Connecticut River Byway
State: New Hampshire
Length: 274 miles / 438.4 km
Time to Allow: Allow a day to fully experience this byway.
New Hampshire and Vermont share a significant section of the Connecticut River, starting at the border of Massachusetts, making the Connecticut River Byway. The byway spans the state line between the two states taking up 498.7 miles heading toward Canada by running through 53 different districts in both NH and Vermont. Located on the western side of NH, start by where the three borders intersect and begin a journey filled with lush landscapes, gorgeous waterways, and down-to-earth towns.
The first town in NH is Hinsdale, a tiny town with traditional New England charm. Imagine a bridge over the river surrounded by a flowing river and lush trees. It’s a perfect place to fish, hike, or grab a cup of coffee on your way up the byway. Follow the road up to the Madame Sherri Forest next to the Pisgah State Park. The forest is an epic location with ruins ready to transport you into the past and tons of dog-friendly trails.
On the Vermont side sits the West Brattleboro town if you want to cross the border. The trail follows through woodland scenery to the town of Walpole, one of the prettiest towns in New Hampshire. In Walpole, the town still holds traditional town meetings and has a beautiful downtown surrounded by hills and quiet charm. The rural town offers a perfect escape from the city with fresh country air, gardens, nature trails, and country activities. Grab a scoop of ice cream at their local shop, or pick apples at the orchard.
If you love covered bridges, then you may want to check out the twenty different options on the way up to the White mountains. Find some beautiful bridges in Lyndon, Windsor, and Thetford. These iconic passages offer an authentic view of vintage New England life, as do gorgeous parks filled with nature ready to provide a vacation from daily life.
Two notable towns include Claremont and Lebanon, right by the river offering incredible views. Claremont offers an incredible opera house with historic qualities in an Italian Renaissance Revival style. Stop at the Spice and Dry Goods store for high-quality spices ready to improve any meal. Eat a meal at the Common Man Restaurant housed in an old mill. Lebanon is home to a swimming pool, farmers’ market, and tons of recreation options and antiques.
The rest of the byway offers more scenery than town with opportunities for every kind of recreation you can imagine. Find areas to launch a boat, visit a museum, check out some art centers, and visit wildlife. History buffs can find historic houses while driving through historic farmlands. Plan to travel in the late spring or early summer to enjoy warm but possibly rainy weather. For an incredible wonderland of colors, travel in the fall where the trees will come to life with vivid colors ready to flood your senses. Take a single day or even a couple of weeks to check out the bed and breakfasts on the way up toward Canada.
More New Hampshire Byways
You can check out additional Byways in New Hampshire by clicking on the list of byways below, or by going to the New Hampshire Byways home section. To find even more of scenic byways in the United States, visit our scenic byways map.