When you exit off I-93 and head east on Rt. 49 toward Waterville Valley, you pass by the turn-off to Sandwich Notch Road. Over the years I’ve heard some humorous – and frightening – stories about unsuspecting tourists venturing onto Sandwich Notch Road and experiencing the adventure of their lives! Years ago my husband and I piled into my brother’s Jeep for some winter off-roading via Sandwich Notch Road. I was certain that we would never make it back to civilization alive and that our frozen bodies would be discovered months later by an unlucky cross-country skier!
Built in 1801, Sandwich Notch Road is a historic route that connected the Waterville Valley region with the Lakes Region in the early nineteenth century. Today, the road is a little-maintained, rough gravel road that passes though beautiful woodlands that are, for the most part, devoid of houses or other development.
This morning I found a blog post by “thoughtfarm” (right) about his drive along Sandwich Notch Road.
“Today we drove to the Waterville Valley Resort. We could have taken the most expedient route, up the interstate, but I’m sick of interstate highways. So we drove up Highway 11, along the western edge of Lake Winnipesaukee. LIttle tourist towns dot the edge of the lake, with condos, apartments and hotels. I grew up in this kind of town, with t-shirt shops, condos, marinas, and restaurants, on the Atlantic shore, in Florida. Tourist towns don’t do anything for me.
“When the GPS turned us off the main road into the woods, I was ready to see something genuine. Sandwich Notch Road, with a historic marker, was where we wound up. It was paved for a while, and then we passed the sign that you usually see on timber roads (not maintained in winter). Immediately thereafter we were on a pretty nice one lane dirt road. There were waterfalls at the side of the road, here and there, nestled in the stands of birch, spruce and pine. Ferns edged the road. The air was fragrant, and Patti said, this is what the world should smell like…”
Read the rest of “thoughtfarm’s” post here.