Day 6 We continued our roadtrip at 5:00 a.m in order to board a train in North Conway, New Hampshire at 11:00 a.m. We drove along U.S. Route 1A North to I-395 towards Gorham, NH. Then turned into NH-16 South towards Conway Scenic Railroad. This took us through a major section of the beautiful White Mountains National Forest. It is a managed and multiple-use forest. It provides areas for recreation and human enjoyment, as well as wildlife habitat and harvesting of the forest. It reaches almost 800,000 acres in New Hampshire and western Maine. We drove along winding roads with breathtaking scenery, clear lakes, streams and enticing trails.
Conway Scenic Railroad is an old fashioned railroad experience on vintage restored locomotives and train cars. The trains depart from the historic station located in the center of North Conway Village. Located in the heart of Mt. Washington Valley, North Conway Village is surrounded by numerous stores, galleries, restaurants and pubs. Before our train excursion we had a nice brunch and browsed unique stores like North Conway 5 & 10 cent Store and Zeb’s General Store.
Conway Scenic Railroad has two Valley Train routes and one Notch Train to choose from. Seating ranges from Coach, First Class and Dining Car. We made Coach seating reservations online on the Notch Train ($57.00 adults & $40.00 children 4-12.) The train departs at 11:00 a.m and returns to the station at 4:00 p.m. In Coach seating there is an onboard snack bar that offers a limited selection of sandwiches, snacks, and beverages for purchase. This was a perfect way (specially for the kids) to sit back and enjoy some of the most spectacular natural scenery in the area. On the Notch Train we traveled on what was once the Maine Central Railroad’s famed Mountain Division line. Live commentary onboard includes history and folklore of the railroad and area, as well as points of interest. On our way to Crawford Station we passed bluffs, steep ravines, crystal clear streams and colorful panoramic mountain vistas. The views were breathtaking!
Once we arrived at Crawford Station there is a layover before the train returns back to the Village. We were excited to explore the beautiful surroundings. Crawford Station is across from Saco Lake (a small pond from which the Saco River originates.) There are beautiful walking and hiking paths along the pond. I was in heaven photographing the kids and the scenery! The return trip back to the station was very relaxing. We were all so amazed at the beauty of Autumn in New England. Everywhere we looked we saw some of the most beautiful sights we had only seen in books until this wonderful trip.
As I look through my photographs I remember a quote from Alice in Wonderland– Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures.