As New Englanders, we’ve become accustomed to experiencing the mountains in all seasons and in the many different ways we can travel through them — from the vast networks of hiking trails to classic scenic roadways to nordic and alpine skiing trails, and on and on.
One of the oldest technologies constructed to welcome tourists into the heart of the mountains remains one of the most popular today, especially in the fall. Historic railway systems in New Hampshire in particular offer adventurists distinct experiences aboard both the Conway Scenic Railroad and the Mount Washington Cog Railway.
CONWAY SCENIC RAILROAD
The iconic hub of downtown North Conway, the main train station complex, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and welcomes visitors to embark on distinct and scenic railway adventures. Visitors can climb aboard the Valley Train, which runs south to Conway (55-minute round trip) or west to Bartlett (1¾-hour round trip), or the Notch Train, which cuts through Crawford Notch (a five-hour round trip). In the fall foliage season, the Notch Train is extended to 5½ hours, traveling to Fabyan Station, located near Bretton Woods in the town of Carroll.
The Notch Train dates back to the 1870s when it served as the Maine Central Railroad’s Mountain Division line. Today, visitors from around the world climb aboard for an inspiring ride through rugged Crawford Notch and its sheer bluffs, steep ravines, cascading brooks and streams, and panoramic mountain vistas.