With its white church, clapboard buildings and lily pond in the center of town, Marlow, New Hampshire is the epitome of the quintessential rural Yankee village. Cited in the 15 Prettiest Winter Villages in New England by Yankee Magazine, this quiet hamlet at the northern border of the Monadnock region is teeming with idyllic farms, a vibrant art scene, gorgeous vistas and children seeking unforgettable outdoor expedition experiences.
The drive to get to Marlow is full of slow curves and rolling hills. Once you arrive the list of things to explore are plentiful. Interested in the glacial patterns of long ago? Marlow boasts unique minerals, patterns and deposits throughout its topographic landscape. Seeking serenity? Sand pond, one of many small, secluded lakes and streams, is a popular year round destination for residents and visitors alike. Ready for more adventure? Horseback riding, painting, snowmobiling and rock climbing expeditions are at your fingertips in this beautiful corner of the Monadnock Region. Better plan ahead.
From watercolor to folk art to crafts, Marlow is home to a number of talented artisans including local residents Art Anderson and Stephanie Tickner. Anderson, a self taught artist who has been creating and crafting folk art for more than twenty years, handcrafts each piece from the pine he cuts from his small wood lot. His hand painted and meticulously finished creations can be custom ordered thru his website or purchased thru Etsy.com. Tickner is a watercolor artist “focusing on the little things that make life special”. Both custom orders, and her original paintings, matted and framed prints, greeting cards, magnets, and bookmarks can be purchased via her online store. In addition, Marlow’s annual Christmas on the Pond fair showcases over 30 quality crafters every year in the historic village center buildings.
At 2,037 feet, the Bald Mountain Preserve offers a number of activity options for every level and is accessible from January until January. The entire mountain — along with adjacent Goodhue Hill and nearby Willard Pond — is designated a wildlife sanctuary; at over 1,000 acres it is by far the largest of the New Hampshire Audubon Society’s preserves. Because of this status, pets and camping are not allowed. But with that fact that is a gradually sloped dome, grassy on all faces and without precipitous drops, makes it a wonderful destination for children and adults alike. Interested in learning more or hiking the trail?
From horseback riding lessons to luxurious alpaca yarns to goat milk soaps and farm fresh eggs, the community of Marlow continues a proud tradition of providing high quality agricultural products and services to the Monadnock region – and beyond. Want to take a riding lesson? Balance Point Farm offers a place to study riding skills – on your horse or theirs – clinics, boarding, training, as well as offers sport horses for sale. Need a unique gift? The Foxy Goat uses the rich milk from Nigerian Dwarf goats to provide high quality soaps, lotions and lip balms in small batches. In addition to goats, alpacas at The Old Kemp Farm sells soft luxurious yarns, knitted products, felted natural soaps, and cuddly needled felted animals, all made from their herd fiber.
Kroka Expeditions provides summer adventure camps and semester-long expeditions that are designed to awaken – in children of all ages – a connection to nature and spirit, and develop willpower for conscious living and compassionate service through adventure sports, community living, farming, and the practice of traditional and indigenous skills. This year round base camp and farm also partners with area Monadnock region schools to create programs that provide students the opportunity to get outdoors and participate in a variety of farm chores, wildlife classes and spend time in the Kroka gardens cultivating and harvesting the food that they eat.
When the snow falls, the riders of the Hidden Valley Sno-Riders club ready the snowmobiles and prepare for outdoor adventures that will carry them through Marlow, Lempster – and many towns beyond. Part of the New Hampshire Snowmobile Associations, this dedicated group of individuals is fundraising in support of community causes throughout the year as well as maintaining, clearing and bringing in stone and gravel to improve the trails for next season’s ride, and protect the environment thru proper drainage and add water bars to help prevent runoff and washouts.
Feature image courtesy of artist Stephanie Tickner
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