Chocolate Indulgence Without Guilt
For the last few years, I've seen the advertisements for the Annual Chocolate Festival in Intervale NH and always wanted to go. This year, I finally got there! (Check out www.crosscountryskinh.com/chocolatefestival.html )
What's it All About?
The Annual Chocolate Festival combines two great loves: chocolate and skiing/snowshoeing. From 11 a.m. to 4: 00 p.m., Intervale's 65km of trails are open with special pitstops for participants. This year, there were nine "official" locations where you could receive stamps and a special chocolate treat. Stops included the Ragged Mountain Equipment, 1785 Inn, Adventure Suites and Whitaker Meeting House. The treats ranged from chocolate cupcakes to fondue to brownie sundaes to chocolate wine and beer. Aside from the nine stops, some local businesses also offered discounts and deals.
What to Know Before You Go
Tickets are cheaper when purchased in advance ($20 vs. $25). You don't necessarily have to ski or snowshoe, but that might make you feel less guilty about all the chocolate treats! They advertise a shuttle running between stops, but I never spotted it. You could even walk or drive around town to each stop; I saw a lot of people doing that. If you go to all nine stops and get all your stamps, you're entered into a grand prize raffle.
I've never skied Intervale's cross-country trails before, but they definitely seemed used and abused for this event. Some of the trails were even closed for lack of snow. It could have a lot to do with the fact that there were 100s of people hitting the trails and Mother Nature hasn't sent us much snow this winter. In any case, if you participate next year, I would say don't expect stellar skiing. I was on cross-country skis and I almost wish I had snowshoes instead. There were a few sections where we had to go ski-less because it was too muddy. On the flip side, you go slower when snowshoeing.
The Mt. Washington Valley Ski Touring and Snowshoe Foundation puts on the annual fundraiser which always occurs on the last Sunday in February, so mark your calendars for next year. I don't know if I'll go again, but I'm glad I finally marked it off my list!
Note from Lucie: For those planning to attend next year: Be sure to check the event website for trail conditions in advance. As an aside, we haven't been able to get outdoors much this winter for lots of reasons. Let's just say we're thinking spring! If you're out and about exploring New Hampshire, why not send in a guest post? You can contact me through the comments section or at firstname.lastname@example.org.