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Roads Less Traveled - Woodstock to Warren

The Warren-Woodstock Road is Route 118 on the road map, so you can get there by swinging off Interstate 93 at exit 32 in Woodstock, following Route 112 for a couple of miles and turn onto Route 118.

“The Warren-Woodstock road affords one of pleasantest woodland drives in New Hampshire,” according to an 1893 Granite Monthly article about the road. “For five miles, it runs through an unbroken forest - the primitive woods. It is a delicious ride any summer day, always shady and cool; the deciduous trees sweet smelling, the evergreens so fragrant …”

The road is much the same today as it bisects the White Mountain National Forest. For most of the 12 miles or so, there are no houses and no utility poles. What was written more than 100 years ago can still be said today.

At the height of land, there is a spectacular overlook with a view of Lincoln all the way to the summit of Mount Washington. Be sure to bring your camera, for this is one of the most beautiful spots to photograph the foliage.

Here’s a fun story you’ll want to know about what happened while the road was being cut into the slopes of Mount Moosilauke in 1830. Citizens of Warren and Woodstock agreed upon a day where they would meet at the height of land.

The story goes, according to the Granite Monthly article that “the people of Warren turned out, spotted the path up to the town line in the high pass and then waited for those of Woodstock to put in an appearance.

“They shouted, making noise that awoke every owl and wild beast of the forest but not a soul appeared or responded - Woodstock men had made a mistake in the day. A week later, they spotted their part of the path and in a like manner shouted to the Warren folks with no better success.”

When you head down the hill, follow Route 118 to where you turn left to hop on Route 25. Follow it into town and you’ll know you’re there when you see the Warren common, one of the most unusual in New Hampshire. Flanked by the town hall, a church and steeple and the historical society, the common looks much like any other in the state, except for the Redstone missile aiming skyward.

It’s what Warren has instead of a cannon.

The Redstone was originally built as a surface to surface missile and later became the first launch vehicle for the Mercury space program. This rocket was transported from Huntsville, Ala., in 1971 by a local man who wanted schoolchildren, in the years after the moon launch and subsequent space flights, would get a perspective of what it took to get to the moon. The missile is cared for by the Warren Historical Society, which is also worth paying a visit while you’re there.