Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Short Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine October foliage trip and Acadia National Park

Short Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine October foliage trip and Acadia National Park

Old Oct 12th, 2020, 05:05 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 292
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Short Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine October foliage trip and Acadia National Park

We only had 3 short days to see fall foliage and scenic sights in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

On the first day, we drove 5 hours to Quechee Gorge in Vermont. It was nice, but not spectacular. We parked on the side of the road, then walked by the fence next to the road overlooking the gorge from high up. After, we crossed the street, went down the steps and took the short trail to the end of the gorge- maybe 15 min there one way walking leisurely. It was already late afternoon, so we decided to skip Moss Glenn Falls in Stowe. We got back in our car, and drove to Lincoln, New Hampshire. On the way, the fall tree colors were beautiful. We got to Lincoln after dark, so we headed to our hotel: Holiday Inn Express and Suites, which was spacious, clean, lots of chairs. Only drawback, outside the room in the hallway, it smelled like mildew or sewage, but in the room it didn't smell. I would stay there again. They had free breakfast and had a pool.

The second day we drove the Kancamagus Highway from Lincoln to Conway, New Hampshire. (Get up early since it's one lane in either direction and I could imagine the highway getting full on a weekend or holiday.) Most people drive it the opposite way, so there was less traffic our direction. It is really scenic. There are stops along the way that were beautiful:

1) Sabbaday Falls- we took the small trail around the falls- can't remember how long it took maybe 20 minutes?

2) Rocky Gorge Scenic Area- which is really scenic, with the surrounding fall multicolored trees. This was prettier than Quechee Gorge.

3) Lower Falls Scenic Area- similar in appearance to Rocky Gorge area with some tiny waterfalls. worth a stop.

4) Albany Covered Bridge- overlooking another water/rocks/gorge area. was nice, but I would skip if you didn't have time for this.

We decided we don't have time to see Aretheusa Falls, so we just drove to our next destination Bar Harbor, Maine, which took about 5 hours. It started pouring heavily about an hour before we got there and continued for a few hours, so our plan to see part of Acadia that afternoon was cancelled. We headed to our hotel, Holiday Inn Bar Harbor/Regency hotel. It was ok, but we weren't so impressed. (Wifi not strong enough, room not super clean (makeup on door, stain on side of sink), less spacious, less modern, when we called the front desk to ask questions they hung up on us multiple times, and when I asked them to add my stay to the IHG account and get back to me, they never did. Poorly run in my opinion. Only plus was its location about 5 minutes from Acadia National Park).

The third day, we woke up shortly after 5 am. I ordered an Acadia National Park entry pass on my phone and emailed it to the front desk for them to print out. (That's the only pass you need to print out and keep on the dashboard.) Then I ordered Cadillac Mountain and Sand Beach passes (apparently this is the first time they required a pass and entry fee ($2) to enter these roads- you have to reserve by the half hour and can't come late. You could stay as long as you wish.) So I booked Cadillac Mountain for 8 am and Sand Beach for 10:30 am.

We got to Cadillac Mountain 20 minutes early and they let us in. We drove up to the top. We walked the half mile trail around the top of the mountain. Views were picturesque, but it was freezing. The wind chill must have been in the 30's.

We got back in the car and drove to Jordan Pond- the lot was full, we had to wait a little till someone left. We walked to the Pond, which was pretty, and we wanted to walk the trail around the Pond, but it was too cold and there was not much sun yet so we just walked a little.

Next, we drove to Sand Beach (we got there half hour early and they let us in, but it's hard to find parking it's so crowded--and with good reason). It's a beautiful beach, water is a pretty green, actually surprised to see that beautiful teal shade. Then we took the ocean path trail that starts from Sand Beach along the cliffs to Thunder hole- maybe 15-20 minutes one way. It is such a scenic route and by far Sand Beach and ocean path trail were the highlights of the trip. So so beautiful, now I understand why people say Maine is gorgeous. There was a gift shop opposite Thunder hole. If we had gotten to Thunder Hole 2 hours before high tide, apparently the water rushes into the rocks and makes a tremendous sound. Then we walked back to the car and drove from Sand Beach along the way we had just hiked, past Thunder Hole and to Otter Point. We parked got out and took some more scenic pics. We stopped a few more times for scenic overlooks.

Our last stop was Bass Harbor Lighthouse on the other end of Mount Desert Island that Acadia is on--it took about 45 minutes to drive there. Since the parking lot is small, we had to wait about 20 minutes to park behind a long row of cars waiting to get in. This lighthouse is supposed to be iconic for Maine, but I would skip next time. There is a paved short 2 minute walk at the beginning of the parking lot to see the lighthouse, or you can go from the end of the parking lot, down a small trail leading to rocks that you have to scramble over to get a view of the lighthouse. After that, we drove the next 10 hours till we got home. Exhausting but well worth it. About 24 hours of driving out of 62 hours- almost 1200 miles in 2.5 days. An extra day would have been perfect and less tiring, but we didn't have the time, so we made do with what we had. So happy we went!
zxcvbnm is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2020, 01:12 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 27,326
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I hope for all those hours in the car you had some lobster! Glad you enjoyed your visit.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2020, 02:51 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 310
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That sounds like a busy but very satisfying trip. Thanks for the report.
oldemalloy is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2020, 03:07 AM
  #4  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,811
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nice report. It's good that you were allowed to go to VT. Most counties within a 5hr drive are now on the restricted list which requires anyone coming from a county tagged orange or red (see MAP) to quarantine. Most of RI is on the can't go-to-VT list....

J62 is online now  
Old Oct 14th, 2020, 06:14 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 292
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by J62 View Post
Nice report. It's good that you were allowed to go to VT. Most counties within a 5hr drive are now on the restricted list which requires anyone coming from a county tagged orange or red (see MAP) to quarantine. Most of RI is on the can't go-to-VT list....
We weren't coming from Rhode Island.
zxcvbnm is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2020, 10:03 AM
  #6  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,811
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by zxcvbnm View Post
We weren't coming from Rhode Island.
That's ok. You're fortunate to have come from one of the few other green counties that you didn't need to quarantine.



J62 is online now  
Old Oct 20th, 2020, 07:47 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 15,241
Likes: 0
Received 22 Likes on 4 Posts
Too bad you didn’t get up to Stowe. We have been in VT for many leaf seasons but this was the most spectacular, early and intense. We were told that sugar was concentrated in the leaves due to the drought, making for more brilliant colors.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Old Oct 26th, 2020, 05:10 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 292
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr View Post
Too bad you didnít get up to Stowe. We have been in VT for many leaf seasons but this was the most spectacular, early and intense. We were told that sugar was concentrated in the leaves due to the drought, making for more brilliant colors.
Oh wow, too bad we missed it. One day....
zxcvbnm is offline  
Old Oct 26th, 2020, 05:11 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 292
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by dfrostnh View Post
I hope for all those hours in the car you had some lobster! Glad you enjoyed your visit.
We didn't! We had a great trip
zxcvbnm is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2020, 11:58 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sounds like a great trip! I grew up in Lincoln NH, and October was phenomenal for the leaf changing. Beautiful part of the country.
TheTravelingLocals is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2020, 12:59 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 5,069
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
J62, that is a crazy map. You would need to carry with you on a road trip. NY just added Massachusetts and Ca today. We always take the car ferry from Ticonderoga to Vermont. I missed my apple cider donuts this year but miss my NY and Vermont family more.
Macross is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2020, 02:54 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 310
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The list of places on the quarantine list changes all the time. You might need a test both before and after the trip, although some states do not let you use the test to avoid it.
oldemalloy is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2020, 03:33 PM
  #13  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,811
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
NY is considering moving away from the state/quarantine system to a testing based system. No timeline yet, only initial discussions. But for now, quarantine is the requirement, and no option to test out for the general public.

Our local orchard / cider donut shop (piping hot out of the oil...) gets overrun with apple pickers each weekend so we make it a point to get out there early Sat am before the crowds arrive.

I'll have an extra one for you this weekend.... barring the snow forecast....

Last edited by J62; Oct 27th, 2020 at 03:37 PM.
J62 is online now  
Old Oct 28th, 2020, 03:22 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 27,326
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We visited a local orchard recently and I was surprised to see so many cars I had forgotten it was a saturday. There were quite a few people in the store and it turned out they were waiting for hot cider donuts to be brought out. PYO apples season has ended here so maybe things will quiet down a bit. Although late foliage lacks the brilliant colors, there's an occasional tree that is still very beautiful. One office park in Concord NH has a variety of maple trees planted that color late and keep their leaves the longest. My husband had a dentist appointment on Monday so stopped at the same orchard for cider donuts and pumpkin whoopie pies!!! (cream cheese filling) We have no hopes of visiting Vermont again unless it's possible to make a quick scuttle across the border to visit the Norwich farmers market before they close for winter. Our NH county is now on the unwelcome in VT list thanks to a growing list of covid cases and an outbreak in a nursing home in the next town.

Macross, I hope for all our sakes the pandemic is over soon but I don't think the second surge has even peaked yet.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2020, 05:35 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 5,069
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
You are killing me with the apple cider donuts. Pumpkin donuts can't even compare to apple cider ones. I would take one from Stewart's right now. I sure hope ski season happens for everyone.
Macross is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2020, 06:24 PM
  #16  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,811
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We go by 2, sometimes 3 or even 4 Stewart's on our daily morning walk depending on the route ..... I'll check them out....
Best coffee in town too - always fresh with the amount they go through.... You can barely get in the door at 9:30 DPW crew coffee break time...


update. I just mapped it out... We can hit 3 stewarts in a 3mi loop walk (typical morning walk distance), but adding in the 4th adds another 0.75mi and no time for that except on weekends. I'll do that 4-store loop on fathers' day to get the ice cream cone special.... limit one per store...

Last edited by J62; Oct 28th, 2020 at 06:30 PM.
J62 is online now  
Old Oct 29th, 2020, 02:50 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 27,326
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ski Season! I was never a skier but where I live now a lot of schools offer after school ski programs. Our grandchildren got involved with a small volunteer run recreation area last year. There's just a rope tow so it's not a mountain and volunteers have to run the rope tow. Daughter-in-law does that. Oldest granddaughter was able to join junior ski patrol. Recently the family went to help improve mountain bike trails since that's their newest sport. The rec area makes skiing affordable. I belong to an educational program for people age 50+ and have been surprised to meet people who retire to ski country instead of the south.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Oct 29th, 2020, 08:05 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 5,069
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I just think the White Water rafters lost business and know my brother's bartenders are ski patrol and white water guides. They are hurting. You have a lot of Stewart stores. North Creek has one and Schroon Lake just redid their tiny store. Yummy icecream.
Macross is offline  
Old Oct 29th, 2020, 08:38 AM
  #19  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,811
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Macross View Post
I just think the White Water rafters lost business and know my brother's bartenders are ski patrol and white water guides. They are hurting. You have a lot of Stewart stores. North Creek has one and Schroon Lake just redid their tiny store. Yummy icecream.
Not quite as good as straight from the donut maker at the orchard, but pretty good.....
If you private message me we can figure out how to get you a box, courtesy of upstate NY.... in exchange for some future warm weather...


J62 is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
achay
United States
4
May 27th, 2016 11:59 AM
zxcvbnm
United States
8
Aug 21st, 2015 01:53 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:36 PM.