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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.
    Brett

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,299

    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.

    AZBuck

    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
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,720

    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.

    Brett

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,720

    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
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,299

    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.

    AZBuck

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