What could possibly be better, while exploring the White Mountains in New Hampshire, then seeing a black bear? How about taking a train ride, watching an acrobatics show, seeing museums filled with classic Americana, climbing a rock wall, and bumper boats all in the same place!
Just 25 minutes south of the Hampton Inn sits Clark's Trading Post on Route 3. Plan on a full day of fun with the family when you head to this amazing attraction. I started the day off pretty early on my visit, and checked out the museums and all the antiques first thing.
Train artifacts were displayed in the Florence Murray Museum
Along with antique guns, lanterns, and NH themed fine china
There is something for every American history buff at Clark's. Further down the road at 1884 Pemigewasset Hook and Ladder Fire Station you can find a collection of retired fire engines!
There's even something for the ladies in the American Building
History is everywhere, even tucked into the shops that line Main Street at Clark's, including the Clark Family Tree. Here you learn that 85 years ago when Ed Clark and his wife Florence opened the attraction as "Ed Clark's Eskimo Sled Dog Ranch" they had guided tours that included artifacts from the far north, and a small Trade Post with souvenirs and maple candies. 2 years later they bought their first bear, and thanks to their perfect location, they were a hit with the frequent passer-by.
At the end of Main Street you can stop in to Merlin's Mystical Mansion and have your world turned upside down!
On a hot summer day the perfect way to cool off a Clark's is to take a spin in a bumper boat! Each boat is armed with a squirt gun, making everyone and everything a target!
Even spectators can join in the fun, there are squirt guns alone the side of the rink to add another level of excitement and involve the whole family
There is more adventure in store beyond the bumper boats, you can head straight over to the climbing tower and see if you can touch the face of the Old Man in the Mountain
For all the miners (not necessarily minors) and rock enthusiasts, the River City Mining Company is nearby. Grab a pan and start sifting! There's lots of treasure in each bag.
Why not take a short stroll from the Mining Company down to Tuttle's Rustic House, where you step back in time and things get a little off-center
A guide is needed to navigate you through the Tuttle's humble abode but the whimsical history lesson is well worth it!
While you're out in the boonies by the Tuttles' be sure to stop and try Wolfie's White Mt. Wheelin Segway and Safari
By this time you've probably worked up an appetite, and the shows haven't even started!
Stop in to the the Peppermint Saloon for a cold Ice Cream or just across the way is Pullman's Lunch. I hear they just got a new panini machine.
I was strolling along the Main Street when I heard a train whistle blow. I knew it was time to board the White Mountains Central Rail Road and go for a ride.
After a short introduction the train started to move
As we headed out into the NH wilderness, it was apparent that one of the more rustic residents of the area thought we were trespassing. Wolfie the Wolf Man chased the train up and down making it clear that we were a threat to his mining claim and he would put up with none of our shenanigans!
Wolfie was ready for a show down. He would have taken on the whole train.
We got to the end of the tracks and after a brief pause for the scenery, we headed back to the station. Wolfie was there to make sure he ran us out of his territory, all the way back to the covered bridge that marks the end of his claim. The whole train united on the way out and made sure to tell Wolfie "Scram you old goat!" and he kept his distance.
We pulled back into the station with just a few minutes to spare to head to the Show Ring and catch the famous Trained Bear Show
To get the show rolling Murray Clark, son of W. Murray Clark greeted the audience and gave us all the details on the history of the Bear Show, the Clark Family, and facts about the North American Black Bear (Ursus americanus). I mentioned earlier that the founders, Florence and Ed Clark got their first bear in 1930. In 1949 their sons Edward and W. Murray began training the bears to perform shows for the eager crowds. Their legacy is carried on by W. Murray Clark's children Murray and Maureen, who have devoted themselves to the training and care of the bears at Clark's Trading Post. Their hard work has certainly paid off. The average live of a black bear in the New England wild is 4-6 years according to the Fish and Game Department. The Clark's bears live such a happy and healthy life that they live much longer. The oldest living bear they have currently is retired, and she is almost 30 years old!
The stands were packed for the show
Our performance showcased two younger bears, Ecko and Tula
Ecko showing her patriotic side
Just lazing around
Tula going for a barrel ride
Ecko earns her keep in Ice Cream
Tula making a slam dunk!
The bears were amazing and they certainly kept the crowd happy. I hung around for a while because I didn't want to leave before the acrobat show. I'm glad I hung around. The performers were excellent. From balancing acts to juggling and even unicycling, the acrobatic show had it all.
Started off with a dancing and flipping routine
Such amazing talent
It was such a great way to spend a day. Clark's Trading Post has something for everyone. For more information on Clark's, their history and their schedules, head to their website here.
At the Hampton Inn in Littleton, we offer packages that include Clark's Tickets. Click here or call the hotel directly (603)444-0025
We hope to see you there!