New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » Scenic drive to explore Tamworth NH

How many roads qualify as a scenic drive?

In my book, there are INFINITE numbers that qualify as a scenic drive in New England. Most of you are only considering those few roads that are a continuous roller coaster of fall colors. I consider all the “other” roads, streets and thoroughfares that crisscross New England as scenic drives also.

Water flows over the historic damn in Tamworth NH.

Water over the dam in autumn

Sometimes the views are tangled up with people’s backyards or power lines are in the way. But! if you persevere you will find the gems hidden in the rough. Well today I’m going to continue to explore Tamworth NH and we’ll see if you agree that this scenic drive is another one or several…

Tamworth and routes 113 & 113A & Fowlers Mill rd.

First if you started out on 113 and are over at the Cenotaph (see my last article) then please turn around and go back to Route 16. Across route 16 at the intersection of 113, you will see the post office. I usually park there and IF… its early you won’t get yelled at before they are open (9AM, also don’t park next to the building but further away).

Historic wooden dam

Cross over to the park and the small pond and you will see steps down to a small park below. Also you will hear a low rumbling. You see, Lake Chocorua feeds into this pond which then flows over the lip of the A-Frame dam at the edge of the park causing the noise.

Scenic drive to Tamworth NH

This is one of the last A-frame
timber dams in New Hampshire.

This Dam was built by Charles Bowditch of Boston in 1889, (I wonder if he was a son/grandson of Salem’s famous Nathaniel Bowditch???).

This is one of the last A-frame timber dams in New Hampshire.

Walk down from Route 16 to explore the park.

The Dam was almost lost but for the perseverance of interested local residents. Last year I stopped when I was driving by on my way to Lake Chocorua. I was shocked by all the changes and if you need to stop and stretch your legs, this is a great place to do it.

So down the steps you go and explore. There is a small island in the stream that has a hooped wooden bridge that is very scenic and another walking bridge closer to the dam so you can explore both sides of the bank.

If you are careful you can climb up on the rock wall and photograph the fall foliage reflections on the surface of the pond. It was hit or miss as far as the sun was concerned this day. and to me the reflections of the fall foliage colors and houses is just fine when it’s lightly overcast.

Water over the dam in autumn during my scenic drive

Red maple leaf passing over the dam

I spent a while on the rock wall trying to catch a red maple leaf flowing over the edge of the dam. It took me a while but I did get one.

Footbridge in autumn by Jeff Folger. This small leaf covered footbridge sits below a small pond. the pond probably used to power a mill years back as it now turns a long paddle wheel that is under the ledge of the pond. So as water flows over the edge of the pond it generates power in Tamworth New Hampshire.

Footbridge in autumn

Is this the most scenic place all day? not really but if you spend a little time here you will sharpen your composition skills because the rest of the articles in this area are mostly big mountain vistas. Plus sitting on a bench here is very relaxing.

From here you jump back in the car and you will pick up your next portion of the scenic drive on Route 113 but don’t go to far because we’re going to make a… But that portion of this scenic drive will have to wait for the next installment… 🙂

If you want to read about the historic wooden dam follow this link or visit their Facebook page: 

This will give you an idea of what a single day looks like to me and this didn’t include Eaton or Center Sandwich… Maybe I’ll add them to this map. But todays article only covers the letter “H” on the map. I haven’t even added the next two  or three stops on the map yet… 🙂

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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Scenic drive to explore Tamworth NH — 6 Comments

  1. Jeff, I’m sorry I haven’t replied to this! THANK YOU SO, SO much! This has been immensely helpful as we’ve been planning our trip. Thank you for all the time you put into it!

  2. Jeff, my husband and I have been looking at different routes for our trip this fall. Is Highway 2 a good route to take?

  3. I have a question along the same line, Jeff. I had asked you about the fall leaves this year since we have our plane tickets booked for Sept 25 – Oct 4, arriving in Portland, Maine (we live in Oregon). You had mentioned going into northern Maine, then New Hampshire, then Vermont (then we have to go to Boston to see some friends), then back to Maine to fly back home. I was wondering how we plan a route for that??? We know we need to start booking our lodging right now but we don’t have a clue as to what our route should be! Can you help?? It’s hard to judge how much to drive & see each day! Thanks!

    • Hi Valri, Route 2 is a good route to get across NH In and of itself you might skip it BUT! on either side of route 2 are tons of sights to see. Jefferson and Gorham are ok towns and Gorham is larger with an old (failed) paper mill there but it does have a great train exhibit that you can get out and explore Read about some Route 2 stops here.
      and here and here is a listing of scenic drives on my site:
      Distance… Absolutley no more than 300 miles in a day and preferably 125… If your distances require 300 miles every day then you are missing the concept of “vacation” and this is meant to be a relaxing vacation… At least it’s supposed to be. I will do more because I’m trying to locate where the fall colors are and get those into my blog. For you I want you to travel at 25 mph and really enjoy yourself…

      I will say that with your dates being this early you may be able to wing the reservations but if you like luxury (are very picky on where you stay) then yes you should make reservations.
      The problem with Maine is that there are few east/west roads and you will travel north and south zig-zagging across the state. At least on big roads and instead of that I usually have Lisa my wife and navigator get out the Gazetteers for each state and steer me to my destination. GPS’s are ok but cell service is not always perfect up in Maine, Northern NH or VT and your phone’s GPS needs cell service to work. If you have a “real” GPS then you are safer. But a big map to choose your route is much easier and more fun. for 25 Sept to 1 Oct I would leave Portland on 95 and go to Fairfield heading N by NW towards Greenfield and Moosehead lake. This article will talk about Moosehead and the vicinity,

      Now the problem with going up that far is that you have to come back down 201 until you can cross over on to 16 and onto 27 and head west onto 16 which will take you to Rangeley. Very nice Inns in Rangeley lake and very nice scenery also. I would leave Rangeley on Route 16 and come down to Errol and if the colors haven’t really developed to your satisfaction then catch 26 to Dixville Notch (First place in the Nation to cast its ballots) Then I would hit colebrook heading south on route 3 OR… cut time and out of Errol head south on 16. Re-read the scenic NH drive article because you should stop in Milan and there is a quaint little B&B (The Stark Covered Inn B&B) in Stark NH on Route 110 ($59/night) NOT a 5 star but I like quirky places.

      The problem for me to figure out is I don’t know you… Do you drive fast or slow, do you like to stop and hike… All of these things play into where to go and stay. Most decent sized towns will have availability during Monday-Thursday so you should be able to wing it but on Fri-Sun I would try to figure out where I want to put my head down for a night or two…

      I really like it when folks pick a few spots and yous these few places as base of operations and each morning they head out in a different direction to explore and then move on…

      I know this may not be the most helpful but I am trying… My wife says I’m VERY trying…

  4. Simply beautiful, we are planning a driving trip Oct. 2017, not sure where to begin, should we fly into Boston and do a loop? we live in California and don’t get fall colors so looking forward to it . do you have any ideas of the best route to see the most in a 10 day drive?

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