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User Content => Road Trips => Topic started by: hobsini2 on June 16, 2021, 08:36:31 PM

Title: New England in August
Post by: hobsini2 on June 16, 2021, 08:36:31 PM
So I am going to finally be able to take a 2 week vacation in August. The plan is to go to New England to meet up with my brother who is currently hiking the Appalachian Trail with his wife (probably somewhere in New Hampshire) and my uncle and cousin in New London. While I have been to a number of places in Southern New England, I am going to go at some point in the trip to Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

First, any traffic help on current construction is greatly appreciated.
Second, aside from driving on top of Mt Washington, any scenic places suggested is also appreciate.
Third, logistically, where are some "cheap" gas options that are llocal gas price wars?

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: webny99 on June 17, 2021, 07:52:16 AM
There is a lot of great scenery in Vermont. It's best in the fall, but still amazing even in the summer. I'd recommend the gondolas at Stratton Mountain and Mount Equinox Skyline Drive (which is tolled) if you want great views.

Can't help much with #1 or #3, but there are plenty of members here from New England that probably can.  :biggrin:
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: froggie on June 17, 2021, 09:53:09 PM
For #1, I would recommend hitting each respective state's DOT or 511 page.

#2 has more than one can shake a stick at.  I'd need a more detailed itinerary to focus on what would be nearby or along the route.

#3 doesn't really exist in northern New England...certainly not to the extent one would get used to in Chicagoland...
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: hobsini2 on June 20, 2021, 12:01:57 PM
For #1, I would recommend hitting each respective state's DOT or 511 page.

#2 has more than one can shake a stick at.  I'd need a more detailed itinerary to focus on what would be nearby or along the route.

#3 doesn't really exist in northern New England...certainly not to the extent one would get used to in Chicagoland...


Other than being in New England and going to Mt Washington and New London for sure, pretty wide open for 2 weeks. I would like to go to Cape Cod, Acadia and Lake Champlain as well.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: froggie on June 21, 2021, 10:20:37 AM
Thanks to post-COVID, Acadia will be difficult to get to without well-in-advance reservations, probably impossible at this point if you're going in August.  You could probably sneak a day-trip into Bar Harbor, but probably not much beyond that.

If you're going to do Cape Cod, do it mid-week.  Don't even think of trying between Thursday and Monday.

Lake Champlain is pretty doable.  Drive across part of the lake on US 2 (and see most of Vermont's rare jughandles on the way from I-89).  Two ferries that are fairly useful if you don't want to swing long to cross the bridges.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: webny99 on June 21, 2021, 03:57:53 PM
Thanks to post-COVID, Acadia will be difficult to get to without well-in-advance reservations, probably impossible at this point if you're going in August.  You could probably sneak a day-trip into Bar Harbor, but probably not much beyond that.

Are you referring to overnight reservations, or just to enter the park?

I only ask because I also have tentative plans to visit Acadia in July. We aren't planning on overnighting in the park, but if you can't even get in without a reservation, that changes things.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: froggie on June 21, 2021, 04:04:36 PM
Definitely the former.  I have heard rumors to the latter but have not verified yet.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: cabiness42 on June 21, 2021, 04:19:29 PM
We just came back from New England. Had to go via Indianapolis to drop off/pick up our dog at the in-laws, so the western segment of our routes won't match up. I-80 in Pennsylvania had some spots that were down to 1 land but on weekday mornings/afternoons, it didn't slow us down any. We were also on most of I-90 in New York with no problems.

Two of the most scenic places we went were:
Provincetown (end of Cape Cod)
Kennebunkpoint/Walker Point (summer home of Bush Family)
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: Rothman on June 21, 2021, 08:12:44 PM
Thanks to post-COVID, Acadia will be difficult to get to without well-in-advance reservations, probably impossible at this point if you're going in August.  You could probably sneak a day-trip into Bar Harbor, but probably not much beyond that.

If you're going to do Cape Cod, do it mid-week.  Don't even think of trying between Thursday and Monday.

Lake Champlain is pretty doable.  Drive across part of the lake on US 2 (and see most of Vermont's rare jughandles on the way from I-89).  Two ferries that are fairly useful if you don't want to swing long to cross the bridges.
I don't see how they can restrict access to the free sections of the park -- Jordan Pond or Cadillac Mountain like that.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: froggie on June 22, 2021, 09:02:04 AM
^ Hence why I mentioned a day-trip may be possible, but overnight accommodations probably not.

That said, I've read reports recently where, once day parking lots fill up, NPS is indeed restricting access at other national parks.  Not sure if that's the case at Acadia.  It's certainly happening at the state level at places such as Franconia Notch.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: Rothman on June 22, 2021, 11:10:39 AM


^ Hence why I mentioned a day-trip may be possible, but overnight accommodations probably not.

That said, I've read reports recently where, once day parking lots fill up, NPS is indeed restricting access at other national parks.  Not sure if that's the case at Acadia.  It's certainly happening at the state level at places such as Franconia Notch.

Acadia was established with all sorts of weird conditions, which is why you have the free and too-popular section of the park and then the for-fee loop road.  Cadillac Mountain in particular is an absolute mess and overrun with crowds (signs say "Leave No Trace" -- Seeing the unmanageable crowd on the summit, my father quipped, "Yep, leave no trace of wildlife whatsoever.").  I am sure they may establish reservations for the Loop Road, but they'll probably keep doing what they've done for Jordan Pond/Cadillac Mountain -- when the lots fill up and the waiting line is jamming the driveways up, sorry, just drive around until something opens up.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: hobsini2 on June 22, 2021, 03:01:50 PM
We just came back from New England. Had to go via Indianapolis to drop off/pick up our dog at the in-laws, so the western segment of our routes won't match up. I-80 in Pennsylvania had some spots that were down to 1 land but on weekday mornings/afternoons, it didn't slow us down any. We were also on most of I-90 in New York with no problems.

Two of the most scenic places we went were:
Provincetown (end of Cape Cod)
Kennebunkpoint/Walker Point (summer home of Bush Family)
Good to know. Thanks.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: hobsini2 on June 22, 2021, 03:03:10 PM


^ Hence why I mentioned a day-trip may be possible, but overnight accommodations probably not.

That said, I've read reports recently where, once day parking lots fill up, NPS is indeed restricting access at other national parks.  Not sure if that's the case at Acadia.  It's certainly happening at the state level at places such as Franconia Notch.

Acadia was established with all sorts of weird conditions, which is why you have the free and too-popular section of the park and then the for-fee loop road.  Cadillac Mountain in particular is an absolute mess and overrun with crowds (signs say "Leave No Trace" -- Seeing the unmanageable crowd on the summit, my father quipped, "Yep, leave no trace of wildlife whatsoever.").  I am sure they may establish reservations for the Loop Road, but they'll probably keep doing what they've done for Jordan Pond/Cadillac Mountain -- when the lots fill up and the waiting line is jamming the driveways up, sorry, just drive around until something opens up.

Interesting note on Acadia that I was not aware of.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: hobsini2 on July 02, 2021, 02:04:06 PM
So I have figured out the first leg (Chicago to Pittsburgh) so I can add 12 more counties to my list.
Roughly - Remington IN, Peru, Warren, Montpelier, Geneva, Bryant, Celina OH, St Marys, Wapakoneta, Kenton, Marion, Mt Gilead, Mt Vernon, Killbuck, Coshocton, Uhrichsville, Cadiz, Steubenville and Weirton WV.

https://goo.gl/maps/JKNKG3K8EbmkFDJb7

INDIANA
Wabash
Huntington
Wells
Blackford
Jay
Adams

OHIO
Mercer
Morrow
Knox
Coshocton
Tuscarawas
Harrison

So any POIs along that way would be cool.

I will post the legs as i map them out.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: cabiness42 on July 04, 2021, 08:17:32 PM
Here's an alternative to the fist part of your trip if you're game:

I have family in Logansport so I go there regularly, and if I don't feel like fighting the trucks on 65, I get off at US 231 and take US 231->IN 8->IN 39->IN 10->US 35. It's only a few minutes slower and much more peaceful.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: hobsini2 on July 06, 2021, 12:50:03 PM
Here's an alternative to the fist part of your trip if you're game:

I have family in Logansport so I go there regularly, and if I don't feel like fighting the trucks on 65, I get off at US 231 and take US 231->IN 8->IN 39->IN 10->US 35. It's only a few minutes slower and much more peaceful.
I appreciate the tip.  According to Google's timing, it's only 4 minutes longer that way but 4 miles shorter.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: cabiness42 on July 06, 2021, 02:47:52 PM

So any POIs along that way would be cool.


I don't know that either of these would be considered something to get out of the car for, but two tidbits.

Wabash, IN, specifically the courthouse, was the first electrically lit city in the US.

Also, as you head SE out of Wabash, you'll pass through the tiny town of LaFontaine, which is the hometown of recently retired hockey announcer Doc Emrick. He went to the same college as my parents, a year ahead of my mom and a year behind my dad.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: hobsini2 on July 07, 2021, 03:05:33 PM

So any POIs along that way would be cool.


I don't know that either of these would be considered something to get out of the car for, but two tidbits.

Wabash, IN, specifically the courthouse, was the first electrically lit city in the US.

Also, as you head SE out of Wabash, you'll pass through the tiny town of LaFontaine, which is the hometown of recently retired hockey announcer Doc Emrick. He went to the same college as my parents, a year ahead of my mom and a year behind my dad.
I like little tidbits like that.  A few years ago, I was driving back from Muncie and discovered the hometown of James Dean somewhere along US 35 or Ind 26 before Kokomo.
On another trip down to Nashville, I took Ill 1 all the way down to Cave in the Rock.  Going through Marshall, I discovered the "World's Largest Gavel".
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: cabiness42 on July 07, 2021, 03:08:11 PM

So any POIs along that way would be cool.


I don't know that either of these would be considered something to get out of the car for, but two tidbits.

Wabash, IN, specifically the courthouse, was the first electrically lit city in the US.

Also, as you head SE out of Wabash, you'll pass through the tiny town of LaFontaine, which is the hometown of recently retired hockey announcer Doc Emrick. He went to the same college as my parents, a year ahead of my mom and a year behind my dad.
I like little tidbits like that.  A few years ago, I was driving back from Muncie and discovered the hometown of James Dean somewhere along US 35 or Ind 26 before Kokomo.
On another trip down to Nashville, I took Ill 1 all the way down to Cave in the Rock.  Going through Marshall, I discovered the "World's Largest Gavel".

James Dean's hometown is Fairmount, on IN 26 just east of IN 9.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: hobsini2 on July 07, 2021, 03:11:50 PM

So any POIs along that way would be cool.


I don't know that either of these would be considered something to get out of the car for, but two tidbits.

Wabash, IN, specifically the courthouse, was the first electrically lit city in the US.

Also, as you head SE out of Wabash, you'll pass through the tiny town of LaFontaine, which is the hometown of recently retired hockey announcer Doc Emrick. He went to the same college as my parents, a year ahead of my mom and a year behind my dad.
I like little tidbits like that.  A few years ago, I was driving back from Muncie and discovered the hometown of James Dean somewhere along US 35 or Ind 26 before Kokomo.
On another trip down to Nashville, I took Ill 1 all the way down to Cave in the Rock.  Going through Marshall, I discovered the "World's Largest Gavel".

James Dean's hometown is Fairmount, on IN 26 just east of IN 9.
That was it. I couldn't recall if it was Fairmont or Greentown.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: cabiness42 on July 07, 2021, 03:13:32 PM

So any POIs along that way would be cool.


I don't know that either of these would be considered something to get out of the car for, but two tidbits.

Wabash, IN, specifically the courthouse, was the first electrically lit city in the US.

Also, as you head SE out of Wabash, you'll pass through the tiny town of LaFontaine, which is the hometown of recently retired hockey announcer Doc Emrick. He went to the same college as my parents, a year ahead of my mom and a year behind my dad.
I like little tidbits like that.  A few years ago, I was driving back from Muncie and discovered the hometown of James Dean somewhere along US 35 or Ind 26 before Kokomo.
On another trip down to Nashville, I took Ill 1 all the way down to Cave in the Rock.  Going through Marshall, I discovered the "World's Largest Gavel".

James Dean's hometown is Fairmount, on IN 26 just east of IN 9.
That was it. I couldn't recall if it was Fairmont or Greentown.

I know nothing interesting about Greentown that would distinguish it from Greensboro, Greensburg, Greenville, Greencastle or Greenwood.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: hobsini2 on July 07, 2021, 03:22:28 PM

So any POIs along that way would be cool.


I don't know that either of these would be considered something to get out of the car for, but two tidbits.

Wabash, IN, specifically the courthouse, was the first electrically lit city in the US.

Also, as you head SE out of Wabash, you'll pass through the tiny town of LaFontaine, which is the hometown of recently retired hockey announcer Doc Emrick. He went to the same college as my parents, a year ahead of my mom and a year behind my dad.
I like little tidbits like that.  A few years ago, I was driving back from Muncie and discovered the hometown of James Dean somewhere along US 35 or Ind 26 before Kokomo.
On another trip down to Nashville, I took Ill 1 all the way down to Cave in the Rock.  Going through Marshall, I discovered the "World's Largest Gavel".

James Dean's hometown is Fairmount, on IN 26 just east of IN 9.
That was it. I couldn't recall if it was Fairmont or Greentown.

I know nothing interesting about Greentown that would distinguish it from Greensboro, Greensburg, Greenville, Greencastle or Greenwood.
Well, looking at Google Maps, according to it, the Howard County Fairgrounds and a soda shop called Hydration Station are there. So there ya go.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: Roadgeekteen on July 08, 2021, 05:04:51 PM
The White Mountains are spectacular, with lots of good hiking. A bit out of the way but I would recommend driving to the top of New Hampshire on US 3. There is some beautiful scenery up there and it's not that crowded.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: hobsini2 on July 09, 2021, 10:07:16 AM
The White Mountains are spectacular, with lots of good hiking. A bit out of the way but I would recommend driving to the top of New Hampshire on US 3. There is some beautiful scenery up there and it's not that crowded.
Looks like the AT comes near enough to there to explore the end of US 3. I certainly will be driving to the summit of Mt Washington.  I was trying to figure out if I was going to come in from Maine or Boston though. Probably leaning toward going from Boston up the coast to Acadia & Calais, possibly up to Caribou and then over to Mt Washington and Lake Champlain before heading home via Cooperstown.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: hobsini2 on July 28, 2021, 11:10:38 AM
So I finally have my road trip timing scheduled roughly.  I leave this Saturday after work.

Roughly the map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1IyvFq202kdffipkk2vfUABdMZIfxMt5x&usp=sharing

Sat July 31 Bolingbrook to Cleveland-ish
Sun Aug 1 Cleveland-ish to New London
Mon Aug 2 New London/Rhode Island day
Tue Aug 3 New London/Cape Cod day
Wed Aug 4 New London to Andover ME to get my brother & his wife from the Appalachian Trail. Then go to Bar Harbor.
Thur Aug 5 Bar Harbor to Calais to Houlton to Andover to drop them back on the trail.
Fri Aug 6 Andover to Mt Washington NH to north around Lake Champlain to Saratoga Springs NY.
Sat Aug 7 Saratoga Springs to Cooperstown to Niagara Falls
Sun Aug 8 Niagara Falls to Home.

So with that being said, any restaurant or POIs would be appreciated.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: froggie on August 04, 2021, 10:56:16 AM
Given the inability to cross the Canadian border before the 9th, I'm curious why you're going to Calais.

In Vermont, stop somewhere for a creemee.  Especially a maple creemee.  Just.  Do.  It.  Dairy Creme on US 2 west of Montpelier is an option (requires NOT getting on I-89 right away).

Prohibition Pig in Waterbury.  Also a micro-brewery.  Brewery side should be open for lunch when you pass thru.  Though I believe the US 2 reconstruction project through Waterbury has begun.

Any particular reason for taking the long way around the north side of Lake Champlain when there are two ferries that can cut the distance?
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: D-Dey65 on August 04, 2021, 11:10:01 AM
If you're going to do Cape Cod, do it mid-week.  Don't even think of trying between Thursday and Monday.
Which is worse for traffic? US 6 in Cape Cod, or NY 27 between Hampton Bays and Montauk Point? Because I've been in the latter on good days and bad days.

Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: froggie on August 04, 2021, 01:38:41 PM
Never been on the latter so I cannot make a good comparison.

The biggest hiccup with Cape Cod is getting across the canal, since you (currently) only have the two VERY antiquated bridges crossing the canal.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: Rothman on August 04, 2021, 01:51:08 PM
If you're going to do Cape Cod, do it mid-week.  Don't even think of trying between Thursday and Monday.
Which is worse for traffic? US 6 in Cape Cod, or NY 27 between Hampton Bays and Montauk Point? Because I've been in the latter on good days and bad days.
Why US 6?  MA 28 is the doom road of neverending tourist jam.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: hbelkins on August 04, 2021, 07:21:14 PM

In Vermont, stop somewhere for a creemee.

OK, this may be a dumb question, but what exactly is the difference between a creemee and "normal" soft-serve ice cream?

I recently read something that basically said there is no difference except for the name.

I'm beginning to think I may have missed something by not having a creemee during one of my trips to Vermont.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: froggie on August 04, 2021, 09:28:46 PM
There is a difference.  A Vermont creemee has a higher butterfat content than "normal" soft serve.  It's not unlike the difference between regular ice cream and "frozen custard" (though in that case, the difference is the absence or presence of egg yolk).
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: Ketchup99 on August 04, 2021, 09:51:52 PM
Never been on the latter so I cannot make a good comparison.

The biggest hiccup with Cape Cod is getting across the canal, since you (currently) only have the two VERY antiquated bridges crossing the canal.

This. If you're lucky the Bourne (which is usually your better bet) is free-flowing, but sometimes it jams way up. On the mainland side that doesn't cause a problem, because it backs up into six-lane freeway. On the Cape side, it backs up into a rotary, and all hell breaks loose.

As for MA-28, from the Bourne Bridge to Falmouth it's usually fine. From Falmouth to Hyannis and Hyannis to Chatham are hellish, to the point where it's often worth going over the top (MA-28 to US-6) to bypass it. Can't speak to Chatham-Orleans.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: hobsini2 on August 11, 2021, 01:42:35 PM
Given the inability to cross the Canadian border before the 9th, I'm curious why you're going to Calais.

In Vermont, stop somewhere for a creemee.  Especially a maple creemee.  Just.  Do.  It.  Dairy Creme on US 2 west of Montpelier is an option (requires NOT getting on I-89 right away).

Prohibition Pig in Waterbury.  Also a micro-brewery.  Brewery side should be open for lunch when you pass thru.  Though I believe the US 2 reconstruction project through Waterbury has begun.

Any particular reason for taking the long way around the north side of Lake Champlain when there are two ferries that can cut the distance?


Calais and US 2 north of Burlington was just to drive them. No real reason other than that. The Chocolate Creemee I had in Burlington at Sweet Hazel was tasty. Glad you recommended getting some.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: hobsini2 on August 11, 2021, 01:45:25 PM
If you're going to do Cape Cod, do it mid-week.  Don't even think of trying between Thursday and Monday.
Which is worse for traffic? US 6 in Cape Cod, or NY 27 between Hampton Bays and Montauk Point? Because I've been in the latter on good days and bad days.
Why US 6?  MA 28 is the doom road of neverending tourist jam.

We took the Sagamore Bridge (US 6) to and from Cape Cod.  Traffic wasn't bad until a few miles south of the bridge. We got off at Mass 149 to get to Hyannis. Found a lovely place called the Dockside for lunch. The cod for the fish & chips was really good and flaky.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: hobsini2 on August 11, 2021, 01:47:45 PM
Never been on the latter so I cannot make a good comparison.

The biggest hiccup with Cape Cod is getting across the canal, since you (currently) only have the two VERY antiquated bridges crossing the canal.

This. If you're lucky the Bourne (which is usually your better bet) is free-flowing, but sometimes it jams way up. On the mainland side that doesn't cause a problem, because it backs up into six-lane freeway. On the Cape side, it backs up into a rotary, and all hell breaks loose.

As for MA-28, from the Bourne Bridge to Falmouth it's usually fine. From Falmouth to Hyannis and Hyannis to Chatham are hellish, to the point where it's often worth going over the top (MA-28 to US-6) to bypass it. Can't speak to Chatham-Orleans.

Actually the biggest traffic issue I found in Hyannis was getting back to US 6 from Mass 28 & Yarmouth Rd.  Took 3 cycles to make the left turn onto Mass 28.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: webny99 on August 11, 2021, 03:38:28 PM
Acadia was established with all sorts of weird conditions, which is why you have the free and too-popular section of the park and then the for-fee loop road.  Cadillac Mountain in particular is an absolute mess and overrun with crowds (signs say "Leave No Trace" -- Seeing the unmanageable crowd on the summit, my father quipped, "Yep, leave no trace of wildlife whatsoever.").  I am sure they may establish reservations for the Loop Road, but they'll probably keep doing what they've done for Jordan Pond/Cadillac Mountain -- when the lots fill up and the waiting line is jamming the driveways up, sorry, just drive around until something opens up.

I guess Iím a few days late for the OP, but having been to Acadia in July, I might as well share my experience: Cadillac Mountain was busy, but far from overcrowded, with lots of room to spread out. This is at least partly because reservations are now required, for a small fee, to limit crowds during Covid. Thereís only a certain number of vehicles/passengers allowed up during each half-hour window, and you have to arrive during your half-hour to be allowed up.

Sand Beach and Thunder Hole were busy, with tons of cars parked right on the loop road, but I assume thatís probably normal. Parking was hard to find in Bar Harbor, but it wasnít too bad in terms of crowds. I heard that itís been considerably less busy than usual (pre-Covid) in town with no cruises stopping there.
Title: Re: New England in August
Post by: hobsini2 on August 12, 2021, 08:34:07 AM
Acadia was established with all sorts of weird conditions, which is why you have the free and too-popular section of the park and then the for-fee loop road.  Cadillac Mountain in particular is an absolute mess and overrun with crowds (signs say "Leave No Trace" -- Seeing the unmanageable crowd on the summit, my father quipped, "Yep, leave no trace of wildlife whatsoever.").  I am sure they may establish reservations for the Loop Road, but they'll probably keep doing what they've done for Jordan Pond/Cadillac Mountain -- when the lots fill up and the waiting line is jamming the driveways up, sorry, just drive around until something opens up.

I guess Iím a few days late for the OP, but having been to Acadia in July, I might as well share my experience: Cadillac Mountain was busy, but far from overcrowded, with lots of room to spread out. This is at least partly because reservations are now required, for a small fee, to limit crowds during Covid. Thereís only a certain number of vehicles/passengers allowed up during each half-hour window, and you have to arrive during your half-hour to be allowed up.

Sand Beach and Thunder Hole were busy, with tons of cars parked right on the loop road, but I assume thatís probably normal. Parking was hard to find in Bar Harbor, but it wasnít too bad in terms of crowds. I heard that itís been considerably less busy than usual (pre-Covid) in town with no cruises stopping there.

Yeah parking in Bar Harbor was not easy. We did find decent parking by Grant Park and walked along the shore path.  We did attempt to walk out to Bar Island but the tide was too high. we got out about 1/3 of the way before we turned back.  Cadillac Mountain wasn't too busy as we hit it early in the day.