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New England Route Advice From Lake George to Bangor ME

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello New England Bears,

Our family is heading east on Friday to Nova Scotia from Southern Ontario.  As we have a 3 year old and an 11 month old, we're breaking the trip up as much as possible, stopping two nights each way, and doing lots of other activities along the way.  We're driving through the US on the way there, and coming back through Canada.  

 

 

I've got all the details sorted out except for "leg two" of the trip there.  We'll be camping Friday night in Lake George, then heading to off to Bangor, ME roughly at noon on Saturday.  Looking at mapping software, it says to take Route 4 through Vermont, eventually heading down through New Hampshire down to Portsmouth, and then up interstate 95. 

 

Another route which I think is more preferable to me is to head to Bangor on a route that would take me further north across Route 2, allowing us to check out Mt Washington, and the summer activities at Wildcat Mountain.  

 

Depending on the software I use, it says there's anywhere between a 30 minute to a 3 hour time difference between the routes despite the distance being shorter for the latter route.  

 

Does anyone know the true time difference?  Will the previous route be just as scenic (and fun) as heading past Mt Washington.  Timing is KEY because the kids can get CRANKY!!!!!!!!!!, but for a few more minutes, I may take the long road.

 

Thanks for your input.

post #2 of 9

I'd take Rt 2 across. You might wanna take em to Story Land.

post #3 of 9

If time is not a constraint,  Take RT 2 to Rt 302 then I95 to Bangor.

post #4 of 9

I would avoid 302 in the summer.  Either cut down off route 2 to Augusta or join 95 in Newport-what i would do.  Storyland is on 16 South of Mount Washington about 8 miles.  Gondola ride at Wildcat is worth it if the weather is good.

post #5 of 9

Here's an idea.  I tried this with DeLorme Street Atlas from Lake George to Bangor.  It originally routed me to Portsmouth NH and then up.  The route was sticking with the Interstates.

 

For fun try a via on I-91North near the intersection of I-91 and I-93.  This is just south of Saint Johnsbury Vt.  I did it and it routed me through Gorham, NH and Bethel, ME.  It adds about 30 minutes to the drive.

 

That routing takes you north of Mt. Washington.  If you want to take the road to the top of Mt. Washington, just turn right on Route 16 in Gorham.  That will take you down to the Mt. Washington Auto Route and on to Wildcat Mt.  If you haven't done it, it is well worth the ride.  Of course you could take route 302 and stop at the Mt. Washington Cog Railroad near Bretton Woods.  That's the south route around Mt. Washington.  Again, well worth the effort if you want to take the kids on something they will remember forever.

 

http://www.thecog.com/

 

http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/arvp/

 

Hope this helps.

post #6 of 9

I'd avoid 95 until Newport.  Then take I 95 north till exit 182A to I 395.  From there go till the interstate ends to the right onto 1a toward Ellsworth/Calais.  Continue till you get to a stop light with a Dysarts gas station ahead and to the left of you.  Take the left there onto 46 go until you hit the end of 46 and there will be Tradewinds gas station on your right go right and continue until rt.9 ends.  At the end of rt9 there is a Irving Big Stop.  Go right and you'll be about 10 minutes from the border where you'll enter St. Stephen NB.  

 

 

 

I lived in Calais for 18 years and Bangor for a little over 3.  Dysarts and Tradewinds both have a Dunkin Donuts the one at Dysarts usually has fresher coffee than the one at Tradewinds.  But on the other side where your going to have kids the Tradewinds have cleaner bathrooms.  

 

You could take rt. 1 down the coast which has pretty nice views of the water and more than just trees like rt. 9 but it's an extra half hour at least and from about Whiting to Robinston the road is rough, 

 

 

I'm not sure what your software can tell you but if you take 95 from Portsmouth it is a pretty boring ride IMO.  There is Cabelas in Scarborugh exit 48 I believe and  Freeport exit 122 along the way to stop and get lunch at Gritty's (brew pub with a family atmosphere) go to L.L. Bean and other outlet stores and get desert at Ben and Jerry's (ice cream).  Freeport also has the desert of Maine.  Yes it's a desert.  Not overly huge but pretty good size.  It's hard to explain but I'm sure you could google it.  I went last year for my first time and for a kid from Maine it was pretty neat.

 

Any questions at all feel free to pm me.  

 

I'm not sure what 

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post

Here's an idea.  I tried this with DeLorme Street Atlas from Lake George to Bangor.  It originally routed me to Portsmouth NH and then up.  The route was sticking with the Interstates.

 

For fun try a via on I-91North near the intersection of I-91 and I-93.  This is just south of Saint Johnsbury Vt.  I did it and it routed me through Gorham, NH and Bethel, ME.  It adds about 30 minutes to the drive.

 

That routing takes you north of Mt. Washington.  If you want to take the road to the top of Mt. Washington, just turn right on Route 16 in Gorham.  That will take you down to the Mt. Washington Auto Route and on to Wildcat Mt.  If you haven't done it, it is well worth the ride.  Of course you could take route 302 and stop at the Mt. Washington Cog Railroad near Bretton Woods.  That's the south route around Mt. Washington.  Again, well worth the effort if you want to take the kids on something they will remember forever.

 

http://www.thecog.com/

 

http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/arvp/

 

Hope this helps.

 

This was my most preferred plan I was trying to describe.  

 

Can anyone concur this will only add ~30minutes... what is the speed limit on Route 2, and is there a lot of slow downs through towns?



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

I'd take Rt 2 across. You might wanna take em to Story Land.


I checked it out, and it's $26.99 per person!!!!  Seems a little steep for what appears to be there .  I think we'll just check out Wildcat Mountain, as my wife has wanted to try zip lining for a while now.  The chair lift ride up should be fun too.

post #8 of 9

Don't forget Vermont as well as the White Mts of New Hampshire. The route past Killington through Woodstock Vt. (Billings Farm museum etc Lawrence Rockefellers' project, worth a visit) can take you to Hanover NH and then North along the Connecticut River Valley. (take the 2 lane rd on the NH side -stay off the interstate) to a route that will bring you East past Lost River (beautiful place to take the kids, think boardwalk through a moss encrusted stream gorge and boulder caves. This will bring you to Lincoln/North Woodstock NH where you can either elect to drive past Loon Mt. over the Kancamaugus highway through the mts to Conway and North to Mt Washington or you can go North for a short distance on I-93 past Cannon Mt (ride the tramway) and then East to Bretton Woods and Southeast  through Crawford Notch then North again to Mt Washington past Wildcat (ride the Wildcat tram or drive up the Mt Washington Auto rd). from Mt Washington you can go North to Gorham and then East past Sunday River or North to the Rangely Lakes and then East past Sugarloaf. Driving from West to East in Maine is pretty much like cutting across the grain.There seem to be no clear through routes which will require you to look closely at the map and get creative with route finding. A few years ago we drove back from Bar Harbor/Acadia on such a route that landed us in Rangeley. I will say that it was a lovely drive on 2 lane roads through small towns that gave a really good sense of the flavor of rural Maine. If you can get on the Cat ferry to Nova Scotia from Bar Harbor that is a great ride in itself.

 

Caveat: this is definitely the slow road-not an express route by any means but worthy of some time. As you can tell I like to ramble and my sense of geography tends to relate to the location of ski areas.

post #9 of 9

I've seen a lot of comments on this thread regarding what to do on this route in New Hampshire and in Maine. Not so much in Vermont. If you are heading from Lake George to hit Route 2, you're either going to come through St Anne NY and hit Vermont 22A to Route 7 shoot up to Burlington, or you're going to go across Champlain at Crown Point and take 22A to 7 from there. If your directions are telling you that you will be taking the Crown Point Bridge, they're wrong. The bridge was closed and demolished last year for safety reasons. There's now a ferry there and it runs very regularly, its open 24 hours a day, and its free. Still not a bad way to come.

 

In any case, let me give you a rundown on what you can expect to encounter in Vermont if you decide to take the northern route and hit Route 2. First off, while you're still on Route 7, you'll run into the Vermont Teddybear factory in Shelburne. I know they run tours, not sure the schedule though. A few miles up the road from that, you'll find the Magic Hat Brewery. Unlimited free samples every day, for the non driving adult in the car. Once you're past the Magic Hat Brewery, you're into the actual city of Burlington. As a Burlingtonian, I can't say enough about my fair city. There's tons to do, from the Church Street Marketplace which has great shops and restaurants, to the waterfront parks, to the Burton Snowboard World Headquarters, to the Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory Store... the list goes on and on.

 

In Burlington is where you will actually make the turn onto Route 2 East. Heading east on 2, you'll have great views of the northern range of the Green Mountains, including Camels Hump and Mount Mansfield. You'll go through Waterbury, where Route 2 intersects Vermont 100. If you take a quick detour onto 100 North (less than a mile out of the way) you'll find the BEN AND JERRY'S FACTORY! Always fun. You'll also pass the Alchemist, which is a great little brewpub. Excellent food, great beer.

 

Honestly, if you're considering taking the Route 2 way (which I strongly recommend... Burlington and Waterbury have far more to offer than Rutland and Killington), I would suggest taking I-89 from Burlington to Montpelier. I-89 and Route 2 run parallel along that entire way, and I-89 is much quicker with no loss of scenic value. Just be aware that Waterbury is Exit 10.

 

So my condensed route advice through Vermont:

 

Take Route 4 to Vermont 22A North, to US route 7 North to Burlington.

From Burlington, take I-89 South to Montpelier (with a suggested stop in Waterbury).

Take Exit 8 onto US Route 2, and off into the Northeast Kingdom.

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