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Bar Harbor to White Mountains - which route?

Cape Town
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Bar Harbor to White Mountains - which route?

On Monday 26 September, as part of a New England roadtrip I'm driving from Bar Harbor to Stowe, VT via the White Mountains. I have decided to stop over for a night in the White Mountains so that we may (if weather, time and our willingness to spend any more time in the car allows) drive up Mt Washington.

When I originally mapped the route on Google maps, it suggested I take Rt 2. I am now also looking at taking route 95 down and then going via the Conway area. Google Maps says there is only 30 mins difference between these 2 routes? Is this correct or is one likely to take longer? Are both scenic or would you recommend one over the other. We are unlikely to make any tourist stops as its a long days drive - so stops along the way not important - just the drive itself.

Edited: 27 August 2011, 09:09
Lunenburg, Canada
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1. Re: Bar Harbor to White Mountains - which route?

Goeie Middag Kaapstad!

If I were me, I wouldn't take US-2, for this reason:

I'd want to maximize my time in the White Mountains region. If you go by way of US-2, you might be tempted to plow on without exploring the White Mountains. Instead, I'd first to go to North Conway, NH (famous for its tax-free outlet store shopping!), then turn northward.

Your only trouble will be selecting which route to follow after that. You could continue northward on NH-16. You'll have a spectacular choice of a journey to the top of Mount Washington, at 1,917 meters the highest, and windiest, point in the northeast, and likely very cold. (There's a cosy visitor center at the top if you don't bring warm clothing.) You can drive up the exceedingly narrow paved road, or take a tourist train ride.

Or, instead of NH-16, you can follow US-302. It passes Bretton Woods, a famous old resort hotel at which they held the 1944 conference that established our current system of international trade.

Or, you could strike out due west on the Kancamagus Highway, NH-112, a scenic route with a couple of look-offs. I've driven it several times, and I think it over-rated in tourist lore. but there's only one way for you to find out for yourself!

If you had the time, you could easily do all three, and use I-93 to circle back. US-3, which runs parallel to I-93, is the home of famous scenery of its own, like the Flume Gorge and, once upon a time, the Old Man of the Mountains rock formation, beloved of Hampshiremen for its vague resemblance to a stern-looking stone face. The Old Man fell down, however, about eight years ago, leaving only a lakefront walk where you can stroll and imagine how he used to look!

You can still see what the Old Man looked like on any New Hampshire car. The Old Stone Face is emblazoned on New Hampshire license plates and lots of other things too.

Happy travels!

David

capetien10@gmail.com

Cape Town
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2. Re: Bar Harbor to White Mountains - which route?

From what I can see there has been quite a bit of flooding damage to these routes - looks like part of route 2 is closed as well as the section between Gorham and Mt Washington. Is there any place I can updates on which routes are closed so I can see if this journey is still possible?

Lunenburg, Canada
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3. Re: Bar Harbor to White Mountains - which route?

I'd be surprised if major routes are still closed four weeks after the storm. If they should be, there will certainly be detour signs well in advance.

The worst flooding was in Vermont, rather than New Hampshire.

David

Southern Maine
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4. Re: Bar Harbor to White Mountains - which route?

If you're sick of the car when you reach Mt. Washington, you could ride the cog railway:

http://www.thecog.com/

You could also utilize one of the guided tours and leave the driving to someone else:

http://mtwashingtonautoroad.com/guided-tours/

5. Re: Bar Harbor to White Mountains - which route?

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