Update: White Mountains, New Hampshire

Sugar Maple

After a couple days of cool, wet weather, we noticed that the trees were rapidly reaching peak colors and they were well-beyond peak in the surrounding mountains. We decided to take a day-trip before the colors were gone.

Our trip took us north to Conway, then west along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway (Highway 112), north on Highway 3, then back east along Highway 302 back to Conway. Our plans included covered bridges, waterfalls, walks in the woods, and great scenery.


Twin Bridges

After a pretty drive from our campground near Freedom, we located two beautiful covered bridges.

Annette at SacoOur first stop was the Saco River Bridge in Conway, New Hampshire #48 (44). Built in 1890, this bridge is very well-maintained and used as a major road through town. It was updated to include heavy cables and a metal roof.

We walked down the riverbank next to the bridge for a good view of the river. The Swift River merges with the Saco River just north of the bridge.



Saco Bridge


Next, we drove a couple blocks to the Swift River Bridge in Conway, New Hampshire #47. No longer in use, the covered bridge sits next to a new highway bridge. Again, we climbed down to the bank of the river. While Larry crossed the bridge to photograph the other side, Annette enjoyed watching the water on the rocks and listening to the sound of the rapids. She also wrote a poem that's too silly to share on the web. Maybe someday it will end up in a book for children.

Covered Bridge at Swift River

Back in the car, we agreed that it was a perfect day for an adventure. Our email boxes were empty, our class assignments were graded, and our other work was up-to-date, it was unusual to find a day that we could truly relax.

Swift River


Kancamagus Highway

We made a quick stop at the White Mountain National Forest Saco Ranger District Information Station in Conway. We always enjoy talking with the forest service personnel to see if they have suggestions or ideas for our day. In most cases, we have great luck and they provide lots of interesting insights to the area, however in this case the young desk staffer seemed more interested in her newspaper than our questions.

Our next stop was an unexpected surprise. We noticed an apple stand next to the road. We "pulled a U turn" and stopped in front of the truck stand. Ed, the orchardman recommended Macouns (a cross between MacIntosh and Jersey Black) for "eating apples" and a Macintosh for "cooking apples". He also gave us a free cup of apple cider that led to our purchase of a quart of cider for later.

Apple stand

We enjoyed our apple snack as we headed down the road. The apples were juicy, crisp, and fantastic!


Albany Bridge

After a few miles, we stopped at the Albany Bridge near Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire #49. We walked across the bridge and down the river bank. We noticed two couples had taken a side trail to a nice spot with accessible rocks near the river bank. After a nice conversation with the small group, Annette carefully made her way across the rocks for a good river shot of the covered bridge.

Albany Bridge

Larry climbed the rockface on the side of the hill for the shot below.

Albany Covered Bridge


Rocky Gorge AreaRocky Gorge

A few miles down the road we encountered road construction. We were concerned that the Rocky Gorge area might be closed. However we found a small detour sign that lead us through the construction to a parking lot. We walked along a new trail, across a great new footbridge, through the woods to Falls Pond. We considered taking the trail around the pond, but decided that we had lots more to see and very little time. We saved our energy for a hike later down the road.


Passaconaway Historic Site

We continued on our way, but quickly found ourselves making a U-turn to stop at an interesting historic house.

Colbath Historic House

Unlike many historic sites that feel more like a museum than a home, the Russell Colbath House was very authentic. The forest service workers along with the use of artifacts contributed to this feeling. While a women was cutting cabbage in the working kitchen, a man offered us hot apple cider. We really felt like we were walking into the 1800s. Touches such as the log burning in the fireplace, flowers in a vase, dried herbs hanging from the ceiling, and vintage photographs on the walls contributed to the cozy, authentic atmosphere. The wooden plank floors were covered with period hooked rugs. Outside a well, working garden, and stacked logs continued the experience. This stop provided a nice change of pace from the covered bridges we'd been exploring during the morning.


Sabbaday FallsSabbaday Falls Trail

The parking lot at the Sabbaday area was busy, but we decided to stop because the leaves were perfect. A combination of green and yellow beeches, yellow-orange-red maples, and conifers made the entrance to the Sabbaday Falls Trail magical.


Larry at SabbadayIt only took a few minutes to walk along the stream to the tiered falls that included a flume in the middle.


Sabbaday FallsAnnette hopped rocks across the river to view the falls from the far side of the hike. While there, she found a monument to Winnie Longdin (1933-1992). We wondered about this person, but couldn't find information on the web.

Sugar Hill

Annette on TrailLincoln and Highway 302

After a a couple more short stops (Sugar Hill overlook above, Annette on right), we decided it was time for lunch. The Earl of Sandwich is a casual restaurant in Lincoln. Their pizza looked good, but we decided on sandwiches: a cheesesteak for Larry and meatball sandwich for Annette.

We traveled north on Highway 3 and discovered that the next two covered bridges were inside a commercial area called The Flume.


We skipped this area and took the exit for Route 302. The drive through the mountains was uneventful until we came to Silver Cascades (below). This interesting waterfall is right on the road. We spent some time climbing the rocks and enjoying the views.

Silver CascadesAnnette and Larry at Silver Cascades


Barlett Covered BridgeMore Covered Bridges

Our next stop was at the Bartlett Bridge near Route 302 near Bartlett, New Hampshire #50. Built in 1790, this bridge is no longer a road. Instead, it contains the Covered Bridge Shoppe. While Larry photographed the bridge, Annette went shopping!


Our final stop was at Honeymoon Bridge near Route 16 and 16A in Jackson, New Hampshire #51. It was nearing dusk, but we still got a few good photographs.

Honeymoon Covered Bridge

eastern chipmunk

Larry even found a photogenic eastern chipmunk.

Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 10/04.