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  1. #1
    Roundwood Guest

    Default New England In The Fall

    I know it is early, but when I outline my thinking I think all would agree reservations must be made early or we will be sleeping in tents. I have two friends from England arriving in Boston late next September. They would like to see New England in the Fall. My initial thinking is to start in Boston, go to Kennebunkport, Boothbay Harbor, then West driving on NH 112 to Mt. Washington, West through Vermont to Burlington, then South to Deerfield. What I would like is some suggestions on what to see along the way, what to keep and see and what to by-pass. I am not overly familiar with 21st Century New England and I need all the help I can get. All advice is appreciated.

  2. Default Experts!

    A couple of our regular posters are very familiar with New England, and they will see this soon and give you some great information (so keep checking back). Meanwhile, you might try the search function with some key terms and see what is here from days past -- it's a frequent topic. Welcome to the RTA forum! Bob

  3. #3


    I understand the "leaf peepers" usually come out in force this time of year, so yes, reservations would be a good idea! I recently took a more southernly route through New England and traveled Route 9 through VT and it was incredible. The Kankamagus Highway (112) is supposed to be one of the great road trip routes. Here are some websites that, in addition to this page, might be of some interest to you:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Vermont suggestions

    You could visit Stowe and drive through the Green Mountains. Mt Mansfield is a great hike if you're into that kind of thing. Be sure to stop at Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury for a free tour and get some goodies. Visit the state house in Montpelier. In Burlington, the Church street market place is a very popular place along with the waterfront parks. If you like covered bridges, head north and take SR118. For nice mountain, lake views and country scenery, drive SR105 and SR114. Newport, by the side of Lake Memphremagog is a cute town to stop for a pic-nic. In Derby Line visit the Haskell Opera House which was built right on the border of US and Canada. 60% of the building is in Rock Island, Que and the other 40% is in Derby Line Vermont. A red line on the floor indicates where the border is. If you feel like eating junk fook, cross the border into Stanstead, go to Steve's pizzeria and ask for a slice of cheese and a poutine (french fries with gravy and cheese curds).

    Last edited by Quebec Gen; 10-14-2005 at 05:09 AM. Reason: added links

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


    Absolutely make reservations for this time of year - you don't want to sleep in tents when it gets down to 35 degrees at night in September/October. It gets colder than that in the Northern reaches...brrr!

    Your route sounds like a good one. Spend a day in Boston, you won't regret it. Great food in the North End, and lots of history (okay, so it's Revolutionary War history and they're from England, but still...) I'd recommend the Kancam agus Highway, too. For a man-made site, US-302 goes right by the Mount Washington Hotel. You could try for a couple of rooms there, but I bet it would be quite pricey :-)

    Maryland is known for its crab, and Maine is known for its lobster (ayuh). I haven't been up in a couple of years, so my memory fails me of the favorites, but there's sure to be a good place to eat there.

    Anywhere in the White Mts. of NH (holy granite) and the Green Mts. of VT is a nice ride, and VT-100 is often called the best ride in the state. For something a little quirky, there's the American Fly Fishing Museum in Manchester, which is also home to Hildene. I also enjoy VT-9, and can recommend it without reservation.

    If you have the time, come into MA from VT and get on MA-2 in Willimastown, go through North Adams and along the section known as the Mohawk Trail. From this road you can get to Deerfield. While you're there, stop at Magic Wings butterfly conservatory on US-5, or Yankee Candle. For a good breakfast in the area, try Taylor's on Main St. in Greenfield.

    There will be many, many photo ops on your journey. There are, of course, the oft-photoed "white steeple nestled in the hills" towns, especially in VT and NH, but if you're like me, you'll also enjoy various forms of architecture unique to the area. You will find many abandoned dams and mills, most of the dams having been put out of operation by early last century, and most of the mills having closed from the 1960s - present. It adds a transitional aspect to the timelessness offered by the aforementioned images.

    A couple of road safety tips: Keep an eye out for moose. More have been sighted around here as of late, and they are not small animals - 7 feet at the shoulders - unless you have a Peterbilt, they'll come through your windshield. VT and NH roads generally have higher speed limits than MA (which has mostly low limits), ie a road in MA that is 30-35mph will be 50-55mph in those states (traffic, population density, etc. of the road being relatively equal).

    21st century New England? Nay, us Puritans will have none of that future talk! Now, off ye, to the stockade, lest thou be proven a witch! :-) (Hey, Salem could be a stop, too!)

  6. Default Opportunity Knocks!

    Timbo said: A couple of road safety tips: Keep an eye out for moose. More have been sighted around here as of late, and they are not small animals - 7 feet at the shoulders - unless you have a Peterbilt, they'll come through your windshield.
    All this talk of large animals brings out the driving instructor in me -- one of the biggest dangers is encountering a large animal at night. You have three variables to play with; lights, speed and alertness.

    Normal reaction time for a person, if alert and ready for the unexpected, is about 1/2 to 3/4 second -- but if non-alert (like in daydreaming), up to a second and a half, or MORE.

    Headlights on low beam illuminate only about 225 feet of roadway, high beams about 340 feet (give or take).

    Finally, speed can easily become a factor as it can have a major effect on distance covered during reaction time. NHTSA has stated that the maximum safe speed on a two-lane unlit highway at night is 45 mph. When was the last time you saw anyone driving at 45mph on such a highway?

    At 60 mph, on low beams, and especially if you are not totally alert, you may have as little as 1 to 1 3/4 seconds to decide what to do and evade the collision when that moose steps into your path at the limits of your headlight range. Even at 45 mph, low beams, and if you are not alert, you won't have much more time than that.

    But with BRIGHT lights, and an alert reaction time (no more than 3/4 second, you have in the neighbiorhood of 3 to 4 seconds for response. That's still not much, but it could be enough as long as the moose doesn't double back on you or otherwise surprise you with some antler-headed move. Antler-headed is, of course, similar to "boneheaded" for a human.

    Is it any surprise that thousands of these large animals are killed by motorists each year? In 10% to 20% of these collisions, if I remember my stats correctly, some human occupants of the vehicles are also fatally injured. So be careful out there! Slow down, stay alert, and keep your bright lights on as much as you possibly can. Uncle Bob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Moose and friends

    I think you are most likely to meet a few deers than a moose in New England, but both can be very dangerous! Another thing to remember is that headlights can play some kind of hypnotic spell on animals. Sometimes, even if they see a car approaching they'll freeze right there. A good thing to do to scare them away besides honking is to dim your lights a few times or put them off and on. Even at very low speed, be careful if they're still on the road. I was on my way home once and I saw a bunch of young deers right in the middle of the road, I slowed down but they didn't move. They looked like they were hypnotized by the light and I should've dim them. I stopped a few feet from one and suddenly he jumped straight on the hood!! I had to replace the hood AND the radiator...

    they are not small animals - 7 feet at the shoulders -
    Oh, so you're talking about the cute little ones (eh?:o) Seriously, these animal are huge and some more than others! They are usually not agressive at all but when it's love season, watch out!

    Great suggestions Timbo, I might try some of them myself!


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    Thanks for the timely reminder about encountering these animals on the road. Last year, I was driving a country road in the dark and was definitely driving on auto-pilot. For some reason, the idea that there could be deer/elk on the road popped into my head and I shook off the fog and became vigilent in scanning the road and areas along the side of the road for movement. Several minutes later, a deer jumped out onto the road. If I had still been in auto-pilot, I'm sure I would have smacked right into it. My guardian angels were definitely watching out for me that night. Especially since I happened to be driving our '75 Old Beetle. Not much protection for people in that tin can, you know.

    I know someone who honked at a few deer once causing one of the deer to jump on his hood just like Gen described. Strange. Did the horn spook the deer into attacking the car? I have no idea. Another friend had an elk run into the back corner of her car. The elk had been crossing the road in front of her. She slowed down for it to pass and then kept on going. The deer ran into a fence and, apparently, was spooked by that and ran back out onto the road as she was almost past it. I'm not sure that there is any one right way to deal with this situation.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default More on New Englan in the Fall

    First some comments on your routing. I think that the drive to the top of Mt. Washington is well worth the time, but if you do this, then it's probably not worth backtracking all the way to Conway to cross the White Mountains by way of the Kankamagus Highway (NH-112), especially as this would require that you drive through North Conway twice (ughh!) You're probably better off only coming back down NH-16 as far as US-302 and taking that up through Crawford Notch to the west. Enjoy both the state park in the notch and the lovely town of Bethlehem at the junction with US-3.

    Between Burlington and Deerfield, you have a choice of two basic routes. You can stick to the Interstates (I-89 and I-91) or you can use VT-100 from Waterbury to Wilmington before cutting over to I-91 to complete the journey. I highly recommend VT-100. It is the quintessential New England two lane blacktop through some of the most charming towns in the region. It will take considerably longer than the big roads, but New England in the fall should not (indeed, given the number of leaf peepers, cannot) be about speed runs.

    Secondly, some lesser known, but worthwhile stops. Others have hit most of the high spots. Your choice of Boothbay Harbor as a place to see the rock-ribbed coast of Maine is a good one, but be sure to continue on down the peninsula via ME-27 and ME-238 to Newagen to see it all. Another worthwhile stop is the town of Plymouth, VT. The attraction here is that this was the hometown of Calvin Coolidge, and the entire town is now an historic park, frozen in time in the 20's. It is just the place to take a New England Fall walk.


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