The Great Northern

Following US‑2 through wide-open spaces is guaranteed to bring new meaning to the expression “getting away from it all.”


Across the Connecticut River from Vermont, Lancaster (pop. 3,507) is a market town that was first settled in 1764. US‑2 becomes Main Street through Lancaster, lined with dozens of attractive old homes and churches, a cemetery on a knoll to the north, and on the south side a redbrick courthouse that dates from 1887.

Two miles south of Lancaster via US‑3, the mountaintop estate of the man who saved New Hampshire’s forests from the lumber industry has been preserved as John Wingate Weeks Historic Site (Wed.-Sun. 10am-5pm in summer only, $5), complete with a tourable mansion and an observation tower giving grand views of Mt. Washington and Vermont’s Green Mountains.

If you weren’t thrilled by the modern bridge that carries US‑2 into Lancaster, there are two historic covered bridges in Lancaster that will renew your appreciation of civil engineers. Five miles south of US‑2 via Hwy‑135 the Mt. Orne covered bridge spans the Connecticut River to Vermont, while just east of US‑2 in Lancaster village there’s a nifty 148-year-old, 90-foot-long covered bridge that spans the Israel River along Mechanic Street.

John Wingate Weeks Historic Site
Mechanic Street Covered Bridge