AMC Cold River Camp AMC Cold River Camp
Lodge in Evenings Light (J. DiCarlo)


Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is a typical day at Cold River Camp (CRC)?

Campers are awakened by the “horn” at 7 am with breakfast at 7:30 am. Between 7 and 7:30 am, many campers enjoy their first mug of coffee in the Conant Lodge and also put together their bag/trail lunch from the bountiful spread of ingredients available. Breakfast is served in a single seating so do not be late. During breakfast the hikes and naturalist programs for the day are announced and sign-up lists circulated. After breakfast those campers who have not made their lunch may do so. Campers who have signed up for a led activity gather on the front porch of Conant Lodge at the stated times. Those choosing to do other activities are on their own until dinner. Remember to sign out on the "wanderer's list" if you leave camp on your own. Visit our camp photos to view the activities usually enjoyed in and near camp.

During the day hot and cold drinks are available in Conant Lodge for those staying in camp and for returning hikers in the afternoon. For those campers not hiking, other activities include antiquing in the nearby towns, biking or running the nearby quiet roads, painting, wildlife viewing in a nearby blind maintained by the WMNF, and driving to No. Conway for golf, shopping and other activities.

A self-guiding nature trail is located within Cold River Camp property. It combines the Tea House Path, which leads along the edge of the ravine to the Tea House and continues alongside Cold River to the Dam, and the Conant Path, which wanders along Cold River from near the Dam then makes its way back to Cold River Camp behind Cox cabin. The trail guide is available in the Conant Lodge and in your guest packet.

A favorite destination after returning from a hike is the Cold River Dam. In the afternoon many campers can be found sunbathing on the ledges, shooting the chutes, swimming in the pool above the Dam, or examining with a hand lens the watery inhabitants of small pools within the ledges.

Dinner is served in a single setting at 6 pm. During dinner, reports are given for the day’s organized trips and the after dinner evening program is announced. This program could be a sing along, poetry reading, lawn games, square dance or a program such as trip photos offered by a camper. Each Friday evening features a Talent Night and campers are encouraged to participate with music, dance, poetry, skits. or their unique talents and bring their musical instruments to camp.

2. What do I need to bring?

For Around camp:

One flashlight or headlamp per person with extra batteries,
Sleeping bag, although linens and blankets are provided, a sleeping bag will provide extra lightweight warmth on those cool New Hampshire nights,
Insect repellent, stick or lotion,
Tick repellant,
Comfortable casual clothes,
Bathing suit and beach towel,
Water and footwear,
Things to share and do (poetry, books, crafts, musical instruments for Talent Night),
Battery lantern (optional) iif you choose not to use kerosene lamp in cabin. Extra battery lanterns are available for use at CRC.

For the Elements:

Sun screen and lip cream (30 spf),
Sunglasses and sun hat,
Wool or fleece sweater, hat and gloves,
Windbreaker,
Rain gear for body, head and feet.

For Hiking:

Sturdy, well broken in hiking boots and extra socks,
Daypack,
Reusable lunch bag (you can purchase one at CRC),
Hydration system or water bottles (quart or liter size),
Shirts and pants for all temperatures,
Emergency whistle,
Guidebooks and maps,
Camera (make sure the battery is charged),
Personal first aid kit (bandages, ace bandage, moleskin, bee sting kit, antibiotic ointment).

3. How strenuous are the hikes?

Each day, led hikes are offered by AMC certified leaders. The hikes vary in length and difficulty and can accommodate the abilities of most hikers. The hike leaders are knowledgeable about the trails in the nearby area and can suggest trips for those wishing to hike on their own. For the led hikes, car-pooling to the trailhead is encouraged.

In addition, during most weeks a naturalist hike leader will lead hikes focusing on the natural world around CRC.

During each week, a guided canoe/kayak trip is offered on either the nearby Androscoggin or Saco Rivers, interest, weather and river conditions permitting. The canoes/kayaks are rented from a local outfitter and there is an additional charge for this event. A guided hike will also be offered.

4. Are young children welcomed at Camp?

Yes, absolutely.  When we think of Cold River as being a family-oriented camp, we mean the whole family.  There is a long standing tradition of multi-generational families being comfortable at CRC.  With great variety in terrain –  a blueberry playing field visible from the porch, a grass lawn for playing soccer and other games, a shallow swimming river all dammed up, a lovely nature trail in camp, camp roads for beginning bike practice, swings and a sandbox as well as the  children's  corner in the Lodge that supplies books, puzzles, and traditional board and card games to play at the tables after dinner – CRC is a great chance to get reacquainted with grandchildren and grandparents who might not live next door. Or, maybe siblings and their families all apply the same week to have a central and active reunion time with the support of delicious meals in common and the comfort of cabins. CRC provides an amazing opportunity to be together in the gorgeous White Mountains and to enjoy a quieter pace with time to reconnect as a family and with the natural world.

CRC provides a special Junior Naturalist Program for children up to the age of twelve to discover more about the environment around camp. Junior naturalist badges are awarded during the much anticipated all-camp, all-age  Talent  Night. Camp trip leaders provide family-oriented hikes to places like the nearby mines or ponds, which are great places to work on Junior Naturalist Program badges.

In the spirit of maintaining our positive community camp experience for all and for safety, children are required to be supervised by an adult at all times, including mealtimes and camp led outings like those mentioned above. Parents are, of course, responsible for their children's health, safety, and happiness – that part is just like at home.

Note that with the exception of two cabins (Tower and Barracks), electricity and toilet facilities are not available in the cabins, but in several separate bath/shower/toilet facilities. For additional information and to discuss what weeks and cabins would best fit your family of any size and any age range, feel free to contact the Camp Registrar.

5. What happens on rainy days?

Rainy days offer a quiet, slower pace from the active sunny day activities. While led hikes will be offered, guests can also enjoy joining others in Conant Lodge to work on a large jig-saw puzzle, curl up with a good book in the woodstove warmed library, catch up on sleep, go antiquing in the nearby towns, or drive over to the No. Conway area for shopping and other activities. Most likely there will be a welcoming fire in Conant Lodge’s fireplace. A table in the Conant Lodge will provide hot and cold drinks during the day for campers remaining in camp.

6. Describe the shower and bathroom facilities

CRC has three central bath and shower facilities conveniently located within camp. The newest, for women, offers four showers with private changing room area, four toilets and a tub in a separate room. This women’s facility also provides a separate full (toilet, sink, shower) handicap access bathroom at the south end of the building. In addition, there is a separate men’s shower facility offering three showers and toilets, as well as a tub. The third facility is located across the camp from the previous two and offers separate, private divisions for men and women each containing two showers with private changing room area and three toilets. In addition, there is a half bathroom (toilet and sink) at Conant Lodge with outside access near the kitchen shed area.

7. Describe the cabins

There are 26 cabins that can accommodate one to six people depending on the cabin. Trees that provide privacy and a sense of being within the natural environment surround each cabin. Half of the cabins are family cabins located along the south side of camp and extending down towards the dam, see map. These cabins are located on a flat area and are designed to accommodate families of up to six people. The other cabins are located along the edge of a ravine with views toward the mountains. While one ravine cabin will accommodate only one person, the other ravine cabins will accommodate two.

In addition, the Barracks and the Tower also offer lodging for up to six people. Each has a toilet, sink and electricity.

Each cabin contains a bed, mattress, pillow, blankets, linens and a set of towels for each person. In addition, each cabin has a closet, bureau or cubbies, chairs, bedside table, kerosene lamp, waste basket, fire extinguisher, smoke detector, and most cabins have a fireplace or wood stove with wood and matches.(see cabin list). The ravine cabins also have decks. A towel change is made part way through each week.

For campers who bring a cooler for keeping drinks or other items cool, the camp has an ice dispenser for guest use.

Cold River Camp will try to accommodate requests for cabins with electricity for guests with health-related needs. However, only a few of the cabins have an outlet and the ability to accommodate such requests cannot be guaranteed. Guests should bring their own battery-operated medical devices.

8. Use of cell phones, laptop computers or other electronic devices?

Cell phone coverage is not available in camp. Coverage is available within a few miles of camp along the state highway. A phone is available in camp for guests that requires the use of a phone card.

The Cold River Camp experience centers on enjoyment of nature and guest interactions, away from the routine of everyday life. Accordingly, our personal electronic devices policy is:

  • Device use in the lodge, the lodge porch, and library is limited to reading.
  • Any form of device communication (voice/text/email, etc., incoming or outgoing) should be done discretely, away from other guests, and away from the lodge, lodge porch and library.
  • Device use for personal entertainment (e.g., watching videos or playing video games) is limited to the guest cabins, and at noise levels unobtrusive to guest passers-by.
  • Cords and device charging are to be kept within the confines of the charging station area in the Rec Hall.
  • Recognizing the occasional need of some guests to communicate with the outside world or to do personal work, Wi-Fi access is available solely for those purposes, as a courtesy, in the area outside the camp office and in the Rec Hall. The Rec Hall is available for quietly doing personal work, shared with other uses, between the hours of 7:30 AM and 9:30 PM and outside of scheduled activities there. The camp office itself is off-limits.

9. What is the camp policy regarding alcohol?

While alcohol is allowed in camp, it must be consumed only in the privacy of your cabin.

10. What is the camp policy regarding firearms?

Cold River Camp is an AMC facility and falls under AMC's prohibition of bearing arms in AMC destinations, which reads as follows: All guests and visitors to AMC Destinations and other AMC facilities are asked to refrain from bearing arms (concealed or revealed) while within the facility or immediate environs for the comfort and safety of all guests. Special exceptions may be made solely at the discretion of the manager/s for hunters or unusual circumstances but only if the comfort and safety of other guests is assured.

11. What is the camp policy regarding pets, therapeutic pets, and service animals?

Service animals are gladly welcomed at Cold River Camp. The AMC's lodging policy at this time does not accomodate any other kind of pet besides services animals - therapeutic or otherwise. As such, campers and visitors are not allowed to bring non service animal pets to Cold River Camp.

12. Can CRC accommodate my special diet?

CRC takes pride in serving appetizing, hearty and healthful family-style meals, and strives to provide a variety of options to appeal to a diversity of guests’ tastes. Due to the nature of our finite kitchen resources, we provide a pre-planned menu for each meal. We cannot prepare a specialty meal for each individual guest.

Typical menus
Breakfast - hot and cold cereal, fruit, an egg dish or pancakes/French toast, often accompanied by a breakfast meat.
Lunch - Variety galore on the trail lunch table, including assorted breads, deli meats, cheeses, PB & J, veggies, fruit and snack items.
Dinner - salad, main entrée, at least one vegetable, bread, and dessert.

Soy milk is available at all meals.

With advanced guest notification we can often meet vegetarian, lactose-free (camp does not provide Lactaid milk; guests are welcome to bring their own to be stored for them), and gluten-free diets (guests with gluten free diets are asked to bring gluten free pasta, bread, and muffin mix for the camp chef to prepare), or can accommodate some food allergies. Please call the camp managers prior to your week in order to discuss accommodating your dietary needs. Please note: ice is available for guest that choose to bring coolers to store their preferred snacks and beverages. .

13. Is there anything for sale at CRC?

Reusable lunch bags, AMC trail guidebooks, CTA trail maps, CRC bandanas, CRC patches, CRC T-shirts, CRC mugs, postcards, stamps, notecards and the Cold River Camp AMC Hiking Guide 7.1 2012.

14. Can I bring a musical instrument?

Yes. Many people bring along something to play at sing-alongs, at pick up jam sessions, or at the traditional Friday night talent show. All instruments are welcome. There is a Yamaha digital piano in the Recreation Hall.

15. Is CRC only available for summer use?

This year, 2015, CRC will be open as a full-service facility from June 27th to August 29th. From August 29th to September 13th it will be open for Extension Season when campers need to bring along their own sleeping bags and towels, and meals will be provided.

Beginning on October 4th, the Winter Cabin (Convent, "C" on the CRC map) will be available for rental (maximum of 6 campers). This facility offers electricity, a toaster, a two-burner hotplate, a heated composting toilet, and a woodstove. Winter Cabin provides a convenient base to explore the area on snowshoes or skis, or a quiet winter retreat for relaxation and observing wildlife. The Winter Cabin closes on May 13, 2016. For reservations go to Winter Cabin.

16. What are the rates?

All-inclusive summer and extension rates cover all meals, lodging, taxes, firewood, ice and support of AMC programs. The daily rate for the use of Winter Cabin is $85/night. For off-season group use see Off-Season for rates.

17. How do I make a reservation for Summer or Extension?

To apply for a reservation, you need both the AMC Reservations Form and the AMC Liability-Waiver Form. Both forms must be filled in and mailed to the registrar to make a reservation. Maximum 10 (ten) names per reservation envelope. The reservation forms postmarked between January 1st and January 31st are processed by lottery. Do not mail before January 1st. Reservation forms postmarked after January 31st will be processed on a space available basis. A deposit if $200/person/week ($100/person for extension season) is required. For payment, only cash or checks are accepted. Camp cannot accept credit cards. Make checks payable to AMC Cold River Camp. Please provide a self-addressed-stamped-envelope for confirmation/reply. Please ensure that each and every person registering has provided an appropriately signed AMC Liability Waiver Form.

July/August reservations are for a full-week, Saturday to Saturday. Partial week reservations will only be accepted after 6/20 with a minimum stay of 2 nights.

Mail reservations from January 1st to June 20th to:
Lois Winkler, Registrar, 17 Southview St., Pleasantville, NY 10570, (914) 747-3194, before 9 PM, please.

Mail reservations after June 20th to:
Managers, Cold River Camp, 32 AMC Rd., Chatham, NH 03813-5201, (603) 694-3291

Last update 6/12/17
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