When the temperatures rise but we still want to go for a hike, one spot that is sure to be cool and exciting is Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves in North Woodstock, NH. A friend of ours gave us a couple of free passes (thanks Leslie!) and we happily used them right away. The property is owned by The Society for the Protection of NH Forests and the facility is managed by White Mountain Attractions.
We ate a quick snack in the main building before we headed down the path. The trail quickly descends into a gorge and the boardwalks and stairs help lead you back up after 6,000 steps. You’ll hardly notice the distance though as you explore each cave.
We stopped to read each sign and to find answers to the scavenger hunt game we got from the worker in the building.
There are benches along the way to stop and rest. And all of the caves can be bypassed allowing a family of all ages to explore together.
There were a few other groups of families the day we went but we’ve been here when it was more crowded. There is plenty of room to walk past other groups or to hold back and spend extra time in one cave or another.
Most of the caves require you to get on your hands and knees, and one requires a full army crawl (for adults at least). The lemon squeeze might be a challenge for some.
As we started to hike up and out of the gorge, the heat and humidity came with it. The optional trails will bring you to a human-sized birds nest and perch. Another boardwalk trail near the building provides a pleasant native plant interpretive experience.
Back inside we bought a bag of sand and rocks so Alden could “mine” for crystals and other rocks.