Castle In The Clouds
Castle In The Clouds is yet, another post where pictures do more justice than words. Like a lot of New Hampshire’s gems, Castle In The Clouds is an experience that leaves you with a real appreciation of the natural beauty and history of the state.
The original name of the estate was “Lucknow”, which is a fun and intriguing name for this special place. Located in Moultonborough, and tucked among the Ossipee Mountains, Castle In The Clouds overlooks New Hampshire’s beautiful Lakes Region.
Check out the video below for a full picture/video tour of this amazing New Hampshire gem.
Thomas G. Plant
A quick background on Thomas G. Plant and some history might help you put the story of Castle In The Clouds in perspective.
Thomas was an industrious young man. At the age of 32, he was the owner of the largest shoe company in the world, the Thomas G. Plant Company, located in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Plant pioneered a business philosophy that happy employees make productive employees. Plant provided for such amenities as bowling alleys, on-site healthcare providers, a library, and more. His employees rewarded him with loyalty and exceptional productivity.
At the age of 51, Plant retired and between 1913 and 1914 began the creation of the 6,300-acre estate that would become Lucknow. He lived there with his wife, Olive, until his death in 1941.
The estate changed hands over the years, and eventually, the Lakes Region Conservation Trust raised 5.9 million dollars in private donations to purchase the 5,500 acres that remained. A portion of the estate had been set aside for the Castle Springs Bottling operation. The nonprofit, Castle Preservation Society, was created to manage the buildings and grounds and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust was tasked with maintaining the natural landscape.
As you drive up Ossipee Park Road to the castle, you will pass Maple Lodge, a caretaker’s cottage on the left. Just beyond that on the left is the Castle Springs Bottling Center. Further along is a fun trout pond, a great network of trails, and eventually parking at the top. A short walk from the parking lot brings you to the gift shop, ticket booth, and Carriage House. A trolley brings visitors the remaining way to the castle. This map will help get you oriented.
Lower Fields and Parking
The Carriage House Restaurant
Once you arrive, staff will have you watch a fun informational video and then you will be free to explore the castle and take a step back in time.
Each window offers amazing views of the surrounding Ossipee Mountains, Lake Winnipesaukee, and of course clouds! The craftsmanship is incredible and the home boasts some impressive innovations when it was built such as steel beams, a central vacuum system, and an inter-house phone system.
Thomas Plant’s Home Office
The Brook Walk Trail
We opted for a hike along the Brook Walk Trail as it offers 7 waterfalls along the way. Some of them are on the smaller side but Bridal Veil Falls and Falls of Song are impressive! All of them add to the sense of adventure along the way.
There are over 28 miles of trails to choose from and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust does a great job of marking and maintaining them. There are interactive stops that offer historic and geographic information.
The Trout Pond
As we rounded back from our hike, we found ourselves beside Shannon Pond which was a great place to relax and feed the ducks and huge rainbow trout! There were plenty of picnic tables to accommodate hungry visitors. Cafe In The Clouds is nearby and offers a light lunch, drinks, and ice cream.
Castle In The Clouds hosts weddings and events that are worth a look as well. Guided hiking tours, a car show, and Castle After Hours are just some of the events to explore.
Check out more of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region with my post on beautiful Squam Lake!
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Until the next post: “Live Free and Explore!”
Thanks, Dad, it’s hard to take a bad picture up there in the clouds! :0)