New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » Off the beaten path-Jefferson Notch rd.

Favorite Notch rd? Not all are created equal..

By this I mean that some are more like the main thoroughfares, rather than the back roads that I try to put you on. Today we’ll making a loop starting and ending at Conway NH and we will hit three “Notch roads” so you can see what I mean. Points in this journey are:

  • Conway NH
  • Jackson NH
  • Gorham NH
  • Jefferson Notch road
  • The Cog Rail base station
  • and back to Conway

If you read last week’s article on traveling Route 16, you will note that we’re starting out on it again. I almost never stray very far from Route 16 because it connects so many beautiful places. There is a PDF map link at the bottom, along with a google map.

Starting the day in Conway.

Lisa and I didn’t get early early start but we were on the road by 10ish and arriving at Jackson around 11ish. The first image up above is from Pinkham Notch road which is also known as Route 16. It maintains this duel name until you arrive near the Joe Dodge lodge. Here it turns into White Mountain road. If you want more info on Route 16 then please read New Hampshire’s Route 16 scenic drive from last week.

We continued up into Pinkham Notch and continued past Wild cat Mountain and came out in Gorham. Today! we’re going to head west a short distance on Route 2. If you want more info on what you can find along Route 2 please read this post about a scenic drive in New Hampshire.

You will travel west on Route 2 for 10.7 miles from Gorham until you see the Valley road on the south side of the road and then follow it for 1.2 miles and then you will make a left onto Jefferson Notch road.  This Notch road starts out paralleling the south branch of the Israel river and you will hit brooks like “Little Bear brook and the Jefferson brook and Clay brook and a few others.

The key point for this scenic drive along Jefferson Notch road is the opportunity to stop and check the different scenes along the way.

I found that is I looked down I found something to photograph and if I just stopped the car and got out I would see great scenery, wherever I looked. The road in paved by partially dirt also but I found it to be an easy drive.

You finish Jefferson Notch road with by turning onto Base station road and heading back east to the base station of the Cog Railway. I have never taken the Cog but it’s on my list of things to do. Lisa and I drove to the top of Mount Washington via the auto road the day before and it was beautiful up there.

This day the summit was ice covered while down below we countered the ice with the warm and vibrant fall colors of New Hampshire..

Now we have to backtrack to Route 302
As you arrive at 302 you will see the terminus of the Conway scenic train trip which is Fabyan’s train station. If you are lucky you may get to see the train arrive into the station.

Time for Dinner!
From here you can take the very scenic drive back down Route 302. Now I have made any food recommendations, so if you are starting to feel like dinner (or lunch) keep on Route 302 (Crawford Notch rd) and after passing Bartlett (Covered bridge alert) you will see the Red Parka Steakhouse & Pub on the right hand side just before you hit Route 16. They have great steaks and very good seafood as well.

If you are one who likes to print out my maps, here is a download link to the Jefferson notch road scenic drive.


Escape today Jeff "Foliage" Folger  You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites
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Jeff Foliage

My name is Jeff Folger,
but people call me Jeff Foliage.
I have several pages that I write blogs for such as:
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff
I live in Salem, Massachusetts and work as a blogger and Travel Photographer. I'm also the founder of the New England Photography Guild.
Feel free to visit me on my blogs and see what life in New England is like.

I started with Yankee Magazine as their first blogger on everything fall foliage. Now I blog on my own blog on my favorite subject, telling leaf peepers where the fall foliage is showing up in New England and helping them (to some extent) plan their fall foliage vacations.
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