“People don’t like to get bundled up and get on a horse during the winter,” said farm owner John Pyteraf. “They’d much rather be warm and cozy on a sleigh ride.”
Pyteraf first saw the appeal of sleigh rides when he was growing up next to Brewinghill Farm in North Andover.
“I was a kid employee there,” he recalled. “That’s where I learned to drive the horses.”
Today, visitors to Charmingfare can choose to ride on a 20-person group sleigh, pulled by two Percheron horses, or a four-person sled pulled by a pair of trail horses.
“They’re like driving a sports car; lively and quick,” Pyteraf said of the trail horses. “The Percherons are like tractor trailer engines.”
The sleigh rides wind through Charmingfare Farm, passing black bears, a mountain lion, and wolves in the farm’s licensed zoo. On weekends, the Sleigh Ride Social tour includes a stop around the campfire to enjoy hot dogs and hot cocoa.
“It’s an event focused toward families with kids,” Pyteraf said.
How To: Charmingfare Farm, Candia, NH. 603-.483-5623 or www.visitthefarm.com
The Mount Washington Auto Road SnowCoach
We’ve all seen the bumper stickers, and many New Englanders have driven the Mount Washington Auto Road themselves. Making this classic New England trip in the winter, however, can give it a whole new feel.
“I knew we had a good thing going when we took the staff, who have seen the road hundreds of times, and they were wowed,” said Howie Wemyss, the general manager at Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center, which runs the coach.
The SnowCoach is equipped with a specially designed four-track system that allows it to conquer the harsh winter conditions on the auto road. However, even the best vehicle is no match for some of the mountain’s notorious weather. Because of this, it is not possible to make advanced reservations.