Trailwork volunteers needed in the Lake Sunapee Region

Mount Sunapee's Lake Solitude

The highland trails in the region’s state parks, such as on Mount Sunapee and on Mount Kearsarge in Winslow State Park, are seeing more and more hikers each year. Photo shows Lake Solitude, near the top of Mount Sunapee.

Hikers, walkers and outdoor enthusiasts: The hiking trails in the Lake Sunapee region need your help.

“The need is never-ending to identify and encourage new volunteers who can build and maintain the area’s trails,” says Gerry Gold for the Trails Committee of the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition.

SRKG, an all-volunteer non-profit organization, is looking for more volunteers to help keep up and improve the region’s trail system, which includes more than 75 miles of walking paths and hiking trails that cross Sunapee, Ragged and Kearsarge mountains and takes in three state forests and four state parks.

The Greenway connects state, town and private lands and gives hikers and walkers access to mountains, lakes, vistas and historical sites across the region.

These trails also connect with other popular hiking areas, such as Mount Monadnock.

Building a Trailworks Community

With organized and advertised events–eight trailwork events in four months–SRKG with support from the Quabbin to Cardigan Partnership hope to grow and strengthen the area’s trailwork community.

Each event will focus on specific improvements to local trails and teach trailwork skills to new volunteers.

The trailwork campaign will also help spread the word about the area’s trails, organizations and conserved lands, which are part of a larger landscape, the Q2C (Quabbin to Cardigan) region.

Volunteers Needed

On Tuesday, July 23, trailwork volunteers have three “help and learn” opportunities: easy, moderate and difficult.

  • Sunapee, Upper Sunapee Village to North Road (Easy) – Blaze a trail: Paint and plastic blazes show the way. To volunteer, contact Lisa Correa (c.lisa7716@gmail.com).
  • Goshen, Lower Summit Trail, Mount Sunapee State Park (Moderate) – Clean a waterbar: Rakes, shovels and a short walk in. Contact Dave Coulter (603-934-0148 )
  • Andover, Ragged Mountain from Proctor Academy (Difficult) – Move a trail requiring a 1.5 mile hike uphill with tools. Contact Gerry Gold (603-526-2857 or geecubed@yahoo.com)

Trailwork is also planned for July 24-26. The Student Conservation Association high school trail crew will be working on the Barlow Trail on Mount Kearsarge at Winslow State Park in Wilmot.  Also, SCA will do trailwork on July 28-31.

Increasing use of highland trails

The highland trails in the region’s state parks, such as on Mount Sunapee and on Mount Kearsarge in Winslow State Park, are seeing ever-increasing traffic including use by large groups that meet up to hike, explained Gold.

With the internet and on-line networking and easy access to information, the area is no longer a secret. The well-publicized areas are seeing many more hikers (of varying experience). More use means more wear and tear to the trails and the need for more trail maintenance.

Also, when new hiking opportunities open up with new or expanded land conservation, the call for experienced trail crews increases.

Ideally, a perfect trail crew member is someone who works on their favorite trails and pathways, Gold added.  However, “even if we only need three or four people on a given day, it may take an email list of 100 to find those people ready and able on that day.”

To learn more about joining the area’s Trailwork Community. Email trails@srkg.com.

For information about the Greenway, including SRKG membership ($10/yr), the SRKG Guide, and volunteer opportunities, visit www.srkg.com or email srkgc@srkg.com.

Sunapee dedicates Herbert Welsh Trail on July 6

WelshTrailMapSunapee, NH — On  Saturday, July 6, at 2 p.m., Sunapee will dedicate a new hiking trail that honors Herbert Welsh (1851‐1941), the little‐known leader of land conservation efforts in the Sunapee Region.

The Sunapee Conservation Commission and Sunapee Historical Society, the event sponsors, invite the public to attend.

The dedication will be held along the marsh shore, a short walk in from the road. A hike to the top of Garnet Hill will follow the dedication.  Meet at the trail head parking area near intersection of Jobs Creek Road and Garnet Hill Road.

The Herbert Welsh Trail adds public hiking access to more of the town’s conservation land at Dewey Woods, including the Rogers Brook Marsh and the top of Garnet Hill. The trail was designed and completed last year.

Nature Art Walk

From July 1 to August 31, 2013, the trail will be marked with more than 30 images of historical Sunapee landscapes connected to Dewey Woods, Garnet Hill and Lake Sunapee, as well as Herbert Welsh’s art. The images will also be on display at the Sunapee Historical Society Museum at Sunapee Harbor.

“These historical images tell a story of the evolution of our landscape since 1900 and bring together a display of some of his paintings, many with Sunapee connections,” says Barbara Chalmers, Sunapee, who led the effort to create the Herbert Welsh Trail and the Nature Art Walk.

“Welsh was THE advocate and leader of conservation efforts for Mount Sunapee and the Dewey Woods,” says Chalmers.

The walking crusader Herbert Welsh (1851-1941). Image from his book The New Gentleman of the Road, which chronciled his 450-mile treks from Philadelphia to Sunapee.

The walking crusader Herbert Welsh (1851-1941). Image from his book “The New Gentleman of the Road” that describes his 450-mile treks from Philadelphia to Sunapee.

“A truly renaissance man, Welsh was an artist by training, writer, publisher, conservationist and civil rights advocate. He devoted his life to a variety of causes to aid others less fortunate and to conserve beautiful lands for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Welsh was a founder of the Indian Rights Association, which for 110 years advocated for the American Indian, the International Arbitration Commission, a forerunner of the World Court, the National Municipal League, which still exists today.

He met with three U.S. Presidents regarding Indian rights, civil service reform and good government policies, and in 1892, rode horseback through the Dakota Sioux Reservation with Teddy Roosevelt.

Welsh also was the founder of the Sunapee Chapter of the Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

The Walking Crusader

For many years, beginning at age 64, Welsh walked each June from his home in Philadelphia to Sunapee, then back in early fall.

His last ambitious project, in 1929, was to raise funds to build a conference center on land he had bought in Vermont for men and women of all faiths and cultures to meet and discuss the important societal concerns of the day. His dream went unrealized with the Great Depression of the 1930s, explains Chalmers.

Chalmers began researching Welsh’s life a few years back for the 2011 Mount Sunapee Centennial Celebration. She was amazed at what she discovered.

“He was so ahead of his time. His societal concerns became his life’s work: economic and social justice for the American Indian,  fighting corruption in government and the civil service, and land preservation for future generations.  Welsh not only led the effort to conserve land on Mount Sunapee, but he was responsible for conserving Dewey Woods too.”

Among the images along the Nature Art Walk is this “penny postcard” view from 1916: Garnet Hill looking across the lake to Mount Sunapee.

Penny Postcard Garnet Hill to Mt Sunapee

Related articles: New hiking trail in Sunapee honors Herbert Welsh (SunapeeNews.com)

Winter hikes: Enjoy and explore the Lake Sunapee area

Mount Kearsarge winter view toward Pleasant Lake

From Mount Kearsarge: winter view toward Pleasant Lake

Winter is a great time to hit the trails, the local hiking trails. With some preparation, outdoor enjoyment, exploration and exercise awaits you throughout the Lake Sunapee area.

The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge (SRK) Greenway Coalition has planned seven winter hikes that begin January 19. All hikes are free to the public.

For more information, go to www.srkg.com.

Hike organizers ask that you call the volunteer hike leader at least two nights before to learn starting location and time. Also, be prepared for winter conditions with clothing layers, food, and water. Snowshoes are the presumed mode of transport.

  • January 19 (Sat.) – Andy Hager (526-2846) Cross-country ski on logging road from Wilmot to Bunker Place in New London. 4 mi. For experienced x-c skiers. (M)
  • January 26 (Sat.) – Nick Baer (526- 8233) Bog Mountain fun family hike. Children’s activities along the way include animal tracking, games and hot cocoa at the summit. Starting at Stearn’s Road, the hike will finish at the Wilmot Library. 3.1 miles (M)
  • February 2 (Sat.) – Dave Anderson (763-5958) or danderson@forestsociety.org. Dave’s Winter Wildlife Tracking snow shoe hike will take place on the lower slopes of Sunset Hill in Newbury. Dave promises to teach tracking patterns and natural history for common local wild mammals. 2 miles. (E-M)
  • February 9 (Sat.) Brian Faughnan (526-7838) Snowshoe over winter trails in Wilmot’s Patterson Road area. Refreshments afterward at the Faughnans. 3 miles. (M)
  • February 16 (Sat.) Peg Bastien (456-2347) Snowshoe in Warner’s Chandler Reservation up to the old fire tower. Some trails are rather steep. (M)
  • February 24, 25 or 26 – David Cook (526-4570) Fifth Annual Moonlight Madness! Full moon snowshoe in New London to ridge-top skyline vista. Sponsored by SRKGC, Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust and New London Conservation Commission. Date selected for best moonlight conditions. 2 miles; two hours. (M) Not for novice snowshoers.
  • March 2 (Sat.) – Gerry Gold (526-2857) From Andrew Brook Trail to Lake Solitude to Sunapee Ridge to Lucia’s Lookout. Beautiful and strenuous. 10 miles (D)

Greenway Trail Guides are available at local book stores. The SRK Greenway Coalition is a ten-town all-volunteer non-profit organization with members throughout the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge region and beyond.

Share your favorite winter hikes and images via SunapeeNews.com.

Hiking and camping on Mount Sunapee will honor Welsh legacy

On Saturday, August 27 at Mount Sunapee State Park, the Friends of Mount Sunapee and Herbert Welsh Centennial Celebration Committee are sponsoring a day of outdoor activities to honor Herbert Welsh and 100 years of conservation efforts to protect land that is now part of Mount Sunapee State Park—one of New Hampshire’s iconic mountain parks.

Dave Anderson, director of education for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, and Christopher Kane, a conservation biologist who has studied Mount Sunapee’s old growth, will lead a hike to Mount Sunapee’s Lake Solitude, where the group will stop for lunch.

Hikers will be able to learn about the mountain’s natural and cultural history and its old growth forest. Mount Sunapee State Park has the largest known fragment of old growth south of the White Mountains.

Participants will bring a picnic lunch, start from the state park campground at 9 am and return about 2 pm.

To register for the Welsh Centennial Hike to Lake Solitude, visit: welshcentennial827.eventbrite.com

After the hike, participants can further explore the mountain or relax at the state beach on Lake Sunapee. (There is free entrance to the beach area for campers, otherwise there is a nominal state park fee.)

Evening camping activities will start at 5 p.m. and will include music, singing around the campfire and a celebratory cake. Participants will bring own food for the grills–dinner and beverages. Event organizers have reserved several campsites that are available on a first-come basis.

For more information, contact Friends of Mount Sunapee. Email: info@friendsofmountsunapee.org or phone 603-863-0045.

For Centennial activities & updates, visit: friendsofmountsunapee.org.

Photo description: Located along the Sunapee Ridge between the summit and South Peak, at 2,510 feet, is Mount Sunapee’s Lake Solitude.

Coming up: The Life & Times of Herbert Welsh

The walking crusader Herbert Welsh (1851-1941). Image from his book The New Gentleman of the Road, which chronicled his 450-mile treks from Philadelphia to Sunapee.

Sunapee Historical Society

Presents a Cracker Barrel Talk

The Life & Times of

Herbert Welsh

Sunapee Artist, Humanitarian, Indian Rights Activist & Father of Mount Sunapee’s Public Lands

Thursday, July 21, 2011 – 7 PM
Sunapee Historical Society Museum, Sunapee Harbor

Presentation by Barbara Chalmers
Part of Friends of Mount Sunapee
“Mount Sunapee: Welsh Centennial Celebration”

Program is open to the public free of charge. All invited to attend.

Related info…

Legacy of man behind Sunapee purchase to be feted – NewsTimes

SUNAPEE, N.H. AP —The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests owns more than 50,000 acres in 170 locations across the state, and it all began 100 years ago with the purchase of a parcel on Mount Sunapee orchestrated by an unsung crusader named Herbert Welsh. Generations later, those equally passionate about Mount Sunapee are planning a celebration of Welsh and his legacy of saving the mountain from being further gouged by paper companies threatening its old growth forest.

via Legacy of man behind Sunapee purchase to be feted – NewsTimes.

How to best celebrate Mt. Sunapee land conservation?

What is the best way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of land conservation on Mount Sunapee? The Friends of Mount Sunapee will host a discussion with all interested in celebrating the event at an upcoming public meeting on Wednesday, April 20th at the Community Methodist Church, 17 Lower Main Street, Sunapee starting at 7:30 p.m.

“2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the first land protection campaign on our beloved Mount Sunapee,” said Tom Elliott, a member of the board of directors for Friends of Mount Sunapee (FOMS). “Learn more and join in the celebration!”

A century ago

A hundred years ago this year, Herbert Welsh, the father of land conservation on Mount Sunapee, led an effort to purchase the first patch of protected forest on Mount Sunapee and place it in the public trust forever.

With clear-cut logging quickly moving up the mountainside, Welsh mobilized Sunapee locals, summer friends, and the Society for the Protection of NH Forests to buy the first 656 acres of land on Mount Sunapee for conservation.

This initial $8,000 campaign became the first in a century of citizen-led efforts to protect many thousands of acres of beautiful, natural forestland on and along the Sunapee Ridge, including the land now preserved in our beloved Mount Sunapee State Park.

To a More Glorious Mount Sunapee

Welsh sometimes ended his persuasive writings with the line, “To a more glorious Mount Sunapee.” FOMS believes that he included “more” because he viewed the 1911 campaign as the first, and not the last, grassroots effort to preserve and enjoy Mount Sunapee.

Following his vision, the Forest Society, State of New Hampshire, and many other supporting organizations continued to protect pieces of the mountain, eventually accumulating a 2,200 acre state park and more than 20,000 acres of wildlands to its south, including Pillsbury State Park and the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway lands.

A century later, Welsh’s initial campaign deserves great recognition. His intention for “more” deserves our energy and support. FOMS would like your help in achieving both. — FOMS meeting announcement

To read more about Herbert Welsh, download/preview or print “Herbert Welsh: Walking Crusader.” (Note: PDF is 1.1 MB.) The article by Shelly Candidus was printed in SooNipi Magazine in 2004. This special re-print of the article includes the “Outline Map of Points Visible from Mount Sunapee” published in the Manual of Mount Sunapee in 1915  for the Sunapee Branch of the Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

More information go to the FOMS website or call 603-863-0045.

Photo courtesy of SooNipi Publishing: Taken over a century ago and scanned from a glass negative, the photo (above) is a panoramic view of Lake Sunapee with Mount Sunapee in the distance.

Friends of Mount Sunapee advocates for protection of Mount Sunapee State Park for its essential public values; conservation of the Lake Sunapee watershed and Sunapee highlands; and preservation of the unique character and natural beauty of the rural communities in the mountain’s shadow.

Winter Wild race series starts Jan. 15 at Whaleback

This Saturday the New London rec department kicks off its Winter Wild race series. The competition looks to enjoy a strong start. Snow is in the forecast for tomorrow and pre-registration is running high for the first race at Whaleback in Enfield on January 15. The start time for the uphill/downhill race is 7 am.

Last year the race was a “huge success, with a high number of racers raising money for the New London Recreation Department programs,” according to Jessie Levine, New London’s town administrator.

The program also received an award from the NH Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness.

Already twice the number of racers have signed up for the Whaleback race. Channel 9 will be filming for a Chronicle program, according to Levine.

“So come out and support a fun event and maybe get your 15 minutes of fame!”

Okay…what is Winter Wild?

It is an uphill/downhill race, where racers choose their gear (skis, snowshoes, running shoes) and have to go up and down the race course without changing gear. The finish line is at the bottom.

Races will be held on January 15 at Whaleback, on February 5 at Ragged Mountain, on February 19 at Pats Peak, and on March 5 at Mount Sunapee.

For more info including race categories and how to register, visit: www.winterwild.com.

You can view a video from the 2010 race via Evan’s Blog: Live Free and Ride Whaleback.



Goubert Family Protects 75 Acres on Mount Sunapee

 

Andrews Brook forest pool on Mount Sunapee. Photo by Jeff Sluder.

 

Last summer, Delnoce Goubert, Sunapee, attended a Forest Society lecture about the natural history of the Mount Sunapee region. After the event, he approached the presenter about land that his family owned near the base of Mount Sunapee. He asked if the Forest Society would be interested in taking ownership of this land, which had been in his family for more than 70 years.

Almost one year later, the Forest Society accepted a gift of 75 acres in Newbury from Delnoce, his brother Peter Goubert, and his sister Jean Goubert Sisley.

The land has been in the family since 1937, and the Gouberts themselves have been actively involved with the Forest Society since the late 1930s. Originally from New York, the family initially purchased the land, along with some surrounding acreage, as a country retreat.

The original estate included a 250-year-old house, where Delnoce and his family spent summer and winter vacations. The house wasn’t far from Andrews Brook, which cuts through a deep gorge on the property. Delnoce remembers carrying fresh brook water to the house during summer and chopping ice in the winter.

He reminisces about the land with affection. “As kids, we spent our summers here,” he said. “Long before there were trails, we used to run up and down the mountain. We’d come up in the winter to go skiing.” Continue reading

AMC “Equipped” Blogs on Monadnock Sunapee Greenway

Hubbard Hill, Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail...
Image via Wikipedia

Equipped, one of the Appalachian Mountain Club blogs, reported yesterday on the Monadnock Sunapee Greenway Trail Club and its new map and shelter. The Greenway stretches from Mount Monadnock north to Mount Sunapee and “makes for excellent early season hiking and offers backpackers the opportunity–and shelters–for a 5-day, 4-night excursion through the sylvan wilds of southern New England.” Read more via Appalachian Mountain Club’s Equipped: Monadnock Sunapee Greenway: New Map and Shelter.

For hiking related groups and sites, visit:

Sunapee Recreation Sponsors Mt. Sunapee Ski Day for Residents

Sunapee Recreation is sponsoring a ski and snowboard day at Mount Sunapee on Tuesday, January 19 (yup, it’s a no school day). The town Rec department has gotten a special ticket rate just for Sunapee residents. To get the special group rate, all tickets must be registered through the Sunapee Recreation Department no later than January 18 at 7 pm.  Ticket prices are set by age group: adults (19-64), young adults (13-18) and seniors (65-69), juniors (6-12) and super seniors (70+). When reserving tickets, you’ll be asked to identify your age group. For more info and ticket prices, contact Rec Director Scott Blewitt.

Ashuelot River Headwaters Project Gets Boost

Photo by Sue Lichty, Lempster NH

From the summit of Silver Mountain, part of the Ashuelot River Headwaters project. Photo by Lempster resident Sue Lichty.

The efforts of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests to conserve 1,750 acres around the Ashuelot River headwaters have received a boost. Five Lempster landowners have pledged to donate an additional 1,300 acres if the Forest Society is successful. The combined value of the donated 1,300 acres exceeds $1 million.

For more than a year, the Forest Society has been working to conserve the bald summit of Silver Mountain, a popular hiking and blueberry-picking destination with spectacular views, as well as two miles of shoreline around Long Pond and Sand Pond. The Ashuelot River Headwaters project also includes more than 11,000 feet of frontage along the Ashuelot River, which supplies drinking water to the residents of Keene and others.

The land along Long and Sand Ponds is especially vulnerable to development. Construction along the shoreline increases the risks to water quality from erosion and contamination. A vegetated buffer along the ponds and river helps stabilize the shoreline and filters potential contaminants from runoff, lawn fertilizer, and other sources.

The 1,750-acre project is located in Lempster just south of the conserved lands surrounding Mount Sunapee and adjacent Pillsbury State Park. The potential addition of another 1,300 acres would ensure the continuation of an uninterrupted greenway stretching south from Pillsbury State Park almost to the edge of the 11,000-acre Andorra Forest.

“The potential to conserve an additional 1,300 acres raises the stakes,” said Brian Hotz, Forest Society director of land protection. “Thanks to the generosity of these individuals, we stand to conserve more than 3,000 acres in the region. Now it’s more important than ever that we succeed in finding the support we need to complete this project.”

The state-funded Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) has contributed $500,000 toward the project, and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) granted $100,000. Private donations have made up the balance of funding received so far.

The Forest Society must raise $2.18 million to conserve this dramatic landscape by December 1, 2009.  The organization has already raised $1.4 million, but still has another $750,000 to go.

For more information about the Ashuelot Rivers Headwaters project or to make a donation, visit http://www.forestsociety.org/ashuelot.

SRK Greenway Leads 16th Annual Walkabout

It’s time to take a hike or two, or perhaps three, five or seven. The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition will lead seven hikes this fall that are open to the public free of charge. The trails chosen are part of the Greenway’s 75-mile Emerald Necklace. Hikers will be able to go over Mount Sunapee, into Sunapee Harbor, to Morgan Hill, into Springfield and to Wilmot– travel high and low and along mountain trails, woodland paths and several Class 6 roads. To read more about it, here’s info from the recent SRKGC newsletter reprinted, in part, with permission.

The 16th SRK Greenway Coalition Walkabout will begin Saturday, September 5 and continue for seven Saturdays finishing up on October 17. Trails 1 through 7 are on this year’s schedule with 8 through 14 scheduled for next year. Details of each hike are listed below with the lengths and a general assessment of difficulty for each trail.

This year the Saturday hikes will usually start at 9:00 a.m. The leader will set the time and meeting place. If there is a rain-out, the trip leader will determine the starting time for the Sunday hike. All who plan to hike must call the leader by the evening before to get these instructions. Trip leaders recommend bringing hiking (or ski) poles.

Often some of our hikers don’t realize, prior to the event, that rough terrain and occasional steep sloops make it difficult for some to negotiate the trail. Using hiking poles are not just for sissies – they actually have many benefits. For a “pro/con” discussion on using poles, check this out at: http://www.slackpacker.com/trekking-poles.html

SRK Greenway 2009 Walkabout Schedule

  • Sat. 9/5 – Newbury Harbor to Old Province Road, Goshen, 5.4 miles (Moderate), Andy Hager 603-526-2846
  • Sat. 9/12 – Old Province Road, Goshen to Sunapee Town Hall,  7.3 miles (Moderate), Charlie Killam 603-526-4467
  • Sat. 9/19 – Sunapee Town Hall to Deer Hill Road, Springfield, 7.3 miles (Moderate), Ron Wyman 603-456-2347
  • Sat. 9/26 – Deer Hill Road to Springfield – New London Road,  4.1 miles (Easy), Cynthia Bruss 603-763-4570
  • Sat. 10/3 – Springfield – New London Road to Great Brook Bridge,  8.4 miles (Difficult), Mike and Susan Chiarella 603-763-4661
  • Sat. 10/10 – Great Brook Bridge to NH 4A, Wilmot,  3.2 miles (Easy ), Brian Faughnan 603-526-7838
  • Sat.10/17 – NH 4A, Wilmot to Wilmot Center, 4.4 miles (Moderate), Ken Aldrich 603-526-2942

The Greenway’s mission is to create and maintain a forever green, great circle of trail corridors and conserved lands providing walkers with minimally-developed access to the mountains, lakes, vistas and historical sites of the region. The “necklace” comprises over 75 trail miles, created  with the cooperation of landowners and local authorities, through the forests, over mountains and, where appropriate, via old roads, now unsuitable for wheeled traffic but more extensively used as much as two centuries ago. Maintaining the Greenway, improving its pathways and creating new ones, some to form links with other famous hiking areas such as Monadnock and Cardigan mountains, are undertaken by SRKG members. Your membership, and offer to help, will always be welcome.

2009 League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair Schedule

Sculpture GardenHere’s your daily schedule for the 76th League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair, August 1-9. It is held at Mount Sunapee Resort located at Mount Sunapee State Park, in Newbury, NH.

The Fair features 350 juried members of the League and daily demonstrations, workshops and music. Also, each day, there will be a tour with a master artisan and screenings of a documentary about the League’s history. See below for the Fair’s nine-day schedule and for ticket information. Continue reading

76th Annual League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair Aug 1-9

FairgroundsToday

League of NH Craftsmen's Fair runs August 1-9 at Mount Sunapee

The oldest, continuously running craft fair in the country–the Annual League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair celebrates the “spirit of the maker” this year. It’s the Fair’s 76th year, and it gets underway August 1 at the base of the mountain at Mount Sunapee State Park in Newbury (NH).

Each piece of fine craft that is on display at the 76th Annual Craftsmen’s Fair has a story – one that expresses the vision, inspiration, skill, and personal history of the maker. These are artisans who make fine hand craft using traditional methods. By creating functional pieces using natural materials (many of which are native to New Hampshire) that have lasting value, they are contributing to the state’s legacy of craftsmanship and improving the sustainability of our community and environment. – LNHC

The fair will run August 1-9 with over 200 craft booths featuring contemporary and traditional jewelry, glass, pottery, prints, metalwork, fiber arts, woodcarvings, weaving, sculptures, furniture, and leatherwork. Visitors can meet and speak with the craftspeople and take in demonstrations and workshops on the traditional methods of making fine handcraft.  A wide variety of craft-making will be on display, glass blowing, blacksmithing, woodcarving, and furniture building, just to name a few.

Living With Crafts
Living With Craft

A favorite feature of the Fair is Living with Craft.  There will be two exhibitions, Living With Craft and CraftWear, and an outdoor Sculpture Garden, illustrate the practical and decorative use of handcrafted items. Living With Craft features decorated room settings furnished entirely with handmade furniture and room accessories. CraftWear features unique “art-to-wear” clothing, jewelry, and accessories. The outdoor Sculpture Garden includes pieces such as garden ornaments and landscape sculptures.

The Fair is a must-attend event for craft collectors, and those who want to be. Norman Stevens on Sunday, August 9 (11 am and 1 pm) will talk about how he built his wooden spoon collection, which now includes just over 150 pieces. After purchasing his first hand-carved wooden spoon at an Annual Craftsmen in the early 1970s, he started to collect 9” wooden teaspoons created by spoon makers from throughout the world. A large selection of those spoons will be on display from 10 am through 3 pm.

Daily Features: Tour with a Master provides fairgoers with an in-depth view of how a particular craft is made. Each day, a League member will take fairgoers on a 45-minute tour of the craft booths and exhibitions, providing detailed commentary on the techniques and artistry that go into making that craft.

And daily musical performances are included in the Fair admission price. Visitors can enjoy high-caliber acoustic, bluegrass, folk, jazz, blues, African, and big band musicians and performers will appear in the Performing Arts Tent.

Hours, Ticket Info and More: The Fair will be open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, rain or shine. Admission is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors, students, active duty military (with ID), and groups of 20 or more. Admission is free for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at the gate and include admission to all exhibitions and demonstrations, and a second day free return to the Fair.

Visitors can also purchase discount tickets ($2 off) on the League’s website, www.nhcrafts.org, through July 31. Also, advance discounted tickets ($1 off regular price) are available through July 31 at the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce office, 41 Main Street in New London.

Parking is free and childcare is available on site at $2 per hour. Picnic areas, as well as a food tent, indoor cafeterias, and an outdoor Garden Café (serving adult beverages) are open daily. No pets are permitted on the fairgrounds or left in cars in the parking lots.

For more information, call 603-224-3375 or email nhleague@nhcrafts.org, or visit the League’s website at http://www.nhcrafts.org.

The League of NH Craftsmen is a non-profit, craft education organization. Its mission is to encourage, nurture and promote the creation, use and preservation of fine contemporary and traditional craft through the inspiration and education of artists and the broader community.


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