Call me a wimp, but I’m a proud and unapologetic adherent of the “play hard, rest easy” construct. That’s especially true for strenuous activities such as mountain biking or, during the early spring months, backcountry skiing. Hours in the saddle or carving turns on ungroomed hillsides can leave me weary and testy. And sore. A tent or bunk room, for me, is no way to properly recovery. What I really need is a warm, inviting room, a comfortable bed, and a hearty breakfast. Add a soothing hot tub and a cozy, wood-paneled bar, and you’ve really got my attention. And I can find all of that, and more, at the Inn at Ellis River in Jackson, N.H.
The location of this homey bed and breakfast is particularly serendipitous for the springtime skier. It offers great access to Wildcat Mountain, Black Mountain, Cranmore and Attitash. Prefer skinny skis? The Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, or Jackson XC, with more than 50 trails covering 150 kilometers of terrain, is right next door. Best of all, the Inn at Ellis River, and Jackson itself, are a gateway to some of the best backcountry skiing in the Northeast, highlighted by the incomparable Tuckerman Ravine on Mount Washington’s southeastern flank.
The winding stretch of New Hampshire’s Route 16 from Glen to Gorham, as it passes through Jackson and some of the White Mountains’ most spectacular scenery, long has been a draw for nature lovers. The attraction of the area, in fact, dates back to one of our nation’s original tree-huggers, Henry David Thoreau. So it was little surprise that when Mary and John Kendzierski decided to escape their hyperactive lives on Boston’s South Shore, Jackson was high on their wish list.
“We’d been coming up here for years,” said John. “Mary took me up here for my 30th birthday, 23 years ago. We stayed at one of the local inns, and we fell in love with Jackson. We came back every year, sometimes twice a year.”