Crotched Mountain Resort in Francestown, NH is a collection of units or villas that feel like homes. They truly have that nice, warm feeling about them.
Video by Beyond the Lodge
As I planned this trip, I had never been to it, so I was excited to see and learn more about a new destination. The major draw to this area is skiing. Crotched Mountain is known for its ski options and runs. This site features a high-speed quad lift that makes getting back up to the top faster than ever before. This enables the ski fan to get in more runs easier and be faster to the fun.
As I often do (since I am not a skier) I will be going to the resort in summer and reporting back about the area, and the more off-season things to do. However, I will make sure to give you ski fans some information and feedback about your snow trips in Winter.
Day One Travel and Arrival
I had a business just one state away, and I was already driving up in the area, so I was just going to commute from my last business stop to the resort and then relax for a few days.
If I had driven from home, it would be about an 11-hour drive from Virginia Beach, VA. I would likely have flown had I not been in the general region already.
Flying in for most would mean flying into Manchester airport. Then driving out in your rental car to the resort, which is only about a 44-minute drive.
If like me, you are driving into the area, you will probably come in on interstate 93, then onto 293 to reach the road to the resort. You will pass by the Mall of New Hampshire, so plan a stop if you have shoppers awake in your car. Those 125 stores will call their name when they see the signs. Lucky for me I have a strong shopping resistance.
The drive after the short trip to 293 is rural. It made me think of my hometown before it was built in the 80s. Lots of tree-lined roads from Manchester to the resort. A good bit of it 1 lane in each direction old country roads. If you have that John Denver MP3, make sure you bring it.
The driver told me I was going remote, and for a ski resort or a mountain spot, I think that is indeed what you want. The good news is most of the drive is flat and that likely makes it much easier than many ski resort areas to get to. I know when driving to some in West Virginia you are going up mountain roads to the top and that just feels sketchy. This felt safe and easy.
At this time as I write this entry you can see that they were actively adding to this resort with a new building when Google’s Street View car passed by. Which is neat to see. When you get to the resort, you find that the building is now complete.
As you enter the area, you will see a sign at a small fork in the road. To the left, you will have a check-in, the tavern, the shop, and a few other locations for the resort. Then, to the right, you find your accommodations.
Once I arrived, I discovered another draw to this resort and the area must be golf. The resort’s main building is almost on the course. Also, as you park your car, you see a small ocean of golf carts ready to go out near the parking lot area.
The first thing on my list was to check in and get settled to rest for a bit. It was a bit of a drive, after all. I also wanted to get something to eat readily. On the way in I stopped at a store because this place looked remote. I purchased things for breakfast, and snacks, and prepared dinner for tonight. That way, if I hit a wall (dramatic lack of energy) I could just eat at the villa and take it easy.
The drive was not bad but I can imagine in the winter it would call for snow tires or even chains, if not a 4-wheel drive. It was also a little intense just because it is remote and you are looking hard for where you have to go and turn.
Once I was in my villa and I had put everything away, I was ready for my little dinner and some time on a couch. Afterward, with my full stomach, I put off checking out the rest of the resort for tomorrow.
- Ice Maker
- Hot Tub
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- BBQ Grills
- Business Center/Fax
- Walking Trails
- Hot Tub
- Internet Access
- Kid’s Activities
- Golf Course (18-Hole)
- Concierge Services
- Picnic Area
- Game Room
- Casual Dining
- Golf Pro Shop
- Golf Driving Range
Day Two Seeing the Mountain
This area is all about the mountain and skiing. Sure, there are other things to do but the big draw must be the skiing here. Crocheted Mountain is a ski resort area like a few others. They boast some impressive artificial snow-making tools that include over 100 fan guns and thousands of feet of underground supply lines for power and water to those same snow guns. The system allows the facility to produce and place over 1 dump truck load of snow equivalent every single minute of operation. That means over 6,000 gals of water make over 1,200 pounds of snow in a single minute.
They have 5 lifts here with a 1,000-foot drop in elevation available from 25 runs and trails. The mountain offers many ski options via passes, and additional add-on services and access that can make your stay during skiing season here very enjoyable.
The mountain in the summer is a lovely site and the area still has much to offer. For me, today meant a trip to the Franklin Pierce Homestead.
From the New Hampshire Parks website
Franklin Pierce’s Homestead was the home of the 14th president of the United States from his infancy until his marriage in 1834. The Pierce Homestead is a fine example of New Hampshire village architecture. It is a two-story frame building with a hipped roof. Built by Pierce’s father in 1804, it reflects the gracious and affluent living of the nineteenth century. A ballroom, which extends the entire length of the second floor, was used for entertaining neighbors and distinguished families of the state and nation. Franklin Pierce shared Daniel Webster’s dedication to national unity and led our country during the most trying of times, the time of slavery. Private tours & large group tours can be arranged. The Homestead collections include items on loan from the Hillsborough Historical Society and the New Hampshire Historical Society. The Homestead can be reached at (603) 478-3165 for more information. The Franklin Pierce Homestead is a Blue Star Museum, a program for the National Endowment of the Arts.
The entry fee here for out-of-state adults is only $5, so for a great historic site and a step back in time, that is a deal.
After my visit to the former President’s home, I headed for Lake Horace which is less than 8 miles from the resort. The lake is a man-made lake of over 323 acres and was created by the Weare Reservoir on the Piscataquog River. If you are a water fan like me, you will enjoy the visit and there is a small park near the lake if you just want to sit and view the water or picnic.
I wanted to get out on the lake, so I found a local boat rental and got out and paddled around for a while. You can find a local animal, the Bryozoans, which will make you think an alien life has been found. These are odd little spineless creatures that are one of the least attractive creatures you can imagine. But they are harmless.
Day Three Time for Golf
I am not a big gold player. Just never picked it up. But I do enjoy the driving range and mini-golf. I woke up today and just decided to go out and hit some balls around the course and see what I could do.
I figured if it was busy and I was really bad, I could just let people behind me play through. Here I was at 50 trying something new, but what the heck. At 50 I was either going to start playing golf myself or I was likely going to be required to watch it on weekends on TV if I did not. Off to play, I went.
Now golf is something people do not typically play alone. That is one of the reasons I do not play. You have to arrange times with others, know your handicap, and so on. My handicap at this point in the long game is likely whatever the maximum is that is allowed by any scale or measure. I bet my short game is not bad just because of my love of Putt Putt or mini golf.
One thing that likely will help is that I have been to Top Golf driving ranges a few times in the past year or so. So at least I feel I can get the ball down the course. Where it goes down the course, I am less certain.
When I got to the course, I rented both a set of clubs and a golf cart. Then, as I was checking out, an older player asked if I would like to join him. I thanked him for the offer but warned this was the first time I had played a full round of golf in my life. He answers excellent this should be fun and smiled. With that kind of reception, I had to accept his kind offer.
It turns out the fellow golfer was a retired store owner who had moved back home to the area from Ohio. He had great stories of small business ownership, marriage, kids, and general life choices we all make. I shared a little of what I do, and he was interested that someone these days could make a living working online. Turns out the company that purchased his business now sells its items online too.
When I shared that I was also writing about my trip to the area, he was kind enough to tell me about what makes the area special. “It is not the great natural scenery, or the weather, here what makes you feel warm inside and love the place, are the people.”
I shared that I found that true about the best places I have been able to travel to. Sometimes nature can be amazing and certainly a draw to an area, but if the people you have to deal with are not wonderful, you do not feel the strong pull to go back to an area. He shared that is why he had not been back to New York in many years. Some of the places he has stayed in the past were less than hospitable.
I then gave my new friend a card and some tips on where he could stay through TZort if he wants to go back to New York again.
The golf itself was fine, even though I played poorly. Something like 10 over par, I think, but the score did not matter I had met and spent time with a new friend. I had a meaningful conversation and talked about real things, not the top layer of things that others talk about at a bar or sporting event. But meaningful, and moving stories. If golf could be like this often, I would certainly play. The course here was nice, and the greens were well-maintained.
At the end of the 18 holes we played, I felt I made a new friend. A pal that hopefully I would speak to again about his life and travels. He was an interesting character for sure.
If you are reading this Charlie, it was great to meet you and if you decide to go come to my area traveling in the future, let me know if there is some great golf (I hear) in Virginia.
After golf, I realized how out of shape, I have gotten. I felt like I had been in a small fight. My arms were heavy and my back felt in need of some form of attention.
I was headed back to my room to rest before leaving the area tomorrow.
Do you want to ski here or travel to this amazing getaway? You can and for less than you think is possible with TZort.