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Bristol area and possibly more.

New Haven, Missouri
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6 posts
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Bristol area and possibly more.

My husband and I are looking forward to our anniversary weekend away from the kids in the Bristol area. I am VERY excited to FINALLY get to see NH colors. I have read some forums about foliage and it seems we have picked the most popular weekend to arrive. I cannot help that with my anniversary. We are looking for LOCAL eateries that are great and great places for a walk/hike for colors. I was really wanting to go to the white mountains, but it seems many have said that the driving will be terrible due to the influx of "leaf-peppers" like myself. The Kancamagus was my hopes, but I believe I will let that go after reading it is usually bumper to bumper this weekend. Any suggestions on good places for color near Bristol?

Hollis, New...
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1. Re: Bristol area and possibly more.

I don't really know the Bristol area that well, but honestly, pretty much any of the secondary roads should be nice. If you want to go a bit farther afield, consider one of my favorite areas:

Route 104 east to Meredith

North on Route 3, 1 mile to Route 25

East on Route 25, 8 miles to Route 109

North on Route 109, a few miles to Center Sandwich and Route 113

East on Route 113 to North Sandwich and Route 113A

East on Route 113A to Tamworth and rejoin Route 113

East on Route 113 to Chocorua and Route 16

Although 16 might have a good bit of traffic, by staying on it just a short distance in either direction you can:

See the iconic view of Mt. Chocorua across Chocorua Lake--turn north on 16, and look for the turn-off on the left just before you get to the lake

Take Route 171 along the base of the Ossipee Range, past Castle in the Clouds--turn south on 16 and go 14 miles to Route 28 in Ossipee, then a mile south to 171; 171 west to where it merges with Route 109; 109 to Route 25; west on 25 back the way you came

Have a good weekend, and happy anniversary.

Westerville, Ohio
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2. Re: Bristol area and possibly more.

As for the Bristol area take any of the roads around Newfound Lake and you should enjoy the ride and color.

New Haven, Missouri
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3. Re: Bristol area and possibly more.

Thank you wpsaukee and dav4844!!! I really appreciate the information. Thank you for the happy wish.

Antrim, New...
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4. Re: Bristol area and possibly more.

You are coming a long way from Missouri. I would not dismiss the Kancamagus or the White MOuntains, in general, so fast. I don't live in that area, so I am not directly familiar with how bumper to bumper it is. But I am originally from NY City, and bumper to bumper is the Long Island Expressway, or the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago, at rush hour. Everything else is nearly child's play in comparison. The times I have been up there in this season (it has been a few years) I have never found the crowds oppressive or discouraging. Just busy. Wpsaukee and Dav4844 both had very good suggestions, and no doubt you will have a great experience in NH without getting to the Kanc.

I'd be interested in the perspective of others who live or spend a lot of time in that area.

Georgia
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5. Re: Bristol area and possibly more.

I didn't catch the exact dates that you are coming. I suspect that the northern part of the Whites will be a bit past peak if you are talking the weekend of the 19th, not done but a little. The colors south of the White's (wpsaukee's suggestions of Meredith, Castle in the Clouds and the drive around Tamworth) will be closer to "peak". Of course "peak" is a bit relative -- color against greener trees vs. color against barer trees.

Anyway, I have to agree with Nextstop, if your hope was the Kanc, then by all means do it!!!

As for traffic, avoid downtown North Conway, in fact Conway north to N. Conway on 16!!! Any weekend in autumn is horrible. If you happen to be doing the 112(i.e., Kanc)/302/93/16 loop, it would bring you thru N. Conway and Conway. The secret is "Westside Road", just check it on googlemaps!!! It goes from downtown Conway to Glen which is well north of N.Conway. The other secret road is Passaconaway Road (I've seen it called Dugway road as well). It heads south (or west) off of Westside Road, appx 2 miles west of Conway. It's a really nice backroad that leads to Covered Bridge right on the Kanc. Knowing those 2 roads will help you avoid both N.Conway and Conway!!!

You will likely see traffic coming thru Lincoln. It may take you 15-20 minutes to travel that 4-5 mile stretch before getting onto the Kanc.

The other jam is on the opposite side of the Kanc in Conway. The Kanc heads west from route 16 a few hundred yards south of downtown Conway (and a few hundred yard south of that Westside Road BTW). I've seen it backed up for a few miles south of that turn off onto Route 16. Appx 3 of every 10 cars seems to turn onto the Kanc, the other 7 press on trying to get to N.Conway.

The key for both Conway and Lincoln and getting onto the Kanc is to GET THERE EARLY, before 9 or 10am should do it.

Personally, I'd get on Route 93 out of Bristol early, drive to Lincoln and get on the Kanc headed east. Stop at Sabbaday Falls (short walk), stop at Rocky Gorge and Lower Falls and Covered Bridge. I'd then take that Passaconaway Rd to Westside Rd and visit Cathedral Ledge. Then either continue on Westside to 302 and then around the loop getting back to Franconia Notch and Lincoln - maybe visit The Flume.

OR forget Passaconaway Rd and press on eastward to the end of the Kanc, then south on Rt 16. You have to stop at Chocorua Lake and view the mountain - this is my favorite place in the mountains! Then follow wpsaukee's suggestion to drive around Tamworth. Beautiful country roads, small towns and off the beaten track. I love Castle in the Clouds too. Then it's just dealing with traffic in Center Harbor and Meredith, etc....

My 2 cents worth.... Don't avoid the Kanc!!!

Kevin

Georgia
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6. Re: Bristol area and possibly more.

Wow, post 1001, woo woo!!! I hope it was a good one.

Boston...
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7. Re: Bristol area and possibly more.

To add to Kevin's post, another good way to bypass traffic from 302 to the Kanc is to take Bear Notch road. There are plenty of scenic overlooks, too.

New Haven, Missouri
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8. Re: Bristol area and possibly more.

Thank you all for your posts. We went over Columbus Day weekend. It was absolutely fantastic. It was even more than I had dreamed of for so many years. The color was gorgeous. Our landlord, who was born and raised there, was exceptional with his hospitality and suggestions. Not a single suggestion was bad. He kept us away from the crowds, which there didn't seem to be much in Bristol that weekend. We walked the Corp of Engineers Old Hill Village road. We spent an entire day out there following the road and horse trails. We saw a beaver, hornet's nest, deer, turkey, and very few people. We saw LOTS of falls that were breathtaking. We drove around Newfound Lake and visited Sculpture Rocks. Sculpture Rocks is nature showing off its canvas. Absolutely amazing! We enjoyed several fantastic local restaurants. I am so thrilled with the area we are definitely going back again.

Westerville, Ohio
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9. Re: Bristol area and possibly more.

So glad to read you had a fantastic visit and do come back as there are many more experiences for you to enjoy in NH.

10. Re: Bristol area and possibly more.

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