chknhwk
chknhwk Dork
1/2/20 12:46 p.m.

I'll be headed back to Boston beginning of next week and I'm looking for a good, scenic route with lots of elevation changes. Does anybody have any experience with this drive? Less concerned with time, more interested in smiles/miles. 

TIA

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/2/20 1:00 p.m.

More than I care to admit commuting to NH for work (I'll be leaving again on Monday).  A little more info would be helpful.  Highway? avoid highways?

I've done a variation of this route a few times:

Harriman State Park and Bear Mtn Drive along with north-western parts of NJ can be a nice drive, along with western CT and MA.  Once you get to around I-84 in MA, things get less scenic and you may as well just hop on the MassTP and get it over with.

I generally take a more relaxed route, leaving PA at around noon and taking what I call "The CT Bypass Route" which is 287 to the NYS Thruway all the way up to the MATP and then head east.  This route does a good job of missing traffic as by the time i get to the Boston area it's after rush-hour.

chknhwk
chknhwk Dork
1/2/20 7:26 p.m.

In reply to Ian F :

That's not a bad route - I'm thinking maybe a bit more leisurely... 

Maybe Binghamton to Kingston then Springfield with a trek through Big Indian Wilderness. 

 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/2/20 8:14 p.m.

Ah... so even more leisurely.  That route looks like it would take a couple of days.  I've driven the roads between Binghamton and Kingston and they are pretty nice. The route between Kingston and western Mass I've done recently as well and it's nice.  I'm not all that familiar with the Springfield area or the areas south of Boston.  

chknhwk
chknhwk Dork
1/3/20 9:04 a.m.

In reply to Ian F :

Yeah, pretty leisurely. Or rather it was until the wife said she needed me back. sad

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/3/20 9:40 a.m.

If you need "fast" then the quickest way is through NYC, but you need to time it right.  I leave my house at 4AM (or earlier) and take the PATP to the NJTP up to the GWB, which if you can get to before 6AM is usually pretty quick.  Then up the Deegan (or the Henry Hudson) to the Cross-Country to the Hutchinson/Merritt Parkway up to 91. 91 to 84 to the MATP.  I've made it from my house in lower Bucks to the office in Portsmouth, NH in a bit over 5 hrs with one bathroom/breakfast stop at the first rest area on the Merritt.  And that is without going too crazy with speed - just flow of traffic.  In general, the main slow-down I'll hit is around Hartford.

That said, it would take me a couple of days to "recover" from that drive, so when the client stopped approving OT, I basically just dedicate all of Monday to travel and take a more stress-free route that avoids CT entirely, as mentioned above...

chknhwk
chknhwk Dork
1/4/20 11:40 a.m.

In reply to Ian F :

Yeah, it's not a great drive... I'm thinking maybe 611 or 476 to 209 to Indian Head Wilderness then highways home from there.  I'm sure I'll find s decent road through Indian Head. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/4/20 1:14 p.m.

I'm fairly familiar with that area and some of those roads, especially Rt 28 which I've driven on numerous times back in my bicycle racing days.  It's a nice enough road, but more or less a highway with a 55 mph speed limit between towns (with most locals doing more than that).  Rt 209 through that area doesn't have a lot of elevation change as it mostly follows creek valleys.  If you want a more adventurous drive, then staying west of the Ashokan Reservoir will net more interesting roads. 

If you passing through the area, check out Fabulous Furniture just south of Boiceville along 28.  It's worth a 20 to 30 min stop. 

chknhwk
chknhwk Dork
1/6/20 2:20 p.m.

Quick recap:

 

Woke up about 20 after 4, grabbed a shower and started packing up the car. Got on the road slightly before 6 a.m., found an open gas station and gassed up around 6:05.

She got a little rake to her...

 

 

I continued to debate whether or not to take all the back roads to get to Indian Head Wilderness but eventually decided to take the quickest route due to the fact that my bike rack seemed to be shaking a little bit more than I'd like. So I finally acquiesced at 6:24 a.m., started following Google Maps which took me off Rte 413 and found New Hope Road.  Freshly paved, oh ho yeah baby! Unfortunately it very quickly turned into an unpaved Dirt Road. Oh no baby. I guess that's what I get for holding out too long...

"Turn slight right onto Lower Mountain Road. Continue for 16 miles, I'm definitely taking The Road Less Traveled. I mean there's not any any lines on this road semicolon at least it's paved though...

Eventually it took me to 202N and heading up into NJ I saw exits for both 29 and 32.  Now for those of you not in the know it traverses up the canal on both sides and can be very windy and fun without pushing the car.  However in the interest in expediency I decided to stay on 202 up towards 287 and 87 to Kingston.

At this point I'm headed up into NJ, it's 0638 and not sure when sunrise is so I consult Professor Google.  "7:23 a.m, great!  Plenty of time to find a sunrise photo spot!"  Unfortunaley nothing whatsoever was found.  Task for another day.

I'm cruising up 28 in NY, getting pretty close to Fabulous Furniture when I pass a 'Modern Shack'.  I'd love to buy a couple acres in TN in the mountains and throw up one of these:

About 9:37 I'm headed into Ashokan Reservoir on 28A West for some much needed mountain driving!  Pretty road but little to no view of the actual reservoir...

I found a nice little detour off 28 West called Baker Road. Little too populated for a spirited run but it's interesting to note that even in Drive I can use the paddle shifters in the Audi and if I'm on the gas at all it will stay in that gear for quite a long time.  If I start driving normal then it will shift back into drive and shift as it's designed.  I haven't quite figured out how long that takes but I'm really liking my little hot hatch.

Finally!  At 9:56 (yes, I was tracking my trip to the minute, LOL) I found a beautiful view of the reservoir on (simple enough) Reservoir Road and stopped for a photo op (couldn't get a pic of the view because I didn't want to be fumbling with my phone camera on the tight, windy road):

10:12 a.m. and I found Fabulous Furniture!  Not at all what I was expecting, thanks Ian F. for recommending this place!

 

So much want:

After much drooling and accompanying dreams of hitting the lottery (no, their art was not cheap, and rightfully so, you really have to see it in person to fully appreciate the work) I hit the road again to Indian Head Wilderness.  This is where my trip kind of went awry...  Turns out that after about a mile and a half of what I think is a gray clay road I found out that Indian Head Wilderness is not a state park?  That's what I get for looking at a combination of elevation changes and dark green coloring on Google Maps without checking online to see if it's a state park, LOL.  Flip a u-turn (because that road simply ended) and head back down the mile and a half of muddy, gray clay road to figure out where to go next.  So there I am driving down 212 in NY with no reception and no idea where I'm going.  turns out the next town I hit was Woodstock at 11:14 a.m.  Interesting.

After taking a break for gas and reorientation I decided to hit Wahconah Falls State Park (yes, I checked - it's a state park) so me and the hatch headed East.  

About 12:23 p.m. (OK, at 12:23 p.m.) I entered Mass on State Route 295 West.  12:53 p.m. I hit another dirt road on my way to Wahconah Falls (too many dirt roads on this trip! My Audi is filthy and the bike took the brunt of a lot of the clay) but at 1:00 p.m. I pulled into the parking lot to find a bathroom!  Yes!  

After a brief bio break I started heading downhill through the snow (I did NOT wear the right shoes for that trip...) to a noise I could tell was a set of water falls.  Beautiful little spot.

Finally ended up home about 4 pm.  All in all it was a ten hour, 7 minute drive with the roads I took and stops I made. Not a bad drive.  Only thing missing was a stop at a brewery on the way (I had two half growlers in the back begging to be filled.)

 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/6/20 10:45 p.m.

Brewery? Doh! I've stopped at Keegan Ales in Kingston a few times, although I'm not sure if they would have been open when you were in the area.

Yeah, Fabulous Furniture is a trip. I guess he didn't have either of the cars out?

I thought I had a better shot of the silver car, but apparently not.

chknhwk
chknhwk Dork
1/7/20 8:36 a.m.

In reply to Ian F :

No, they weren't there but there was a pamphlet with sale info. 

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