New Hampshire

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New Hampshire, state line sign #25 (we are half way there) for this voyaging family!  We “shire” had a great time in this state. We visited the only National Park Service site in this state and it was beautiful.

National Park Service Site:

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site

We also enjoyed the beauty of New Hampshire on our drive down the Kancamagus Highway. Check out these beautiful roadside stops.  We even met some folks from Iowa that did a rotation of where I work one summer. What a small world.

Look at these breathtaking views.

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And a great get out and stretch your legs short hike to beautiful Glen Ellis Falls.

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We stayed overnight in North Conway at The Red Jacket Mountain View Inn, where kids  burned off some energy at the indoor water park. Great stop off in NH for this crew.

Of course no trip through New Hampshire is complete without a drive up and down Mt. Washington. New Hampshire’s highest peak.  We did this on our own and it was really easy, despite the stories we heard from the bartender at our hotel.  My husband was more than capable of not burning up our brakes and taking it easy on the way down. We had a great clear day when we reached the top!

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New Hampshire is an awesome state and one not to miss. Lots of fun and exciting things to see and do. We will be back, but for now we are on our way to Maine.  Check back for more state line signs, stops on our National Park trip season 3, Maine and all of our National Park stops.

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Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site

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Visited: August 2018

Duration: 2-3 hours (including a picnic lunch)

Accommodations:  Leaving Stowe, Vermont, staying in Conway, New Hampshire.

 

It was lunch time by the time we arrived in New Hampshire. This park has a great little picnic area in the parking lot. We had a bite to eat and then headed to the visitor center. Here we grabbed our goodies including our Junior Ranger packets.  I will say that this Junior Ranger is by far one of the best out there.  We had a blast filling this one out.

This National Historic Site is the home, gardens and studios of one of America’s greatest sculptors, Augustus Saint-Gaudens.  This was the summer residence from 1885 to 1897 and his permanent home from 1900 until he died in 1907. Here you can view all types of his work.  It is an absolutely beautiful area.

We spent most of our time here walking the grounds exploring every piece of artwork.  In the Junior Ranger booklet there were tiny insets of the artwork we had to match to original work, its harder than it sounds.  The grounds were beautiful to walk through and we were the only people here during our visit. A quiet and serene place, we really enjoyed. Below are some of our favorite works of art we found on our visit.

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The house was gorgeous as well. We were able to walk around in it and the park ranger on duty was very helpful with questions. She also helped us with our Jr. Ranger booklets on some we couldn’t quite find. The best part, she gave us great hints and not the exact answers 🙂

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We headed back to the visitor center to earn our badges. This gal looks skeptical, ha ha.

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What a great little stop at New Hampshire’s only National Park Service site.


We are off to Conway, New Hampshire, but first we are going to enjoy the scenery along the Kancamagus Highway on our way and make a pit stop in at Franconia Notch State Park.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed the blog for today. Stop back for more, we are just getting warmed up here on National Park Trip Season 3.

Vermont

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Vermont. State line sign #24 out of 50 for this crazy family.  This was taken on Highway 7 coming from Saratoga and heading to Bennington for the evening. We actually pulled into someone’s driveway, parked the car and took our picture, so it was a really safe stop for us. I also don’t think anyone drove by the whole 5 minutes we were there so even more safe.

While in Vermont we visited the only National Park Service site in the state:

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

No trip through Vermont would be complete without a stop for ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory!!  Check it out. We had so much fun getting the scoop here that it was in”cone”ceivable! Gunnar even bought a “sweet” shirt. LOL

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To “top” off that stop we headed north to Stowe, Vermont and stayed at the most beautiful hotel. The Trapp Family Lodge is a gorgeous Swiss chalet in the mountains of Vermont. When the family from The Sound of Music immigrated to the U.S. this is where they settled and the hotel is still run by one of the grandchildren.  I wish we had stayed here a couple more nights there is so much to do here, glad we got to experience what we did though, it was a fabulous stay.

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Thanks for stopping by and checking out our drive through Vermont. Up next, New Hampshire, check back soon for those blogs.  Have you been to Vermont? It is another scenic state we have been blessed to check off of our list 🙂

 

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

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Visited: August 2018

Duration: 1-2 hours. Could have been longer but it was raining.

Accommodations: Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, Vermont (highly recommend)

It was a rainy day in Vermont. We traveled up the beautiful highway 100 stopping at The Vermont Country store for some lunch and shopping.  We ventured up to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park to visit Vermont’s only National Park Service Site.

We stopped in at the Visitor Center grabbing umbrellas and Junior Ranger books. The JR here is a hike with a scavenger hunt involved at each site. Truly fun and kept everyone’s attention.  We were off and on our own here to enjoy this park. Nobody for miles.

First Stop was the Mansion.

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We sat on the porch and enjoyed the outdoors awhile here. There were outstanding views all around so we couldn’t help ourselves.

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We set off on a rainy hike around the property that didn’t take too long and was gorgeous. We walked through a Tree Plantation and learned why it is important, past a compost pile and learn all the things that can be composted and what can’t. We went for a walk in the woods, past a wood barn in through the Forest center. We had to find things to do (at home) to become more environmentally friendly.  We decided we would invest in a windmill.

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Junior Ranger books done, back to the Visitor Center to earn our badge. These badges were made out of trees that came from this park.  This is a cool addition to this place.

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Great stop on our way through Vermont!  Up next is Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and our fabulous stay at the Trapp Family Lodge.  Check out our Vermont blog on those exciting stops.

New York

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New York!!!  State line sign #23 of 50.  This was taken while on National Park Trip Season 3 in the summer of 2018.  Right off of Interstate 90 coming from Pennsylvania into New York. Plenty of room to pull off and get a great picture.

National Park Service sites we visited while in New York

Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historical Site

Women’s Rights National Historical Park

Fort Stanwix National Monument

Saratoga National Historical Park

No trip through New York would be complete without visiting one of the best state parks in the U.S. found in Watkins Glen, New York.  We stayed at Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel and went on a “gorge”gous hike through Watkins Glen State Park.  The hike was a great hike to get our heart rates going with amazing views the whole way.  I don’t think you could take a bad photo here.  The views are awesome!! Check it out!

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Great little town to stop off at on our way across New York. Great dining, hotel and outdoor activities here.

Check back for Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and more!!

Saratoga National Historical Park

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Visited: July 2018

Duration: 2 hours

Accommodations: Bennington, Vermont

One of the most decisive victories in American and world history was won here at Saratoga. The Battles of Saratoga began in September of 1777, with British Gen. John Burgoyne leading his troops down the Hudson River.  After many weeks of battle Burgoyne’s troops took refuge in a fortified camp in Saratoga.  American forces, that had grown to 17,000 men surrounded the British Army. Burgoyne surrendered in October of 1777.

Here we also learned about Benedict Arnold and his part in the war. This battle was instrumental in bringing in France as an American Ally which later led to Spain joining France in the war against Britain.

We got here later in the afternoon and had about 30 minutes to look through the museum and walk around outside. Great displays in the museum, you could even dress up as soldiers. The Visitor Center is up on the hill with beautiful overlooks of the valley.

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We hopped in the car at Visitor Center closing time and headed out for our very own auto tour of the park.  We grabbed the information packet for each stop at the VC.  You can do an audio tour at Http://sara.toursphere.com but we just drove while I read what was in the brochure.

Here is stop 1: The Freeman Farm Overlook

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Here is stop #2: The Neilson Farm. This is a restored home that looks much like it did in 1777.

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The Monument for the Unknown American Dead

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We breezed by the other 8 stops and got out and looked around. It is a beautiful well kept park, but we are getting hungry. Off to Bennington, Vermont for the night.  The nice Park Rangers knew that we wouldn’t make it back in time to earn our Junior Ranger badge so he entrusted it to me to make sure the kids completed the books. One of them did it 😉

 

Little did any of us know that we would be back in the morning to Saratoga because Gunnar left his passport book in the museum.  Luckily the cleaning lady found it and because we had written our phone # inside of it, they called us before we left Bennington and we made the trip back to retrieve it.

NOTE TO YOURSELF:  Write your phone # in the front of your national park passport book, it is a life saver!!!!

I hope you enjoyed our trip through New York and the Battles of Saratoga.  Have you been here?  It is a beautiful place.

Fort Stanwix National Monument

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Visited: July 2018

Duration: 2-3 hours

Traveling across New York took us right in to Rome, New York for this fabulous National Monument. Right in the middle of town is a step back in history to interpret the events of the siege of 1777. In 1776 the Continental Congress ordered General George Washington to have Fort Stanwix rebuilt to protect the emerging nation’s northwest border and to secure a foothold for future expansion.

In 1777, the siege of Fort Stanwix begins on August 3rd by British forces. Col. Peter Gansevoort vowed to hold the fort “to the last extremity”. After 21 days of siege British forces abandon Fort Stanwix after American reinforcements approach, under the control of Major General Benedict Arnold. This victory, coupled with the defeat of the British attack and surrender of Saratoga, led to alliances between the United States, France and the Netherlands.

Our first stop here was the the Willett Center, we stopped in for an orientation to Fort Stanwix and the American Revolution.  Great museum with fun displays. You can even build your own fort.

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We headed out to the Fort on the paved trail and headed in over the drawbridge.

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We stopped off at the West Barracks (Visitor Contact Station) to watch a short film. We then wandered the Fort (some was under construction so we couldn’t go in some of the buildings.

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Here are some pictures of the East Barracks you can see the difference in the officer’s and soldier’s barracks.

We walked around the fort and talked with volunteers that were all really informative and more than happy to answer any questions you have.

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We headed back to the Willett Center to find a few more answers we were looking for in our books. This Junior Ranger was hard, parents had to help with a few of these, but in the end we “conquered” it.

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Earned our Badges and got our cancellations! Off to Part 2 of the battle, Saratoga!

Fort Stanwix was a good time in a beautiful city. Have you been here? What did you think? History can be so much fun to learn.

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