Mt. Washington is Truly a Must-Visit New England Destination
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
The Tourist Trap, Trap
I, like so many others that grew up in New England, have fallen into the tourist trap, trap. What I mean by that is that our area has a ton of incredible sights, experiences, and events that we often ignore because we think they’ll be crowded or commercialized. Or we simply take them for granted because they’re so close and easily available.
I’ve lived in Maine for my entire life, 32 years, and never have I ever visited Mt. Washington. That is, until last week.
If you’re not familiar, Mt. Washington is the highest peak in the Northeast of the United States. It has seen one of the strongest gusts of wind on record and features the largest man-made attraction in the country, the Mt. Washington Auto Road.
Almost every day as I’m out and about I see bumper stickers that say “This car climbed Mt. Washington.” To be honest, I didn’t think much of it. I criminally oversimplified the experience.
While I didn’t take my own vehicle up I did finally get the chance to go up the mountain with one of Mt. Washington Auto Road’s guided tours. Personally, this was a much better fit for me anyway. I could relax, learn the incredible history of the road, and truly take in the sights. My tour guide, Kevin, was absolutely wonderful.
Once we got to the top after 7.6 miles of driving up, we had an hour to explore. I got my photo with the summit marker, visited the museum, and enjoyed the crystal clear day we were lucky enough to have.
The Glen House
Upon return down the mountain, I was ready for dinner. I stayed at the beautiful Glen House across the street where they have the restaurant, The Notch Grille. I treated myself to my kryptonite, scallops wrapped in bacon, as well as steak tips.
The room was stunning and honestly, one of the most comfortable hotel stays I’ve had in quite some time.
The next morning I indulged in The Auto Road Omelette. I threw in smoked salmon, spinach, and cheese. I knew I needed something healthy before my next adventure.
Bright and early the next day I returned to Mt. Washington Auto Road for a Wildlife Kayaking Tour. To be honest, I was nervous about this one. I’ve only been kayaking once or twice in my life and I fully expected to not have the upper body strength to survive it. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Paddling the Androscoggin was incredibly easy and most of it was even relaxing. While I had hoped to see a bear, they apparently had other plans. We did manage to see 9 or so eagles along our journey.
A Must Visit
Everyone at the Auto Road was so kind and accommodating. I can’t believe I waited this long to experience Mt. Washington for myself.
I wasn’t even able to experience everything there is to offer like Great Glen Trails to hike or bike!
Times are tough to travel too far these days, so if you’re looking for a semi-local adventure for the whole family, check out Mt. Washington and Mt. Washington Auto Road.