{EXPLORE} THE WHITE MOUNTAINS BY SOPHIE SMITH

We are delighted to have Sophie with us today sharing her own "backyard" exploration. The White Mountains certainly sound like the perfect escape from a bustling city. Thanks for sharing, Sophie!

For the most part, I love living in the city. In Boston, you can walk everywhere: to great restaurants, along the Charles River, through the quaint brick streets of Beacon Hill. There's always something to do, somewhere to go. But sometimes, especially in the summer when the heat sinks in and the humidity slams you in the face when you open the front door, I just need to get out of the city. I crave fresh air, open space and a cool breeze. So, I went to the one place I knew that could provide the escape I was looking for: The White Mountains. The White Mountains in New Hampshire are a great place to go any time of year -- the "leaf peepers" flock there in the fall to see the breath taking colors of autumn. Ski bums head north for the winter for some of the best skiing on the east coast. And in the spring and summer, outdoor enthusiasts pack their backpacks, put on their hiking boots, and trek to the top of the Presidential Range for some of the best views in the North East. Outdoor enthusiast might be pushing it, but I do enjoy the calmness and quiet of nature. On a recent camping trip, my boyfriend and I set out for the Franconia Ridge Loop. We went to the summits of Little Haystack, Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Lafayette. The hike was pretty strenuous, and we weren't completely prepared for the serious change in elevation. However, the views from the top made it all worth it. It was a perfect day for hiking, with a cool breeze and a clear sky -- we could literally see for miles ahead of us at the tops of the mountains. There's something about nature - being at the top of a mountain, walking in the woods with silence all around you, save for the sound of your boots on the path and birds in the distance. It's a welcome escape from reality that is refreshing, rejuvenating and downright necessary, if you ask me.

Yep...we've now added the White Mountains to our must-visit list! Make sure to visit Sophie at Just Live Into It and tell her we sent you!