The morning after a very eventful day where we walked the Freedom Trail, went to an aquarium, and enjoyed a sunset sail before spending a night at a hotel in Boston, we headed toward a house on Highland Lake. We had a couple days stay there at an Airbnb in Stoddard, New Hampshire on the way to our final destination in Vermont. Stoddard is a small town in Cheshire County, with a population of just over 1300 people. Stoddard had 4 glass factories in the 1800’s, and Stoddard glass is still prized by collectors to this day. The first residents settled there in 1768 and by 1790 it was a town of just over 700 people.
The bnb we stayed in is a 2 bedroom house that sleeps 6 on the shores of Highland Lake. Each bedroom has a double or queen bed and a single bed. In addition to the two bedrooms, the cottage also has a full kitchen, living room, bathroom, and space for a dining table.
It has full sized kitchen appliances including a dishwasher and was well equipped with dishes. There were also lots of supplies including condiments, coffee & tea, spices, and some food items. It had plenty of cleaning supplies including shampoo and such for personal use. The stairway door to the basement was marked private, but check-out instructions said to take the garbage and recycling to the cans down there so apparently they didn’t expect guests to stay out of there completely, probably just not to bother the things they have stored there.
It was not specified whether the washer, dryer, and ping-pong table are intended for guest use, but there were a stack of paddles and balls near the ping-pong table, as well as soap and dryer sheets above the washer so one would assume that they are. Until they find the note on the washer saying not to use it because it leaks. Perhaps that was just a temporary thing that they have fixed by now. Or they just say that because they don’t want anyone using it. They probably need it for doing laundry between guests because they’d have to take everything by boat to wash it at their house, which sits across the lake on an island. The basement also contained a pile of sleds presumably for winter guests, some blow-up water toys, a stack of wood next to a wood stove, and kindling and newspapers presumably either for the wood stove, the outdoor fire pit, or both.
Entry upon arrival is through a door code, which was not supplied until check-in day. We were given the address in advance, but not directions and found our way by google maps. There was a dead spot along the way so we rather wished we’d gone to mapquest or a similar site and printed out directions before we came. Luckily cell service came back shortly before the turn to the dirt road leading to the cottage, which was just in time because we’d gone far enough by then to consider turning around thinking we might have missed it. The entrance could have been marked better as the house number on a tiny sign on a tree pointing to a narrow gravel driveway between 2 houses of which one had a higher number and the other lower was the only indication of where to turn in. The number is on the house itself, which is not visible from the road.
A back deck with table and barbecue has excellent views of the lake, as does the kitchen and the smaller bedroom. The backyard slopes toward the water. On ground level the backyard has a firepit, picnic table, and a small dock with kayaks and a paddle boat. Life vests can be found in an enclosed bin which presumably keeps them out of the rain. Instructions in the guest book recommend not swimming at the property, but rather paddling across to a swim platform by the owner’s house across the lake, which is not too far away as the island their house sits on is directly across from the bnb. I’m sure that recommendation is for summer guests as it would have been far too cold for anyone who isn’t into polar plunges to swim during our October stay. Many of the homes on the shore of that lake had boat docks and or swimming access so it is probably fairly warm water in the summer. Near the main shore and shores of little islands dotting the lake in the area where the bnb sits have shallow water that probably warms fairly quickly in the summer – and freezes in the winter according to the guest book in the house which says the lake is popular for winter snowmobiling.
The cabin had great lake views and everything needed for a comfortable stay, but also looked like it would need some major maintenance at some point if it is to remain standing long into the future as the stairway and deck were not level, and neither was the cracked concrete floor in the basement.
Fall leaves are a funny thing, some years turning as early as August and other years as late as November. At least that’s how they are where we live. I’m guessing the northeast is at least somewhat the same as October ought to be prime fall color time yet some trees were just starting to turn while others remained fully green and only the minority displayed full fall foliage. There were some evergreens too, pine trees with needles that were quite soft and thin compared to the ones on the other side of the country where we’re from.
The cottage had a huge flatscreen TV in a giant cabinet that was also full of books, games, and puzzles offering lots to do should inclement weather arise. It had internet with pretty speedy wifi, but no cell service so phones only worked through the wifi.
This home was the sort of place people could either use as a base to go do other things from or find plenty to do right there. The nearest grocery stores were over half an hour away so unless guests were planning on going out and about right after dropping off their stuff grocery shopping before going to the cabin is the best plan.