Guest Author - Brenda Potter Reynolds
There are many ways to reach the top of Mount Washington near Bretton Woods, NH. You can hike one of the several trails to the peak. You can drive up in your own car or a take a guided motor tour. My family and I chose the most expensive - and most fun (to us, anyway) method: by train.
My husband had wanted to ride the Mount Washington Cog Railroad for years. Finally, we took a trip to New Hampshire specifically for that reason. We drove down the picturesque Kancamagus Highway, drove up to the Cog Railroad station, and took the train to the top.
My 10-year-old son didn't like the feeling of the steep grade going up the mountain - it's as much as 37% in some places, but my husband and I enjoyed every aspect of the ride - the views, the sound and smell of the coal-fired train, the leisurely pace. It was October and the leaves were beautiful.
Mt. Washington in the tallest peak in the Northeast at 6,288 feet, and we soon felt the truth of that. The temperature at the bottom was a balmy 65 degrees, but at the top - BRRRR! The wind was blowing and it was SNOWING! Luckily, we had brought jackets, but it was still cold.
There is a weather station at the top where the highest wind speed ever recorded was measured, 231 mph. In the Sherman Adams Summit Building, you'll find exhibits and an info desk.
There's also a restored hotel, but it was so cold that we did most of our exploring inside and were happy to catch the train back down to the bottom after the 20-minute stopover. There wasn't much of a view that day, but when it's clear, you can see the Atlantic Ocean, and into four states.
Back down at the bottom, there's old equipment to look at, a snack bar, gift shop and museum.
The train ride takes three hours, round trip. Tickets are $57 for adults, $37 for children ages four to 12, and children under four are free. Senior Citizen tickets are $52.
Reservations are strongly recommended. Call 800-922-8825 for reservations or reserve online at Mount Washington Cog RR
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For more information on driving up Mount Washington or taking a guided tour in a van, visit: Mt. Washington Auto Road
To check the weather on Mount Washington, visit Weather
To see the weather on Mount Washington, visit one Weather Cam
Be sure to bring an extra jacket and don't forget your camera!