Road trip to Vermont and New Hampshire

Old Sep 10th, 2007, 05:14 AM
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Road trip to Vermont and New Hampshire

We are leaving for Vt and NH on Oct 8, driving from MI. We will begin to plan our itinerary today..have lots of books, maps etc. DH and I are taking our 5yr old 5# yorkie with us for the first time..we usually fly and rent a car to tour, but this time we didn't want time constraints. Any tips, hilights, cautions, will be greatly appreciated.
Old Sep 10th, 2007, 05:34 AM
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Oh dear!!! You are laready very very late getting started, as rooms are sold way in advance for fall foliage in those states! Your problem is multiplied by the fact that you will also have your dog with you, and many places will not allow pets. I hope you can find something, but I'm afraid you are going to have a very, very, difficult time!

Then there has been some murmuring here that this is going to be an early foliage season. People in VT are already seeing color, but western MA should be close to peaking then.

I'm all full of good news this morning, I'm sorry. Perhaps the trip would be better another year?
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Old Sep 10th, 2007, 05:50 AM
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I'm not concerned, as we have lots of options. But thanks for the heads up.
Old Sep 10th, 2007, 06:30 AM
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It is late to find rooms, but you should be able to find something. I think early October will be fine as far as foliage. i live in mid NH, near the VT border, and it typically peaks here around 10/9 or so. As far as tips -
Driving across (west to east) usually takes longer than it looks on a map due to the mountains.
In general Vt is more bucolic and agricultural, NH is more rugged and mountainous (at least in the White Mountains).
Except for the suburban sprawl between Manchester & Nashua NH, and just outside Burlington VT, nearly all of both states is quite scenic.
There is excellent hiking and walking in both states, but the Whites are probably the best place for hiking in the northeast.
A few suggestions - Vermont: Chester, Grafton, Woodstock, Barnard, Stowe, Waitsfield, Burlington.
New Hampshire: Jackson, Bethlehem, Kancamagus Highway, Hanover, Sunapee, Sugar Hill, Wolfsboro.
Of course there are dozens more!
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Old Sep 10th, 2007, 08:10 AM
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Sounds like you are taking your time to enjoy some off-highway adventures. Assuming you will be driving across NY state, see if you can pick up Route 4 to Vermont which you can reach from 87N. That would take you to Rutland, Vermont and you can follow it to Woodstock, VT. Or if you are picking up the VT border further north, look for Rte. 93 South or 89 South. I would recommend a stop in Concord, NH the state capitol. Lots of history, great restaurants and friendly people. It will all depend on what you like to do. Books on each state should give you lots of info on each area of the state. Good luck
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Old Sep 10th, 2007, 09:16 AM
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Try the Covered bridge motor lodge in Jackson N.H. in the center of the White mountains.When we were there at the end of Sept.2004 it was not far from peak colour but so beautiful.For South Vermont-Masachussets-Connecticut you should be alright.Look for Bennington-the Mohawk trail-Litchfield-Housatonic valley.Paul
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Old Sep 10th, 2007, 09:45 AM
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You might be interested in the Vermont part of my trip report:
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Old Sep 10th, 2007, 10:15 AM
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Since you won't be leaving MI until Oct 8 the foliage might be best in southern NH and VT. Concord NH might be a great option for a place to stay since it only takes an hour to get to the lakes/mountains or over to the coast. It's 1 1/2 hours to Montpelier/3 hours to Burlington VT. You can plan many day trips from the Concord area. I agree with Cissy that people are friendly and Concord has a nice downtown area. The leaves don't usually change as early over on the coast so from Concord, that's only an hour, too. I always recommend route 1B from Portsmouth's historic Strawbery Banke area thru the old town of Newcastle. You can then head over to the beach or the walk along Odiorne Point.
Maps are important but make sure your map is detailed. One that shows all of New England usually isn't detailed enough but okay for getting from one point to another. For the greatest detail you can get a state atlas and gazetteer which can be purchased at bookstores. They are published by DeLorme and will show every backroad, river, state parks, covered bridges, waterfalls, etc. It's very handy if you want to find some out of the way places. Expect traffic congestion on Friday afternoons esp around 5pm/commuting times and Sunday afternoon when everyone goes home. With a detailed map you can find an alternate route that avoids the interstate. I live in the middle of great foliage area but there is hardly an extra traffic because everyone is on the interstate heading to the Kancamagus. You might check out Yankee Magazine's website and foliage forum and keep track of foliage on state hotlines as the date gets nearer. It seems like there's some early color but faded because of the drought. We're having rain right now so could get fooled and find Concord area peak around Oct 8.
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Old Sep 10th, 2007, 12:15 PM
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I'm guessing at least two, maybe 3? If you are going to be in New England the weekend of the 13th it is possible you will miss the worst of the tourist glut to the area. Columbus Day (8th) 3 day weekend is traditionally the worst. None-the-less, I would not be there the following weekend either without reservations in hand. During the week it should be OK, but still you'll have to search.

I grew up in the heart of the Berkshires, the leaf peeping area for MA. By definition, the Berksihres is Berkshire County, the most western county in MA, covering the entire western part of the state from north to south and about 20 miles deep east to west. Even the down-at-the-heels places would be taken up weekends during leaf peeping season. Once I was grown and gone I'd still come home for my father's birthday, October 10, which normally coincides with the peak in the Berkshires. Further north the peak on a normal year will have passed by that time. There still will be some nice leaves, but they'll be falling.

The New England states are so small it is entirely possible to base yourself in one state and do a loop tour into the next state as a day trip. For example, I could go from my parents home in Pittsfield, literally the heart of the Berkshires, north up route 7 through Williamstown, (home of Williams College and the Sterling museum...the town worth a part of a day in itself if you've never been) Pownal, then Bennington (stop at Congregational Church...beautiful and Robert Frost is buried in the cemetery behind it), have lunch at the Equinox Inn in Manchester, drive over rte 11, then 121, part of which becomes a dirt road but LOVELY smooth and flat as concrete, to Grafton, wind back to 9 and go west again to 7 and be home before dark. No rush. Lunch at the Equinox Inn was mandatory for us.

As late as you are going, you'll find the best of the color in this area. I wouldn't bother going further north in VT as it will be past...unless you just want to drive that area.

Loops just within Berkshire County can easily be sure to take in Stockbridge, Lenox and Williamstown. N Egremont too for some good antiquing. Bash Bish Falls is beautiful and well worth a stop in any Berkshire tour.

Kancamagus Highway (NH) was another of our favorites when my husband and I were transferred to the Boston area later in his career. We could do the Kancamagus as a day trip from the Framingham area where we lived.
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Old Sep 10th, 2007, 12:22 PM
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Thanks for all of your help...We had to pick that date, due to family obligations (fun ones!) so if we see color, we'll take it! We just like to visit other states, and those are on our list!
Old Sep 10th, 2007, 12:37 PM
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All of the New England states have toll free foliage "hotline" numbers.

Seriously, especially with a pet, it's far better to have reservations for overnight accomodations.
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Old Oct 14th, 2007, 02:38 PM
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Today is day 7 of our trip. Just an update..we have had no problem finding lodging with our little Yorkie..went to Rutland, Vt, then Stowe..then to Burlington..and St. Alban's..we liked Stowe so much we went back and stayed at a little rustic inn that we had stayed at earlier in the week..left this AM and drove thru the White is cold..and the temp on Mt. Washington is 19 degrees! We left home on the 8th at 85 degrees! Fortunately, I packed warm clothes...don't know where we will venture to next, but we are meeting up with DS on Friday, somewhere along the coast...
Old Oct 14th, 2007, 08:04 PM
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Thanks for checking in with us, Arbutusbeach! It's always fun to hear an on-the-spot report from a trip.

I lived in both states (VT NH) for awhile and they remain a special place in my heart.
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