new england photography tour
January 3, 2006 7:00 AM   Subscribe

Taking a 4 day, photography oriented trip through Vermont, New Hampshire and Northern Mass. Need ideas for destinations and possibly accomodations.

A photographer friend and I, along with her boyfriend, are going to be taking a four day driving excursion through the aforementioned three states, with New York City as our departure and return point. Most likely we will make it a circular journey starting with going north to and through Vermont and then returning south through New Hampshire, with Massachussetts being our final day's launching point back to New York. I'd like to hear suggestions on interesting, less well known destinations for photographic studies on that route, with an emphasis on nature, farms, abandoned or crumbling industry, mills, factories, quarries or anything else where we may hope to not have to deal with large numbers of tourists meandering through our shots.
posted by spicynuts to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Rockport, MA is a beautiful little town on the water, and is not so crowded during the winter months.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:04 AM on January 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

Marble Arch State Park, North Adams, MA
Texas Falls, VT
White River Junction, VT
Kaaterskill Falls, NY
Howes Cave Quarry, NY (may need permission; ask at the Cave House
Barton Cove, Gill MA (on the Connecticut River)
French King Bridge (Rte 2 near previous entry)

posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:15 AM on January 3, 2006

Kirth..isn't Mass MOCA also in North Adams? I think we had been planning on going there already, so a trip to the Marble Arch may be a nice addition.

Could you give a little more detail on the other MA and VT items in your list? We won't be stopping in NY.
posted by spicynuts at 7:34 AM on January 3, 2006

When are you leaving?

Texas Falls is quite beautiful when frozen solid and snow is around. Route 100 has some fantastic winter scenery.

You can find farm stays at the Vermont Farms Association website. Liberty Hill Farm is down the hill from our family cabin, so I can vouch for the friendliness of the owners.
posted by justkevin at 7:38 AM on January 3, 2006

Take the thruway to Albany. Take Route 2 East to North Adams, MA (Great Mill town). Take Rt. 8/100 thru Clarksburg, MA, Stamford, VT, Readsboro, a great shabby VT village that noone visits, and then start heading North on Rt.100. Your eventual goal is US 2 in the middle of VT. Avoid ALL ski areas. Barre, VT has quarries and mills as does St. Johnsbury, VT.

In New Hampshire I recommend Littleton, Bethlehem, Whitefield, Rumney, and if you want a drive off the beaten track, take US 4, from Leabanon, NH to Concord NH. Stay on the west side of NH.

Head down through Peterborough, and Jaffrey, NH to Winchendon, MA and west to Athol and Orange, MA (collectively, the armpits of the universe). Also go to the little village of Wendell, MA and drive W. to Turners Falls, MA (probably the rectum of the Universe).

Make a quick stop in Holyoke, MA on the way back to NYC.

Have a great trip. I was out taking pictures this morning.
posted by Xurando at 7:44 AM on January 3, 2006

Depending when you're going, you can stay here. I'd recommend small roads and staying off of routes 4, 7, 89 and 91 in Vermont. They're lovely but really there are more photogenic alternatives. Every road has a falling down barn on it, so that should be no problem at all. If you have time there are some lovely cross- NH roads. The Kangamagus Highway is great, but it's very populated. If you head up to Route 302 you'll get some pretty vast expanses of nothingness when you go through NH, but that may be too far north for you.

Anyplace you go that has quarries will have some opportunities for some really cool shots in addition to all the other things you want to take picturs of. That means Barre, Bethel (where I live), Proctor and Rutland in Vermont. Keep in mind, of course, that the roads, even the main roads, can be really really dicey if the weather goes south. Keep a web site like this one handy and take it seriously. Smaller Vermont roads are populated with little pull-offs which are good places to park your car while you walk up or down roads to look for good shots, take advantage of them. Except for ski areas in Vermont there are pretty much no tourists this time of year so that shoudln't be too much of a problem.

If you want more information, email is in my profile. It takes a good solid half-day of driving to get to a lot of Vermont from NYC so you'll propbably have to plan carefully if you want to both stay off of main roads and go through all three states with time to take pictures. Going through upstate NY instead of CT [87 instead of 95] is my strong recommendation.
posted by jessamyn at 7:51 AM on January 3, 2006

Thanks so far, everyone. Here are more details: starting trip the friday before Martin Luther King Day (Jan 13 is the Friday I think) and returning late Monday. As of yet we haven't made any inquiries for places to stay, but my friends will be handling that this week while I head off to my company's national sales meeting in Florida this afternoon. I'll probably be checking back into this page when I return on Friday, so if I am silent till then, please take no offense..Jessamyn in particular, as I appreciate your very kind hospitality but won't have the time till Friday to discuss and possibly contact you.
posted by spicynuts at 7:56 AM on January 3, 2006

I second Texas Falls.

Other hot spots: Route 108 (closed in the Winter tho) and Route 100 in Vermont.

Have fun! Hope the weather is agreeable!
posted by k8t at 8:11 AM on January 3, 2006

The Kangamagus Highway is great, but it's very populated

I came in here to say the first part of this, but the second part is also true, so jessamyn's advice is far better.

We're planning on doing something similar this summer (since it's more local to us), so I'd love to get a follow-up to this question and see what worked out well.
posted by yerfatma at 8:14 AM on January 3, 2006

Texas Falls is in Hancock, VT (link has a popup) It's similar to The Flume on the west side of the White Mountains in NH, but much less crowded. (Although the Flume might not be crowded in winter; don't know.)

Vermont Rte 110 up through the Tunbridges and Chelsea has some very nice agro scenery.

White River Junction is just across the river from Hanover, NH.

Marble Arch S.P. is in North Adams, MA, just downhill from the Hairpin Turn on Rte 2. If you're going West on Rte 2, after you make the hairpin, look for a very sharp right most of the way down the hill. That actually goes to a small parking lot at the beginning of a trail to the back end of the park. (The regular entrance is actually harder to find.) It's a very interesting geological place that includes a marble quarry, marks in the marble left by the glaciers, and a deep, narrow streambed that makes several 90-degree turns. The arch itself is rather small, but I guess they had to name the place after something.

Barton Cove is off Rte 2, also, on the South side. the entrance is a little East of a big canoe-rental place. There are supposed to be dinosaur tracks in the rocks, but I think they may have been stolen.

French King Bridge is at the intersection of MA Rte 2 and the Connecticut river, just east of Barton Cove.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:31 AM on January 3, 2006

My suggestion is to cross between Thetford, Vermont and Lyme, New Hampshire. Lyme has the archtype of the New England town square. I want to live there.

Plus you then drive one town south and check out Hanover, New Hampshire and Dartmouth College. Lots of awesome B and Bs in the area, too.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:49 AM on January 3, 2006

The pioneer valley in MA is littered with farms with tobacco barns (both dilapidated and still in use). You can find them in Sunderland (esp on rte 47), Hatfield, Hadley, etc.

If you want mills, just look at any of the little towns and look for a "mill river"--most of the industry in this area was centered around mills, so they're not hard to find. See Florence, Easthampton, Williamsburg, etc.

Nature? Try poking around the Daughters of the American Revolution forest, the Quabbin, or Barton's Cove.
posted by plinth at 9:19 AM on January 3, 2006

THe Pioneer Valley is not "northern MA", it is an hour or so south of the Vermont border via I-91. But it is a wonderful mecca - go to Northampton to eat and shop and then head up to the hill towns (west on Route 9) to poke around back roads. Can't go wrong.
posted by trii at 6:01 PM on January 4, 2006

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