7 Spectacular Fall Foliage drives in the White Mountains, NH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 1, 2016
CONTACT: Marti Mayne, (207)846-6331 or PR@Mtwashingtonvalley.org
SEVEN BREATHTAKING COLORFUL DRIVES IN MT WASHINGTON VALLEY RECENTLY NAMED AMONG TOP TEN TRAVEL DESTINATIONS IN THE USA
Choose a different scenic drive through covered bridges, past waterfalls, forests and notches each day of the week
North Conway, NH - When TripAdvisor, the largest vacation review site in the world, unveiled its list of Top Ten Foliage Destinations in the USA in 2015 North Conway, NH came in second, topping out places like Asheville, Park City and Aspen. As days grow shorter and cooler, the leaves will begin to turn and now is the time to plan your scenic drive in Mt Washington Valley, NH. Choose a different scenic route each day taking in the glory of fall foliage in Mt Washington Valley.
We’ll start with the granddaddy of scenic drives and continue through the Valley treating you to some lesser known gems of a ride. Keep the camera ready!
Kancamagus Scenic Byway & the White Mountains Trail: While there are many scenic drives in Mt Washington Valley, few are so special they have been designated National Scenic Byways. One such excursion is The White Mountains Trail, one hundred miles of National Scenic Byway through historic villages, across covered bridges, up, down and across mountain ranges, through the 800,000-acre White Mountain National Forest and along the famed Kancamagus Highway. To earn a National Scenic Byway designation the route must be recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation as an All-American Road or National Scenic Byway based on one or more “archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities.” The White Mountain Trail and its adjacent northern and southern loops certainly fit the bill.
Start in Conway, NH and take the Kancamagus Highway (Route 112) off Route 16 and follow to Lincoln, NH, then through Franconia Notch onto Rt. 302, through Bretton Woods and back into North Conway. This is one of the only designated scenic by-way loops in the country. You’ll travel over 33 miles through the White Mountain National Forest, past waterfalls, mountain overlooks, and hiking trails to Lincoln. Keep a watchful eye out, as this is one of the best moose-watching locations! From there, continue through Franconia Notch to view the site of the former Old Man In The Mountains. You can visit the Old Man Museum and the New England Ski Museum and other attractions, then hop on 93 to Rt. 302 and travel south through Bretton Woods, stopping for a free tour of the Omni Mt. Washington Hotel (at 10am or 3:00pm only). Continue through Crawford Notch back to Bartlett. Click here for an illustrated guide and itinerary for enjoying the White Mountain Trail.
West Side Road: A popular alternative to the Route 16 “strip” through North Conway’s business section, the West Side Road starts in Conway, NH and continues up to Bartlett past farms, brooks and famous ledges. Access West Side Road from Route 16 North in Conway, with an outlet in North Conway Village onto Route 16, or continue north to Route 302 in Bartlett. This country road meanders through farmland, past the White Horse and Cathedral Ledges, and past farm stands bearing local produce. The Bartlett section alone is worth the trip for views across the river and the Intervale.
Cathedral Ledge Road: Take this road to the top of Cathedral Ledge for fabulous views over the Valley. Access it from the North Conway-Bartlett section of West Side Road, following signs that clearly mark the entrance. Park at the top and walk out onto the ledge to see all of Mt. Washington Valley before you. This is one of those rare scenic overlooks that you can drive to! Be on the lookout for rock climbers - they might just top out at the top of the ledge.
Jackson Loop: A famous covered bridge and babbling brook make this loop quintessentially New England. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy along the Jackson Falls. From Route 16 North in Jackson, go through the Jackson Covered Bridge to Route 16B. The road loops left just before Black Mountain, then goes left again down Carter Notch Road back to Jackson Village. Scenic spots include the picnic stop along Jackson Falls, historic Eagle Mountain House and the New England Church and gazebo in Jackson Village, not to mention gorgeous scenery along the way.
Eaton/Madison: From Route 16 in Conway, head east on Route 113. You can continue south to Madison or turn left at the lake and go through Snowville. Alternatively, from Route 16 in North Conway, go south on Route 153. Crystal Lake with the little New England white, steepled church is one of the most often requested photos from this area. Take this scenic drive and capture your own photo to remember it by!
Bear Notch Road: You can access this from two outlets - Route 302 in Bartlett and take over to Kancamagus Hwy or from the “Kanc” over to Route 302 in Bartlett. For some, this is considered a by-pass or a way to get from the Kanc back to Route 302. For most it’s considered incredibly scenic. This is also a great location for moose-and-bear-spotting in the early morning or dusk hours.
The Notches: There are three incredibly scenic notches in Mt Washington Valley - Pinkham Notch (on Route 16, past Jackson); Crawford Notch (on Route 302, past Bartlett) and Evans Notch (from East Conway). Each of the notches offer scenic glory and ideal picture taking opportunities. Look for fabulous views of Mt. Washington from Pinkham Notch and gorgeous flowing waterfalls and rock formations.
And talk about a great budget travel idea - Mother Nature's artistry is among the most brilliant works of art in the universe, and this masterpiece can be taken in for FREE! No toll roads, just plenty of majestic beauty with the grand dame of the Northeast- Mount Washington - as the centerpiece. There's still plenty of availability at lodging properties offering everything from budget to grand luxury. But remember, book your reservation soon or forever hold your peep! Call the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-367-3364 (800-DO_SEE_NH) or visit their web site at http://www.mtwashingtonvalley.org for lodging suggestions. . Best of all, you don’t have to wait until fall to view ride these scenic roads. Come any time of year, and witness beautiful scenery in the midst of the 770,000 acre White Mountain National Forest. To learn more about a New Hampshire vacation, visit www.VisitNH.gov.
Scenic drives in Mt Washington Valley: Click here.
Autumn in Mt Washington Valley: Click here.
Photo shown: Canopy Tour at Bretton Woods. Photo by Mark Butterfield. Additional photos upon request. Contact Marti Mayne at PR@MtWashingtonValley.org.
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