Sean Hurley

North Country Reporter

Sean Hurley lives in Thornton with his wife Lois and his son Sam.  An award-winning playwright and radio journalist, his fictional “Atoms, Motion & the Void” podcast has aired nationally on NPR and Sirius & XM Satellite radio.  When he isn't writing stories or performing on stage, he likes to run in the White Mountains. He can be reached at 

Courtesy - Tomie dePaola via Facebook

Beloved New Hampshire children’s book author and illustrator Tomie dePaola died Monday at Dartmouth Hitchcock in Lebanon after complications from a fall. 

The New London-based artist was 85.

NHPR’s Sean Hurley spoke with New Hampshire storyteller and fellow children’s book writer Rebecca Rule about one of her favorite people and authors.  

Listen to the story:

Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests

Despite Gov. Chris Sununu’s stay-at-home order, which takes effect at midnight Friday night, New Hampshire residents are still allowed -- and encouraged -- to go outside to exercise.

But not every hiking and walking spot is available or safe to use during the coronavirus pandemic, according to conservation groups

Sean Hurley

18 year-old Elisabeth Roadcap is a senior at Milford High.  On Tuesday -- New Hampshire Primary Day -- she voted for the first time in a national election. NHPR’s Sean Hurley has followed Elisabeth’s effort to find a favorite candidate - and spoke with her three weeks ago, met with her again four days ago, and was with her today as she cast her very first vote.   

Editor's note: We highly recommend listening to this story

Joseph Sywenkyj

We’ve been hearing a lot about Ukraine recently. From where it is on the map to its debunked involvement in the 2016 election. Even so, photographer Joseph Sywenkyj says we’ve heard very little about the people of Ukraine.

Sean Hurley

We’ve all thrown pennies in fountains or wished upon stars. In this recollection, NHPR’s Sean Hurley recounts the way his son Sam came up with his own way of wishing - and his own special thing to wish for.

Editor's note: As with all stories by Sean Hurley, we highly recommend listening to the broadcast version

Sean Hurley

Traveling from Concord to Lebanon along Route 4, you’re likely to see people walking or biking on the Northern Rail Trail. While Potter Place Station has been preserved, that 50 plus mile stone dust path is really all that remains of the once thriving Northern Railroad.

Sean Hurley

Owl's Head mountain in Franconia was briefly in the news after a hiker died there last week. Officials say it was a medical emergency made more complicated by the trail's remote location.

Among hikers, Owl’s Head is a regular topic of conversation. To some, it's the best hike in the state....for others, the worst.

NHPR's Sean Hurley has recently set out to reach the summit of all of New Hampshire’s 48 mountains over 4,000 feet. Owl's Head was a natural place to start.

Sean Hurley

The Save A Lot grocery store in Gorham closed its doors earlier this week and Mac’s Whitefield Market will do the same on Sept. 27. While those in Gorham have other nearby options for groceries, NHPR’s Sean Hurley says the loss of Mac’s in Whitefield will hit the town hard.

  Audio File Listen to the radio version of the story here. Edit | Remove


Sean Hurley

When Campton’s Dole Mill closed for good in 1965 it did so as one of the oldest woolen mills in the country. Yesterday, NHPR’s Sean Hurley introduced us to the few people still alive who remember the old mill as it was. In this second half of that story, we meet the new owners, Jessye and Sky Bartlett, and find out how they’ve transformed Dole Mill into what Sky Bartlett describes as a “big place with lots of strange things in it.”  

Sean Hurley

For more than 100 years, the Dole Family ran a profitable woolen mill in Campton, making heavy pants for loggers, and socks and leggings for soldiers in World War II.  The mill has been dormant since 1965, but a few years ago a young local couple bought it and transformed the mill into something unexpected.


In this first story of a two-part series, NHPR’s Sean Hurley takes us inside Dole Mill to tell us what it used to be like in its prime.

via Google Maps

Camping has been suspended along Tripoli Road in the White Mountains due to a family of bears. The Forest Service is hoping to lift the ban soon.

The Forest Service's Steven Beri says the mama bear and her two cubs have become overly comfortable with humans and reliant on human food. 

And bear sightings along the road have risen sharply the past two weeks.

Lois Hurley

Officials continue to investigate the cause of a crash between a pickup truck and 10 motorcycles Friday evening.  Seven people were killed in the crash in the town of Randolph. Throughout the weekend, the crash site drew those who wanted to pay their respects to the victims.

Sean Hurley

Summer is finally here, fish are jumping, and fishing guides are busy.

NHPR's Sean Hurley went out with a couple of guides just before their busy season began and learned some of their secrets.

Ken Gallager

Trails in the White Mountains could be more challenging this holiday weekend. As NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports many still show signs of winter.

It may be summer in New Hampshire but Frank Carus, with the Forest Service,  says most of our taller peaks don’t know it yet. "We've had a lot of snow," Carus says, "and you're going to run into snow anywhere between 3,500 hundred and 4000 feet."

Sean Hurley

In what’s being called the biggest coin drop in American history, hundreds of coin dealers across the country spent the end of April seeding over a million vintage and collectible coins back into circulation. As NHPR’s Sean Hurley tells us, the Littleton Coin Company joined in the Great American Coin Hunt, distributing 50,000 rare coins across northern New England.

Sean Hurley

Mud Season has arrived in New Hampshire, and the snow pretty much gone. But as NHPR’s Sean Hurley tells us, there’s one final snowflake in the forest near his home that won’t be melting any time soon.

A few years back, while walking the path around Smarts Brook with my family shortly before Christmas, we came upon a group of men decorating a tree in the forest.

Ornaments in hand, John Norman and Mike Boisvert told us they were hoping to spread a little holiday cheer.

Sean Hurley

NHPR’s Sean Hurley wasn’t always 52 years old.  Once upon a time he was a little kid, with the time to spend long half-magic days in the woods. In this reflection on then and now, Sean tells us that who he used to be, long ago, is in large part who he still is today.   

Andy Stanford

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the farthest blindfolded field goal is 45 yards, as visionlessly kicked in 2018 by Davis Brief in Hanover. What might be the greatest distance travelled on a unicycle while juggling three objects, you ask? Well, that record would be 12.42 miles, set by Jeremy Walker last year in Wolfeboro. And now, as NHPR’s Sean Hurley tells us, we can add 20-year old Andrew Stanford to the list of Granite Staters in the Guinness Book.

Here’s a little sound test. Ready? Is this a teakettle…or a human whistle?

Sean Hurley

If you’re looking to sleep overnight on Mount Washington in the winter you have two choices.  You can stay at the Hermit Lake Shelters near Tuckerman Ravine - or you can stay at the go-to-spot for winter climbers - Harvard Cabin near the base of Huntington Ravine. But, as NHPR's Sean Hurley learned when he recently spent a night at Harvard Cabin, the pleasures of those winter days are matched by their dangers - and the responsibilities of the two mountain caretakers go beyond simply keeping track of guests.

Wind. Footsteps. White snow.

Jeremy R. Clark

The White Mountains are a legendary playground for hikers. For those who like an extra challenge there’s the New Hampshire 48 – the 48 mountains in the state with elevations over 4,000 feet.

But a new survey is calling almost all our summit elevations into question - and signal a possible change to the famous list of New Hampshire’s 4000 footers.


Sean Hurley

The Forest Service has announced the death of a climber on Mount Washington. Jeremy Ullmann, 37, of Somerville, Mass., died Feb. 10 after a long, sliding fall in the Huntington Ravine area.  

Sean Hurley

With 9 inches of new snow and strong winds expected throughout the day, the Snow Rangers at the Mount Washington Avalanche Center have raised the avalanche threat level to "Considerable" across the Presidential Range and "High" in places like Tuckerman Ravine. "Human-triggered avalanches are likely,” the forecast reads, “and will be large enough to bury and kill a person on open slopes and gullies." As NHPR’s Sean Hurley discovered during a recent visit to Mount Washington, the Snow Rangers don’t mess around - and they don't want you to either.


Sean Hurley

The state’s theatre community gathered together this past Saturday night at the Capitol Center in Concord for the 17th Annual New Hampshire Theatre Awards.  NHPR’s Sean Hurley was at the show and sends us this.

Sean Hurley

The ongoing government shutdown has hit many national parks particularly hard. There are reports of trash and lawlessness at Yosemite and elsewhere. NHPR’s Sean Hurley went to Lincoln Woods to find out how the shutdown was affecting New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest.


Just as Edie Swift finishes a two-mile walk on the Pine Island Trail in the Lincoln Woods, two riders on fat-tired bikes race by. “I don't think it would be very nice on a bicycle on the ice,” she says.

Sean Hurley

In 2011, MIT named Sam Asano one of the most influential inventors of the 20th Century.  His first invention, the portable fax machine, went on to become the worldwide standard.  But there are some problems even inventors can’t solve.

Rewind: The Night the Trees Turned to Glass

Dec 12, 2018
Courtesy nashuavideotours via Flickr/Creative Commons.

Ten years ago this week, an ice storm descended upon New Hampshire. And as so often happens in the wake of such storms communities drew together to find a collective way through the troubles. In this story from the NHPR Archive, NHPR's Sean Hurley visited Francestown and found a microcosm of the experience that affected countless other communities around the state.

Loli Arosemena

In Mandeville, Louisiana this past weekend a New Hampshire man placed third in the world in a grueling endurance competition known as the Deca Man. NHPR’s Sean Hurley has the story.

One of the most difficult races 36-year-old Kale Poland of Moultonborough ever endured was a 500-mile ultramarathon – but that was nothing, he says, compared to the Deca Man, which Poland says is “one of the hardest things in sports and there is no question.”

A Snow Day In Thornton

Nov 16, 2018
Sean Hurley

Classes were canceled at hundreds of schools across the state today – but not everyone in the school system got the day off, as NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports from his hometown in Thornton.

Eric Tyrrell got the call at 5:15 this morning.  No school at Thornton Central. Not for the kids or teachers anyway. But as the Facilities Director at the school, this was a wakeup call.  Time to go to work.

Sean Hurley

Go outside. Get wet. That’s the new way of life it seems here in New Hampshire. With the ongoing deluge apparently unwilling to end, NHPR’s Sean Hurley decided to write a little letter to the rain. 

Dear Rain!

Hello! It’s me. How are you? Well, I gather.

I wanted to apologize for my remarks the other day. Which were insensitive. And loud. And not very favorable as far as you.  But I was upset. And wet. Thoroughly to the bone, both.

Aviation Museum

On a stormy night in October, 1968, a Northeast Airplanes passenger plane crashed into Moose Mountain in Hanover. Tomorrow, the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire will host a program commemorating the 50th anniversary of what remains New Hampshire’s deadliest plane crash. NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports.

The Director of the Aviation Museum, Jeff Rapsis, has a personal connection to Northeast Airlines Flight 946. "One of the people in the crash was the pilot," he says, "who was my father John Rapsis."