The last month of summer has kicked off and before we know it ski season will be upon us. As much as we can’t wait, we also love Waterville Valley in the summertime! So, with just four short weeks before school starts up, leaves start changing, and warm cider becomes front of mind, it’s time to check off the last few iconic items on our Summer Bucket List! You can pack it all into a weekend or spread it out and soak up as much fun, chill, and adventure over the last four weeks or weekends of summer.
Whether you want to relax on the beach, head to the splash pad with the kids, or find your own private swimming hole, you’ll find plenty of cool spots around the valley for those hot and humid August days. The Corcoran Pond and Beach, adjacent to Town Square, is the perfect spot for swimming, fishing, boating, and jumping off the dock. With amenities like restaurants, the mercantile, bathrooms, and lodging, it is easy-peasy to take a quick dip or spend the whole day. This Saturday is our annual Ugotta Regatta, a whole day of playing on the pond and a perfect way to try out boating, swimming, and water games or watch the hilarity of the homemade boat contest.
If the littlest ones in the family are calling the shots, head over to the White Mountain Athletic Club (accepts the Freedom Pass) and check out their brand new outdoor pool, spa, splash pad, and Coyote Cabana. The kiddos can play all day and the grown-ups can enjoy the poolside cabana and gorgeous views of the ski trails and surrounding mountains.
If crowds aren’t your thing, spend a little extra time hiking to your own private swimming hole—unless somebody beats you there! One hidden gem includes a hike or scenic chairlift ride to the top of Snow’s Mountain. Then follow signs for Livermore Road and just before the first bridge, turn onto Cascade Path for beautiful waterfalls and pools to dip your toes in! Or hike the Fletcher’s Cascade Trail off Route 49 to discover another classic cascade trail with plenty of spots for a refreshing dip. Always use caution when hiking and swimming in natural and protected areas and take care not to disturb the local flora and fauna.
Waterville Valley is surrounded on all sides by seven 4,000-foot peaks and 360 degrees of White Mountain National Forrest boasting over 20 miles of renowned hiking trails. From gentle walks to rigorous weekend hiking challenges (like the Upcoming 20,000ft Denali Challenge), there is an opportunity for anyone to get outside and get the most bang for your buck. Your body and wallet will thank you. My favorite moderate hike: Mt. Osceola offers the most incredible view at the summit, is a great workout, and you can check summiting a 4,000-foot peak off your list as well! Check out our hiking page for more inspiration, or try to bag them all for epic bragging rights!
3. Eat & Drink
When I think of summer the first thing that comes to mind is eating outside and an ice-cold libation. Grab a seat outside of almost every restaurant in Town Square and enjoy summer fares like BBQ ribs, pizza, or a crisp salad. Wash down your fresh guacamole with a margarita or pick up your favorite six-pack or bottle of wine from the Mercantile and picnic on the grass in the open-container friendly Town Square. Live Music on the Gazebo Stage adds to the atmosphere every Friday and Saturday all month long. I run into friends and neighbors or meet someone new every weekend over a game of cornhole or a beer at the bar. It’s like a perpetual block party all summer long and everyone is invited.
If you are a valley regular or local, you’ll notice some new ways to play this month. July saw the debut of New Summer Activities including ResortBoard Adventure Tours, Disc Golf on Snow’s Mountain, and a Vertical Zone in Town Square. The Climbing Tower and Bungee Trampoline is set to open soon, but ResortBoards are already open and taking reservations 7-days a week. Disc Golf is also open! Take a scenic chairlift ride up Snow’s Mountain and play your way back down to the valley floor, with awesome views on the way. (If you have never played disc golf, it is way more fun than you think!) Even on a rainy day you can rock climb at the Recreation Department or head to the Ice Arena for Public Skate or Stick and Puck.