PINKHAM NOTCH, NH — Since 1861, Mount Washington’s “Road to the Sky” has been central to tourism here in New Hampshire. Originally opened for horse and carriage traffic, early travelers marveled at the amazing views from the Northeast’s highest peak, and the clean, fresh air that made the mountains such a desirable destination for early city dwellers. While the Mt. Washington Auto Road now caters to motorized vehicles, the Road maintains its original 7.6-mile course up the mountain, and will offer travelers the same amazing experience in 2020 as it has throughout its long history.
This year’s opening day, however, comes amidst unprecedented, worldwide health and travel concerns. All businesses—retail, lodging, hospitality and attractions—are making extraordinary efforts to adapt their business models to keep their employees and customers safe. The Mt. Washington Auto Road, and its sister company, Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center, are no exception. In fact, every aspect of our businesses have been analyzed and adapted to provide customers with the safest possible experience, without sacrificing any of the excitement and fun. Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center is currently open for biking and guided kayak tours. The Mt. Washington Auto Road opens on Thursday, June 11 for “drive yourself” customers. Currently, guided tours on the Auto Road are on hold as we develop protocols and procedures to keep our employees and customers safe.
2020 will undoubtedly prove to be a “year of change” in countless ways, but most notable for us was the retirement of longtime General Manager Howie Wemyss on May 16th. Howie has worked for the company for almost 40 years, and has been at the helm for the last 37. This year, we’ll open our gates to customers under the leadership of Tobey Reichert, a lifelong resident of Gorham, and part of the sixth generation of the family that has owned the Mt. Washington Auto Road since 1906.
“I love the idea of being able to manage the family business,” he states. “I grew up with Mount Washington in my backyard, so to speak, living in Gorham, and I enjoy looking at it and coming to work every day. It’s something you never want to take for granted,” said Reichert, who is married and a father of a 6-year-old son. “I’m looking forward to us getting open and being able to see people smiling.”
A trip up the Mt. Washington Auto Road is, and always has been, a safe, clean, open-air experience that anyone of any age can enjoy. We hope to make your visit to Mount Washington the highlight of your summer.
The family-owned Mount Washington Summit Road Company was formed in 1859, and completed the road to the summit of Mount Washington in 1861. The Mt. Washington Carriage Road, now called the Mt. Washington Auto Road, has the long-held distinction of being North America’s oldest man-made attraction. Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center, opened in 1994, is one of New Hampshire’s premier Nordic ski areas, with 45 kilometers of trails for skiing, snowshoeing and fatbiking. During the summer months, the Outdoor Center focuses on human-powered outdoor activities including kayaking, biking, hiking and trail running.