The Three Notch Ride
This fall tour encompasses some of the best views in the state
You can put three notches on your tank or fender for this … I strongly suggest this little ride around the mountains this fall. My motorcycling friends turned me on to this in the beginning of the summer. This should be done on or in some open-air transportation but I will leave it up to you to choose your mode.
They called it “the three notch ride.” Here’s why. You go through our most famous Franconia Notch on I-93, our home of the missing man. From 93 at exit 35, you go over to Rte. 3, which has sweet, big, open views looking towards Maine. Jump on Rte. 302/Crawford Notch Road and head south through notch number 2. There are places to stretch, take a little hike or just sit and take it all in. The road narrows, is more dramatic, gets twisty, fun and takes you down through the valley. You will pass the magnificent Mt. Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods and the Cog Railway, all worthy stops. All these roads I mention are going to be surrounded in crazy fall colors. Birch, ash, oak and other native trees will burst this year.
In the town of Bartlett, take a right on Albany Avenue. This runs directly into Bear Notch road, which, by the way, is closed in the winter. This is the road you will want to feel and experience — windy, smooth and up, up, up. This road is fairly narrow but accommodates two lanes of traffic easily. If you are a “spirited” driver, this can be nothing but fun. Keep an eye open for the pullouts, people and bicyclists.
This drops out to the Kancamagus Highway. You can continue the fun in either direction; Lincoln and Conway both offer more sites, shopping or food. You have earned your notches and your colors.