Outdoor adventurer Willem Lange hosts New Hampshire Public Television’s award-winning Windows to the Wild outdoor series. Viewers join Will as he hikes, paddles and explores New England, and meets people who share his love of the outdoors. All episodes of Windows to the Wild are available for viewing online, and DVDs of many of the […]
Outdoor adventurer Willem Lange hosts New Hampshire Public Television’s award-winning Windows to the Wild outdoor series. Viewers join Will as he hikes, paddles and explores New England, and meets people who share his love of the outdoors. All episodes of Windows to the Wild are available for viewing online, and DVDs of many of the programs can be ordered from NHPTV. We asked Will to share his favorite places in New England.
BAXTER PARK (MAINE)
What’s now Baxter Park was purchased in bits and pieces by Governor (and millionaire fiscal conservative) Percival Baxter, and is protected by a tightly written Deed of Gift to the people of Maine. With its centerpiece, Mount Katahdin, it enjoys almost shrine-like status for lovers of wilderness, wildlife, and incredible scenery.
CONNECTICUT RIVER (VERMONT / NEW HAMPSHIRE)
New England’s longest river flows over 400 miles from a beaver pond at the Canadian border to Long Island Sound. One of our best-kept recreational secrets, it now features designated campsites along its northern sections.
PRESIDENTIAL TRAVERSE (NEW HAMPSHIRE)
The hike from the AMC’s Lakes of the Clouds Hut to its Madison Hut is a lovely day for a fit hiker. Above timberline the whole way, it’s almost alpine. And the icy water of Madison Spring is perfect for tired, swollen feet at the end of the day.
ISLANDS OF THE COAST OF MAINE
The coastal islands of Maine, like Monhegan and Vinalhaven, are perfect for Longfellow’s “long, long thoughts” of youth – or any other age, for that matter. Crying gulls, beating surf, and the sea breeze carry us far from our everyday concerns.
LONG TRAIL (VERMONT)
But for the wisdom of long-ago Vermonters, the Long Trail could have been another Skyline Drive. Instead, it’s an often wild, but friendly 273-mile hike studded with shelters and campsites its entire length. The views to both the Adirondacks and the White Mountains are spectacular.
THE WHITE RIVER (VERMONT)
A major tributary to the Connecticut, the White River has miles and miles of exciting, but not technical, whitewater, especially during the spring freshet. Highways beside the river the whole way down. Start as high up as Hancock, Vermont, and run all the way to White River Junction, if you like. Just be sure to wear a life jacket and be ready to take a cold bath.
LAKE CHAMPLAIN (VERMONT)
In post-glacial times an inland sea, and during European settlement the major route north and south through the colonies, Champlain is steeped in history. You can spot General Burgoyne’s 1777 campsite at the mouth of the Boquet River and still find cannonballs there from the War of 1812. There are campsites and anchorages all up and down the lake.
MOUNT MOOSILAUKE (NEW HAMPSHIRE)
The westernmost of the 4,000-footers of New Hampshire, Moosilauke dominates the Connecticut Valley and looks eastward to Mount Washington. At its eastern foot, check out Dartmouth College’s Ravine Lodge, a log building dating from the late 1930s.
TROUT PONDS OF NORTHERN MAINE
Late May and early June in northern Maine are sacred to the pursuit of native brook trout, and dozens of old sporting camps still welcome guests with canoes on remote ponds full of rising trout and great cooking, saunas, and showers at the end of the day.
GULF HAGAS (MAINE)
The Pleasant River drops through a deep slate gorge where logs and later pulp were driven to waiting mills and the furnaces of the Katahdin Iron Works. The Nature Conservancy owns a tract of old-growth white pine – the Hermitage – once set aside for recreation by long-ago lumber kings.
Read more articles by Will in his weekly newspaper column, “A Yankee Notebook.” His new book, Words from the Wild, includes his favorite columns and photos from many Windows to the Wild experiences.