Waterville Valley Resort Offers a Fall Carnival

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This Columbus Day, enjoy the best of New England Foliage.

There is nothing like fall in New England. Waterville Valley Resort's Fall Carnival will be full of color on Saturday and Sunday, October 11 and 12, 2008.

To complement the brilliant fall foliage, Waterville Valley's Town Square has scheduled two days of family activities including free outdoor concerts, merchant tent sales, carnival rides, and more. There is a Black & Blue Trail Smashers Ski swap on Saturday and a 5K-road race and an eating contest on Sunday.

Enjoy the colors and save with a package that includes two nights lodging, $50 in Town Square bucks, and Summer Unlimited activities from $63 per person, per night (based on quad occupancy).

The Waterville Valley Summer Unlimited package includes all the fun people cherish in New England each summer: boating, mountain biking, tennis, golf, access to the White Mountain Athletic Club, use of the Waterville Valley shuttle, a scenic chair lift ride up Snow's Mountain, and access to the Waterville Valley Recreation's open gym program. In addition, families staying for at least three nights can send their children between the ages of six to 12 to one day of Kids Camp. An all-inclusive price for activities provides guests an opportunity to save at least 50 percent on their family vacation through this package. It is also valid at the many summer activities at the Rey Center's Curious George Cottage, and productions of the North Country Center for the Arts Children's Theatre.

Waterville Valley Resort is located in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest, a place where the brilliant colors of autumn highlight every activity--and there are more activities than anyone can shake a leaf at.

Let's start with the obvious, hiking. Hikers have been exploring Waterville Valley since the 1800s, when a group of guests at Greeley's Hotel formed the Waterville Athletic and Improvement Association. The association is still in existence today and continues to oversee the valley's 100 miles of trails, which range from easy walking paths to sweat-drenching ascents. Whether you're taking a stroll around Corcoran Pond at the center of Town Square, wandering through the woods and wildflowers on the valley floor, or hiking up the 4,315-ft. summit of Mount Osceola, you'll be surrounded by stunning views of the valley and the 700,000 acres of the national forest.

There's no better way to take in the foliage than on a bike, either one's own or a rental bike from the Adventure Center in Town Square. Whether it's a leisurely ride around town or a dirt-kicking expedition through the autumn woods, one can find plenty of trails to suit the mood--over 30 miles of them. One can even take a chair lift to the top of Snow's Mountain and ride the bike down. The Adventure Center has well-maintained rental bikes for all levels of riders, and instructors to help you get started, make sure your bike is comfortable, and suggest trails to explore.

For a faster pace, one can take part in the Black Bear Duathlon (running and cycling) on September 13 and 14, or the annual Fall Foliage Foot Race on Sunday, October 12. Athletes from 15 to 80-plus will compete in short course and long course duathlons, while the Fall Foliage Foot race will consist of a 1.6K Family Fun Run and a 5K foot race. Both events will begin at Packard's Field opposite the White Mountain Athletic Club. (For more information about either event, call 603-236-4695 or e-mail wvrecreation@watervillevalley.org.)

There's a free open-air trolley that serves the valley and will take you just about wherever you want to go. When you arrive at Waterville Valley Resort, you can generally park your car and forget it. The Town Square is a pedestrian-only zone, and most activities are within walking distance or a short ride away on the trolley.

Fall is a Ball at Waterville
IForthe more athletic type, autumn is the perfect time to enjoy golf or tennis at Waterville Valley Resort, surrounded by the beauty of the mountains.

The Waterville Valley Golf Club is a family-friendly course surrounded by glorious 360-degree views of Mounts Tecumseh, Osceola and Sandwich. The spirit of Waterville Valley permeates the course, in contrast to more high-pressure clubs. "It's more relaxed, not intimidating," says Jim Wefers, manager of the Golden Eagle Lodge. On a typical fall day, you're likely to see as many families with children playing as adult foursomes. But don't mistake "friendly" for "unchallenging." Last year, the club completed a half-million dollar renovation designed to maintain the charm of the original course while adding new holes to challenge more experienced players. "We wanted to create a course that would provide a good golfing experience for all levels of players," says club pro Bill Baker.

Visitors to Waterville Valley Resort have been playing tennis since 1884, when there was only one court. Today there are 18, and they are among the best courts in the country. Tennis Magazine ranks the Waterville Valley Tennis Center as one of the top 50 tennis resorts in America, and Tennis Resorts Online rated it the #2 spot in America for its glorious setting amidst the White Mountains. Players as widely-known as two-time Grand Slam champion Rod Laver have enjoyed the red clay courts, along with beginners.

While fall may be a bit cool for swimming, kayaking and paddle-boating on Corcoran pond are still favorite autumn activities. On the outside chance of a rainy day, you can head to the White Mountain Athletic Club, which has an indoor swimming pool, whirlpools, saunas, weight rooms, and cardiovascular room. Or try the Waterville Valley Ice Arena, which is open year-round and provides open skating, rentals and lessons for all ages.

Curiosity and Culture
Beyond its many outdoor activities, Waterville Valley Resort is also an artistic and cultural center, a tradition that stretches back to its earliest days. Poets and painters have long frequented the region, and in the late 1950s, the creators of the immensely popular Curious George books, H.A. and Margret Rey, made it their part-time home.

Today, the Rey's spirit lives on in the Margret and H.A Rey Center, which hosts nature walks, literary groups, writers workshops, discussion clubs, a monthly lecture series, art shows, and activities for children. This fall, the Rey Center will offer a full-day hike to Mt. Osceola on September 5, chalk talks every Saturday at 1 p.m., a chance to volunteer at the Curious Gourds Garden (a Community Supported Agriculture Farm) on Fridays until September 26, a half-day hike to Goodrich Rock on September 6, and walk-talks (which combine hiking with natural history learning) on September 13 and 27 and on October 11.

The Rey Center also sponsors regular astronomy sessions conducted by experts from the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium in Concord and talented local amateurs. Thanks to a "dark skies" ordinance enacted by the town, Waterville Valley Resort is a perfect place to do some star-gazing, whether on your own or as part of one of the Rey Center's events. (For more information, go to http://reycenter.org).

The town of Waterville Valley's recreation department hosts a wide variety of activities for residents and visitors in the fall, including foliage tours and walks, open gym sessions for all ages, open basketball, after-school activities, and special events such as a community yard sale on October 11, pumpkin decorating and carving on October 24, and Haunted Halloween Happenings on October 25. For more information on any of these, call 603-236-4695 or e-mail wvrecreation@watervillevalley.org.)

Fall in to a Foliage Escape
Waterville Valley Resort has a number of lodging options, from hotel rooms to condominiums for all sizes of groups. Dining options range from pizza at the Olde Waterville Pizza Company in Town Square to fine dining at the Wild Coyote Grill, or Diamond's Edge North, or Aglio, along with other options.

What you won't find in Waterville Valley Resort are chain stores or fast-food restaurants, traffic jams or fender benders. It's a place to reconnect with family and friends while enjoying all that nature has to offer--and a few amenities nature didn't think of.

Waterville Valley was designed and planned specifically as a self-contained, four seasons resort. Today in addition to its world-class ski area, Waterville Valley Resort has award-winning tennis courts, golf, hiking, biking, lodging, cultural activities and summer theater, an indoor ice rink, boating, a skate park, and a host of outdoor activities. Dining options include traditional favorites and elegant dining. For more information, call 1-800-GO-VALLEY or visit http://www.visitwatervillevalley.com.


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Jim Wefers
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