A must do experience when visiting the White Mountain region in New Hampshire is going to the summit of Mount Washington on the Cog Railway. The Mount Washington Cog Railway is the oldest in the world.
This historical achievement is celebrating its 150th year in 2019. The Cog offers a ride in the past to the highest peak in the east coast, Mount Washington with the most stunning scenery. This 6288 ft climb can be done the “old fashion” way in the steam engine or with a faster biodiesel train. Either way, you will enjoy this experience.
Sylvester Marsh, after nearly losing his life trying to summit Mount Washington, decided to build a railway for people to experience this mountaintop. On July 3, 1869, he fulfilled his dream with the “Old Pepperass” the first Cog-driven train to reach the top of Mount Washington. Today they ran around 4 to 6 trains a day depending on the season.
We took the steam train early in the morning. The conductor and brakeman provided information on the railway, the surrounding mountain ranges and local area. This awesome and sometimes scary ride up the side of the mountain feels like you are riding into the clouds.
On a clear day, the views are outstanding, unfortunately, it was cloudy and cold when we were there and could barely see anything. This was our second time on the summit (once we climbed up with our truck), so I know how stunning those views can be. You can see to Canada, five states and even the Atlantic Ocean.
It is cold at the summit. Even on a summer day make sure to bring warm clothing because at the top it just might be 30 degrees.
At the top of Mount Washington, there is the Sherman Adam Visitors Center. They have a museum, post office and cafeteria with seating area and restrooms. The cafeteria serves basis food but when cold a cup of coffee or hot chocolate really hits the spot. After our ride down, we were able to go inside the engine car and take pictures.
You can visit their website at http://thecog.com for tickets, fare and schedule information. I would recommend purchasing tickets in advance especially when taking the steam train.
Although there are other ways to reach the summit, the Cog is an unforgettable experience while visiting the White Mountains. You can also take the cog up to the summit and hike down.
When at the Cog make sure to visit their museum with interactive exhibits including a train simulator. You can also watch their documentary “Climbing to the Clouds” to experience all about the Cog’s operation and history. There is also a gift shop for memorable souvenirs.