The next Lakes Region town to take my breath away was Grafton. It’s full of fun roads to drive, with names like Riddle Hill, Height of the Land, Razorhill and Tunnel Road. Roads that beckon you to take in all they have to offer…


Grafton isn’t home to any of the larger area lakes, but a picnic on the shores of Grafton Pond or Kilton Pond will certainly brighten your day…




If driving isn’t your preferred method of travel, the Northern Rail Trail crosses through Grafton, as well as several other Lakes Region towns. There is a trail head across from the General Store. Permitted uses of the trail include: hiking, biking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and mushing.


I always enjoy the eye catching ways some businesses promote themselves. This probably isn’t meant to be Paul Bunyan since Babe the ox was nowhere in sight …


As I meandered through town, I stopped to admire many of the lovely barns (you know I can’t pass up a nice farm or barn)







OK, so I can't pass up old farm equipment either!

OK, so I can’t pass up old farm equipment either!


The surrounding mountains and rivers also begged for my camera’s attention…




I knew there was one more, must go to, place in Grafton. Steve came up to visit me and we devoted an afternoon to visiting Ruggles Mine. For the purpose of photographing and learning about the mine, an afternoon was almost enough time. It is always a bonus when he joins me on tour. Instead of doing all the driving, I get to kick back and just enjoy the scenery. It becomes his “job” to immediately slam on the brakes every time I say, “Oooh, stop here” or to perform a techno turn (as my mom called a u-turn) if I thought I saw something of interest. On our way to the mine, we drove around the town common. An unusually colored building caught my eye…

OK, so white isn't unusual, but the purple trim really stands out!

OK, so white isn’t unusual, but the purple trim and green shutters really stand out!

He turned onto Ruggles Mine Road and soon we crossed Manfeltree Brook. I knew the mine wouldn’t be much further. I did get a chuckle at the sign nailed to the tree which stated “Your GPS is lying to you”  Our GPS indicated we had arrived, but, in truth, we still had another mile or so to go. When we came to the end of Ruggles Mine Road, we had arrived. We stared at the breathtaking scenery which greeted us…

Ruggles Mine-3051

Mt. Cardigan must be to the people of the Lakes Region what Mt. Monadnock is to the people of the Monadnock Region. It seems to dominate and define the area. We  went into the gift shop where we met Andrea. She welcomed us and handed me a booklet describing the history and geology of the mine. I loved that it was written in ‘plain English’. She said if we had any questions, Nick was in the mine and could answer them for us. Our first stop was the museum…

Ruggles Mine-3062

Ruggles Mine-3063

Ruggles Mine-3065

Ruggles Mine-3067

There was a cool welcome breeze coming through the passageway as we entered. There were pieces of mica and other minerals lying on the pathway. Easy pickings if all you wanted was a small reminder of your adventure. As we neared the mine floor, I had a hard time trying to decide what to take a picture of first…

Ruggles Mine-3073

Ruggles Mine-3074

Ruggles Mine-3077

We watched as families, couples and individuals searched for their own personal jackpot…

Ruggles Mine-3079

Ruggles Mine-3085

Ruggles Mine-3099

Ruggles Mine-3108

Despite the fact it was June, there was still ice in the caverns…

Ruggles Mine-3087

We continued to explore the caverns and the pit floor…Ruggles Mine-3093

Ruggles Mine-3112

Ruggles Mine-3119

Once you pass through the second tunnel, you are once again greeted with stunning views…

Ruggles Mine-3101

After speaking with several miners and having them show me their treasure…

Ruggles Mine-3107

I stopped to pick up my own…

Black Mica

Black Mica – one of my favorites


Ruggles Mine-3098

Thank you Nick for taking our picture, It isn’t often Steve and I appear in the same image.

When we were getting ready to head out, I decided I wanted to try to get a picture of the uranium specimens under the black lights. The tunnel was fairly dark, but I also wanted to be able to read the sign. A long exposure should capture both things. After 2.5 seconds, I looked at the back of my camera to see what I had come up with. I’m sure I laughed out loud when I saw it. Once I knew it was there, picking it out in the dark was easy. Back in the gift shop, I asked how many people ever noticed the dinosaur. “Not very many!” was their response. If you get a chance to visit Ruggles Mine, don’t forget to bring Dino some snacks!

Ruggles Mine-3125

Thanks for coming along! Click the Like button for Facebook to get hints about where I will be next.

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14 Comments on “Grafton”

  1. Betty Pauwels June 22, 2015 at 10:47 am #

    I really enjoy your tours!!!

    • Touring NH June 22, 2015 at 10:50 am #

      Thank you Betty! It is a lot of fun for me to get out and learn about NH, but the best part is being able to share it with my readers.

  2. marthaschaefer June 22, 2015 at 11:22 am #

    A “jewel” of a tour! Love that you included a shot of you and Steve. Gorgeous views and great commentary!!

    • Touring NH June 22, 2015 at 11:51 am #

      Thank you Martha. We don’t get photographed together very often. The views from Ruggles Mine are amazing.

  3. New Hampshire Garden Solutions June 22, 2015 at 8:23 pm #

    Now that’s a place I recognize. We used to take the kids there quite often. We never really found much exciting in minerals but it was fun.
    My favorite shot is of the old weathered farmhouse. Just the kind of place I’d like to live in.

  4. Robin S. Kent June 23, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

    Very cool! Thanks!

    • Touring NH June 24, 2015 at 12:30 am #

      Thank you. Summer is finally settling in here. How is DC?

  5. Cecilia June 24, 2015 at 8:54 pm #

    What a great tour, and I just enjoyed your pictures, great details, great mood. Thanks for sharing.

    • Touring NH June 24, 2015 at 10:19 pm #

      Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed my visit to Grafton.

  6. June 29, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    Laura, I thought the Paul Bunyan statue was way cool, but when you got to the pegmatite mine – that was great. I love these old mines. When I asked James about pegmatite mines he thought it might involve diamonds. Did you see any of those? 🙂 So good that Steve could join you. ~Terri

    • Touring NH June 29, 2015 at 11:11 am #

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      I don’t think they ever found diamonds there, but it was a major source of mica. I never knew how many uses there were/are for mica, including cosmetics. I’m going to go back strictly for my rock hounding enjoyment soon.

  7. Marie Keates June 30, 2015 at 7:42 am #

    Loved the dinosaur and the tunnels in the caves reminded me of Matmata in Tunisia where the people live in cave houses carved out of the rock.

    • Touring NH June 30, 2015 at 8:39 am #

      A:hover { COLOR: red } A { TEXT-DECORATION: none; COLOR: #0088cc } A.primaryactionlink:link { COLOR: #fff; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #2585b2 } A.primaryactionlink:visited { COLOR: #fff; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #2585b2 } A.primaryactionlink:hover { COLOR: #fff !important; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #11729e } A.primaryactionlink:active { COLOR: #fff !important; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #11729e }

      It would be darn cold to live in these mine pits, but you’d have beautiful, sparkly walls!


  1. Highlights from 2015 | Touring NH - December 28, 2015

    […] back in the swing of things with weekly adventures and posts. I toured Groton, Danbury, Alexandria, Grafton and finally […]

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