2010년 10월 16일 토요일

미국 내 단풍 7경 여행안내, 7 Road Trips to View Stunning Fall Foliage

미국의 동부에는 애팔레치아 산맥이 길게 뻗어있어 많은 산림과 숲으로 절경을 이룬 곳이 많다. 특히 가을에는 여기 저기 너무 아름다운 단풍으로 물든 곳이 너무 많은데 그 중 제일 유명한 7 지방을 소개하며 자세하게 감상할 수 있도록 설명이 잘 되어 있기에 소개한다.

7 Road Trips to View Stunning Fall Foliage
Take an affordable vacation through one of these East Coast fall wonderlands.

1.New York Adironack Adventure

© NYS Dept. of Economic Dev.-images by Darren McGee

The Adirondack Park, the largest wilderness east of the Mississippi, sprawls far and wide across upstate New York -- a rugged, pristine realm where forests and mountains reign supreme. Encompassing both public and private land, the Adirondack Park is shaped a bit like a giant oval, and it bounds an astounding 6 million acres -- a tapestry of woodlands, meadows, high-shouldered peaks, and thousands of streams and lakes. Tiny villages are nestled across the countryside, and campgrounds and trails abound. It is no wonder, then, that visitors who come here tend to stay a while in order to savor the stunning scenery, protected since 1892 by a state law decreeing that the park shall remain ''forever wild.'' Above, the 16,000-acre Wilmington Flume Preserve on Rte. 86 is part of Adirondack Park.

Length: About 270 miles, plus side trips. 

When to go: Fine scenery year-round, with drastic and dramatic seasonal changes. 

Nearby attractions: Lake George Beach State Park, with swimming and picnicking, east of Fort William Henry. Six Nations Indian Museum, with displays of native crafts, Rte. 30, north of Saranac Lake. 

Words to the wise: Blackflies and other insect pests can be numerous, especially in early summer. 

Visitor centers: Paul Smiths Visitor Information Center, Rte. 30, north of Saranac Lake. Newcomb Visitor Information Center, Rte. 28N, 14 miles east of Long Lake. 

Further information: Adirondack Regional Tourism Council, P.O. Box 51, West Chazy, NY 12992; tel. 518-846-8016, www.adk.com.
Encompassing both public and private land, the Adirondack Park is shaped a bit like a giant oval, and it bounds an astounding 6 million acres -- a tapestry of woodlands, meadows, high-shouldered peaks, and thousands of streams and lakes. Tiny villages are nestled across the countryside, and campgrounds and trails abound. It is no wonder, then, that visitors who come here tend to stay a while in order to savor the stunning scenery, protected since 1892 by a state law decreeing that the park shall remain ''forever wild.''
1.    Prospect Mountain
For a good overview of the region, begin your Adirondack adventure with a drive to the lofty summit of Prospect Mountain, which crests at 2,030 feet. The highway, a toll road that is open in the warmer months, switches back and forth as it maneuvers up the slopes. It has many overlooks along the way to allow visitors to pause and enjoy the vistas. Below lies Lake George, a glistening 32-mile-long expanse of blue wedged amid steep, forested ridges. Sparkling clean, the lake is a swimmer's delight, and its shores and myriad islands are virtually unbeatable when it comes to exploring and relaxing. Anglers too will find a piece of paradise here as they try their luck for bass, trout, perch, and other fish. 

The Lake George area was not always so idyllic. In the 1700s the British and French waged battles for control of the territory, but of course neither country was destined to possess it in the end. The English erected Fort William Henry, which has been reconstructed just east of the village of Lake George, the touristy hub for the region. Visitors come to the reconstructed fort not only to learn about its history but also to take in the stunning views to be seen from the nearby water's edge. 

2. Bolton Landing
Hugging Lake George's western shore, Rte. 9N passes waterfront homes, resorts, and rocky slopes softened by thick, fragrant stands of evergreens intermixed with broadleaf trees. Before long it arrives at Bolton Landing, a village complete with souvenir shopping, summer homes, a boat launch, and sweeping views of the lake. A narrow bridge connects the town to an island where the spacious Sagamore Hotel has been catering to guests for more than a century. A white clapboard structure with striking green trim, the resort first opened for business in 1883. The original structure burned down, was rebuilt, then caught fire again. The hotel standing today was erected in 1922. 

3. Fort Ticonderoga
Nearly every sign of commercialism quickly fades from view as the drive continues northward, offering excellent views of Lake George and its mountainous surroundings. Pulloffs here and there provide motorists with opportunities to pause and enjoy the scenery. Deer's Leap, at the base of steep-sided Tongue Mountain, commands a vista back toward the lake's southern end. Farther along, the community of Hague, snugly situated on the water's edge, has a park that is just right for picnics. 

At its northern end Lake George flows through the narrow channel of the La Chute River into Lake Champlain -- a location so valuable in the past that it became known as the Key to the Continent. The French staked their claim on the area by building a fort on Champlain's shores in 1755, but a few years later the British captured the citadel, which they named Fort Ticonderoga. Years later, in one of the Revolutionaries' first victories, a force of independence-minded Americans -- led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold -- took the fort in a surprise attack in 1775. 

Their victory was destined to be famous, but it was short-lived: the British regained the fort in 1777. Exhibits at Ticonderoga's museum tell the story of its past. (Come summer, a part of that past is reenacted with demonstrations of early soldiering that include cannon firings and fife-and-drum marching bands in period costumes.) As an added bonus, the views from the fort are splendid, looking out across the water to the Vermont shore and the distant peaks and ridges of the Green Mountains. 

4. Paradox Lake
Changing direction, the drive next swings toward the west as it follows Rte. 74 to Paradox Lake. (The "paradox" lies in the fact that, in times of high water caused by floods, the lake's outlet, overwhelmed by the Schroon River, becomes an inlet.) Many other lakes, though smaller, are spotted throughout the surrounding countryside, a woodland crisscrossed by hiking trails. 

5. High Peaks
Rte. 9 guides motorists northward beside the Schroon River to Rte. 73, a serpentine drive that leads into the heart of the high-climbing Adirondack Mountains. Elevations often exceed 4,000 feet in this area, where the rounded dome of Mt. Marcy -- nicknamed the Cloud -- Splitter-reigns as the tallest of all the state's peaks. Its peak tops off at 5,344 feet. Embellishing the undulating beauty of the High Peaks region are its many waterways. The narrowest of brooks and the swiftest of streams splash down the slopes in all directions. They collect in lakes and ponds, many of which are situated in glacier-carved basins and U-shaped valleys that have become gathering places for wildlife. 

Pine trees hem in Rte. 73 as it continues to twist and turn to idyllic Chapel Pond, where you'll drive through the mighty jaws of a deep gorge. Rock climbers come to scale the high cliffs, which also happen to be an important nesting ground for the endangered peregrine falcon. (To ensure that the birds are not disturbed, climbers are not permitted on certain cliffs during the birds' nesting season.) 

Farther on, after dipping into a broad valley, the drive heads into the town of Keene. A side detour from there diverts to the west to the High Peaks Wilderness, where travelers can park and then head out on foot to sample some of the scenery afforded by the 238 miles of hiking trails that lace the area. 

The trail to the summit of nearby Mt. Jo, a round-trip of less than two miles, is a fairly easy hike that culminates with a panoramic view of the sculpted summits. Lofty Mt. Marcy can also be climbed by trail, a trek -- very difficult in places -- that ascends amid maples, birches, alders, and spruces on its way to the treeless summit. Looking down, hikers can see tiny Lake Tear-of-the-Clouds, the extreme headwater of the Hudson River. 

6. Lake Placid
Alpine skiing was introduced near the sleepy village of Lake Placid nearly 100 years ago. As the sport has grown, so too has the community, which hosted the Winter Olympics in both 1932 and 1980. The cheers and thrills that characterized the athletic events have long since subsided, but today Lake Placid -- no matter what its name may suggest -- remains the vibrant hub for the High Peaks region. Visitors to its downtown area can browse in art galleries, take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, or simply enjoy the views of the lake. 

Sightseers can also spend their time taking in the many signs of the past Olympics. Luge and bobsled runs slash down the hillsides at the Mt. Van Hoevenburg Recreation Area; two massive ski jumps, set atop a prominent knoll, tower high into the sky; and the Olympic Center houses ice-skating rinks. These areas are not just showpieces, either; many American athletes aspiring to one day win a gold medal come to train here and perfect their skills year-round. 

A dreamer of a different sort, abolitionist John Brown, lived and farmed in the Lake Placid area more than 100 years ago -- his 244-acre homestead lies to the southeast of town. Visitors are welcome to explore its woods and fields and to learn about the man who was tried and executed for leading an attempted raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. 

7. Whiteface Mountain 
For many visitors to the Adirondack Park, the drive up the slopes of Whiteface Mountain, whose bold summit stands at 4,867 feet, is the superlative experience. The winding eight-mile Veterans Memorial Highway, opened to traffic by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, ends just 500 feet below the summit, which visitors can reach by means of a stone walkway or by an elevator that ascends through a shaft carved deep within the mountain's granite core. 

An observation deck crowns the mountaintop, where the assault of winter weather is quite apparent. Only a few hardy lichens are able to survive -- quite a contrast to the views of the forests that stretch all the way to the horizon in every direction. On clear days you also see Lake Champlain and the Saint Lawrence River. 

Backtracking to Lake Placid, take the time to stop at High Falls Gorge, situated near the base of the Whiteface Mountain Ski Area. The deep cleft was sliced into a mass of layered rock by the West Branch of the Ausable River. A thundering waterfall shoots between the walls, dropping 100 feet, then another 600 feet over three downriver ledges. Bridges and pathways -- wooden boardwalks that cling to the cliffsides -- make for unforgettable views of the river, which rushes and roars below. 

You should also keep an eye out for unusual vegetation. One plant, the rare Lapland rosebay, resembles a rhododendron and manages a toehold in the merest of crevices. 

8. Saranac Lake
The thermometer's ''mercury ... curls up into the bulb like a hibernating bear,'' lamented the noted author Robert Louis Stevenson, who spent six months at Saranac Lake in 1887-88. He had come hoping that the crisp air would check his tuberculosis, which was being treated at a sanatorium established by Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau. Stevenson's onetime cottage, preserved as a museum, displays memorabilia recalling his life. The village of Saranac Lake, settled in 1819, provides travelers with yet another entryway to the wilds. Camping, hiking, canoeing, and fishing await among the inter connected lakes and streams, parts of which are designated as the St. Regis Canoe Area. Popular too is the town's Winter Carnival, an annual festival highlighted by the creation of an elaborate castle built of ice. 

10. Long Lake
After traversing through a mixed forest consisting of pine, maple, beech, and birch trees, the drive toward the town of Long Lake skims across miles of wetlands -- vast stretches that close in on both sides of the road. In Long Lake itself, nature lovers can glimpse -- and hear -- an amazing array of bird life. The cantankerous chatter of ducks plays a counterpoint among the varied tunes of many species of songbirds. In the tamarack-fringed marshes, long-legged great blue herons stand out amid the carpeting of sedges, reeds, and wildflowers. 

11. Blue Mountain Lake
Nestled at the base of Blue Mountain, Blue Mountain Lake is regarded by some as one of the most beautiful of the 2,800 lakes in the Adirondack Park. Indeed, the setting has long been an inspiration to writers, artists, and musicians, who make summertime pilgrimages to come to the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts. 

Some highly regarded artwork can be seen at the acclaimed Adirondack Museum, which overlooks the lake and boasts an exhaustive collection of exhibits. Not surprisingly, the emphasis here is on Adirondack life, and more than 20 buildings -- each dedicated to a particular subject -- are spread across 30 acres. Visitors can spend days delighting in everything from boats, furniture, handicrafts, and railroad cars to paintings by such American masters as Frederic Remington, Winslow Homer, and Thomas Cole. 

12. Raquette Lake
Raquette Lake -- a name that applies to both the lake and to this quaint and quiet village that stands beside it -- consists of little more than a couple of dwellings, churches, and a general store. Golden Beach, situated four miles east of the hamlet, was named for the color of its soft sand. Families with small children favor swimming here since the water remains shallow for dozens of yards offshore. 

In the late 1800s the glory of the Adirondacks began to lure some of America's wealthiest families. Buying large parcels of land, they built spacious summer homes -- getaways that, perhaps a bit tongue in cheek, they referred to as ''camps.'' Sagamore Road, an unpaved drive, leads to one of the grandest of these lodges, known today as Great Camp Sagamore. 

Built by architect William West Durant in 1897, then sold to Alfred Vanderbilt, Sagamore contains numerous buildings set among the pine woods. But it is the main house, a chalet-style mansion constructed of logs, that commands center stage. Every detail of the place was supervised by Durant, who even ordered the huge fireplace to be rebuilt: one or two stones, it seems, were not set exactly as they were supposed to be. Traditional Adirondack chairs and lamps, a bowling alley, and wall coverings made of bark are among the many touches that make the mansion so endearing. 

Recently the camp has gained a new lease on life as the Sagamore Institute, a center that conducts craft workshops and outdoor programs. Summer visitors can watch a slide show on the great camp era and take a two-hour tour. 

13. Fulton Chain Lakes
Hoping to map a water route all the way to Canada, Robert Fulton, best known as the inventor of the steamboat, surveyed these lakes in about 1811. No such waterway could be found, but the lakes are part of a 125-mile canoe route -- some short portages are required at impassible spots -- between Saranac Lake and Old Forge. 

The eight Fulton Chain Lakes are known simply by number -- perhaps explorers just ran out of other names. On the eastern end of Fourth Lake sits the village of Inlet, a rustic place where the cooling shade of sky-high pine trees is never far away. You can rent a boat to explore the lake or continue on Rte. 28 to Old Forge, a forest-girt town that was first settled by one Charles Herreshoff. 

Herreshoff dreamed of making a fortune by mining iron ore. Those who came with him, however, found the work as brutal as the winter weather; many packed up and departed. Adding to his disappointment, the mines frequently flooded, and Herreshoff ended as a broken man. Despite its bleak beginnings, Old Forge today is a haven where visitors can ski, hike, and perhaps glimpse a black bear wandering its way down Main Street. 

2.Maryland Panhandle

Hidden in the time-worn mountains of far western Maryland is a pristine province where rivers run deep, forests grow thick, and tiny mountain towns beckon with cozy inns and tales of frontier lore. Above, the Casselman Bridge of Grantsville, a mountain village populated mostly by Amish and Mennonites since the 1800s. 

 About 170 miles, plus side trips. 

When to go:
 Best between May and October.

Length: About 170 miles, plus side trips. When to go: Best between May and October. Not to be missed: The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, from Cumberland to Frostburg and back. Nearby attractions: Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, Harpers Ferry, WV. City of Washington, DC. Further information: Allegheny County Visitor Bureau, Madison St. and Harrison St., Cumberland, MD 21502; tel. 800-508-4748, www.mdmountainside.com

1. Swallow Falls State Park
Lured a century or so ago by blue-green mountains, cool forests, and swift, icy rivers, the well-to-do of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., built grand homes in and around Oakland, where the drive begins. Here they lolled away the summers with chilled lemonade and leisurely strolls. Many of their opulent homes still stand—mostly gingerbread Victorian in style—east of Oakland in the little town of Mountain Lake Park.
To get a sense of the unspoiled territory that first attracted these urban bluebloods, meander northwest from Oakland on Herrington Manor Road to Swallow Falls State Park. In the midst of this leafy paradise, serene Muddy Creek splashes over a rock ledge framed by mountain laurels, maples, hickories, and rhododendrons. Trails wander along sandstone cliffs beside the furious Youghiogheny River, whose rapids—with such knee-knocking nicknames as Triple Drop, Meat Cleaver, and Double Pencil Sharpener—are to many rafters a dream come true.

2. Deep Creek Lake State Park
Heading east on Swallow Falls Road, follow signs to Rte. 219 and then motor north to Deep Creek Lake, tucked among steep, forested slopes. This outdoor wonderland—and the 1,800-acre state park that lines its eastern shore—beckons sailors and water-skiers. Anglers come to entice walleye, and hikers tromp along trails that wind through groves of cherries, oaks, and sugar maples. In winter cross-country skiers glide beside the frozen lake past ice fishermen bundled up against the cold.

3. The Cove Overlook
Passing the high-steepled church in the town of Accident, Rte. 219 comes upon a picturesque pocket of farmland surrounded by the Alleghenies. Stop at The Cove Overlook to savor the tranquillity of this fertile valley fenced in by mountain peaks. Once reaching as high as the Alps, the Alleghenies—part of the Appalachian chain that stitches the eastern coast from Quebec to Alabama—are now relatively modest in size, softened and rounded by the elements over millions of years. The road winds north among these ancient mountains to the rugged summit of Keysers Ridge, where Rte. 40A veers east to Grantsville beneath the branches of oaks, hickories, and birches.

4. Grantsville
Chestnut-colored horses pull sleek black carriages through the streets of Grantsville, a mountain village populated mostly by Amish and Mennonites since the 1800s. A walk through the pleasant downtown brings you to the Casselman Hotel, a historic roadside inn with gleaming woodwork, a fireplace in every room, and the mouth-watering aroma of freshly baked bread wafting from the inn's on-site bakery.
Nearby at Penn Alps, a center that encourages local craft traditions, Amish people clad in black and white sell handwoven baskets, homemade apple butter, and colorful patchwork quilts. Next door at the Spruce Forest Artisan Village, a renowned whittler turns chunks of wood into graceful bird carvings that, from a distance, look like they just might fly away and join their real-life counterparts.

5. New Germany State Park
Farther along on Rte. 40A, a turn to the south leads to New Germany State Park, a comely patch of wilderness—with winding trails, hilly woods, and a trout-stocked lake—that showcases the seasons to perfection. In summer an emerald canopy of cherry, oak, and hickory trees shades these gentle slopes, until the days begin to shorten and gold and scarlet spread like wildfire across the hillsides. All too soon, an icy, arctic breeze blows the last leaves off the trees, a prelude to the blizzards that roar across the silent land, dumping so much snow—over 100 inches a year—that it lasts well past winter. Only in April or May do the rhododendrons and mountain laurels begin to show their pink and white blooms, acknowledging the arrival of spring.

6. National Road
All the way to Cumberland, Rte. 40A traces the well-trodden route of the old National Road, an ancient footpath first forged by Native Americans, then traipsed by explorers and militiamen into the unmapped lands beyond the Appalachians. This historic route was designated a National Scenic Byway in 2003. In the early 1800s the government—wanting to open up its untamed western territory—widened the path, paved it with broken stone, and dubbed it the nation's first federal road (it was generally known as the Pike). In no time long lines of covered wagons, their holds chock-full of pioneers yearning for a better life, churned westward toward Oregon and Santa Fe, joining herds of teamsters and stagecoach riders on the slow, bumpy trek. Mementos of that era include the crumbling stone mile markers scattered here and there along the roadside, the tiny village of Frostburg—which grew up around a cluster of taverns, smithies, and inns that served travelers plying the National Road—and in the town of LaVale, an old brick tollhouse.

7. Cumberland
Beyond La Vale the road squeezes between the sheer 1,000-foot bluffs of Cumberland Narrows, then slides into Cumberland, an alluring town of historic red-brick buildings nestled in the mountains. Here in the early 1750s, George Washington, as a young lieutenant in the French and Indian War (his cabin stands in Riverside Park), dreamed of a magnificent canal that would carry goods between the frontier and the coast. He never had the chance to build it, but the idea took form in 1828, when President John Quincy Adams broke ground (and, some say, the shovel) in Washington, D.C., and work was begun on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. The canal operated for nearly a century, its husky mules plodding beside the waterway with low-slung boats in tow. But the mules and canal boats were no match for the sleek engines of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (the nation's first), which came barreling up and over the mountains and eventually signaled the demise of the canal in 1924 after parts of it fell victim to flood damage. Today, the last lock to be built before all hopes for the canal were dashed stands down by the Potomac in Cumberland and has been transformed into Canal Place, commemorating the C & O Canal's terminus. It also has been designated Maryland's first certified heritage area. Throughout the summer season, here you'll be able to participate in a variety of activities including canal boat replica tours, scenic rail excursions, and festivals, culminating in the largest: CanalFest. It's also a welcome boon for the hikers, cyclists, and joggers who swarm to its scenic towpath—now part of a national historical park that meanders for more than 180 miles, all the way to Washington, D.C., along the old, leaf-shaded waterway. Plans in the future call for restoring a section of the canal itself and offering boat rides from the rewatered terminus of the C & O canal.

8. Sideling Hill
From Green Ridge State Forest, the drive follows Rte. 40A to the town of Piney Grove, where it joins Rte. 40/68 and heads into Sideling Hill. When road workers blasted into the hilly landscape here in 1984 to make way for the highway, the resulting gash revealed eons of geological history. Among the lessons imparted here is how the mountain came to be—how, 230 million years ago, the continental plates of North America and Africa rammed into each other like a slow-motion car crash, their impact crumpling the land to create a mountain range. Also discovered here were the fossil remains of brachiopods left behind by an inland sea, and traces of swamp ferns dating from the days of the dinosaurs. These and other treasures are on display at the three-story exhibit center.
Ahead, the mountains melt into hills as the road enters the heart of Maryland's farm country. Old stone houses and classic red barns dot the velvet-green fields, and the hillsides are clad with fruit trees.

9. Fort Frederick State Park
Reached via a short side trip on Rte. 56, Fort Frederick is the sole survivor of a long line of sturdy forts that were sprinkled along the length of the Maryland Panhandle in the 1700s. Their purpose was to keep encroaching French colonists and their Indian allies away from the settlers trying to carve homesteads out of the wilderness. Fort Frederick, a great stone structure poised above the Potomac River, has massive walls 17 feet high and 4 feet thick. Inside the barracks uncomfortable iron beds and plain stone walls evoke the nearly monastic austerity of a soldier's life in the old days. The fort—serving variously as a strategic supply base, a refuge for settlers, and a prisoner-of-war camp—figured in three major conflicts of U.S. history: the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War.

10. Hagerstown
To continue the drive, take Rte. 56 west and then turn north at Big Pool to Indian Springs. From there take Rte. 40 east through rolling green countryside and pastures to Hagerstown.
More than two centuries ago, a young, starry-eyed German named Jonathan Hager followed his true love (so it is said) across the Atlantic Ocean to America. They married and settled in the middle of the wilderness in a limestone house with a great stone fireplace. Young Hager named the village that grew up around them Elizabeth Town, though everyone else called it Hager's Town. Their old house—furnished with buffalo hides, split-oak baskets, and other frontier decor—still stands today as a reminder of the depth of the region's historic past.
Several miles east of town—via Rtes. 64 and 77—lies Catoctin Mountain Park, which harbors one of the nation's most carefully guarded enclaves—Camp David. Unless you're the president, you probably won't visit this secluded mountain retreat, which Franklin D. Roosevelt christened Shangri-la. But you can still enjoy the dense woods, intriguing nature trails, and trout-filled streams, and feel the cool breezes that surround it.
From Hagerstown the drive rambles south on Rte. 65 past farms, hollows, and waving fields of corn to Sharpsburg, a friendly village today that abuts a grim reminder of the Civil War.
11. Antietam National Battlefield
Wooded hilltops and murmuring streams belie the horrors that unfolded on this notorious battlefield throughout the hours of September 17, 1862—the bloodiest day of conflict in any American war. On that fateful day, during the first Confederate invasion of the North, forces of the North and South clashed at three different sites: in a cornfield, along a sunken road (later dubbed Bloody Lane), and on a graceful bridge. The confrontations resulted in no tactical gain or loss for either side—no loss, that is, except for the 23,000 men who lay dead or wounded around the smoldering, smoking battleground. You can learn all about the somber event at the modern visitor center and perhaps take a driving tour of the historic battlefield.

From Sharpsburg follow Rte. 34 northeast to Crystal Grottoes, a cavern with walkways that snake through intriguing underground limestone formations. Boonsboro, a bit farther along Rte. 34, is said to have been founded by relatives of Daniel Boone. From the center of town, Rte. 40A leads southeast to Washington Monument State Park.
12. Washington Monument State Park
Somewhat obscured by foliage and squat in shape, this Washington Monument looks to some like an ugly stepsister of the tall, sleek obelisk that graces the National Mall in Washington, D.C. But the juglike stone structure that sits atop South Mountain in Washington Monument State Park nonetheless boasts a distinction: it was the first memorial ever built to honor the nation's first president, and it embodies the pride and patriotism of an entire town and its surrounding region. On the Fourth of July in 1827—51 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence—nearly every citizen of Boonsboro marched two miles up the mountainside and, one by one, laid each stone in its proper place. An inner staircase climbs the 34-foot tower to a marvelous perch that takes in miles of gentle hills and valleys. You can enjoy a picnic in the park or hike on one of its trails before continuing east on Rte. 40A into the historic city of Frederick; the Appalachian Trail passes through the park, part of a path through many of the Eastern states.

13. Frederick
Rolling farmland surrounds the city of Frederick, a bustling commercial hub and college town with gracious Federal town houses and spired churches that exude an appealing, old-fashioned charm.
On tree-shaded West Patrick Street, you'll find the old red-brick home of Barbara Fritchie, the fiery, then-95-year-old patriot who, legend says, defiantly flew the Stars and Stripes in the face of the invading Southern general Stonewall Jackson and his rebel horde in 1862. Her actions on that day were imortalized in verse, according to poet John Greenleaf Whittier, who gave voice to Fritchie's fervent exclamation:
“ ‘Shoot if you must this old gray head,
But spare your country's flag,’ she said.”
Visibly shamed, Jackson then shouted to his soldiers:
“Who touches a hair on yon gray head
Dies like a dog! March on!”
Today Barbara Fritchie's spirit is also memorialized in a museum displaying her furniture, quilts, china, and other relics that evoke life in 19th-century Maryland.

3.Massachusetts Mohawk Trail

Forested mountains, rich river-bottom farmlands, and riotous explosions of autumn color -- the splendors of this Massachusetts drive have inspired the raves of travelers for generations. Above, a floral cascade blankets the streamside trail at Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls. 

 About 60 miles, plus side trips. 

When to go:
 Popular year-round, but best in fall for the foliage. 

Nearby attractions: Historic Deerfield, featuring well-preserved 18th- and 19th-century homes. Natural Bridge, a 550-million-year-old marble formation, North Adams. The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown.

Further information:
 Mohawk Trail Association, P.O. Box 1044, North Adams, MA 01247; tel. 413-743-8127,www.mohawktrail.com.

Mohawk Indians once trod this route across the rugged Berkshire Hills to raid the Pocumtucks of the Deerfield River valley, and armies from Colonial Boston in turn traveled this way to defend the Western Frontier. But the real flood of traffic began in 1914 when the trail opened to automobile traffic -- just six years after the first Model T rolled off Henry Ford's production line -- for its panoramic vistas helped whet the nation's appetite for leisure-time touring.
1. Northfield Mountain
From the summit of Northfield Mountain, found north of Rte. 2 in western Massachusetts, the view arcs out across a crazy quilt of corn and tobacco fields, ponds and reservoirs, stands of oaks and maples, and 19th-century factory towns, all linked by the majestic sweep of the Connecticut River. On the mountain itself, Northeast Utilities maintains a 2,000-acre complex of woodland hiking paths and ski trails -- the Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center. It's a fine spot to sample this corner of the state, whose character has long been defined by three key ingredients -- farmland, mill town, and forest primeval.

2. Turners Falls
The life of the Atlantic salmon -- a trout rather than a true salmon -- is as fragile as it is astonishing. Each spring, tiny alevins by the millions hatch from eggs in freshwater streams throughout the Northeast. Most of them perish, but some survive and head downriver to spend the next year or two at sea. As adults they return, fighting their way upcurrent to spawn in the same streams where they were born -- unless something stops them. And stopped these fish were, until recently, by power dams built across the Connecticut and other rivers. But at Turners Falls, Northeast Utilities has built state-of-the-art fish ladders that enable the salmon -- and many shad as well as undesirable lamprey eels -- to bypass their dam. At a special viewing area, open in May, you can experience the miracle of the fish's spring migration.

3. Shelburne Falls
Just beyond I-91, Rte. 2 begins its climb into the hills. Scaling the steep wooded slopes of Greenfield Mountain, the Mohawk Trail spins on past apple orchards, pastures, hay fields, maple-sugar houses, and old barns brimming with antiques. Shelburne Falls, the first of the hill towns, is a huddle of rambling Federal-style houses and a historic shopping district nestled beside the Deerfield River.

The first visitors here were Indians, who came to net salmon at the base of the falls, where a swirl of boulders in the closing years of the ice age scooped some 50 circular pools into the bedrock. One pothole, measuring 39 feet across, is said to be the world's largest. Nearby, the 400-foot-long Bridge of Flowers spans the Deerfield River. Originally built for trolley cars, it now displays bright seasonal borders that erupt in a nine-month display of color, from springtime's daffodils and summer's gladiolii to autumn's asters.

4. Charlemont
"There is no lovelier place on earth," once opined Archibald MacLeish, America's late poet laureate and sometime resident of Franklin County, "nothing more human in scale and prospect than our hills." He was opening the summer chamber music season at Charlemont's prim white clapboard Federated Church, perched above the Deerfield River. In summer the concerts and -- more ruggedly active -- white-water canoeing are the attractions here; in winter skiing is the draw. The Berkshire East Ski Area offers short, steep runs and a Grandma Moses view of town from atop the slopes.

Charlemont also is the center of a renewed Mohawk presence along the trail. Tribal groups from all over the Northeast gather at Indian Plaza, east of town, to swap stories, perform native dances, and sell handicrafts. In a small park to the west, a statue of a Mohawk brave,
 Hail to the Sunrise, celebrates the trail's Indian heritage.

5. Mohawk Trail State Forest
Beyond Charlemont the trail rises steeply, reaching an abruptly wild terrain of gorges, tumbling brooks, sudden ridges, and rocky outcrops, all enveloped in a densely mixed forest made up of hardwoods and evergreens. The air, perfumed by pines and hemlocks, grows cooler here in Mohawk Trail State Forest. Hikers can sample trails that range from gentle to moderately ambitious. Anglers can try their luck for trout. And wildlife watchers will find that the woods are alive with wonders: even from the campground parking area, you might glimpse a deer, a porcupine, or a black bear.

6. Whitcomb Summit
Experienced leaf peepers, as they're known in these parts, pray for three things in early autumn: cool nights, warm days -- and not too much wind. But in almost any year, the transformation is breathtaking. At the town of Florida, the trail reaches its loftiest point, and from the 2,200-foot-high overlook at Whitcomb Summit, the hills and valleys below unfurl in all their autumn glory: the orange and scarlet of maples, the bright gold of birch, the purple of ash, and the deep green punctuation marks of hemlock and spruce.

The prospect calls out for a closer look, and you should take it. Just east of Whitcomb Summit, turn onto Whitcomb Hill Road and head down to the Deerfield River. As the road descends into the gorge, each switchback reveals new views. Hills shift and disappear; a stream gurgles past; the river glistens.

Once at the bottom you'll find an imposing historical landmark. A left onto River Road takes you to the Hoosac Tunnel, a five-mile-long railroad route through the granite spine of the Berkshires that was hailed as the engineering marvel of its day. It took 25 years to build and cost 196 lives -- but it opened the rail link between Boston and Albany and led to the development of the lands between.

7. Hairpin Turn
At the Western Summit, a popular launching point for hang gliders, the view reaches on toward the sunset. The trail then zigzags down, turning a full 180 degrees at a dramatic Hairpin Turn. Back when the road first opened, cars ascending eastward from North Adams tended to overheat, and near this point the radiators of many would boil over. The owners would get water from the restaurant here -- it's still in business -- and gaze out over the valley and the mountains beyond.

8. Mt. Greylock
Rising to 3,491 feet above sea level, Mt. Greylock ranks as the highest peak in Massachusetts. And what a splendid vantage point it forms. From the observation tower at its summit, you can see the Catskills and Adirondacks in New York, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the high peaks of New Hampshire, and the entire sweep of the Berkshires. The road to the top, a 10-mile switchback detour along Notch Road, takes you through a state forest reservation encompassing some 12,000 heavily forested acres, including a 200-year-old stand of stately red spruces. Wildlife is plentiful, with beavers, porcupines, coyotes, foxes, snowshoe hares, black bears, and bobcats all lurking in the shadows. Spend time also looking at the plentiful wildflowers in spring and the shaded glens and moss-banked creeks in summer.

9. Williamstown
Somewhere in everyone's mental file cabinet there exists the image of a picture-perfect New England village. Williamstown comes close to that prototypical ideal. Classic white clapboard mansions line its tree-shaded streets, along with Gothic stone churches and the handsome buildings of Williams College, which has been thriving here since 1793. Its town parks are fine spots for impromptu picnics or sunbathing, with a chance to wind down -- all in all, an idyllic climax to the varied scenery to be savored along the Mohawk Trail.

4.South Carolina Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway

Threading along the slopes of the southern Appalachians, this drive crosses an ancient Indian path as it winds past orchards and a historic battlefield to a land of forests, lakes, and a legendary white-water river. More than 50 waterfalls—among them some of the tallest in the East—splash down from the heights of the Upcountry, as South Carolinians call these western mountains. At Raven Cliff Falls (shown above) visitors look up to see a series of cascades that plunge more than 400 feet through a narrow gorge. In autumn, when the foliage of oaks, hickories, and maples achieves its peak, Raven Cliff affords one of the state's most splendid scenes: a misty tableau of yellows, reds, and oranges enlivened by the dancing silver water of the falls. 

 About 130 miles, plus side trips. 

When to go:
 Fine scenery year-round; icy conditions may close roads in winter. 

Nearby attractions: Kings Mountain State Park, with a re-created homestead, and Kings Mountain National Military Park, an American Revolution battleground, northeast of Gaffney via Rte. 29. Oconee State Park, with camping and hiking, north of Walhalla via Rte. 107. 

Further information: Discover Upcountry Carolina, P.O. Box 3116, Greenville, SC 29602; tel. 800-849-4766,

Like ivy clinging to an old stone wall, the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Highway climbs over the slopes of the Blue Ridge foothills, forming a 130-mile arc in northwestern South Carolina. Along the way, the drive invites travelers to walk woodland trails to tumbling waterfalls, enjoy the solitude of mountain brooks, and gaze at highlands rolling to the horizon. Sample all of these delights, and you'll see why members of the Cherokee tribes called this land Sah-ka-na-ga, or “Great Blue Hills of God.”
1. Gaffney
Every spring the rosy blush of peach blossoms welcomes motorists to Rte. 11, Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Highway. Come summer, roadside stands fill with the luscious fruits, which make for big business in these parts—a fact emphasized by Peachoid, Gaffney's million-gallon water tower, painted to look like a gigantic peach.

Just west of Gaffney the byway passes Cowpens National Battlefield, where a ragtag band of patriots met a much larger force of elite British troops in 1781. Despite the seeming mismatch, the skilled tactics of General Daniel Morgan earned the Americans a resounding victory—one in a series of triumphs in the South that helped pave the fledgling nation's road to independence. Today an interpretive walk guides visitors through the now-peaceful meadow that in Revolutionary times once rang with musket fire and the clang of clashing sabers.
2. Caesars Head State Park
Winding westward, the drive goes past Jones Gap State Park on the way to Caesars Head State Park, situated just to the north via Rte. 276. The two parklands, linked by a five-mile trail along the Middle Fork of the Saluda River, rank among South Carolina's finest wild places. The road up to Caesars Head, a mountaintop monolith, rewards visitors with a panorama of the Blue Ridge foothills, their green crests disappearing in the distance. At the overlook's edge, sheer cliffs drop a total of 1,200 feet.
More than 50 waterfalls—among them some of the tallest in the East—splash down from the heights of the Upcountry, as South Carolinians call these western mountains. Raven Cliff Falls, a bit north of Caesars Head, can be reached by a moderately strenuous two-mile hike. At trail's end visitors look up to see a series of cascades that plunge more than 400 feet through a narrow gorge. In autumn, when the foliage of oaks, hickories, and maples achieves its peak, Raven Cliff affords one of the state's most splendid scenes: a misty tableau of yellows, reds, and oranges enlivened by the dancing silver water of the falls.
3. Table Rock State Park
The Great Spirit, according to the Cherokees, dined atop this park's granite summit, giving basis to the name—Table Rock—that has endured to modern times. Table Rock Lodge, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, sits at the edge of PinnacleLake and offers views of the peak. Challenging trails climb to the summit; an easier hour-long hike crisscrosses Carrick Creek, where blossoming mountain laurels and rhododendrons grace the woods in spring with clouds of rose-pink, purple, and white.

4. Keowee–Toxaway State Natural Area
European pioneers encountered a thriving Cherokee culture in these rugged hills. For a time the two peoples lived in peace, but as more and more settlers came, the Cherokees, like other eastern tribes, were forced to leave their homeland for points west. To learn about this sad chapter in history, stop at Keowee–Toxaway State Natural Area's Interpretive Center, where a museum and kiosks display such artifacts as arrowheads and pottery. Also be sure to sample the nearby woodlands, which envelope the shores of man-made Lake Keowee. The sprawling reservoir has inundated the onetime capital of the Lower Cherokees—a village also called Keowee, or “Land of the Mulberry Groves.”

5. Devils Fork State Park
After crossing Lake Keowee, turn north on Rte. 25 to reach Devils Fork State Park, located on the shores of Lake Jocassee. Though it might be difficult to shift your gaze from the sparkling water of the lake or to interrupt your search for such wildflowers as trout lilies and Oconee bells, a skyward glance may be rewarded by a glimpse of a peregrine falcon, one of America's most majestic birds of prey. Other denizens of the park include wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, and gray foxes, while the waters of Lake Jocassee teem with bass, sunfish, and trout.

Back on Rte. 11, the drive splits northward in another side trip, Rte. 130, for a visit to Lower Whitewater Falls, part of the tallest series of waterfalls in the East. To view the cascade—its wide veil of water leaps for more than 400 feet—stop at the Bad Creek Hydroelectric Project for a hike along Foothills Trail or a drive to an overlook.

6. Rte. 107 Scenic Byway
The tour parallels the state border as it follows Rte. 413 west, then takes Rte. 107 south through the mountains of Sumter National Forest. Meandering through pines, oaks, hickories, and hemlocks, the highway is the gateway to many of the Upcountry's most appealing sites. First you'll pass the Walhalla National Fish Hatchery, which raises about a million trout each year. The hatchery also marks the entry to the Ellicott Rock Wilderness, a rugged realm of waterfalls and woodlands that boasts one of America's most renowned—and most remote—white-water rivers: the Chattooga. Although many of its rapid-choked stretches are rated strictly for experts, raft trips on gentler sections allow chances for anyone who wishes to try them.

Farther south, Rte. 107 meets Rte. 28, which leads to the Stumphouse Tunnel Park. The preserve has several trails, complete with interpretive displays, and a picnic area that affords a view of 200-foot Issaqueena Falls. The drive then heads to Walhalla, a pretty town amid orchards, and rejoins Rte. 11, which rolls south to the expansive waters of Hartwell Lake.

5.West Virginia Midland Trail

In the rugged mountains of lower West Virginia, where wild rivers race between towering cliffs, the twists and turns along this drive offer irresistible temptations to slow down and savor the views. Above is the autumn view of Hawk's Nest State Park. A park gondola carries passengers down into the depths of the gorge. Wildflowers stud the slopes in spring; come fall, the region is a golden blaze of fluttering foliage.

 About 120 miles, plus side trips. 

When to go:
 Popular year-round. 

Nearby attraction: Greenbrier State Forest, with hiking, camping, and swimming, four miles south of White Sulphur Springs. 
Not to be missed: Bridge Day, when the New River Gorge Bridge is open to pedestrians and parachutists. Held the third Saturday in October.

Further information: West Virginia Division of Tourism, 90 MacCorkle Ave. SW, South Charleston, WV 25303; tel. 800-225-5982,

Climbing beside the Kanawha River to wooded hills and ridgetops, the narrow ribbon of Rte. 60—the Midland Trail—unfurls across the heart of West Virginia. Here in a region where Civil War battles were fought and generations of miners dug for coal, the bittersweet sound of the folk ballads of another era still lingers in the air. But today it is nature's music that dominates, breaking the silence with songs as graceful as the hills and as entrancing as a rushing river.
1. Charleston
Though the Midland Trail's official route was expanded a few years ago and now starts in Huntington, we will begin the drive in Charleston. (Purists may want to visit Huntington to see the B & O Railway Station, Old Central City, Huntington Museum of Art, and the old-time amusements of Camden Park.)

The old James River–Kanawha Turnpike, built to link Richmond, Virginia, with Charleston, West Virginia, followed the course of an old bison path that later became an Indian trail across the Alleghenies. Today the two-lane road (Rte. 60) is known as the Midland Trail.
Start at Charleston's most impressive landmark: the mammoth marble state capitol building, completed in 1932. Facing the Kanawha River—long the economic lifeline of the city—the capitol boasts a golden dome that serves as a beacon for miles around. The red brick governor's mansion and the contemporary Cultural Center are among the adjoining features of the lively Capitol Complex.
As you depart the Mountain State's largest city, traveling east on Rte. 60, you might want to pause at Daniel Boone Park. The riverfront oasis commemorates the renowned woodsman, who lived for a time in the area. A log house and the 1834 Craik-Patton House, both furnished with period antiques, are open for tours.
2. Kanawha Falls
For the first several miles, Rte. 60 passes through a drab industrial corridor. The factories, important in the state's growth and history, were built to refine the minerals and fuels that were discovered in this part of the Kanawha Valley. By the early 1800s the town of Malden, for example, was a major producer of salt, a commodity that at the time was literally worth its weight in gold.

Farther along, the factories disappear, the air clears, and the drive begins its ascent into the Alleghenies. The road winds atop ridges cloaked with beeches, oaks, and hickories, while stands of pines add year-round dabs of dark green. In places you'll drop into fertile valleys where the sap of the sugar maples, known locally as sweetwater, is tapped in springtime and boiled down into syrup. Just before Gauley Bridge, pretty Kanawha Falls pours down a natural staircase of succeeding and massive sandstone ledges. Farther upstream, the Gauley and New rivers unite to form the Kanawha.
3. Hawks Nest State Park
The terrain turns intensely rugged as the drive, looping around a succession of hairpin turns, climbs to Hawks Nest State Park. Perched on a clifftop 585 feet above the sinuous curves of the New River, the area offers bird's-eye views that extend for miles. A park gondola carries passengers down into the depths of the gorge. Wildflowers stud the slopes in spring; come fall, the region is a golden blaze of fluttering foliage. At the water's edge, visitors can boat and picnic.

4. New River Gorge National River
Pioneers called it the New River, but geologists say that this waterway, which has barreled down the same course for about 65 million years, is one of America's oldest. As rafters who sweep down the New's white-water are the first to attest, its venerable age hasn't diminished the river's free-flowing vigor. In fact, its roiling rapids are judged the most difficult east of the Rockies.

Although Rte. 60 has several overlooks along the northern end of the New River Gorge, an even better place to glimpse the chasm is at the Canyon Rim visitor center on Rte. 19. Awesome cliffs—some nearly 1,000 feet high—vault into view, and far below, the New River sparkles in the sun as it races northward. New River Gorge Bridge, just west of the visitor center, soars 876 feet above the water, making it the second-highest single-arch span in the country. Throwing caution to the winds, parachuting daredevils come once a year to leap from the bridge's vertigo-producing heights, from whence they gently float downward to land on sandbars in the river.

Now a semiwilderness of tree-covered ridges and sandstone outcrops, the river corridor was until fairly recently one of the busiest coal-mining centers in the country. To this day miners and other long-time locals gather at the visitor center to recount their experiences in conversations that help to keep alive West Virginia's time-honored tradition of storytelling.
5. Babcock State Park
Most of the old mines were abandoned by the 1930s, and nature ever since has been reclaiming the ground under towns on which they stood. This regrowth is apparent at Babcock State Park. The 4,127-acre tract, lying to the south along Rte. 41, earns special renown for its two different kinds of wild rhododendrons—one bedecked with purple flowers, the other with white blooms—that enliven the hillsides from May until July. Birds carol in the canopy of hardwoods, and trout fight the currents of Glade Creek. Also of note are a reconstructed gristmill that stands at the stream's edge, and some 20 miles of trails tempting hikers to explore the parklands.

6. Big Sewell Mountain
Zigzagging across the Allegheny Plateau, the Midland Trail crests as it rolls across the summit of Big Sewell Mountain. The peak, which climbs to 3,170 feet, served as a camp for Robert E. Lee and his Confederate troops during an 1861 Civil War campaign.
Many other parts of this rumpled region—a strategic link between North and South—were fought for and occupied during the war. As the drive rolls onward through rural hamlets, you'll come to Lewisburg, once a Confederate outpost, where some buildings still bear the scars of battle. Yet Lewisburg's past goes back even further. One stone church, complete with the original pews, was erected by settlers in 1796. Several historic houses, inns, a library, and a courthouse also were built in the decades before the Civil War.

7. White Sulphur Springs
A steady supply of spring water, tinged with smelly sulphur and other minerals, has been drawing health seekers—presidents and politicians among them—to this fashionable retreat since the 18th century. At the town's edge, tucked amid forested hills and lush green pastures, stands the venerable Greenbrier Resort, looking like the White House—only bigger—and evoking the elegance of the Old South that typifies this glorious region.

6.Vermont Green Mountain Highway

This classic tour through the heart of Vermont passes green pastures grazed by contented cattle, tidy villages with quaint general stores, and mountains that seem as old as time. Words to the wise: Book reservations early for fall foliage tours and accommodations. Above is Plymoth Notch in the fall, the town encapsulates 30th president Calvin Coolidge's life.

 About 220 miles, plus side trips. 

When to go:
 Popular year-round; fall foliage is especially beautiful in early to mid-October—newspapers have color reports. 

Words to the wise: Book reservations early for fall foliage tours and accommodations. Mountain roads may be closed in winter. Some attractions are seasonal. 

Nearby attractions: The Bennington Museum, Bennington. Village of Newfane. Vermont Historical Society Museum, Montpelier. Maple Grove Maple Museum (featuring exhibits on maple sugaring), St. Johnsbury.

Further information: Vermont Dep't. of Tourism & Marketing, 6 Baldwin St., Drawer 33, Montpelier, VT 05633-1301; tel. 800-837-6668,

http://media.rd.com/rd/images/rdc/family-travel/icon-star.gif Star Route
Mountain Road (Rte. 108) Setting out from the charming resort town of Stowe, Mountain Road leads northwest through a string of stunning attractions, beginning with Mt. Mansfield. The toll road or a gondola will take you most of the way up, but you'll have to hike the final distance to the spectacular summit. From there you can see Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks to the west, Canada to the north, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the east. Farther along, at Smugglers Notch, a dramatic pass flanked by high walls of silver rock, you can hike the Long Trail to lovely Sterling Pond or cool off in the dank recesses of Smugglers Cave. Descending from these high, rocky places, the drive breezes past a series of enticing picnic spots before arriving at Jeffersonville.

1. Wilmington
Chartered a quarter century before America won its independence, tiny Wilmington once hewed its living from the surrounding forests. Today, this white-steepled village on the banks of the Deerfield River plies instead the Yankee innkeeper's trade, serving a cluster of nearby ski resorts.
Gen. John Stark passed this way during the Revolutionary War as he led his troops in 1777 to the Battle of Bennington, where he swore that the British would be defeated “or tonight Molly Stark sleeps a widow.” Stark not only survived, he triumphed, and in tribute to him and his wife, Rte. 9 is now called the Molly Stark Trail.
Follow the trail east out of Wilmington for about three miles, and you'll arrive at Molly Stark State Park, where a path leads to the summit of 2,415-foot Mt. Olga. The most appealing views are off to the east, toward the rolling hills of New Hampshire, but in early autumn the mountain's own cloak of crimson maples and canary-yellow birches easily surpasses the lure of the distant horizon.

2. Green Mountain National Forest
Ever since it was settled by southern New England colonists hankering for elbow room, Vermont has meant many things to many people—survival on hardscrabble farms, the lonely grandeur of the Green Mountains, the sun's sparkle on freshly powdered mountain slopes. Rte. 100, wending its way north from Wilmington, visits all of these various Vermonts.

Within its first 10 miles north of the Molly Stark Trail, the drive links two of the state's many skiing meccas, Haystack and Mt. Snow—the latter named not for its stock-in-trade, but for the Reuben Snow farm that occupied this site until 1954. Farming was once far more widespread in the unforgiving uplands of Vermont. Much of the territory that makes up the nearly 400,000-acre Green Mountain National Forest, which Rte. 100 enters just beyond West Dover, was cleared of trees a century and a half ago. Today two great swaths of the state's rugged heartland comprises the national forest, established in 1932. A vast resource of timber, it also shelters species as diverse as the peregrine falcon and the eastern coyote (a resourceful predator that has expanded its range in recent years).
3. Townshend State Park
Tucked next to an oxbow bend of the West River, West Townshend lies one mile east of Rte. 100's convergence with Rte. 30 at East Jamaica. Two miles to the south at Townshend, you'll find the entrance to Townshend State Park. Nearby, the river is spanned by two very different structures—the Townshend Dam, built in 1961, and the Scott Covered Bridge. Dating to 1870, this bridge is one of the longest and handsomest of the state's 100-plus surviving wooden spans. Contrary to legend, these shedlike structures were enclosed to protect timbers and roadbeds from the elements, not to prevent horses from balking at river crossings. Today, these quaint bridges are as much a symbol of Vermont as dairy cows and cheese.
Townshend State Park serves as the trailhead for a path that leads to the summit of Bald Mountain. The trail meanders past an alder swamp, across a murmuring brook, and through a hemlock wood; it then ascends nearly 1,100 feet in less than two miles. The reward at the top is a splendid panorama of farms and forests along the West River valley.
4. Jamaica State Park
Returning to East Jamaica and Rte. 100, head north three miles to Jamaica State Park. Here, where the West River loops eastward around the great granite bulk of Ball Mountain, you can cool off at an old-fashioned swimming hole, watch as white-water canoeists and kayakers negotiate the river rapids, or hike to Cobb Brook's 125-foot plunge over the smooth chutes and jagged precipices of Hamilton Falls.
Though no sign of its untamed past lingers, this idyllic woodland was once at New England's western frontier. One day in 1748, as a party of Colonial scouts was returning to a fort on the Connecticut River from Lake Champlain, they were ambushed by Abnaki Indians at the foot of Ball Mountain, and six of their number were killed.
5. Scenic Mountain Loop
Once you reach the hamlet of Rawsonville, you can proceed in one of two ways: north on Rte. 100 or west on Rte. 30. Rte. 100 passes through meadows and valleys punctuated by the streamside village of South Londonderry.
Rte. 30 opens a scenic highland circuit that passes through Green Mountain National Forest and the heart of southern Vermont's ski country. Just to the west of Rawsonville is the access road to Stratton Mountain, a giant alpine resort that features a gondola ride to the windy summit, where visitors are treated to views of four states. Past Stratton, turn right onto Rte. 11 and continue past the ski trails of Bromley Mountain, which presides over a 10-mile valley vista.
Before you get back to Rte. 100, you'll pass a turnoff leading to the toylike village of Peru—a handful of houses, a white church, and the venerable, squeaky-floored J. J. Hapgood Store, established in 1827 and still offering everything from penny candy to fishing line.

6. Weston
Lying in the shadows of Markham and Terrible mountains, Weston was one of the first of the classic Vermont hill villages to turn its face to the outside world. Here, beside the village green with its handsome little bandstand, tourists take photos and townsfolk pick up their mail at the tiny post office. On summer evenings local theater thrives at the Weston Playhouse.
Just up the street the Vermont Country Store—selling souvenirs, calico by the yard, and mail-order goods to the far corners of the globe—keeps a fire in its potbellied stove during the cold months. At a riverside bowl mill, craftspeople transform trees into woodenware, while innkeepers pamper travelers with candlelit dinners and canopy beds. North of town, near the fork of Rtes. 100 and 155, Benedictine monks at the Weston Priory hold to a tradition far older than the hill towns of Vermont, soothing daily visitors with inspirational songs of their own composition.
7. Ludlow
Rte. 100 leaves Weston the way so many roads depart Vermont towns—by climbing over a mountain. Terrible Mountain isn't really terrible, at least not by modern standards. But some 200 years ago, when Weston was a new settlement set against the mountain wilderness, the descriptive name probably made sense.
On the other side of the mountain, the road dips into Ludlow, an old factory town whose principal mill has been renovated and now contains eateries that cater to skiers taking a break from the slopes at nearby Okemo Mountain. In summer or fall follow a paved road to Okemo's 3,343-foot summit, where views extend across the Connecticut Valley.
8. Plymouth
When the warm, sunny days of March alternate with subfreezing nights, the sap begins to rise in sugar maple trees.
Soon clouds of steam rise from hundreds of sugarhouses, where sugarers boil tapped-off liquid sap until it has thickened into the incomparably delectable companion to pancakes, waffles, baked beans, and vanilla ice cream we all know and love.
Sugaring time is as old as the region's Native Americans and a link to all the generations of Vermonters. Surely, for example, it would have been a fact of life for the country's 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, when he was a boy in Plymouth. The entire village, 14 miles north of Ludlow via Rtes. 100 and 100A, has been designated the Plymouth Notch Historic District, and it encapsulates Coolidge's life and character. Here are the buildings where he was raised, the store his family kept, and the kerosene-lit room where his father, a notary public, administered the oath of office when the vacationing vice president learned of President Warren G. Harding's death. It's open seasonally from mid-May until mid-October, as is the Plymouth cheese factory nearby, run for decades by the president's son, John Coolidge. Stop in and pick up some old-fashioned curd cheese, a local favorite.
9. Killington
A Coloradan native might not call them mountains at all. Gouged and scoured smooth by ice-age glaciers, the Green Mountains reveal their age with every mellowed fold, for their once-showy pinnacles have all but vanished with age.
But 4,235-foot Killington Peak is a formidable presence nonetheless, shouldering its way above the valleys of the Black and Ottauquechee rivers near the intersection of Rtes. 100 and 4. A century ago, central Vermonters liked to boast that Killington was the state's highest peak—until more accurate surveys gave the title to Mt. Mansfield, farther to the north. Nowadays, Killington still has its own claims to fame: it is one of the most popular ski areas in the Northeast, and the 5,998-foot double chairlift ride from Rte. 4 to the summit—a fine way to enjoy the fall foliage along with a rest from driving—reaches the highest lift-served elevation in New England.
10. Gifford Woods State Park
Beyond Killington Rte. 100 strikes north from Rte. 4, arrowing directly into deep forests of hardwoods and evergreens. In this rolling, mountain-shadowed terrain, signs of civilization trail off so rapidly that the big ski resort might well have been a mirage. Just beyond the intersection, the lordly maples and hemlocks of Gifford Woods State Park stand as a living link with the Vermont of ages past, for this is climax forest, a woodland never touched by axe or plow.

11. White River Valley
North of Stockbridge, Rte. 100 parallels the White River, which traces the eastern boundary of Green Mountain National Forest. To the west lie Mt. Carmel, Bloodroot Mountain, Round Mountain, and other peaks—hulking barricades that separate the lush Champlain Valley from Rte. 100. But there are clefts in this wall of mountains. Just north of tiny Talcville, Rte. 73 lurches west and ascends to 2,183-foot Brandon Gap, one of the major Green Mountain passes. At the gap the road crosses the Long Trail, Vermont's 270-mile “footpath in the wilderness” that follows the crest of the mountains from Massachusetts to Canada. For a vigorous break from driving, set out on the trail for a while. To the south a wayside shelter awaits hikers less than a mile away; to the north a steep hike leads to the cliff-girded summit of Mt. Horrid.

12. Middlebury Gap
Farther north along Rte. 100, a turn west on Rte. 125 at Hancock leads to Middlebury Gap, named for the cozy college town that lies across the mountains. After climbing for three miles, the road's path reaches a short side route to the picnic area at Texas Falls, where the Hancock Branch of the White River roars over a granite escarpment to create one of Vermont's loveliest wilderness cascades.
Farther west, beyond the gap's highest point, a wayside honors poet Robert Frost, who lived for more than 20 years in the nearby village of Ripton. Frost once declared that along with New Hampshire, Vermont was “one of the two best states in the Union.” Plaques along a footpath are inscribed with quotes taken from the poet's works.

13. Lincoln Gap
North of Hancock, the forests of the Green Mountain foothills take on a somber, almost melancholy cast. The heart of this cool, shadowy realm is the six-mile stretch called Granville Gulf, north of the little town of Granville. Wooded slopes close ever more tightly about the roadway, until the trees give way to sheer rock walls, dripping with the cold waters of cascading mountain streams.
The road up to the wildest and loftiest of the Green Mountain gaps begins at Warren, 10 miles north of Granville. As the Lincoln Gap road climbs westward away from Rte. 100, it is sheltered by tall ancient maples that in summer shroud the highway and, in winter, lies underneath an impassable blanket of snow.
When drivers reach the road's 2,424-foot crest, they discover that the venerable Long Trail has gotten there first and offers the challenge of a 21⁄2-mile trek to the top of Mt. Abraham, a 4,006-foot perch commanding views of the Champlain Valley, Lake Champlain, and New York's towering Adirondacks.
14. Mad River Valley
Loosed from the tight grip of Granville Gulf, Rte. 100 makes the six-mile northward run from Warren to Waitsfield along the fertile fields of the Mad River valley. The stream runs to madness only when it's gorged with snowmelt in spring; during the rest of the year, it flows gently through a bucolic region of ski resorts and well-maintained family farms.
The ski areas—sprawling Sugarbush and smaller, tradition-minded Mad River Glen—both lie west of Rte. 100 between Warren and Waitsfield. The farms, like most in Vermont, are dairies, and their daily chores have hardly changed over the decades. The milking machines may be electric, but the farmer must still be in the barn before first light; capricious summer weather still spells out the fate of the vital corn crop used for the cattle's feed; and “Make hay while the sun shines” is more than a mere figure of speech.
15. Waterbury
Vermont milk and Vermont apples undergo a transformation into two kinds of ambrosia here in Waterbury. In 1977 a pair of free spirits named Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield took a correspondence course in ice-cream making and set up shop in 1978 in a converted Burlington gas station—and the dessert world hasn't been the same since. In 1985, when the unlikely moguls needed a new factory, they came to Waterbury, a quiet old red-brick town located where Rte. 100 crosses the Winooski River. The factory, now Ben & Jerry's headquarters, welcomes visitors to its assembly lines with free samples, a cheerful soda fountain, and more than a dollop of the zaniness that put the old gas station on the map. Just up the road, a more traditional Vermont treat is produced at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. You can watch the big press squeeze the rich bronze juice from tart locally grown apples, and you can shop for treats that range from apple pies to apple butter.
Head a mile and a half west from Rte. 100 on Rte. 2 to discover Waterbury's main outdoor attraction, Little River State Park. Its densely wooded grounds border the blue waters of meandering Waterbury Reservoir. Calm-water canoeing, swimming from sandy beaches, and fishing for trout, perch, and bass all help work up an appetite for, well, fresh-squeezed cider and refreshing ice cream.

Vermont Cheese
Introduced by English colonists in the 1700s, cheddar cheese has been a staple in Vermont ever since. Today the cheesemaking tradition continues at factories scattered throughout the state, including several not far from Rte. 100. For a look at the process, stop at the following: the Grafton Village Cheese Company in Grafton, Crowley Cheese in Healdville, Sugarbush Farm near Woodstock, or the Cabot Farmers Cooperative Creamery in Cabot. Others are listed at the Vermont Cheese Council website,

16. Stowe
Like a snow-white lance aimed skyward, the lofty and narrow spire of Stowe's Community Church identifies this most famous of Rte. 100's long skein of country villages. Stowe—the town, the resort, and the mystique—seems to gather strength throughout the 10-mile drive north from Waterbury. Inns and ski shops tell the story, but none more strikingly than the great looming profile of Mt. Mansfield. At 4,393 feet, it is Vermont's highest peak.

For generations of skiers, the sport has been synonymous with the 241-year-old town. Vermont skiing didn't get its start here, but once Mansfield's first trails were cut in the early 1930s, the legend was irrevocably launched. Stowe's alpine cachet was helped immensely by the arrival, more than half a century ago, of an Austrian family named Von Trapp—the real-life inspiration behind the popular musical and stage play, The Sound of Music. Just outside the village, off Rte. 108, the Trapp Family Lodge commands a view of meadows and mountains that might have been imported from the Tyrol, along with the familiar strains of the Trapp family's music.
17. Elmore State Park
Beginning with a flicker of yellow in the high country, the blaze fully ignites in the cold valley pockets before raging through the temperate lowlands. The trees explode with color during fall foliage season, but strangely their beauty results from nature's closing up shop. Chlorophyll makes summer leaves green, and its supply diminishes as the days grow shorter, unmasking a kaleidoscope of pigments in the few precious weeks before the first gusts of late October winds strip the branches bare.
For a front-row seat at this annual spectacle, hike the trail that leads up Mt. Elmore, in Elmore State Park just east of Morrisville. From the abandoned fire tower at the summit, the colors of autumn —saffron, gold, scarlet, apricot, rust—radiate to the horizon and reflect in the clear waters of Lake Elmore far below.
18. Jay Peak
As the drive draws to a close, it skims the edges of Vermont's least-populated corner, whose nickname, the Northeast Kingdom, evokes a fairyland of fabled treasures. Rich it is, too—in solitude, timberlands, and wildlife. Travelers rarely meet another car on the scenic gravel roads that snake through the backcountry hills, but they might see a moose trudging within or alongside a beaver-dammed pond as it seeks water sedges to feed on.
Standing alone and apart near the end of Rte. 100, Jay Peak is the northern bastion of the long chain of Green Mountains. But for all the nearby wilderness, Jay is still part of the skier's Vermont. The beaklike shape you see at the top of the mountain is the summit station of an aerial tramway, its roomy cabs suspended by steel cables above a yawning forest gulf. You don't have to ski down—the tramway runs in summer and fall—and Jay's grand isolation will ensure views that reach as far distant as glittering Lake Champlain, Mt. Washington in far-off New Hampshire, and Canada to the north. Quebec Province is so close, in fact, that you are likely to hear French spoken on the mountain, though peculiarly accented with the Vermont twang.
Rte. 100 ends just south of the Canadian border at a junction with Rte. 105, next to a farmer's field. Travelers heading north from Massachusetts may lament that Vermont's Main Street, having led them to so many exciting places, ends here so anonymously. But for motorists driving in the opposite direction, that farmer's field marks the gateway to adventure.

7.New Hampshire White Mountain Wonderland

 “The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,” wrote Robert Frost, moved by the icy beauty of the White Mountains. But while these sugarcone peaks live up to their name only in winter, they are worth a visit at any time of year. Best from mid-September to mid-October, when fall foliage is at its most spectacular. Above, a pond at the 6,500-acre Franconia Notch State Park which is built around a spectacular mountain pass.

 About 125 miles, plus side trips. 

When to go:
 Popular year-round, but best from mid-September to mid-October, when fall foliage is at its most spectacular. 

Words to the wise: Since weather conditions here are extremely variable, call the Appalachian Mountain Club at 603-466-2725 for updated forecasts. Be on the lookout for moose while driving—especially after dusk, when they often cross the road. 

Nearby attraction: Robert Frost Place, featuring a nature trail and memorabilia of the celebrated poet, near Franconia. 

Further information: White Mountain National Forest, 719 Main St., Laconia, NH 03246; tel. 603-528-8721, www.fs.fed.us/r9/white.

Though the northern tier of New Hampshire is home to fewer than one-tenth of the state's million or so residents, it boasts a majority of its tall peaks. The region is renowned for its 48 summits that rise above 4,000 feet—including Mt. Washington, the loftiest in the Northeast. All of them are embraced by the White Mountain National Forest, where 23 campgrounds, 50 lakes and ponds, 1,200 miles of trails, and 750 miles of fishing streams make this 770,000-acre tract of wildlands a paradise for lovers of the outdoors. 

1. Franconia Notch State Park
Heading southeast from Franconia, Rte. 18 leads travelers to the Franconia Notch Parkway, a dramatic eight-mile stretch of Rte. 93 that climbs past craggy peaks, mountain lakes, mile-long slides, and gutted ravines on the way to Lincoln. Just west of the highway sprawls 6,500-acre Franconia Notch State Park, built around a spectacular mountain pass. Take Exit 34B to the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, the first of its kind in North America. A five-minute ride whisks visitors 2,000 vertical feet to the mountain's 4,180-foot summit, where an observation tower commands views that extend into four states and Canada.

From the tramway you can spot Echo Lake, sparkling far below like a turquoise jewel. A haven for fishing and boating, the looking-glass lake is fed by springs and surging streams that crash through a hushed forest of birch, beech, and spruce trees. Gangling moose stare from the woods, and graceful deer step lightly through the underbrush like four-legged ballerinas, pausing to nibble on buds.

Also along Exit 34B a pullout offers a view of the former site of the Old Man of the Mountain—a series of stacked granite ledges that resembled a human profile and was the state's emblem, but which fell in May 2003. As taciturn-looking as a New England farmer, the 40-foot-high rock formation was the inspiration for one of Nathaniel Hawthorne's tales and dubbed the Great Stone Face. What really made the image famous, though, was its appearance on New Hampshire license plates. It stood for years beyond its natural life with the surgical assistance of locals, who each spring rewired its stony countenance and patched its unsightly cracks. Back on the parkway, Basin Exit leads to a shimmering pool, located at the foot of a waterfall that swirls and foams with bubbles like a giant Jacuzzi.

2. Flume Gorge
Return once again to the parkway and take Exit 34A to the visitor center at Flume Gorge, where a shuttle bus takes visitors to within 500 feet of the entrance to the gorge. There a cascading brook burbles through an 800-foot-long chasm hemmed in by towering granite walls. The gorge is especially lovely in springtime, when painted trilliums, trout lilies, wild cherry blossoms, and many other blooms upholster its banks.

Beyond the flume, hiking trails wander through the woods and across two covered bridges. On bright spring days sunlight filters through the dense canopy of trees, creating puddles of light on the forest floor. Farther ahead on Rte. 93, the drive briefly overlaps Rte. 3 and hugs the Pemigewasset River on the way to Lincoln. There the drive veers eastward on Rte. 112—the Kancamagus Highway (pronounced Kan-ka-MAW-gus).

3. Kancamagus Highway
Named for a Penacook chief, “the Kanc,” as locals call it, rises to an elevation of 2,900 feet, making it one of the highest roadways in the Northeast. In autumn it's also one of the prettiest, corkscrewing as it does past birches, beeches, and maples that blaze against an emerald backdrop of spruces and hemlocks. This 34-mile byway passes near dozens of waterfalls but not a single restaurant or fuel station, so you may wish to stop at Lincoln before getting on Rte. 112. The White Mountain Visitors Center, just off Exit 32 on Rte. 93, is a good place to get acquainted with the scenery and sites that lie ahead.

From Lincoln the drive climbs 1,000 feet in just 10 miles, spiraling past jagged peaks and glacier-carved cirques. Strewn about the rugged landscape are countless boulders, many of which—poised on tiny toes of rock and leaning at unlikely angles—seem ready to roll with the next gust of wind.

4. Kancamagus Pass
At an elevation of almost 2,900 feet, Kancamagus Pass is the highest point on Rte. 112, making this stretch of road especially scenic. On the way up you'll see the trailheads of the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area, 45,000 acres of untamed territory bordered by the Appalachian Trail (one of many to be enjoyed here). Once you reach the pass, the dazzling scenery may tempt you to keep turning your head—but keep your eyes focused on the road. Before long you will encounter two hairpin curves, made all the more hazardous by their lack of guardrails to stop vehicles from plunging down the hillside and into the valley.

Atop the pass, views open up to the Presidential Range, a jumble of 11 lofty peaks, six of them named for American presidents. Several of these summits top off at more than a mile above sea level, and the tallest of them—at 6,288 feet—is Mt. Washington, whose rocky crest is sometimes visible from as far as 70 miles away. Some of the best views of the Presidentials are available at the nearby C. L. Graham Wangan Ground, a former Indian meeting place that is now a lovely picnic spot.

5. Sabbaday Falls
With the Pemigewasset and Swift rivers as its companions, the road dips for several miles on its way to Sabbaday Falls, another nice place for a picnic, and Lily Pond. Spring transforms the pond into a floating garden. Just a short distance from the picnic grounds are the falls themselves, a three-level cascade that plunges to a pool where swimming, unfortunately, is not permitted. Named for the Sabbath, the falls remain a popular destination on any day of the week.

Several miles ahead lies the historic Russell-Colbath House, where a half-mile trail parallels an old railway grade that skirts neighboring woods and swamps. You can gain access to another nature walk at Bear Notch Road (just past the Jigger Johnson campground), which winds into ethereal evergreens and rock grottoes that on cloudy days are sometimes shrouded in mist.

6. Rocky Gorge Scenic Area
Sculpted by the erosive forces of the Swift River, this rocky medley of clefts, caves, and ledges can be explored by means of a footbridge that crosses the gorge. Nearby, another bridge—this one covered—leads back to Rte. 112, which continues east along the Swift River until it reaches Conway.

7. Conway
At Conway, where the mountains give way to rolling uplands, the drive makes a sharp turn north. Several miles ahead lies its sister town of North Conway. Both villages have a quintessential New England charm, complete with 19th-century covered bridges, swimming holes, waterfalls, and a host of inviting inns. The stretch of Rte. 16 between them, however, is another story. Dominated by fast-food chains and factory outlets, the road can be a motorist's nightmare—especially on rainy days and weekends, when bargain hunters abound. North Conway offers two consolation prizes to those who brave the traffic: a grand view of Mt. Washington and a scenic railroad that tours through the surrounding valley.

8. Echo Lake State Park
From the north end of North Conway, River Road winds west to Echo Lake State Park, a 400-acre recreation area huddled beneath White Horse Ledge. A scenic road leads to another dramatic rock formation, 700-foot-high Cathedral Ledge. The drive returns to North Conway and heads north on Rte. 16/302, then branches northeast on Rte. 16A toward Intervale. The two-mile Intervale Resort Loop circles up and around the towns of Intervale and Lower Bartlett, affording more fine views of Mt. Washington. The drive continues north on Rte. 16A to Jackson.

9. Jackson
With its skating pond, country inns, and covered bridge, Jackson is a Currier and Ives print come to life. Although its population is barely 650, each winter thousands of Nordic skiers come here to enjoy a 95-mile network of trails. In fact, some Jacksonites park their cars for the winter and ski to work.

10. Pinkham Notch
From Jackson the highway climbs to Pinkham Notch, a scenic pass offering a breathtaking view of Mt. Washington. Meandering through the woods, the Glen Ellis Falls Trail leads to a scenic overlook of the Ellis River as it crashes 80 feet to a churning pool.

11. Mt. Washington Auto Road
They call Mt. Washington “the most dangerous small mountain in the world,” and with good reason. Despite its relatively modest height, this central peak of the White Mountains has such fierce weather conditions—the highest gust of wind ever recorded on land was clocked here at 231 miles per hour—that Himalayan climbers use it for survival training.

Yet for all its hazards, Mt. Washington remains one of the most accessible summits of its size in the United States. Some of the thousands who visit it each year arrive by way of a well-maintained hiking trail, while others opt for a thrilling ride on the Cog Railway, which departs regularly from Bretton Woods on the western side of the mountain. But most come by way of the Mt. Washington Auto Road (open from May to October, weather permitting), which spirals eight miles up the eastern slope.

Hailed as a masterful feat of engineering when it was completed in 1861, the road was originally designed for stagecoaches from the Glen House Hotel, a stop once located at its base. Nowadays an assortment of vehicles—including unicycles, wheelchairs, and, of course, automobiles and trucks—tackle the same 12-degree grade during occasional scheduled races. If your car is not in tip-top shape, however, you would be well-advised to take one of the regularly scheduled chauffeured vans to the summit.

However you tour Mt. Washington, the trip will be worthwhile. “No other mountain,” claims one admirer, “can boast of having a carriage road, railway, four hotels, two weather observatories, a radio station, and a television station.” In addition to all that, there are the splendid views that can be enjoyed at the summit. From the peak of the mountain, you can see parts of Maine, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Canada, and the Atlantic Ocean.

12. Moose Brook State Park
After exiting the White Mountain National Forest, Rte. 16 passes through Gorham. A short side trip west on Rte. 2 leads to Moose Brook State Park, which is located in the heart of the Presidential Range. Despite its name (which comes from a brook), the 87-acre park is not inhabited by moose, but these massive antlered relatives of deer can be seen nearby on tours hosted by the Gorham Chamber of Commerce during the summer.

13. Milan Hill State Park
Continuing north, the drive passes through Berlin, where the scent of sulfur dioxide—rotten eggs—announces the presence of an enormous paper mill. But a breath of fresh air is just minutes away at Nansen State Park Wayside and, farther ahead, Milan Hill State Park, both ideal spots for hiking and picnicking.

Continuing north beside the Androscoggin River, Rte. 16 eventually enters the Thirteen-Mile Woods Scenic Area, where forested hills inhabited by moose, deer, and bear stretch for miles. Alternately lazy and wild, the river along this stretch of the byway lures fishermen as well as white-water canoeists.

14. Androscoggin State Park Wayside
Perched on a bluff overlooking a bend in the river, this pretty park—once the site of logging drives that floated logs downstream—abounds with picnic spots that offer bird's-eye views of canoeists braving the rapids far below. Just ahead is Errol, a tiny town that is surrounded on all sides by wilderness.

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