Fall in New England is fleeting but sweet. The crisp air and the colorful foliage make fore some weekends made for a scenic drive. New Hampshire is a great place to take one of those drives as there are plenty of covered bridges and mountain roads to captivate your attention. Here are 3 covered bridges that you just can’t miss as well as the proper way to see Mt. Washington.
Just under 2 hours north of Boston, Blair Bridge is the perfect place to start your day exploring the covered bridges of New Hampshire.
The scenic view over the Pemigewasset River is straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. What most people don’t realize is that most of these covered bridges are still in use today as a river crossing. And that makes for the whole scene to be even that more “New England” than you were expecting, the fact that these places aren’t relics, but rather real parts of the town, makes for an even more enriching experience.
You’ll want to camp out on the west side of the bridge for the best views of the river to take pictures of and there happens to be a nice place to pull over to put your car while you shoot.
After you finish up enjoying the beautiful Blair Bridge, head north to get to Lincoln, NH where you can jump on one of the most scenic roads in America, the Kancamagus Highway.
Affectionately called “the Kanc”, this road is THE place to experience the best of New England foliage. The winding turns and the excellent views make this a hotspot for car enthusiasts and tourists alike, so going later in the season and on a Sunday instead of a Saturday will help you beat the crowds.
And towards the end of the Kanc, there is another fabulous covered bridge you just have to pull off for.
The Albany Bridge is just as scenic as the Blair Bridge and even comes with an added bonus, there is a tree lined road behind it that rarely has any cars that is about as magical a place as you will find in New England in autumn. The orange leaves all around make it glow in the early afternoon.
After you finish up your ride through the Kanc, head north to the Bartlett Bridge. A slightly less scenic bridge, this one is on a more main road, so it has been amped up with time. However, this is the perfect stop on your way up to Mt. Washington so it is worth the stop.
If you live in New England you have seen the bumper stickers, “This Car Made it Up Mt. Washington”. So you just know you want one. And it’s not as big of a time commitment as you think. We managed to go to all these bridges and do Mt. Washington in one day!
Just up Rt. 16 from Bartlett, NH, Mt. Washington’s Auto Road is open during the warmer months for cars to drive straight to the top! It costs $29/car and driver and an additional $9/passenger. And trust me the view at the top is well worth it!
So I recommend, going on a Sunday because Saturdays can be extremely crowded. The ride up has so many nice views that it is worth pulling off to the car parks on the way up as well as enjoying the view at the very top.
The main pro tip here is to bring extra layers no matter how warm it is at the base. Bring extra coats, hats and even gloves, even in the summer and fall. The elevation makes a big difference when it comes to the wind and temperature. In fact, the fastest wind ever recorded was recorded at the top of Mt. Washington. And plan for plenty of time to make it up and down the mountain as the incline is quite steep and you’ll want to take your time at the top.