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May 09. 2013 10:13PM

Lost River Gorge opens for the season on Saturday

NORTH WOODSTOCK - The summer season is steadily arriving in the North Country, and that includes Saturday at Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves, where the 161st season gets underway. The gorge and caves will be open daily through Oct. 20, when weather permits, for self-guided tours.

On Sunday, Mother's Day, every mom gets free admission with the purchase of a child's ticket, and dads get the same special treatment on Father's Day, June 16.

Known for their natural beauty and hidden mysteries, the gorge and caves off Route 112 in North Woodstock are set for a steady parade of visitors.

The Lost River runs high this time of year, thanks to the melting snowpack from the slopes that surround Kinsman Notch. Sound is a big part of the experience for visitors, as the roar of cascading waterfalls echoes through the towering granite walls and glacial caves.

Geologists believe the ancient wonder was formed some 25,000 years ago during the time when receding glaciers revealed what we know today as New Hampshire's White Mountains.

"It's like taking a trip through a geological time tunnel," said Lost River General Manager Kate Wetherell. "Our visitors can see up close how forces of nature worked - and are still working together - to create this unique place. Caves, a river, waterfalls, beautiful scenery ... it's got all that and more."

Lost River Gorge was discovered by brothers Royal and Lyman Jackman in 1852. While on a fishing expedition, Lyman suddenly fell through a moss-covered hole, into a cave (later to be named Shadow Cave), landing waist-deep in a pool of cold, clear water.

The Jackman brothers continued their exploration, finding many more caves. This mid-19th century discovery makes the gorge one of the Granite State's oldest attractions.

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests has been in charge of the site for more than 100 years, and the White Mountains Attractions Association has operated and managed it since 1967.

Visit www.lostrivergorge.com for detailed information and a complete schedule.

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