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Sunrise over the golf course at Steele Hill

New Hampshire Resort Blog

New Hampshire Resort Blog


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A Message From the Manager

We had a beautiful and colorful fall season but it is coming to an end as the last few leaves fall from the trees. We have already experienced our first snowfall and the forecast is predicting more frigid temperatures, so I guess it is time to start thinking about our winter season. The maintenance staff is battening down the hatches and preparing the resort for our upcoming winter season. We are stocking up on salt and sand and making sure the plows and shovels are ready for what we hope to be a good snow year.

The Hilltop Restaurant staff is working on some great new comfort food items and delicious winter cocktails that will be sure to satisfy even the heartiest of appetites. Stop by our onsite restaurant or bar to enjoy a dinner by the ambient fireplace while overlooking the snow-covered mountains this winter season.

The onset of winter opens the Lakes Region to an abundance of fun activities. The ski slopes will be covered with snow for families to enjoy. Whether you are just learning to ski or you are a veteran skier, New Hampshire’s mountains offer something for every experience level. Soon the ponds and lakes will freeze over allowing for several events that take place on the ice in our area, including the Pond Hockey Classic, car racing on the ice, ice fishing derbies, or the opportunity to just spend time skating or fishing with friends and family.

While onsite, stop by the front desk and rent snowshoes for the whole family to adventure out onto our trail network. Don’t forget to pack your ice skates and sled for some winter fun on our onsite skating pond and sledding hill! If the winter outdoors is not your cup of tea you can always hang out in one of our indoor pools and enjoy the warmth and tropical feel while sipping on one of the many offerings from our bartenders. We hope you choose to come make memories with us here at Steele Hill Resort this winter.

Sincerely,
Rob Robillard

Onsite Resort Cemetery

Construction at Steele Hill Resorts began in the year 1938 using felled trees from the Great New England Hurricane, considered to be the most destructive storm to strike this region in the 20th century. The hurricane was formed from a tropical cyclone developed in the Atlantic Ocean on September 10, 1938. Although construction began in the mid-1930s, the history of our property started long before the building of the resort began.

Steele Hill is set amongst 500 acres of unspoiled fields and hardwood forests. Within that land, we have three major hiking trails which include ponds, fields, possible animal tracks or sightings, and during this time of year, beautiful foliage providing various brilliant fall colors along the way. If you begin the Red Trail by the West outdoor tennis courts, you will find yourself curving through the woods on a slightly downhill hiking adventure that is a little over a mile long. Once you arrive towards the end of the Red Trail, there will be a wide-open field on the right with a stonewall tucked along the edge of the tree line still in sight. When you walk towards the wall you will notice there is a cemetery tucked in the back of the field behind the rock walls.

The Joseph Leavitt Burial Ground is the largest of two cemeteries located onsite at Steele Hill Resorts, which dates back to the early 1800s. The oldest headstone in this particular graveyard is over two centuries old with the date 1818 engraved upon it belonging to Abner Kimball. The majority of the headstones at the cemetery are legible with the youngest to be buried at the location being only three months old. A local man named John Douglas Crawford was sent to Germany in 1946 to be a liaison medical officer for the Office of Military Government. John unfortunately had to leave his pregnant wife, Caroline, home in the United States. After giving birth to their daughter Margo, Caroline had set out to visit John so he could meet his daughter for the first time. Unfortunately, he never got the opportunity to meet his daughter or the chance to see his wife again as their plane crashed into a ridge line on a windy night departing from Newfoundland. Both Caroline and Margo share a headstone onsite. The most recent headstone was added in 2014 and belongs to Lola Rose Cutillo. Her husband, Ralph Cutillo, former president of Steele Hill Resorts, has his tombstone sitting adjacent to Lola’s.

While some guests enjoy the peaceful solitude of the graveyard, others find the experience a little eerie especially during the twilight hours of these late fall nights. For those who appreciate a good scare and are looking for more, consider joining us at our second annual Haunted Hike taking place on Saturday, October 26th this year! Open to the public, the hike is $10 for adults and $5 for children with all proceeds donated to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Norris Cancer Center in memory of our dear friend and coworker, Jan McLaughlin. Included in the donation price for admission, visitors can enjoy a festive hayride up to Steele Hill’s haunted Yellow Trail. Brave the ghouls and goblins along the 0.8 mile trail of terror and finish off the evening with a variety of family-friendly activities including face painting, a warm fire pit, games, crafts, a make your own caramel apple station, and seasonal refreshments.

Apple Picking in the NH Lakes Region

Labor Day has come and gone and the leaves are beginning to change in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire which means the apple orchards are starting to open up for their 2019 autumn season. Many orchards in the area consist of multiple different types of trees which produce several varieties of apples including favorites like: Macintosh, Red Delicious, Cortland, Ginger Gold, and many more. Whether you are planning on a family outing or heading out for a date day to the orchard with your significant other, there are multiple “pick your own” traditional New England orchards in close proximity to Steele Hill Resorts. Take a look at the list below and let us know your favorite!

Surowiec Farm:
Surowiec Farm is located just fifteen minutes away at 53 Perley Hill Road right in Steele Hill’s hometown of Sanbornton. The farm is perched atop a hill providing an expansive backdrop of scenery overlooking the beautiful mountain foliage to the north and west. The farm opened on Labor Day weekend and their apple season extends through mid-October. Visitors can opt to grab a bag and head to the orchard to pick their choice of apples or visit the quaint farm stand which includes pre-picked apples along with many seasonal vegetables such as squash, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, onions and more! Don’t forget to visit their pumpkin patch which consists of pumpkins of all sizes great for carving, baking or decorating!

Stone Mountain Farm
Situated in our neighboring town of Belmont, just a twenty-minute drive away, Stone Mountain Farm is a family-owned high-density apple orchard with the primary focus on growing the fruit, not the tree. The trees use the support of posts and wires on a trellis which makes the apples much easier to reach for farm visitors. The orchard consists of 40 varieties of apples ranging from early season apples ready by August 25th, many mid-season apples ready between September 10th through September 20th and about a dozen late season varieties that are available through the beginning of November. There is also a farm stand located at the orchard which is open daily for visitors looking for some autumn decorations like corn stocks, pumpkins and gourds.

Smith Orchard
Smith Orchard, also located in Belmont New Hampshire, is the definition of a traditional New England apple orchard, with some apple trees dating back to the year 1929! The orchard’s trees produce apples that provide a taste that is both genuine and true to the variety with favorites like Cortland, Macintosh and Red Delicious apples. The orchard has over 2,000 semi-dwarf trees producing a wide variety of apples. In previous years the farm has hosted fun events such as Brunch in the Orchard and weekly alpaca features from Just a Dream Alpaca Farm. Keep an eye out for upcoming events at the orchard here.

Whether you are looking for a fun day-trip or plan to bake some pies during your next vacation, you may find a journey to any (or all) of the orchards listed above to be beneficial. It’s time to begin trekking into the orchards and start picking! Once you’ve picked as many apples as you can carry, unwind back at the resort in our over-sized Roman Spa hot tub while the children get the remainder of their energy out by swimming in our heated indoor pool equipped with an exciting water slide.

Live Entertainment at Steele Hill


Once you arrive for vacation at Steele Hill Resorts, you can choose to stay onsite. Our full-service property has everything you need for your next getaway: a fitness center, a restaurant, bars, a fully stocked convenience store, an abundance of games and amenities, an activities director with different fun events scheduled weekly and a great selection of live entertainment.

If you are having trouble figuring out your vacation’s itinerary, take a look at the list of resort activities we provide on a weekly basis. There are fun games, crafts and activities for all ages listed on our activity schedule as well as our scheduled live entertainment. Every Monday throughout the summer we have Wildlife Encounters join us at the Carriage House to provide an engaging educational seminar for all ages. During the show, the professional staff safely exhibit multiple animals and you even have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some!

This summer we also have Magic Fred, New Hampshire’s favorite magician, performing table-side magic every Tuesday evening at our very own Hilltop Restaurant. When you stop by the Hilltop for dinner, you can enjoy both, a delicious meal off of our brand-new menu and an engaging magic act by Magic Fred. Magic Fred performs walk around magic tricks to make sure all dinner parties will have a memorable and entertaining experience.

Looking to just kick back and relax poolside while listening to some great music? We have live performances from some of the region’s best musical artists right here at Steele Hill Resort. With a wide variety of musical styles ranging from pop, classic rock, country, and more, there are songs you can sing along to as well as originals that are performed. The musicians are scheduled to perform in various locations throughout the resort including the Patio at the Resort Outdoor Pool, Tova’s Tavern, the Oasis Bar, and the West Outdoor Pool so keep an eye on the schedule to grab your spot and enjoy the show!

A Message from the Manager


Ice out on the big lake was announced a couple of weeks ago and winter has released its grip on the Lakes Region. The grass is turning green, the spring flowers are blooming and our staff is busy preparing for your arrival for this upcoming summer vacation season. The housekeepers are busy with carpet cleaning, deep cleaning and restocking the units. The maintenance staff have been busy installing new mattresses and appliances in many of the units throughout the resort as well as repairing the pool decks and painting the outdoor pools. It has been a very rainy spring but the grounds crew continues to make progress cleaning up the property and preparing the golf course, which will be officially opening on May 24th. The food and beverage crew is excited to be releasing a new menu on June 1st, which contains some of the current favorites along with a new variety of appetizers and comfort food offerings. We are all looking forward to tasting their new menu items and summer beverages.

Nancy, our activities director, is preparing new crafts and scheduling events for all of you to participate in. We will be featuring The Wildlife Encounters animal presentation on Monday nights during July and August. Magic Fred, the magician, will be performing table side in The Hilltop restaurant on Tuesday nights and we will have various musicians throughout the season performing in The Hilltop as well as at the outdoor pools. In addition to all of the scheduled activities there are always plenty of fun things to do on your own at the resort; take a hike on one of our trails, fish our stocked pond, play a game of tennis, volleyball, racquetball, badminton, horseshoes, soccer, basketball, or corn hole.

On Independence Day, we will be holding our annual 4th of July barbecue and fireworks display as well as the 5th annual Brew with a View craft beer fest on July 13th. The Lakes Region has so much to offer vacationing families during the summer months. Enjoy a day at the lake or zip lining down a mountain. However you decide to spend your vacation we appreciate you choosing Steele Hill as your vacation destination and look forward to seeing you all this summer.

Sincerely,
Rob Robillard

Mother’s Day Weekend

If you are in the Lakes Region this weekend and you enjoy delicious culinary creations of different international cuisines, then you are in luck. This Mother’s Day weekend, come treat mom to a variety of appetizing menu options all weekend long. Kick off the flavorsome weekend on Saturday with the Exit 20 Food Truck Festival but be sure to save some room to indulge in our Mother’s Day Brunch at Steele Hill Resort’s very own Hilltop Restaurant taking place on Sunday.

The Exit 20 Food Truck Festival is centrally located at the Tilton Tanger Outlet Mall, ¼ of a mile away from I-93 exit 20. Stop by anytime between 12pm – 5pm on Saturday, May 11th to enjoy an assortment of gourmet bites from over a dozen different vendors. This is a foodie experience you won’t want to miss out on with a variety of options including Cajun, Creole, Caribbean, Mexican, American, Italian and authentic cuisine from South India. While snacking on your delicious eats, enjoy live music played by the All You Got Tour and a professional Hula Hooping performance. This festival is not exclusively about sampling food, visitors can also tour a bit of automotive history by taking a walk through the classic/antique car meet up. Car enthusiasts will be treated to an up-close look at an impressive variety of classic vehicles. Once you have tasted as much as your belly can handle, burn off some calories by playing some of the giant yard games that will be set up or take advantage of all the start-of-summer sales and tax-free shopping available at the 50+ stores at the Tilton Tanger Outlets!

How nice does a long soak in a Roman Spa sound after an eventful day of sampling multiple different dishes and shopping the afternoon away? Steele Hill Resorts is your perfect choice for Tanger Outlets Lodging. Not even a twenty-minute drive away from the mall, Steele Hill has everything you need for a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend getaway. Whether you are surprising mom with some quality bonding time or escaping for a weekend with your significant other, Steele Hill is a vacation destination for all ages. Once at the resort, play a friendly one-on-one game of basketball or hit the weights in our exclusive health club before stargazing in our four-season outdoor hot tub.

When you wake up Sunday morning, head on over to The Hilltop Restaurant for an extravagant and delicious Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet. With menu items including: a fresh fruit and berry display, croissants, tomato bisque, choice beef sirloin, farm fresh scrambled eggs with charred salsa and Asiago cheese, French toast and maple syrup made from the Steele Hill Farm, and an elegant Mother’s Day dessert table, this unique event is sure to make every belly content. When you stay using our special Shop and Stay promotional package, you receive 20% off the accommodations of your choice and a $25 Tanger gift card valid for use at any store at the Tilton Tanger Outlet Mall along with a $25 resort gift card which can be used towards your Mother’s Day Brunch! Make some lasting memories this Mother’s Day Weekend by taking the vacation you and your loved ones deserve.

Wildlife Encounters at Steele Hill Resorts

Steele Hill Resorts is set amongst 500 acres of unspoiled fields and hardwood forests. Within the resort property lives an abundance of wildlife. Many guests are treated with the presence of animals before even arriving to the top of Steele Hill, sometimes spotting a porcupine roaming the sides of the road or stopping to let a rafter of twelve (or more!) turkeys cross. Some guests notice an even greater existence of wildlife once arriving at the resort. There is a rather large woodchuck who resides in the wooded edges of the first few holes of our on-site golf course and a pond filled with rainbow trout, frogs, and turtles right behind the check-in office. We have also spotted moose traversing along our hiking trail networks as well as sightings of Eastern coyotes nearby.

With all this wildlife right in our backyard, we decided to take advantage and introduce some of these animals firsthand to our guests. We have partnered with Wildlife Encounters Ecology Center to provide an engaging educational opportunity that is excellent for all ages. During the show, the educating staff of Wildlife Encounters safely and appropriately exhibit the animals. These creatures include native inhabitants of our environment here at Steele Hill and a vast variety of exotic species from around the globe that the staff are eager to teach about. The company travels throughout New England and has been named “Family Favorite Party Entertainer” by Parenting NH Magazine for five years in a row now and has made multiple national television appearances on shows like The Martha Stewart Show and the TODAY Show.

The mission of Wildlife Encounters is to help individuals learn to connect with the lessons of life, science, conservation, and sustainability. No two presentations are the same, as there are well over 50 ambassador animals that are alternated within the company for live presentations. Each visit we are surprised by the lineup of wildlife brought with five different biological groupings: mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and invertebrates. At the end of each show, there is a meet and greet with one of the more interactive animals where you can get up close to take photos and even touch them! If you would like to join us for a walk on the wild side, check our activity schedule to see when the next visit from Wildlife Encounters will be and other great activities we have going on around the resort!

Stay Fit at Steele Hill Resorts

With 2018 behind us, we are welcoming the new year with our health and fitness goals in clear sight. Here at Steele Hill we have all the staples you need to carry on with your healthy lifestyle, even while on vacation. The resort offers various activities and amenities that cater to an active lifestyle including our extensive hiking and snowshoe trail network, as well as an indoor racquetball court and fitness center. If your New Year’s Resolution is to get fit and healthy, let us help you stay on track!

Begin preparing your body for a workout by soaking in our over-sized Roman Spa hot tub. This passive type of warm-up is very beneficial for your body not only working on improving oxygen uptake but increasing the blood flow to your muscles and warming up the core body temperature. While soaking for about fifteen minutes, begin mentally prepping for your workout, envisioning your fitness routine and goals. Our Roman Spa hot tub reaches 104 degrees and is the perfect relaxing start to engage both your body and mind.

Once you have dried off and changed in our sizable locker rooms, stop into our onsite convenience store, The Market, for your workout staples. If you forgot your earbuds at home, pick up a pair here and grab a Gatorade to charge to the room, then you will be ready to hit the gym. Our exclusive health club is only available to our guests and owners making it less crowded and easier to obtain the workout you were expecting. Begin your session doing some low impact cardiovascular workouts by hopping on one of the recumbent bikes, elliptical machines or treadmills and start immediately burning calories. Each cardio machine has a mounted flat-screen television in front of it so you can get lost in a basketball game or the latest episode of House Hunters. Next move over to the resistance bands, CYBEX multi-gym, yoga balls or utilize one of the flat benches with our free weights for more of a total body workout.

Once your workout is complete, head back to the locker room to change and step into our spacious electrically heated sauna. Not every workout can end with a multi-beneficial trip to a sauna so take advantage of it while you have the chance! Relaxing in a hot sauna results in an expansion of blood vessels leading to lowered blood pressure and better circulation. Spend up to twenty minutes relaxing in the sauna and take this time to unwind and plan out the rest of your day.

If you would like to plan an active vacation, choose Steele Hill Resorts. Keep an eye on our activity schedule as it is ever changing each week including great workouts like water aerobics, yoga, and training sessions with personal trainers.

Discounted NH Ski Tickets

Being a four-season resort definitely has its perks. One major advantage of remaining open all year round is the fact that we have a variety of winter sports right here in the Lakes Region or a short drive away. We have partnered with three of the best ski mountains in New Hampshire to offer our guests the greatest discounts on tickets.

Gunstock Mountain is located right here in the Lakes Region, within a half-hour drive from Steele Hill Resort, and has unparalleled views of Lake Winnipesaukee. Part of the Balknap Mountain Range, Gunstock reaches an elevation of 2,244 feet and has 55 freshly groomed trails to explore. Stay with us for our Gunstock Ski and Stay package and enjoy not only 20% off accommodations of your choice but also 25% off the window rate for all day and night skiing tickets, cross country tickets or tickets for tubing on the largest tubing run in New Hampshire. Steele Hill really is the ideal choice for Gunstock Lodging.

Loon Mountain, located in the midst of the White Mountain National Forest, has an elevation just over 3,000 feet and offers 69 trails throughout three different peaks. In under an hour drive you can experience some of the best-groomed runs on both fresh and machine-made powder while taking in breathtaking views of the surrounding white mountains. Loon offers much more than just alpine skiing and snowboarding, at the mountain you can also take a trip down the winter zipline, snowshoe the scenic trail network, hit the ice-skating rink, or explore multiple cross-country trails.

Waterville Valley, about an hour drive away in the White Mountains, is another large mountain ranging just over 4,000 feet. With a 2,020-foot vertical drop, Waterville has its fair share of advanced, black diamond runs totaling 15, but also caters to beginners and intermediate riders with different lesson packages and trails to suit everyone.

Whichever mountain you choose to shred, you can come back to the resort to relax your sore muscles in the Roman Spa or stargaze and enjoy even more beautiful snowfall from our newest amenity, the outdoor hot tub equipped with a heated walkway. Don’t forget to stop in at our front desk and inquire about the best discounted ski ticket for you!

Haunted Hike at Steele Hill Resorts


Steele Hill Resorts celebrated Halloween a little early with our first ever Haunted Hike. On the seasonably warm evening of Saturday October 20th, we kicked off this spooky time of year with an event that guests, owners and the public alike could all take part in and enjoy. Participants of the event signed in at the Carriage House where they could choose from numerous family-friendly activities to participate in.


Some participants opted to hit the 0.8-mile haunted hike along our very own yellow trail. While the sun was still lingering, hikers could take in the beautiful Lakes Region foliage and enjoy a good scare along the way. Others decided to relax by the warm fire pit while waiting for a festive hayride to Steele Hill Farm and back, sponsored by the Bickford Family Farm. Additional visitors headed straight for the games, crafts, face painting and refreshments which were set up on the second floor of the Carriage House. Guests enjoyed a variety of seasonal snacks and beverages including: warm apple cider, pumpkin donuts, whoopie pies, a build-your-own caramel apple station with all the fixings and toppings, and full-size candy bars for all the trick-or-treaters.


The event raised just over $2,000 and all of the proceeds have been donated to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center in loving memory of our dear friend and coworker, Jan McLaughlin. Jan had been a member of the Steele Hill Family for decades as our reservations manager and had always dreamed of the opportunity to host this event. Special thanks to all of the volunteers and sponsors who helped make the Haunted Hike a reality: BG Costumes of the Belknap Mall, Lakes Region Party & Gift, Bickford Family Farm and Pepsi Company. We look forward to scaring (seeing) you all again next year!