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Drag it out: Make cutting down your tree an overnight escape

Snow-covered trees at a Christmas tree farm.verena matthew/onepony - stock.adobe.com

A road trip to scout and cut down your Christmas tree is as much about creating holiday memories as it is about finding that perfect spruce or fir.

In that spirit, here are some of New England’s many seasonal tree farms — and places to stay nearby so you can make an overnight or weekend getaway out of the holiday tradition. Most of the farms open the day after Thanksgiving; hand saws and other tools are typically available at the farm, and often the tree is bundled and loaded on your car for you, too. But best to inquire so you can come prepared.


Snowy wagon rides are part of the holiday fun at The Rocks Christmas tree farm in Bethlehem, N.H. The Rocks


The Rocks

The Rocks is central casting for a holiday movie — horse-drawn wagons, jingle bells, roasted marshmallows by the fire and, the star — a 1,400-acre Christmas tree farm. Even the setting is typecast — it’s located in the little town of Bethlehem. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is run by the Society for the Preservation of New Hampshire’s Forests — you can hike the necklace of groomed trails with Presidential Range views before cutting your own scented fir tree. www.therocks.org


The Christmas Tree Holiday Package at Hampton Inn Littleton includes a Rocks tree (up to 6 footers), fresh wreath, and breakfast. There’s also an indoor swimming pool. Rates begin at $250 per night; available until Dec. 14. Book at www.hilton.com/en/hotels/ltnnhhx-hampton-littleton/.

The 16-room Colonial Revival historic Adair Inn offers the two-night Christmas Tree Package that includes cutting your tree at Rocks, daily breakfast, afternoon fireside tea, and a three-course dinner. Package rates begin at $235 per person; kids age 10 and older. To book, call 603-444-2600; www.adairinn.com

The Hancock Inn in Hancock, N.H.James Reed/Globe staff/file

Hill Top Farm

Cut your tree at this farm in Hancock with wintry views of Mount Monadnock. Then, sip a steamy cider in the warming hut and snag some stocking stuffers, too. The farm opens the day after Thanksgiving, which also happens to be Plaid Friday — wear your plaid scarf or flannel shirt and you’ll get discounts and swag at nearby artisan shops and galleries. Call 603-525-6616 for more information.



Less than a mile from the farm is the 14-room Hancock Inn, which sits pretty in the heart of Hancock village. There’s a fireplace in the sitting room, and a full breakfast is included in the rate, which begins at $99 per night. www.hancockinn.com


Paine’s Christmas Tree Farm

For 60 plus years, this farm in Morrisville, four miles from Stowe, has been the spot for folks pining to cut down their tree, specializing in premier Fraser firs. The farm also sells Vermont-made gifts such as maple syrup, ornaments, and hot drinks. www.painestreefarm.com


Book the O’ Christmas Tree Package at Topnotch Resort in Stowe and you’ll get a wagon ride through Paine’s farm, a tree that you cut (up to 9 feet tall), and a handmade ornament. Break into “O Tannenbaum” at the outdoor fire pit or one of the indoor fireplaces and rent snowshoes and skis from on-site Mountain Ops Outdoor Gear. Rates begin at $179 per night; available through Dec. 20. www.topnotchresort.com

The Upper Valley Tree Farm in Jeffersonville, Vt.The Upper Valley Tree Farm

Upper Valley Tree Farm

Tucked in the valley under the north side of Mount Mansfield in Jeffersonville, this festive tree farm is home to thousands of primarily balsam firs, some Frasers, too, with tree heights up to 12 feet. The farm also sells balsam wreaths and maple syrup. Call 802-434-4762.



Family-owned Sterling Ridge Forest is a log cabin resort tucked in the country woods in Jeffersonville. The resort has partnered with the tree farm, located a few miles down the road, for a Holiday Bundle package — guests receive a Christmas tree voucher at check-in to be redeemed for a tree at the farm. The package also includes a hot chocolate basket with Lake Champlain Hot Chocolate, mini marshmallows, and two Sterling Ridge mugs. Rates begin at $155 per night; the tree bundle package is $85 additional. www.sterlingridgeresort.com

Wolf Cove Inn in Poland, Maine.


Balsam Ridge Christmas Tree Farm in Raymond is one of the Pine Tree State’s sought-out tree farms, on the map for its towering, 9-foot-tall balsam fir, Fraser fir and balsam/Fraser mix trees. A sugarhouse/gift shop features Maine maple syrup and maple butter, and you can sip cocoa by the fire pit on Sundays — Santa is known to swing by on select Saturdays, too. www.balsamridgechristmas.com


In Poland Wolf Cove Inn features 11 rooms and a cabin — and is located within 15 minutes of Balsam Ridge. Some of the rooms feature fireplaces and spa tubs, and rates begin at $119 per night and include breakfast and cookies in the afternoon. www.wolfcoveinn.com

The Briar Barn Inn in Rowley.Erica Ferrone


Less than an hour north of Boston in West Newbury is lovely Crane Neck Christmas Tree Farm, home to balsam and Douglas firs. Note: there are other locations in Rochester, N.H., and a “big tree location” for trees that top 12 feet and weigh 200-plus pounds. www.cranenecktree.com



About 13 miles from the Crane Neck is Briar Barn Inn in Rowley, a stylish, 30-room country inn with an intimate spa, light-filled post-and-beam Grove restaurant, and guestrooms with festive post-tree-outing gas fireplaces. Book the two-night Home for the Holiday package and you’ll get the third night free. Rates begin at $115 per night. www.briarbarninn.com

Laurie Wilson can be reached at laurieheather@yahoo.com.