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Sunset Picnic at Wellington State Park

Posted on by Jackie Raiford, New Hampshire State Parks Intern

Wellington State Park New Hampshire

Two weeks ago I asked YOU to suggest a park for me to visit. There were a lot of great ideas, which made for a hard decision, but in the end I decided to check out Wellington State Park. Thank you, Priscilla, for the recommendation you gave on Facebook:

“Wellington State Park in Bristol…has everything. A great beach, clean water, short hiking trail, shade if you need it. Been going there for over 20 yrs, LOVE IT!” ;)

When I read your description the first thing that came to mind was a picnic. Well, to be honest, the first thing that often comes to mind for me first is food. But from the pictures Wellington seemed to have some very cozy lunch spots, and fall is absolutely my favorite season for picnic food.

As this was my last visit to a New Hampshire state park for this blog, I also had a kindness to repay. You might remember my friend Alex from my post about paddleboarding. He’s actually accompanied me to almost every park I’ve visited this summer, and has assisted me with everything from carrying equipment to teaching me how to kayak, finding our way on trails to moral support. In short I owe this guy big, and I thought treating him to a delicious dinner might by a step in the right direction.

I wanted to keep things light, because I think picnics are about enjoying life’s simple pleasures. So I went to the Keene Farmer’s Market and brought back some ripe fruits and vegetables, apple cider, and a loaf of bread. In fact, the only thing I ended up cooking was a pumpkin.

Cooking a Pumpkin for Sandwiches

The preparation was pretty simple. I packed vegetarian pumpkin sandwiches with smoked cheddar cheese, figs, spinach, fresh basil, and a bit of olive oil. Then I cored and hollowed out some apples to make apple cups from which to drink our apple cider. Last I added grapes, olives, hazelnuts, and almonds to our basket. I was pleased with the variety of flavors, colors, and textures our picnic would offer the palate.

Picnic at Wellington State Park, NH

When we arrived at Wellington State Park we spent a few minutes walking along the picturesque beach before scouting out the best location to lay our blanket. Wellington is truly the spot for picnics, because there are a variety of tables to suit any preference. We could have selected a table right on the beach or one under a tall white pine, but I ended up picking this one tucked away in a shady nook.

Fall Picnic at Wellington State Park

Apples, Pumpkins, Nuts at our Fall Picnic

It was like we were sitting in a fancy restaurant, only the booth was made of trees and shrubbery and we had the whole view to ourselves. And the food was delicious…

Apple Cups with Apple Cider at our Fall Picnic

Pumpkin Sandwich with Figs and Basil

Right!? It didn’t take long for us to finish it all, although we did unintentionally share a dropped almond with a surprise guest.

The Chipmunk Ate My Almond!

Then we watched the sunset over the mountains right from the beach. It was a very peaceful evening.

Wellington State Park will return next week in my very last post! I hope you’ll join me in ending this spectacular adventure.

A Toast to the NH State Park Blog!

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About Jackie Raiford, New Hampshire State Parks Intern

I'm a graduate student working towards my Masters in Conservation Biology at Antioch University New England. My research interests include the conservation of urban green spaces for the physical and psychological health of communities. I lived for the first 24 years of my life in Rockville, Maryland just north of Washington D.C. I have traveled a little both domestically and abroad, and lived for six months in Australia. I also work as a dance and fitness instructor, and am certified by the American Council on Exercise. View all posts by Jackie Raiford, New Hampshire State Parks Intern →
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