Monday, December 04, 2017

Darby Field's New and Improved Trail System!


As winter approaches, we want to let everyone know about exciting new developments on our walking, skiing, and snowshoe trails. Peter Smart and Judith Reardon and friends have been hard at work improving the Creamery and Dirigible Trails. They are widening the trails, removing rocks and stumps, and filling in wet areas so the trails will be better for skiing and snowshoeing this winter. There's even a plan to groom them occasionally ! They should be great for skiing and snowshoeing!

The Inn's 2.5 miles of trails will connect to Peter Smart's extensive Bald Hill Trails, adding about 4 miles and more varied terrain. They will also connect to Tin Mountain Trails, for an additional 4 miles on their network. Imagine all the winter explorations you can have on your skis or snowshoes with these new and improved connections! These trails are open for the pleasure of our friends, neighbors and house guests only. 

Visit Darby Field Inn this winter and check out these great trails. We'll soon have a new map and signs showing you the way. With a little snow, you'll be ready to go exploring the woods and trails of Bald Hill.

 Stump Grinding on Creamery
 Creamery without stumps!
Peter Smart hard at work, clearing rocks off the trails.
Judith Rearden breaks apart rocks to make smoother trails.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Darby Field Inn: Activities We Recommend - Boulder Loop Trail

While you're visiting the White Mountains (and the Darby Field Inn!), a great moderate hiking trail for normal-athletic people is the Boulder Loop Trail. This is a trek we routinely recommend unless its been raining...this is a rocky trail that can be slippery.  We also offer a self guided tour map, which adds a little adventure to your outing! Insider's tip:  schedule a relaxing couples massage a couple of weeks before you arrive...its a perfect treat after an active getaway!

Boulder Loop Trail Head
 The trail can be accessed from Dugway Rd, about 3 miles east of Conway on the Kancamaugus Highway (Scenic Rt. 112).  Parking is at the covered bridge, and there's a $5 day use parking pass you'll need to purchase at the kiosk and place on your dashboard.  This fee supports the White Mountain National Forest, and saves you from a $100 ticket.  Plan on 2 hours for this hike, including taking selfies and panorama shots from the top of the ledges. 

View from the top: SO worth it!!

After the hike, you can follow Dugway Rd all the way to the other side and take a left on West Side Rd (see previous blog about Cathedral Ledge).  Follow that to the end, take a right, and BOOM, you're just north of the lovely North Conway Village!  Turn right at the light, find parking and enjoye a stroll through the village.  Make sure to stop into a couple of my favorite shops:  The Penguin - an eclectic mix of jewelry, toys and gifts, and Zeb's Country Store - loads of NH themed gifts, specialty foods, AND real penny candy!

North Conway Village
Non-athletic people can take this route just for the relaxing scenic drive followed by North Conway shopping and restaurants.  Super-athletic people can run this trail as a warm up, and then head down the road to follow up with a peak close to our hearts: South Moat Mt.  More on this trail next time!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Darby Field Inn: Activities We Recommend - Cathedral Ledge

Why stay at the Darby Field Inn and Restaurant in Albany, NH?  Not only is it a beautiful respite from "normal" life, AND situated just off the Kancamaugus Highway (Scenic Rt. 112), it's only minutes from some pretty spectacular outdoor activities.  Here's an incredible spot that's only a few minutes drive down lovely West Side Rd in North Conway: 

Cathedral Ledge - There are a few different ways to reach the summit, depending on your skill level.  Super athletic people can contact the knowledgeable folks at International Mountain Climbing School for info on scaling this popular rock face.  Meanwhile, normal athletic people can enjoy the view from the top after a brief hike beginning at Echo Lake State Park.  Non-athletes can simply drive up Cathedral Ledge Road all the way to the top. 

More good news?  All three types of athletes can enjoy the Darby Field bag lunch!  Check out our Packages Page, or call the front desk to find out additional information about our simple, delicious take away lunches.

Next time: Boulder Loop Trail

Winter shot of the Ledge
Echo Lake with Cathedral Ledge background

Trail map to Cathedral Ledge from Echo Lake

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Last Weekend Before Bug Season Begins...

It's Officially the Beginning of Flower Season!
Our garden has now reached the point it's difficult to pick only one flower that's blooming...there are at least five or six to choose from. I've decided to feature one of the more obscure (at least to me...) this week.  Euphorbia has the softest foliage, and spring green leaves crowned with small yellow clusters of flowers. Faye tells me it is a vigorous ground cover, doubling in size each year. This is a plant you can share with friends and family; its root ball can be divided easily and transplanted in your own garden or elsewhere. It enjoys the full sun and turns a delightful rusty orange in the fall. Although I said I would feature only one flower, I feel our flowering crab apple tree, pictured below, deserves some attention as is absolutely gorgeous this year!

Just a little reminder: the Home and Garden Show is this weekend at the Fryeburg Fairgrounds. You'll be able to find your own garden gems, talk with flower experts and get some delicious cook out recipes, all in one place! Our Last Minute Special features room rates that encourage you to get out and walk around the mountains, the golf course, or the garden show this weekend! So, if you've been thinking about visiting the White Mountains and the Darby Field Inn this spring, wait no is the perfect time to enjoy both!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Perfect Time to Experience Springtime in the Mountains!

Hard Work and Warm Weather Produce Results!

Spring is my favorite time of the year, here in New Hampshire. The sunshine is warm, gentle breezes blow, the bugs haven't arrived yet, and the flowers start blooming! Before and after pictures are an amazing way to really remember how much things our gardens. The time difference between thes two pictures is two weeks, and look at how green everything is! We have a couple new flowers peeking out every week, which is exciting for me; I love to take pictures of their bright blooms!
This weekend is the perfect time to witness these excellent conditions for yourself; we've posted a Last Minute Special that makes a visit here grab your hiking boots, mountain bikes, sunscreen and appetites and book a stay with us Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday - you won't regret it! Don't forget Mother's Day is Sunday and we've got a great weekend package for her, too! Call (800)426-4147 and mention this blog for additional savings! Until next time, enjoy spring wherever you are...those pesky insects are on their way!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

"Inn"-troducing Mr. & Mrs. Barnett!

Congratulations to The Barnetts as they begin their new life together...

Judi and Bill weren't interested in a big wedding - instead they chose to join us here at the Darby Field Inn for an elopement. Fortunately there was a break in the rainy weather so Marc could perform their ceremony on the patio. After warming up in front of the fire in the living room, they joined us for dinner. They are a fun-loving couple, and a pleasure to have as guests. We wish them the best of luck, and look forward to seeing them again in the future!

In gardening news, our newest arrival is Pulmonaria, commonly known as lung wort. Like blood root, it is also an early spring bloomer, spreads fast, and disappears soon after the blossoms fade. This flower offers two colors, fuscia buds and beautiful blue blooms. It is another great addition to any garden. Blood root and lung wort both arrive shortly after jonquils, and last much longer, displaying the "carpet of flowers" effect. Faye has been very busy in the gardens; there are new shoots everywhere! Next week I'll show you two comparison shots, taken two weeks apart, and introduce you to the next blooming beauty in our garden!
Marc and Maria Donaldson, our innkeepers, are celebrating their 28th year here at the Darby Field. Check out their "inn"-iversary special ( to find out what this means to you. Until next time, bid farewell to the April showers, and enjoy your own May flowers!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

This is How Our Garden Grows...

The Early Bloomer: Blood Root

Today I was introduced to a wonderful little flower, the blood root, or Sanguinaria canadensis. This innocent looking flower gets its name from it blood colored rhizome. I discovered it leaves a blood colored sappy mess on your hands if you pull it up from the ground. It propagates easily and early, leaving beds clear for later blooming flowers. Flowers tend to bloom en mass, creating a beautiful display in an otherwise unimpressive area. Our resident garden professional, Faye, gave me a few to take home and plant in my own garden. I hope everyone is getting the weather we've been enjoying. It is hard to stay in the office on such beautiful days, so we've all been pitching in, getting the yards ready. The Inn is open full time again starting May 1st, while the restaurant will only be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday through the end of May. Great rates are available, so come on up and enjoy the sun!