Clark’s Trading Post has been a fixture in New Hampshire’s White Mountains for decades. Located on US Route 3 in Lincoln, New Hampshire it is a multi use attraction with a variety of activities for the entire family.
In 1928 Ed and Florence Clark opened a roadside attraction “Ed Clark’s Eskimo Sled Dog Ranch” with an associated souvenir shop.
In 1931 the Clarks obtained their first black bear and began training and performing shows in 1949. When I was a boy we would stop and feed the bears in their bear pit and spend some time in the souvenir shop on every trip to the mountains. A common sight was to see the bears atop their pole within their enclosure.
Modern sensibilities mean there is no longer a bear pit but the bears, bear show and trading post are all still highlights. The trading post has expanded enormously into a multi-faceted park with all sorts of activities. You can easily spend an entire day on site and still not see everything.
The bear show is still the marquee event for the park with several shows daily.
The upper level has unobstructed views without the chain link fence.
Just outside the show ring check out the bear cemetery. Notable is the grave of Rufus the oldest black bear on record at 38 years.
Also running several times during the day is the ride on the steam powered train. This short ride starts at the Main Street train junction in the park and runs over the Pemigewasset River a short distance through the woods.
You will pass through a covered bridge the Clark family brought to the site,
and encounter the famed “Clark’s Wolf Man.”
There are several museums on site with the 1884 fire museum a good example.
On hot summer days a water park on site is a good option.
Try the climbing tower,
or rent a segway.
When you get hungry do not hesitate to stop at the snack bar. The food was surprisingly good, not what you would expect from a snack stand inside a park. It was much better than what you would get at a typical fast food restaurant.
If you have kids of any age make this a destination and with the museums and shows there is enough to keep the entire family happy.