Tour: Cog Railway on Mt. Washington

By: Leigh Polish, Fitzwilliam Inn, GSA Class of 2019

I was very fortunate last Wednesday to have a chance to take a ride on the Cog Railway in the winter. What a wonderful day it was. Dawn B. and I drove up to Bretton Woods and arrived early enough to enjoy lunch at The Omni Mount Washington Hotel. We met Tim A., Bruce F., and Donna K. there and we had a wonderful lunch together. Then we all headed over to the cog where we added all out heavy clothing, made sure we had our cameras, and headed into the station.

What a glorious place it is. I had been to the cog only in the summer which is a wonderful time with so much to see both inside and outside. I never dreamed the cog in the winter was equally fantastic. While waiting for the cog, you can visit a museum in the building which is worth every minute, a wonderful souvenir store, places to get snacks if you are hungry or think you may want something on the trip, and even a place where at the end of the trip you can buy pictures taken of you on the trip. It is a terrific location people should experience at all ages. On our trip there was a little girl who had great fun and was toasting marshmallows where we stopped. Now on with the trip…

Once inside the train, the leader of our trip told us the history of the cog and the information of everything we saw as we rode, including several people skiing down beside our car. We were told skiers can walk up the hill to the halfway location where we were headed, and then they could ski down. There is no rope or anything to pull them up, so they must walk to the halfway stop. My son told me he has done that several times and it is wonderful.

When we got to the halfway point, we all disembarked to an area that was fantastic. We could smell the bonfire as we got off the train, as well as huts with heaters if we needed to warm up, hot chocolate, marshmallows and cookies, and outside plenty more marshmallows to toast over the campfire. The day we were there was absolutely beautiful, and there were so many wonderful pictures to take in the clear blue sky and full sun. The temperature, when I looked at it, was -2 degrees but with the sun and little if any breeze, the only thing that got cold on me was my toes. What a perfect day!
After our time at the stop we returned to the cog and rode back down to the station. It was delightful that our leader filled us with more information and history, as well as answered questions people had. Once at the bottom of the rails, we couldn’t say enough “thank you’s” to all the people who put their time and energy into such a wonderful trip and experience. It was a marvelous trip, and if I could climb up to the very top I would shout:
“If you want to experience a trip you will never forget, filled with a super ride on the Cog Railway, in winter or summer, with so much to see, do, learn and enjoy, you’ll have a problem finding anything better or more fun!”