The Great Northern Route

Gorham (pop. 1,600), incorporated in 1836, was another early tourist town. Its boom began when the railroad came through in 1851; the train’s story, and the town’s, is told at the Gorham Historical Society and Railroad Museum (25 Railroad St., Wed.-Sat. 10am-3pm May-Oct., donation), which stands in the old depot, a half block off Main Street.

Just east of Gorham, the road passes through a famous grove of birch trees, the “world-renowned Shelburne birches.” Here you find the big but pleasant Town & Country Motor Inn (603/466-3315, $129 and up) with some spa and resort facilities, such as saunas, a golf course, and a good dining room. This is also where the Appalachian Trail, which runs from Maine’s Mt. Katahdin to northern Georgia, crosses US-2.

West of Gorham, right off US-2, the summer-only Moose Brook State Park (603/466-3860) has a campground and a swimming hole built back in the 1930s by the New Deal CCC.