On President's Day, we again scaled down my grand hiking plans, and decided on the three-mile Boulder Loop Trail. I was glad for the reality check, because this was enough of a hike for us that day. By New Hampshire standards, this was just a hill hike, but the payoffs were as good as a mountain hike.
In the summer or fall, if you are in the tourist mecca of North Conway and just want a taste of the outdoors or if you had children with some energy to burn off, this would be the perfect hike.
We started out by crossing the Swift River covered bridge. Every time I see a covered bridge, I want to go home to look through my grandpa's extensive collection of New England travel photography to see if he photographed this one. He is fondness for covered bridges was legendary.
We made it to the top in two hours. In the summer, this would have taken much less time, but we were stopping frequently to take off layers, as it was about 37 degrees out.
The hiking hound keeps us going at a faster clip than usual, but the trails were snow covered so whoever was holding the leash had to balance while keeping her under control. We'd love to let her off leash, but she has such a predilection for hunting and running that we know we can't trust her yet. Either way, hikes with her are good workouts.
On this hike, she wore her backpack in our effort to slow her down and tire her out a little more. I'm not convinced that worked, because she pulled me down the trail at full speed - when she wasn't stopping to sniff. We think we decided in about forty-five minutes.
At one icy point in the trail, I sat down and slide down for a couple hundred feet. It seemed safer. At that moment, I really wished I'd had a small sled so she could just pull me down the rest of the way.
But we made it. We got in the car and headed back to Massachusetts, wishing we could stay a little longer.