Can think of a couple, depending on which route you decide to take from Brunswick to "the Whites"... might also make a difference "where" you're staying in NH (can't remember if you've told us or not -- too many different threads to keep track of them all)....
Would suggest you think about starting out by going Brunswick to Gray, ME --in Gray, would strongly recommend The Maine Wildlife Park on Rt 26 just north of town -- operated by Maine Dept of Inland Fish and Wildlife and home to almost every species of animal native to Maine (Google Maine Wildlife Park for more details).
From Gray to NH, two options:
Option 1: From Wildlife Park, backtrack slightly south on Rt 26 to Maine Rts 4 and 115 west.... follow ME Rt 115 west to US Rt 302 in Windham. US 302 North through Naples, Bridgton and Fryeburg, ME to Conway, NH -- then on to your lodging destination from there. On this route, in addition to the Wildlife Park, I'd stop at the new lakeside causeway in Naples, perhaps take a ride on the Songo Queen (steamship replica that cruises lake), and, if the timing was right, have lunch at the 302 West Smokehouse barbeque restaurant in Fryeburg (excellent !!).
Option 2: From Wildlife Park, continue north on Rt 26 to Bethel ME; then US 2 west to Gorham NH; then NH Rt 16 south to North Conway area and on to your accommodations. On this route, I'd stop at Shaker Village Museum just off Rt 26 in Poland, ME; Pinkham Notch Headquarters of Appalachian Mountain Club on Rt 16 south of Gorham, NH; base of Mt Washington Auto Road (for more info on sunrise climb if you're still considering it); covered bridge in Jackson, NH; and Swift River rapids just uphill from Jackson village on Rt 16B. This route takes you through two different sections of the White Mountains National Forest and along part of the Androscoggin River Valley, as well as through some of the mountains of western Maine.
Note that most of the stops/attractions listed above can be Googled for more information.
Mainer you are my new favorite person!!! Looks like I need to get my google fired up again :)
Our current itinerary before these suggestions: Brunswick, Franconia Park, Sabbaday falls along Kanc highway, Jackson falls, then up to our hotel in Gorham. The reason we picked Gorham was that it seems closest to Auto Road so that we could have the option of hitting it early evening or sunrise depending on time and weather. Then we head up to Montreal after the White Mountains.
I guess it would have helped if you knew this before, and I'm sorry about the multiple threads, I Just thought it would be easier since some people know different areas than others. I really appreciate all of your help and am looking forward to planning our route in more detail, These are just the types of things we want!!
Nothing wrong with your itinerary (Brunswick, Franconia, the Kanc, Jackson, Gorham) if you still want the Gorham/Mt Washington option.... But have to admit I haven't traveled that particular route often enough to help with en-routes stops because it looks like you're getting to NH by a route more southern than I ususally travel. We use the two I mentioned regularly to get back and forth to the North Conway-Jackson area, picking one or the other depending on mood-of-the-day...
Actually Mainer I think I'm going to change it! I'm going to mostly use option 1.
That Wildlife Park in Gray sounds right up our alley!.
So.... Brunswick, Gray, Fryeburg, (we are both pescatarians, but that smokehouse still looks yummy!) Then Sabbaday, Kanc, Lincon (flume gorge and aerial tramway) then up to Gorham for our night. Then down to Auto Road (we will obviously skip it if the weather is bad) then jackson falls, then up through the mountains to St Johsnbury and some wineries before hitting Montreal.
This will give us like a figure 8 of the whole WM, we know we don't have a lot of time to see such a beautiful area, but will make the most of it!
Your help has been CRUCIAL in helping to solidify my choices.
One question Mainer, you don't seem to be a huge fan of the Mt Auto Road, is this me reading too much into it, or do dislike it, and if so whats the reason? Thanks Again!!!
I don't know what I would do planning any trip without my TA friends!!!
I think the Auto Road is definitely a good itinerary item:
I had not done it for a very long time, but went up it a few years ago on a gorgeous, clear day. The views were great. Remember your warmer clothes for the summit! :-) If you don't wish to drive your own vehicle, there are tours and the train. You can also hike it.
Like your revised "Figure 8" itinerary... will give you a great overview of the area....
Not sure what I said to give you the impression that I'm trying to discourage the Mt. Washington Auto Road.... but certainly apologize to you (and the Auto Road) if I did... I've driven the Auto Road a number of times and absolutely love being up there on a clear day (although I have to admit it's not so much fun when the summit is locked in clouds, the temperature is about 36-degrees Farenheit and the wind is gusting to 40mph or so -- been there, done that, once was enough!). Guess I may have been concerned about you fitting the time for the Auto Road into your schedule. But it sounds like you've found a way to make it work and I'd say: Check the weather (base and summit) and if it looks promising, definitely do it!
On an even moderately clear day, the views will stick in your memory for a long, long time. As CB notes, regardless of the temperatures at the base, remember that you'll need warmer clothes at the summit -- temperature differences of 30 degrees between base and summit are not unusual. Take your time on the way up and back -- it's a scenic adventure, not a race!
But just to make sure we're all on the same page, I strongly recommend the Auto Road experience so long as you have time and weather on your side.
Thanks CB! Mainer, I'm sure you didn't mean to give that impression, I just noticed that you mentioned if it was still our intention a few times....As my hubby says...I'm a woman and we like to read too much into things!! I'm glad you think it's a good idea, and we will be sure to have hoodies and a weather check!!! The more planning I get ironed out, the more excited I get!!!
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