When I learned that the attraction is a Arts-and-Crafts showplace mansion from 1914, I was all-in. I'm a sucker for Arts-and-Crafts and art deco architecture, so my initial reluctance was replaced by anticipation.
The mansion is perched midway up the southwest flank of Ossipee Mountain in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. (More about this at the end of the post.) Access is via a carriage road that climbs several hundred feet up the mountain winding through thick forest. Midway to the mansion is a stop at an impressive waterfall along Shannon Brook.
|Waterfall on Shannon Brook|
|Kali and yours truly at the waterfall|
|The back garden|
In 1959, the house was opened to the public as a tourist attraction called Castle in the Clouds. In 2002, the house was purchased by the nonprofit Lakes Region Conservation Trust. The estate lands miraculously managed to remain intact and today are owned by a second land trust that invites the public to use 25 miles of trails and old carriage roads free of charge.
|Kali and Patti in the back garden enjoying the spectacular view|
|Lake Winnipesaukee and beyond from the back garden|
|Window and stonework detail|
|The curved oak pergola in the side garden|
|View of the tiled roof in the front of the house and one of the Ossipee Mountain peaks in the background|
|View of Lake Winnipesaukee through windows with stained glass roundels|
|Carved wooden griffons (2-feet tall) in the library|
|The front of Lucknow - less impressive than the back garden but not too shabby|
A final note about Ossipee Mountain. The "mountain" is actually a ring of low peaks (high point about 2,900 feet) connected by ridges that are the walls of an ancient caldera much like Crater Lake (without the lake). The center of the volcano erupted and then collapsed back into the magma chamber leaving the ring of today's Ossipee "Mountain." The inner caldera is pretty remote, inaccessible and wild considering that it is located in New Hampshire.
|Kali and me at Lucknow|