After exploring nearly every region in northern New England by car—I’ve lived here for almost two years—including Vermont’s Green Mountains, New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Maine’s Acadia National Park, I feel like I have enough experience to share my opinion about the top 5 most beautiful roads in northern New England.
Here’s my personal top five!
Top 5 Most Beautiful Roads in Northern New England
5. Highway 22A across the Lake Champlain Valley, Vermont
Running northward from the town of Fair Haven to Vergennes, which happens to be the oldest town in Vermont, Highway 22A basically cuts across the peaceful Lake Champlain Valley in the west of the state. Scenery along the way features expansive farmlands dotted with cows and the iconic red farm buildings, the occasional covered bridge, and meandering rivers and still ponds.Highway 1 along the Coast of Maine
4. Highway 1 along the Coast of Maine
Highway 1 basically runs along the entire coast of Maine, all the way from Brunswick to Calais on the Canadian border. On the way, this marvelous road passes typical attractions, such as seaside villages, lobster roll stands, lighthouses and rocky shores. A major highlight on this road is Acadia National Park, the only national park in New England.
3. Park Loop Road, Acadia National Park, Maine
When driving along Highway 1 in Maine, it’s strongly recommended to take a short detour to Acadia National Park. There, you can continue driving on the spectacular Park Loop Road, a road that is essentially separate from all other roads in the park and can be driven in one direction only. For a small entrance fee, you will receive a ticket that’s valid for several days. This is a major highlight in all of New England—make sure to visit Sand Beach, Cadillac Mountain’s summit, Jordan Pond and the Thunder Hole.
2. Route 100, Green Mountains, Vermont
Easily one of the most beautiful roads in northern New England, Vermont’s Route 100 follows the Green Mountains all across Vermont, from the border with Quebec to the border with Massachusetts. This breathtaking drive takes in countless attractions, the greatest of which are Jay Peak, Smugglers Notch, Stowe, the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory and Killington Peak.
1. Kancamagus Scenic Byway, White Mountains, New Hampshire
The Kancamagus Scenic Byway, also known as the Kancamagus Highway, cuts through the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. The beauty of this road is its remoteness and spectacular lookout points. For its entire 54 kilometers, there are no houses, towns, gas stations or stores. The only manmade features are basic campsites and a covered bridge. Natural features are plentiful, though, and include rivers, waterfalls, valleys, forests and mountains. The Kancamagus Scenic Byway is often considered to be one of the most beautiful roads in northern New England for fall foliage drives.