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Please help pick NH roads: Londonderry-Concord-Meredith-then to Vermont

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Sep 15th, 2018, 05:50 PM
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Please help pick NH roads: Londonderry-Concord-Meredith-then to Vermont

I'm working out some final details on an upcoming trip from Mississippi to New England, and have really gotten some great advice by reading through the threads on this site, both old and new. I would like to ask for specific routes to take for the leg of our trip that will be from October 8 - 12.
Monday, October 8 will be traveling from Lowell National Historical Park towards Concord, NH. Planning to stop at Mack's Apples near Londonderry and then on to Carter Hill Orchard, and will spend the night in Concord. dfrostnh if I recall correctly, you live in this area so would appreciate your input, as well as everyone else's, as to the best routes to take for fall foliage and other sites that I won't find back home in Mississippi.
Tuesday, October 9 will be traveling on to the Meredith NH area where we will spend two nights. (recommendations needed for scenic day trip on Oct. 10th.)
Thursday, October 11 will head west from Meredith, NH to Vermont--want to visit Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park and maybe Sugarbush Farm or King Arthur Flour before heading south by Saint-Gaudens and spending the night in Brattleboro. (Best routes to take for this?)
Friday, October 12 we will drive south and then east on the Mohawk Scenic Trail through the Berkshires, as we begin to make our way back south to Mississippi.
I followed the advice of several posters and purchased the Delorme Atlas/Gazeteer for New Hampshire/Vermont as well as Massachusetts. Now just need help deciding on roads to ramble. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!!
P.S. Will be leaving Mississippi at end of September. What specific fall foliage sites do you recommend that I monitor so that I can tweak the suggested NH/VT routes once we get there in October?
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Sep 16th, 2018, 05:35 AM
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Carter Hill orchard is nice and is a hawk watch viewing location but I like Apple Hill in Concord (but it's close to exit 17/I93) for their variety of apples and if you go to Gould Hill Farm in Hopkinton NH they also have an outstanding variety of apples (see list on their website), a nice view and hard cider tasting on weekends.
Tuesday Oct 9/Wed Oct 10 - I know everyone recommends the Kancamagus Hwy. It's peak foliage time but since it's a weekday you might avoid traffic by getting an early start east on the Kanc and then south on Rt 16 then west back to Meredith via Tamworth and Center Sandwich. If you pay attention to details you should find a trail marker for Chinook Trail where sled dogs were trained for polar expeditions. Fascinating history. There's a distillery in Tamworth now. Meals at Corner House in Sandwich are usually good. The Sandwich Fair will be over. We have not been to Remick Museum just a bird watching tour around the grounds. It looks like you'll just be missing cruises on Squam Lake which is too bad. We had great recent trip with a naturalist to see loons with Squam Lake Science Center. The Chinook Trail | Tamworth | New Hampshire
For fun, you might try finding the Sandwich Creamery. Tappan chairs are made in Sandwich but it's a tiny workshop, one person operation. Unfortunately historical society will be closed for the season. We've volunteered on trail crew for sled dog races in this area so have fond memories.

Lowell to Concord. This is a tough question because I always consider everything south of Manchester NH to be very built up. Was in Salem yesterday (NH) and it was traffic nightmare. Nashua is also built up. With limited time I would just hurry up heading north. Coming Rt 3 you will have a lot of traffic but you might like a view of the Manchester mills as you drive I293 on west side of Merrimack River. You could take an alternate route exiting onto Rt 3A which runs along the river but once you get north of toll booths, you're going to get a glimpse of distant mountains. You could do a scenic loop from Concord (follow signs to hospital on Pleasant St) to Hopkinton, Gould Hill Orchard, Contoocook and Warner then quick trip back via I89. Or you could go north to exit 17 and Apple Hill Farm then follow directions to Canterbury Shaker Village. From there you could head to Rt 106 and then Concord. Had a nice tour of Miles Smith Farm in Loudon where Scottish Highlander beef cattle are raised. They have a small farm store. If cattle are in far pasture you won't see them but they also do air b&b. Concord is a nice walkable small city. Great independent bookstore - Gibson's and Red River Theater if you get a rainy day.

Since you are heading north from Concord, the loop to include Shaker Village could be done then but for less interstate start out by taking I393 to exit for state office buildings but coming off ramp turn right to follow street (sorry names escapes me) thru residential area. Continue straight on Mountain Rd thru roundabout. You are paralleling I93. At intersection with Hoit Rd, keep straight. Apple Hill entrance is on your right not far from intersection. Leaving Apple Hill (they have whoopie pies if you need an unhealthy but yummy snack) continue on Rt 132. When you get to center of town you will take a right to Shaker Village and then follow gps or signs. After Shaker Village you can follow directions to I93. You'll will access I93 at exit 18. Then north to Meredith.

Although I've been back roads to Meredith, I think spending time on the scenic detours are better with combining with time saving on interstates.

When we went north recently since I93 goes right thru the White Mountains, we stopped at the visitors center to the Flume. It's worth a detour and stop. They have a beautiful Concord Coach on display and be sure to look at the photograph showing railroad cars taking coaches to the west. There are also photos of the historic old man rock formation that collapsed years ago but used to be a symbol of NH.

I think any route from St Gaudens to Brattleboro will be scenic but if you stay on NH side of river via Rt 12 head to Walpole NH. I think this is the route thru old towns. It's been ages since we stopped at Burdick Chocolate in Walpole but you might want to stop. When you are in Norwich area, make sure to visit Simon Pierce in Quechee. Fabulous place for lunch overlooking river and they also make beautiful blown glass.
Have fun. Glad you asked for advice and hope you get responses from others.
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Sep 16th, 2018, 03:03 PM
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St Gaudens to Brattleboro - there are 3 routes: 12a to 12 to 63 in NH, rte 5 in Vt, and I-91 in Vt. They are all very picturesque. Rte 12 does go close to Walpole, a picture perect village a mile or so off 12 with a beautiful hilltop winery, Burdocks cafe, Alyson's apple orchard, and a cheesemaking farm along the river. Rte 5 in Vt is also very pretty and a bit smaller and more winding. Lots of nice farmland on both sides of the river. I-91 is an interstate, so you won't pass thru any towns, but it runs along a ridge, so you get great higher elevation views of both states. As dfrost mentioned, the Nashua-Manchester area is pretty developed. Due to NH being a sales tax free state, Rte 3 from the Mass border to Manchester is almost wall to wall shopping malls.
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Sep 18th, 2018, 01:22 PM
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Thank you both for the information--it's a great help!! I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
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Nov 6th, 2018, 07:05 PM
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I just wanted to thank you, dfrostnh and zootsi, for the feedback you gave me as I was planning our New England trip. Your advice was invaluable. We had a great trip--some of our highlights were Winslow State Park on Mt. Kearsarge, several of the apple orchards that you mentioned including Gould Hill and the Contoocook Cidery, Crawford Notch, King Arthur Flour, and lots of covered bridges. The fall colors, particularly heading north on I-93 into the White Mountains, were beautiful as this dash cam photo shows. Thank you again for your help!!
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Nov 7th, 2018, 02:31 AM
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Glad you had a great trip. I think it has rain 75% of the time since mid-October. A friend posted colorful pictures of towns on the MA coast that still have nice foliage. Apples are fantastic this time of year so I will be sad when the orchard closes in a couple of weeks.
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Nov 7th, 2018, 06:14 PM
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Did you notice a huge amount of squirrels in NH?
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Nov 8th, 2018, 09:33 AM
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great photo!
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Nov 9th, 2018, 06:44 PM
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I didn't notice a huge number of squirrels, but the ones that we saw were much larger and a slightly different color than the ones here at home.
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