Vermont and New Hampshire are breathtaking in their beauty. Tourists come from all over the world to hike our mountains, enjoy our specialty foods and simply drive our scenic roads. When you live in an area like this, you can sometimes forget to take advantage of all there is to offer. Going out for a meandering, scenic drive can be a wonderful experience. Recharge the batteries. Refresh the soul.
Whether you simply want to sample the beautiful surroundings on a day trip or take your time, stopping at quaint bed and breakfast establishments along the way, both Vermont and New Hampshire have plenty of choices for you. And, no matter how you choose to explore, don’t forget your camera! Scenic vistas, mountain top views, pastoral settings, covered bridges and quaint towns abound. Pack up the car or pack up a picnic and take a drive.
Scenic By-Ways and Road trips
Rte. 112, Conway to Lincoln. This highway is part of the White Mountains Trail and it passes through the White Mountain National Forest. Colonial history and forest ecology experiences offered along the way at the Russell Colbath Historic Site and Forest Discovery Trail.
Presidential Range Tour
Rte. 116, Littleton to Whitefield, then Rte. 3 to Lancaster to Rte. 2 E to Gorham, then Rte. 16 S to Glen, Rte. 302 W to Littleton. This tour includes four state parks, numerous scenic vistas and historic villages.
River Heritage Tour
Rte. 3, North Woodstock to Rte. 175 to Waterville Valley, then Plymouth Rte. 25 and 25C to Warren and Piermont, then Rte. 10 to Haverhill to Rte. 135 and Woodsville to Rte. 112 to North Woodstock. This scenic drive offers superb views, river recreation, agricultural heritage, and period architecture.
At the White Mountain Trail Make a loop along the Kancamagus Highway to Rte. 16N to Glen and Rte. 302 West to Rte. 3 South to I-93, the Franconia Notch Parkway to Kancamagus Highway. Views include Mount Washington, Mount Washington Resort, mountain cascades, wildlife and the Appalachian Trail.
White Mountain Trail
The White Mountain Trail is a 100-mile route offering rugged mountain scenery, three historic notches, 7 covered bridges, roadside waterfalls, 32 scenic outlooks and historic and interpretive sites. The trail loops from Rte. 302 to 16, 3, I-93 and 112.
Lake Sunapee Scenic By-Way
The Lake Sunapee region includes several scenic road trips but this one is short and includes recreational options, a state park and ample shoreline. Take Rt 103 and 11 to from Newbury to New London.
Connecticut River Scenic By-Way
This by way begins at the Canadian border and follows the Connecticut River the length of the western border of New Hampshire. From I-91 near the Vermont border, take Rt. 9 east to to the junction with Rt. 63 Continue north to Rt. 12 north, to Rt. 12A. Follow NH 12A north past the Cornish-Windsor Bridge and Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. Take Rt. 10 north through Hanover , to Lyme and Orford, Haverhill and Woodsville, where you’ll pick up Rt. 135. It joins Rt. 18 west of Littleton, a busy town and great ending for a scenic ride.
Additional NH Scenic drive information
Vermont is perhaps one of the most sought after road trip destinations. With its rolling hills, narrow valleys, mountain peaks, historic towns, farms and specialty foods, Vermont offers stunning scenery in any season.
Here are two suggested longer drives within the Upper Valley. You can break them up into shorter segments and enjoy different pieces of the drive during different seasons.
Upper Connecticut River Valley (130 miles)
Take Rt 4 East from Woodstock and turn right in Taftsville towards Hartland to connect with Rt 5 South. In Windsor, take Rt 44 West through Brownsville turning onto Rt 106 South to Felchville. Follow Tyson Rd to Tyson connecting with Rt 100 North through to Plymouth Union, Killington and Rochester. In Rochester travel east on Bethel Mountain Rd and Camp Brook Rd to Rt 12 turning left towards Randolph. Travel east on Rt 66 to the intersection with Rt 12. Turn right on Rt 12 and immediately left onto Cheslea Rd, then Angel Rd, then Dickerman Rd to Rt 110 South to Tunbridge. Take Town Hwy #2 ( Strafford Rd) from Tunbridge through to the village of Strafford and South Strafford. Take 132 West to Sharon and Town Hwy #3 (Howe Hill Rd) to Hewitts Corners and on to Town Hwy #1 ( Pomfret Rd) to Rt 12 where you head back to Woodstock.
Windsor/ Orange County (155 miles)
Take Rt 12 North from Woodstock to the Old River Rd. Follow Old River and Gravel Ledge Rd along the river to Taftsville and merge onto Quechee Main Street. Take a right off of Main Street onto Deweys Mills Rd which will intersect with Rt 4. Turn right on Rt 4 heading west to Quechee Gorge and continue on to White River Junction and connect with Rt 5 North to Thetford. In Thetford follow Rt 113 North through Post Mills, Vershire and Chelsea. Take Rt 110 in Chelsea to 302 in Montpelier. Take Rt 2in to Montpelier and head towards Middlesex. Once in Middlesex, turn left onto Rt 100B and merge onto Rt 100 South to the junction of Rt 107. Go east on Rt 107 to the junction or Rt 12 and follow Rt 12 back to Woodstock.