On the grounds of the Hobo Railroad in the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, there are caves, tunnels, fountains, slides, and sculptures made of icicles. They call them Ice Castles, kind of like those dribble castles you make from wet sand at the beach. But these are full-scale, manmade stalactites that light up at night with an icy glow.
The Ice Castles project originated in Utah, and each year the creators go to wintry locations to set up a series of drip pipes to start the process of trickling out their icicles—the “seeds” of the castles. These icicles then form the basis of the structures, which are made entirely of ice and snow.
This year there are Ice Castles in Dillon, Colorado, Midway, Utah, Stillwater, Minnesota, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, Edmonton, Alberta, and these beauties in Lincoln. Every day thousands of new icicles are formed and added, and the sculpting and coaxing of the ice and snow results in new tunnels and caves, so that the whole castle keeps building and building—until the end of winter. By March, when the icicles start to melt and all the pipes are packed up.
Know Before You Go
Lincoln is about 10 miles south of Franconia Notch, and the Ice Castles are across the street from McGee Road on Railroad Street. The Ice Castles open for the season in December. Check the main website for admission prices.