.

You will be provided with information about the Mount Washington Auto Road, its history and annual events that take place here at the heart of the White Mountains.

Mount Washington Auto Road
1 Mount Washington Auto Road
Gorham, New Hampshire   03581
https://mt-washington.com/
Directions

 

Arethusa Falls


Arethusa Falls is the tallest waterfall in New England with a overall height of 160 feet.  It is a short hike to the base of the falls via the Bemis Brook trail.  This waterfalls is a multi-tiered plunge that is typically an impressive performance during the Spring months including May.

This falls is feed by the Bemis Brook and is great place for photo ops.  There is not a good place for swimming at the falls but further downstream there are suitable areas for swimming.

Arethusa Falls
123MapleStreet
Harts Location, New Hampshire   03575
Directions

 

**Bonus:  If you are visiting the White Mountains during the end of May, ATV rentals may be available.  Call Northeast ATV Rentals for more information.

Northeast Snowmobile & ATV Rentals

Go ATV riding throughout over 1000 miles of interconnected ATV trails and Jericho Mountain State Park.  Northeast ATV Rentals offers ATV rentals so you can explore the forest of Northern NH.  This is a exciting experience to ride the ATV trail network and you can visit waterfalls (Alpine Cascades), mountaintop wind mills as well as the Jericho Lake within Jericho Mountain State Park.

Northeast ATV Rentals provides a comprehensive safety course and training so you can take the steering wheel and go on your own adventure.

This is a good option during the tail-end of May and a great family adventure.


Northeast Snowmobile & ATV Rentals
177 Main St
Gorham, New Hampshire   03581
https://northeastsnowmobile.com/atv-side-by-side-rentals/
Directions



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