An affectionate reconstruction of the early pioneer days of the area, the Northern Forest Heritage Park (961 Main St., Berlin, 603/752-7202, www.northernforestheritage.org , 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Tues.–Sat. May–Oct., $6 adults, $3 children 5–11, free children under 5) consists of an operating logging camp along the Androscoggin. On the grounds is a house museum, saw mill, and logging museum filled with old photographs of the rustic roots of the region. The park is also the site for lumberjack and blacksmith demonstrations as well as river tours and moose-spotting exhibitions.
Just as the farms were beginning to disappear at the start of the 20th century, a conservation movement was launched to preserve them. The most successful attempt was made by U.S. Senator John Wingate Weeks, who bought up a beautiful farm and estate atop Mount Prospect in Lancaster.
The John Wingate Weeks Estate (off Rte. 3, Lancaster, 603/788-4004, www.nhstateparks.com/wingate.html , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Wed.–Sun. late June–mid-Oct., $7 adults, $3 children 6–11, free children under 6) is now a park with an opulent country lodge (look for the moose head given to Weeks by Theodore Roosevelt) and 35 acres of grounds with views over the surrounding countryside. Even if you opt out of the house tour, be sure to admire the view from the 56-foot fieldstone observation tower out front.