Head up in these treehouses to find quality family time in western Maine’s White Mountains.
As soon as you turn onto the TimberStone Adventures property, your inner child will squeal in delight! The towering beauty of the magnificent Grand Oak, the property’s largest and most swanky treehouse, greets you with a promise of time well spent. Prepare to be unplugged. With over 50 acres bordering the White Mountain National Forest and a professional, 18-hole, disc golf course, your kids will never utter the words, “we’re bored.”
Where to stay?
TimberStone offers three treehouses on its property. We stayed in the largest one, the Grand Oak. With 1200 square feet, our family of four - which includes a 3- and 5-year old - didn’t lack for space! Here, eight people can sleep comfortably with two queen beds, two twin beds, and two futons. There’s a stand-up shower, plus an extra deep, jetted tub which proved to be an excellent way for my toddlers to wind down before bedtime.
I can’t begin to explain the imagination and time that went into designing this one-of-a-kind treehouse, where 90% of the lumber used in the construction was cut and milled on site. Nothing was overlooked. From the handmade bar stools to the spiral staircase to the cabinets with their hand-carved wooden pulls, the creativity and thoughtful decor is unparalleled. My 3-year-old daughter kept asking which princess lived in this tree castle! Answer? The one who can afford the price! Rates start at $279/night.
If your tastes are a little more rustic, but you’re not ready to commit to using an outhouse, the Spruce Suite offers 375 square feet of living space among the trees. It includes a double bed and a futon, indoor plumbing, and a kitchenette to ensure a cozy stay. Rates start at $165/night.
The last treehouse is the owners’ favorite spot, The Birdie. Nestled in the woods, it’s the most quaint and primitive of them all. The Birdie sleeps four with a futon on the main level and two ottomans in the loft that unfold to single beds. There’s no running water or bedding in this 200-square-foot nest, but it does have lighting. An outhouse is located close by. Rates start at $89/night.
What to do?
Our family enjoyed two nights and three days at TimberStone and never ran out of activities to keep us bonding as a family and unplugged from our electronics. As soon as we arrived, we decided to stretch our legs and hike to the summit of a nearby mountain; the kids are still talking about the adventure. The ½-mile hike with a 3- and 5-year-old proved challenging at times; 200 feet worth of extreme incline lead to fits of giggles and clinging to a rope for assistance. Once we reached to top, we drank in the scenic views of Virginia Lake and the surrounding forest; the scene was Maine at its finest. Although well-known for the treehouse accommodations, TimberStone is also a world-class, disc golf course. The challenging, mile-plus course offers unique terrain with players throwing from 15-foot ledges and tree pads made of cobblestone pavers. Professional players travel from around the world to compete here.
On the recommendation of TimberStone’s owners, we drove 22 miles to Newry, Maine, to stand in awe of Screw Auger Falls. Part of the Grafton Notch State Park, it was easy to understand why this is a favorite spot among locals.
North Conway is about a 30-minute drive from TimberStone Adventures. You’ll find outlet shopping, Story Land amusement park, and hundreds of trails to hike in the White Mountain National Forest. For more on what to do in this area, click here.
In the fall, make the 20-minute trip to Sweden, Maine, and visit Pietree Orchards. Owned and operated by Maine authors Tabitha King and the king of horror, Stephen King, you’ll taste varieties of apples that you only can find in their orchard.
Where to eat?
The two, larger treehouses offer fully-stocked kitchens including coffee for Keurigs. Barbecue grills also are on site, but visitors must bring their own propane or buy it from the office. We found cooking a meal together and enjoying it with the sounds of nature on the porch to be a highlight of the trip.
If you’re into dining out, the whole town buzzed about a local pub called Ebenezer’s. Although it doesn’t offer a kids ‘menu per se, the staff was accommodating and offered buttered noodles for my picky 3-year-old and grilled cheese for my 5-year-old. It was made the way that my nana made it growing up - lots of butter and off-the-block cheese melted to perfection on homemade bread. I instantly wished that I had ordered the same! The menu ranged from pub fare to seafood favorites. As a vegetarian, I was able to find several options. For the adults, the beverage list is said to be the best in the country. Who knew that a small, unassuming pub out of the back of someone's house would take that title? My husband was impressed.
KidTripster Tip: Make dinner reservations for Ebenezer’s. During the summer and fall season, we were told that most Fridays and Saturdays are packed.
If you find yourself in North Conway, stop in at one of our family’s favorites, Muddy Moose Restaurant and Pub. The fun lodge decor, friendly waitstaff, and enormous menu keep us coming back. The salmon is a standby for the husband, where as the kids have ordered nearly everything on the kids’ menu at one time or another and have always finished their meals.
TimberStone Adventures is located in Stoneham, Maine. The closet airport is in Portland about 1-1/2 hours away. The treehouse resort is a 3-hour drive from Boston.
Sarah Thayer lives in Eastern Maine with her husband and their two children. As a local reporter, she once found herself interviewing presidential candidates. Now her title is domestic engineer and small business owner. When she isn’t blogging about her misadventures in motherhood, she can be found wandering the aisles of Target.
This writer received a complimentary stay for the purpose of this review. However, all opinions expressed are solely her own.