The Path Less Traveled
Beyond the scenic interstates, the bustling urban centers, and vibrant small towns, there exists a whole other New England to discover. Here, you’ll find winding and welcoming backroads, hills and hollows, farms and fields, streams and stately maple trees. How do you find these things? It’s easy, really: Just slow down, and take the path less traveled.
The contest for most scenic road in New England has many worthy contenders, but perhaps none more so than New Hampshire’s Route 112, otherwise known as the Kancamagus Highway (or “the Kanc” for short). This narrow, winding, 56-mile stretch of blacktop runs from east to west, connecting the close-knit communities of Bath and Conway by way of the White Mountain National Forest. Prepare for awe-inspiring scenery, with numerous pull off options from which to soak in the views.
One Good Turn
Is it really possible that a single hairpin turn in the mountains of western Massachusetts is worthy of recognition? Oh, yes, and then some. The hairpin turn on Route 2 just outside the town of North Adams is part of the 63-mile Mohawk Trail, and sits at 1,700-feet of elevation, offering stunning views of the Hoosac Valley, and Mount Greylock (Massachusetts’ highest mountain summit). Just be sure to park before taking in the sights, ok?
Moose on the Loose
Maine is home to an estimated 75,000 of these majestic creatures. Mature bulls can top 1,000 pounds, with antlers that span six feet, so drive slow and keep your eyes peeled.
A Reason for Every Season
What’s the best season to explore New England’s backroads? The easy answer is fall, when the leaves are at the peak of their annual turning. But every season brings its charms, from maple sugaring in March, to summer cruising, and the quiet beauty of winter. One word of advice: You may want to stay clear of unpaved roads during the month of April, when the roads are thawing from winter’s long freeze, creating one of New England’s “other” seasons: Mud season.
Nothing exemplifies New England’s unique medley of history, beauty, and functionality better than her many covered bridges, the majority of which are still in service after a century or more. You’ll find covered bridges in all six New England states, but New Hampshire boasts the most: There are 60 covered bridges in the Granite State, including the longest in the country, the 449.5-foot Cornish-Windsor bridge, which spans the Connecticut River, connecting New Hampshire and Vermont.