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Thread: sandwich notch road

  1. #16
    Senior Member NewHampshire's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Goffstown NH, Avatar:Sending out praise for the Red, White and Blue
    Quote Originally Posted by Caveman77 View Post
    Lucky you. I was scathed. Needed a new muffler for my Nissan Maxima.
    If I lived near Tecumseh and were driving to Whiteface/Passaconaway, I'd take I-93.

    Does anyone know how Sandwich Notch Road compares to Jefferson Notch Road and Bear Notch Road? Are any of them reasonable alternatives to the US routes?
    I have only been on Jefferson Notch Rd from Base Road to Caps Ridge trailhead, but it is a HELL of a lot better than Sandwich Notch. Jeff. Notch is narrow and winding so you go slow to not get hit by other cars and not because of rutting or poor road surface (though that is not to say the pavement of Jeff. Notch is top quality). Bear notch....a little wobbly, but many people burn through there at normal road speeds. NO comparison to Sandwich Notch Rd.

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  2. #17
    Senior Member Silverfox's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Meredith New Hampshire
    I have been through Sandwich Notch many times...4wd Tacoma handles it fine but it is rough and rutted..waterbars worthy of hiking trails and deeply rutted particularly coming down from the height of the land towards Waterville

    Jefferson Notch road Subaru friendly last fall..a dirt road but at least somewhat maintained..clearance not really an issue though it gets a little rough in much better the closer you got to route 2

    Bear Notch..if we are talking about the same road..from the burned down deli to the paved..been down that in a BMW

    Sandwich Notch road somewhat resembles Caribou Valley (Pond) road over in Maine where many have been . Main difference is the bridges on Sandwich Notch road are good while on CVR they are suspect at best or non existant
    # 44

  3. #18
    Member Caveman77's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Franklin, NJ
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverfox View Post
    Bear Notch..if we are talking about the same road..from the burned down deli to the paved..been down that in a BMW
    Yep, Bear Notch Road connecting the Kanc to US-302 in Bartlett. I had been avoiding "notch roads" after my Sandwich experience, but will give Bear and Jefferson a try this summer. Will come in handy if US-3 gets washed out again this year.

    On the satellite images on google maps, Sandwich Notch Road isn't even discernible. Bear Notch is quite clear.

    Thanks for your help!

  4. #19
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    Sep 2003
    Gorham NH
    Jefferson Notch Road and its lesser known twin Cherry Mtn Road tend to be maintained for passenger vehicles, but given their location can get beat up in rainy conditions. Both should not be attempted with a passenger car until the state regrades them in the spring which is normally a week or so before Memorial Day.

    Jefferson Notch road from the North to the Cap ridge trailhead can get quite washboarded in section especially in the spring. If you have a choice approaching it from the base road is the best.

  5. #20
    Senior Member Bob Kittredge's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Terrified on Webster
    Quote Originally Posted by Caveman77 View Post
    Does anyone know how Sandwich Notch Road compares to Jefferson Notch Road and Bear Notch Road? Are any of them reasonable alternatives to the US routes?
    Bear Notch Road is paved and no problem whatsoever. Not as fast as the interstate, but the quickest way to Bartlett if your' coming up 93 from the south.

    Jeff Notch Road is hardpack dirt and amenable to 20 mph trips in ordinary cars. That is, once they've had a chance to repair the winter washouts; but that's usually been taken care of by June. The same goes for the Pinkham B Road from Dolly Copp up to Route 2.

  6. #21
    Senior Member kltilton's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
    North Conway, NH Avatar: Skiing on Ethan Pond Trail
    Sandwich Notch Rd. can be a beast, but it has gotten a lot better in the last couple of years. After some major flooding a few years ago, the state got some FEMA money and fixed a lot of the old culverts and did a lot of other drainage work to keep the road in better shape. I have driven my Ford Focus over it numerous times. You just need to be careful.

  7. #22
    Senior Member TrishandAlex's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    White Mountains, NH
    I am sooooo tempted to rent a car and take this trip....yelling "yeeee haw" all the way....

    (I'll be sure to purchase the insurance package when I pay for the car rental).
    [B][SIZE=3]Patricia Ellis Herr (TRISH...ALEX...SAGE)

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  8. #23
    Senior Member grouseking's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    Lebanon, NH Avatar: Philosopher?
    I went down that road in May of '04. Its still the worst maintained road I've ever been on. Then again, it was just after all the snow had melted, and I don't think the forest service had a chance to get out there and fix some of the 12-16 inch deep potholes. If you tried to get in there from Rt 49, good luck getting up the very first hill right off the highway...its quite steep. I think there is a house on the other side of that hill, so maybe that part is maintained, but everytime I drive by that first hill, I think, "how the heck do you get up that without sliding down in winter?"


  9. #24
    Senior Member skibones's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    White mountains
    I would say the Sandwich Notch Road is barely a road. The first time i took it, I was expecting it to be like the Tripoli Road. I was ready to turn my 1990 Saab around, but I figured since i already went half way I might as well continue. I do take it a few times in the summer when I'm not in a rush. it's a fun road to do on skis. I haven't seen the dog sleds there, but my friend did the road last week on skis and she said just when she got to the end, there was team of dogs going out. I guess if she was on the road on her shis, the dogs would have the right of way!

  10. #25
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    Jan 2007
    I guess perception of Sandwich Notch Road might have to do with where you're from. Sandwich Notch Road is actually somewhat similar to the dirt roads I grew up on in Western Massachusetts, both in terms of terrain and road condition. Thus, it doesn't really seem to stand out as being *that* bad, at least when driving a vehicle with high clearance.

  11. #26
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Newton, MA
    Most gravel roads in New England take a beating in the winter whether they are open or not. Often they are graded in the spring, after mud season, and early summer, but they can be most dangerous to your tires immediately after grading as that often exposes sharp rocks until time and traffic cause them to settle.

    The traffic control strategy for Sandwich Notch Road is a new explanation to me and it raises philosophical possibilities to control a lot of things. I, however, am in constant search of the perfect 40 miles of bad road.

  12. #27
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    Sandwich Notch Road is neither a Forest Service or state road, but instead is owned and maintained by the towns. In the past at least they have not bothered to gate it whether it is passable or not, but let users make their own decisions. One guy who used to live at the end went for a drive during mud season in his jeep and wound up stranded partway across when he couldn't get up the hill going either way. He walked home and waited for the road to dry.

    I have been across numerous times in various vehicles nearly all 2wd, just drive slowly and go in the dry season (roughly Jun-Oct).

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