Make it a date – picnicking on Uncanoonuc Mountain

It’s so easy to fall into the same old dinner-and-a-movie date night routine.  So, when “us time” finally roles around, my wife and I always try to find something fresh to do.

Last week we had a last minute opportunity for a night out and our scramble for a fresh idea led me to stumble upon North Uncanoonuc Mountain in Goffstown, NH.  After evaluating some trail maps and reading a few reviews of the mountain, I decided a picnic dinner on the summit would make for an excellent evening out with my baby.

We headed out the door at 5:30 and picked up food from Jerome’s, our local deli.  We then went to the Wine Studio in Manchester’s North end for the Thursday night wine tasting and to pick up a bottle of wine for our picnic.

We left there and took the 25 minute drive to the trail head on Mountain Road, just off Rt. 114.  The hike up the mountain is fairly easy.  It’s .6 miles from Mountain Road to the summit.  The trail is steep and rocky at points, but it’s brevity makes it an easier hike.  The evening sun cast beautiful hues of orange through the predominantly pine forest as we climbed the pine needle covered trail.  In addition to the beautiful colors, trekking this in the evening meant fewer hikers.  We only saw two others on the trail and they were descending.

We soon reached the top of the mountain, which opens up a little and offers limited views of the surrounding area.  We hunted around a little and found a side trail which took us to a westerly facing opening with a spectacular view of the sunset.  We spread our picnic blanket, lit a candle, popped the cork on our Vhino Verde and enjoyed our dinner beneath the setting sun.  The serenity and quietness of the surroundings afforded us a great opportunity to talk and relax around each other.  I had packed cards, so we played a couple rounds of Uno as we enjoyed the fading daylight.

The plan was to hike back in the dark.  So, just before dusk, we packed up our picnic and donned our headlamps.  The hike down in the dark was pleasant, as it was incredibly quiet.  The only sounds were the soft crunch of our feet on pine needles and the infrequent car motoring by on the road far below.  It wasn’t long before we reached our car and were lamenting the end to such a brilliant evening.

This date was by far the best date my wife and I have gone on in a long time.  We both came back feeling refreshed and more connected to each other.  I highly recommend giving this outing a shot if you’re stuck in a rut and need something new to do with your significant other.  Enjoy!

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