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  1. #1

    Default Buffalo-Vermont/Massachussetts/Hartford

    Hey all,

    I'm in the middle of planning a northeastern roadtrip in early November and needed to get a few pointers.
    First up, we are flying to Buffalo on Friday Nov. 3rd. My sister is a huge Bills fan and I'm a rabid Packers fan and we've been saying for the last three years that we'll go see them when play each other.
    So Saturday we are gonna be around Buffalo and plan to spend the day seeing Niagara Falls.
    Sunday we are goin to the game.
    Monday we start driving eastward. On this day we plan on seeing the Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. at this point I have us staying in Bennington, VT.
    Tuesday we are gonna spend the day around this area seeing the covered bridges and working our way towards Hartford, CT (Not really planning on staying here this night).
    Wednesday is up in the air. Got any western Massachussetts ideas?Connecticut? Vermont? New Hampshire?
    Thursday we fly out of Hartford.
    The main thing I am concerned about is the weather. Does this region on average start getting snow this early in November? Or should we be a be to make this run without a problem?
    Next up, is the fall foilage still happening, or is that more Sept./Oct?
    And last, what are the can't miss sites and stuff to see? Some stuff I want to see but am not sure I can incorporate are: Croton Falls, NY, Bash Bish Falls in Mass., and Saratoga Battlefield in New York.
    We are interested in seeing scenic areas, mountains, waterfalls, historical sites, covered bridges, and as always, I'll try to sneak in some fishing time.

    Thanks in adavnce.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Triple Play?

    There seems to be an emerging sports theme to this trip, let's see if we can't keep it going. Since you're flying in to Buffalo, there probably isn't time to backtrack to Canton for the Pro Football Hall of Fame (about four and a half hours each way). but you could, in your swing through western Massachusetts, hit the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. Besides that, your best bets for that general area are to wander along the Mohawk Trail. For some more history, consider the Bennington Battlefield and Museum.

    My rule of thumb when I lived in Maine was: First snowfall in mid-November; Permanent winter cover by mid-December. So I think you should be fine, but there is always the outside chance of a freak storm. As far as color goes, early November is getting late. There may be some color left, but it will be a week or two past peak. You'll do better if you can get down to the eastern Connecticut coast, say around Mystic, but that's getting to be pretty far to go.


    BTW - Great name for a Packer Backer. Say hello to the spirits of Bart and Fuzzy, Curly and Vince for me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Colors

    The past couple of years, the colors haven't been very vibrant in MA until early November. Farther North, maybe, but (and to my surprise) it has been quite late, so if that continues, you may be in luck. The snow has been holding off as well. The past couple of years have been near non-events as far as that form of precipitation is concerned.

    It has been raining...A LOT (at least up until two weeks ago - I just got back from a long trip).

    Bash Bish falls is a nice visit, add to that you'll be visiting one of the most out-of-the-way towns in Massachusetts (Mt. Washington, a place many of my friends from here assume is the one in New Hampshire). If the rain continues, there should be a good flow, too. The hike in is fairly easy, FYI.

    For scenery, the Quabbin is always a safe bet, as is the aforementioned Mohawk Trail (both the actual trail and MA route 2, which I would say is a don't miss), the Holyoke Mtn. range, which is unique, for the area anyway, as it is East-West oriented.

    VT-100 has been a favorite road for a long time, and I've found VT-9 to be enjoyable as well. US-7 is still up there, but that could be nostalgia for me :-)

    For lodging as you head from VT to CT, your best bet will be along the I-91 / US-5 corridor, though the Berkshire area should be able to accommodate you - the price may be higher due to foliage seekers.

    As an aside, where are you flying in from?

    If anything else comes to mind, I'll post again.

  4. #4

    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the great tips and suggestions. It didn't even dawn on me that the Basketball Hall of Fame is in Mass. I defintely wanna check out the NFL Hall Of Fame, but I've always had it planned that I'll visit it for the first time the weekend Brett Favre gets enshrined. The Mohawk Trail sounds pretty cool. I'll actually be flying in fron San Diego, possibly Sacramento if I get the promotion I'm seeking at work this month
    Here is a tentative gameplan I have come up with. Let me know if you have any suggestions or more scenic routes.
    I'll start on Monday leaving Buffalo to Cooperstown.
    Looks like the bulk of this is on I-90 and about 25 miles down NY-28.
    From Cooperstown I'd like to see the Saratoga Battlefield and sleep in Bennington that night, but I don't think I'd be able to do all that before nightfall, so I guess I'll just drive the 111 miles from Cooperstown-Bennington where we'll bed down.

    Now Tuesday is what I'm having trouble planning. From here I'm not sure what I want to see. Defintely check out the covered bridges and Bennington Battlefield. What would I be best off doing after that? I'd like to travel across the New Hampshire border so I can knock another state off my list, but if I do this, going to Springfield and Bash Bish Falls is out of the way. This night I can stay anywhere as long as I can make it to Hartford to bed down Wednesday night.
    Should I scoot across Southern Vermont and New Hampshire then zig zag back towards western Mass to hit Springfield and Bash Bish, sleeping somewhere in Mass, Then waking up Wednesday, driving to Bash Bish Falls, and working our way to Hartford, which isn't very far. Is there anything to check out in Western Connecticut? Or in Hartford for that matter? I was thinking maybe we could check out Croton Falls, NY which is about 70 miles from Bash Bish, then another 70 miles back to Hartford.

    Seems like there's all kinds of little roads to drive around here and I'd love to see as much as I can see even if it is a breakneck pace and taking routes that don't make much sense when it comes to direction over the last couple days.

    Thanks again for the help.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Halls of fame

    Adding to your sports theme - the soccer hall of fame is in Oneonta, NY, and the volleyball hall of fame is in Holyoke, MA (very close to Springfield).

    It's unfortunate your route won't take you onto I-88, which is really a beautiful ride.

    Just another FYI - Robert Frost is buried in Bennington, VT. I actually found this out whilst at a B&B about 7 years ago - I took an early morning walk to the monument, and happened upon the graveyard where he is interred.

    Hartford (the insurance capital) has the Mark Twain House, and it's close to Foxwoods, if you're into that sort of thing (it is claimed to be the largest casino in the world).

    Western CT has a lot of nice scenery. MA 57, MA 23, and US-20 (West of Westfield) are really nice as well.

    If anything else comes to mind, I'll add it here!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default More ToDos

    Just a few thoughts...

    NY-80 is a very scenic little road from Cooperstown to Fort Plain. Also have a look at using NY-5 and NY-67 rather than the Thruway and Northway over to the Saratoga Springs area.

    Your best locations for covered bridges in southern Vermont are along VT-67A northwest of Bennington, and north of Wilmington off VT-100. Be sure to get the official state map which shows all of them. There are not quite as many as there are farther north in the state.

    One thing to keep in mind during your planning for and travels in New England is how much smaller these states are than what you're used to out west. You could, on Tuesday, cross southern Vermont on VT-9 (another scenic road) to Brattleboro, and then drive down the eastern (New Hampshire) shore of the Connecticut River valley on NH-119 and NH-63 into Massachusetts. Then either I-91, or MA-10/MA-63/MA-47 will get you to Springfield. After the Basketball Hall of Fame, the Mass Pike and US-7 will take you to Bash Bish Falls. That entire journey is only 175 miles, and leaves you only 60 miles from Hartford.

    Northwestern Connecticut is one area of New England where I have not spent a lot of time, but I'm sure all those back roads are lovely. There is a covered bridge in West Cornwall and US-7, US-44, and CT-4 all rate 'scenic' designations in my atlas.

    I have toured the Mark Twain House that TimboTA suggested and found it quite fascinating. Two smaller scale (and lesser known) things you might also consider, depending on your predilections are Dinosaur State Park where you can make plaster casts of real dino foot prints (buy your own plaster of paris at a local hardware store) and the historic Rocky Hill-Glastonbury ferry. Both of these sites are just southeast of Hartford.


  7. #7

    Default Saratoga

    I'm currently trying to map this with some of your guys suggestions..I've got it figured that I'll sleep in Bennington, Springfield, and Hartford. The main issue I'm having at this point is seeing the Baseball Hall of Fame and Saratoga Battlefield during a drive from Buffalo to Bennington.
    Buffalo to Cooperstown is about 4 hours according to Mapquest (which isn't always accurate).
    Cooperstown to Saratoga Springs (do I need to go to this town to see the battlefield?) is close to 2 hours and Saratoga to Bennington is about an hour. If these times are aproximate, I could leave Buffalo about 5 a.m. and arrive in Cooperstown when the HOF opens at 9. I'm sure its gonna take 2-3 hours to tour this, especially if there is interactive stuff (I spent an hour easily at the Reds HOF and I'm not even a fan of their team). So if I leave here around 12 that puts me in the Saratoga area around 2 p.m. If this can be toured in an hour or so I could be in Bennington before nightfall.
    Is this a do-able leg of this trip?
    Also had a question about the wildlife in the area. Is there a lot of moose and deer out this way? And are they common to see?

    Thanks again,

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts


    In this part of New England, deer are fairly common, moose are less common, though we have been seeing more of them lately (one night, coming back from the emergency room, a moose was standing in the road - I thought I'd have to go back for a moment!).

    Also, more black bear have been seen as well, though I'm always amazed when someone is surprised to see a bear in the woods.

    It looks like your trip puts you right in the heart of hunting season, so the wildlife may be trying to escape to the highway, hitching a ride :-)

  9. #9

    Default Route for review

    Hey guys just came up with a route and wanted to see if you could review it:

    Cooperstown-Saratoga Battlefield...Will drive up through Schuylerville. From here I plan on taking NY-372 to NY-29 and arrive in Bennington, VT.
    After seeing the bridges and battlefield at Bennington I'll head out towards Brattleboro on VT-9. Next we'll cross into New Hampshire on NH-101 and head to Peterborough. We'll then head down NH-119 towards Athol, Massachusetts. Now we jump on MA-2 (which I think is the Mohawk Trail) and west to US-91 and head into Springfield for the night.
    Leave Springfield on I-90 West towards NY, to NY-22, and NY-344 crossing back into Mass. and Bash Bish Falls.
    From Bash Bish we will tak NY-22 to CR-62 into Connecticut then CT-361/CT-4/US-7 to Kent Falls State Park.
    Next I'm planning on heading to Croton Falls, NY via US-7/NY-22/I-64S.
    Then from here I'll jump on I-84E and take the quick ride to Hartford.

    Wednesday is about a 300 mile day with three stops, so if I were to push past Springfield on Tuesday afternoon where would a good sleeping place be between Springfield and Bash Bish? Maybe Great Barrington or Pittsfield?

    Thanks again,
    Let me know if there are any alternate routes from the ones that I've posted that would be more scenic.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Check Those Route Numbers!

    I'm a little unsure of several of your proposed routes...

    Quote Originally Posted by packman
    Cooperstown-Saratoga Battlefield...Will drive up through Schuylerville. From here I plan on taking NY-372 to NY-29 and arrive in Bennington, VT.
    This would be NY-29 to NY-372 and neither of these highways goes as far as the Vermont state line. You'll have to take NY-22 and NY-67 from Cambridge, NY to Bennington, VT.

    Quote Originally Posted by packman
    We'll then head down NH-119 towards Athol.
    NH-119 is an East-West road and will not take you south to Athol. For this you'll want US-202.

    Quote Originally Posted by packman
    ... and west to US-91 and head into Springfield for the night.
    I'm sure you know this, but what you want here is I-91. US-91 is in the western US (Idaho, Utah and others).

    Quote Originally Posted by packman
    From Bash Bish we will take NY-22 to CR-62 into Connecticut then CT-361/CT-4/US-7 to Kent Falls State Park.
    Don't expect CR-62 to be well marked. County Roads in the US seldom are. Expect to have to follow it by street names: Left onto Main St. (US-44) in Millerton; Right onto S. Maple Avenue which will become Sharon Rd.

    Quote Originally Posted by packman
    I'm planning on heading to Croton Falls, NY via US-7/NY-22/I-64S
    I-64 runs from Norfolk, VA to St. Louis, MO and is nowhere near the area you'll be driving in. I-84 is in this area, but there is no I-84S. I-84 is an East-West road, so don't be surprised when none of the directional signs tell you which way is south.

    I love your sense of adventure in deciding to take the smaller roads, but I'd hate to see you get too lost. (A little lost is just fine!)


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