Rivervail Farm: Where the Elk & Bison Roam!

By Tom Richardson; Photography courtesy Rivervail Farm

Visitors to the Great North Woods region of New Hampshire stand a good chance of seeing moose, deer, and loons on their travels, but few would expect to encounter elk and bison. Yet that’s just what guests and customers, as well as the passing snowmobiler, will find at Rivervail Farm in Errol, New Hampshire! Consider it a slice of western Montana in northern New England.

Established in 1997, Rivervail began raising these big western herd animals in 1997 on 1600 acres of beautiful rolling fields and woods. Current managers Briar and Shery Freak sell the meat—as well as gravel and firewood—to the public from their store on the farm, located on Rte. 26 between downtown Errol and Dixville Notch.

The bison come running when the dinner bell rings!

 

But Rivervail also welcomes guests who wish to stay at their restored farmhouse (the Damm House Inn) and its cozy cabin (the Nook). A third option is a spacious apartment/bungalow called the Hay Loft. No matter which you choose, Rivervail makes a great headquarters for enjoying all sorts of outdoors activities, year-round. The farm has direct snowmobile and ATV trail access, as well as groomed cross-country ski trails, some of which run past the animal paddocks. There’s even a beautiful trout stream (Clear Stream) that flows through the property!

The Damm House Inn.

The Damm House Inn was originally built in the 1800’s by one of the founding families of Errol. The house became the summer home of the large Damm family in the 1970’s. Today, the inn can accommodate multiple guests, for weddings, family reunions, or a weekend getaway. It features 5 well-appointed bedrooms ranging from a single twin to king-size beds, as well as a large eat-in kitchen, formal dining room, and living room. Outside the wraparound porch is great for an afternoon tea or post-activity cocktail, wine or beer.

The Hay Loft is a 1700-square-foot bungalow above the main office of Rivervail Farm. It boasts an open-concept living room, dining room, and kitchen, and features a queen bedroom, two twins bedroom, futon in the living area, a large deck overlooking the farm, and a billiards table.

The Nook, meanwhile, is the perfect couple’s getaway featuring a one-room suite with queen-size bed, futon, dining area, small kitchen and a ¾-bath. The back features a private deck with mountain views. It comes with a gas fireplace, satellite TV, free Wifi, and two rockers overlooking the fields and mountains.

The Nook.