Nature lovers will be blown away by the unrivaled scenery and countless opportunities for wildlife viewing in the Great North Woods.
Choose from five spectacular driving tours; the Kancamagus Highway, a national scenic byway, is the granddaddy of them all.
Spend a half-day or longer driving the Sunapee Loop and you'll see one of the most photogenic town greens in America.
The Lakes Loop circles Lake Winnipesaukee, the perfect introduction to this vacationland.
Drive the Monadnock Region Loop to explore some of the most quintessentially New England towns in New Hampshire.
Choose from 10 scenic drives and byways in this historic region.
Along a shoreline drive in coastal New Hampshire, you’ll experience both the region’s Colonial history and its scenic beauty.
Jericho Mountain State Park provides opportunities for miles of trail riding for ATV, UTV, trail bike, and snowmobile enthusiasts alike.
Throughout the park, visitors are treated to a number of scenic outlooks. The park also includes a 20 site ride-in/ride-out campground,
cabins, a bathhouse and Visitors Center. Learn More
The fire tower at hilltop Milan Hill State Park offers a complete view of the mountain ranges in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Canada. The park is home to a primitive camping area with four yurts and six campsites. Learn More
Built in 1862, the Stark Covered Bridge is one of the most beautiful covered bridges in New Hampshire. The bridge is set in picturesque Stark village next to the historic Stark Union Church. It spans the Ammonoosuc River, with covered pedestrian paths on either side.
Set at the very top of Mt. Prospect in Lancaster, Weeks State Park provides a 360-degree panorama of mountain splendor, including the Presidential Range of the White Mountains, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Kilkenny Range, the Percy Peaks, and the upper Connecticut River Valley. Visitors can climb the old stone fire tower for even better mountain views. Learn More
A scenic trail around Echo Lake provides great views of sheer, 700-foot Cathedral Ledge which towers over the lake. A mile-long auto road and hiking trails lead to the top of Cathedral Ledge where views across the Saco River Valley to the White Mountains can be enjoyed. Learn More
The Lincoln Woods Trail is one of the easiest and most heavily used trails in the White Mountain National Forest. Leaving the parking lot on the north side of the Kancamagus Highway, the Lincoln Woods Trail immediately crosses the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River via a very scenic 160’ long suspension bridge. Learn More
Lower falls is one of the most popular stops along the Kancamagus Highway. The falls is a beautiful spot where the Swift River drops many feet over smooth granite rocks into a large pool. It is an ideal place to picnic, sunbathe, and swim in warm weather. Learn More
Bear Notch Road can be accessed from Route 302 in Bartlett. This road connects Route 302 to the Kancamagus Highway and has many scenic stops and overlooks with spectacular views as it climbs through the White Mountains. Please note- this road is closed during the winter.
Mount Sunapee State Park is a major recreation area offering year-round activities at beautiful 4,085 acre Lake Sunapee. A picturesque lakeside beach, a vast network of well-marked hiking trails, and a secluded group campground make it the perfect place to spend a day or entire weekend. Learn More
Located in downtown Hanover, the green is the focal point of the Dartmouth College campus. This beautiful lawn on the iconic campus is a stunning spot for visitors and students alike to meet up, ride bikes, play sports and relax. From the green, visitors can easily access the many shops and restaurants on Main Street, Hanover. Learn More
Visitors drive up a 3-1/2 mile scenic auto road to the parking and picnic areas of Rollins State Park. From there, hikers can climb a one-half mile trail to the summit of Mt.Kearsarge. Views stretch from Mt. Monadnock to the coastal plain. The summits of Pack Monadnock, Crotched and Uncanoonuc Mountains, the hills of central MA, and the Boston skyline are visible on the horizon. Learn More
Located at the southern tip of Lake Winnipesaukee, these colorful houses sit on a small inlet of Alton Bay where Route 11 crosses the water. The combination of vibrant fall foliage and the colors of the homes reflecting in the water makes for a perfect fall photo. Continuing to head west on Route 11 allows for sweeping vistas of the lake and mountain ranges beyond.
This iconic 1914 Arts & Crafts mansion is perched on a stunning 5,500 acre mountaintop estate with 28 miles of trails, waterfalls, giant trout pond, and breathtaking views of Lake Winnipesaukee. Activities include castle tours, hiking, seasonal events, art gallery, dining, horseback riding and gift shop. Learn More
Located just off the road, behind the police and fire station in Gilford is the Tannery Hill Covered Bridge. It is a foot traffic only bridge with beautiful latticework openings, spanning Gunstock brook. It was built to link the town hall with the rest of the town center and is named for the tannery that once stood in the area.
Ellacoya State Park is located in Gilford on the southwest shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire's largest lake. The 600-foot long sandy beach, with views across the lake to the Sandwich and Ossipee mountains, is a great place to spend a full day of lake fun and picnicking. Learn More
Monadnock State Park is located in and around the 3,165-ft. Mount Monadnock. The park is surrounded by thousands of acres of protected highlands and offers year-round recreational opportunities. Scenic views of Monadnock can be found from a number of regional roads and highways, especially Route 124 in Jaffrey. Learn More
Stonewall Farm is home to 23 acres of pastures, hiking and biking trails, gardens, wetlands and forest. Children will enjoy splashing in the brook and playing in the nature playground. Visit the farm animals, stop in the farm store and be sure to check out the extensive events calendar of seasonal activities. Learn More
Washington is a scenic small town in southwestern New Hampshire, with a population of about 1100. Washington is a rural town with a hilly, rugged, and forested landscape. It’s picturesque village contains examples of stunning early architecture, including the Town Hall, built as a meetinghouse in 1787, and the Congregational Church built in 1840. Learn More
Canterbury Shaker Village is a National Historic Landmark and museum nestled among the rolling hills of wooded central New Hampshire. With nearly 700 acres of forests, nature trails, gardens and ponds, as well as 25 original and 4 reconstructed Shaker buildings, the Village is a must see for any visitor to New England. Learn More
The 76 foot tall tower in Garrison Hill Park is one of the best places to take in the entire seacoast region, with dramatic 360 degree views. From the 298 foot elevation of Garrison Hill, visitors can see both the Isles of Shoals and the White Mountains on a clear day. Learn More
Odiorne Point is the largest undeveloped stretch of shore on New Hampshire’s 18 mile coast. Visitors can enjoy sweeping views of the ocean and rocky shore, and an extensive network of trails traversing the park. Large stone walls bound open fields, remnants of formal gardens and wildflowers grow side by side, and historic man-made military bunkers lie hidden under mounds of earth. Learn More
Color in the Great North Woods has definitely headed past peak. You'll still see the remains of some foliage mixed in among the bare trees, but it's more muted and rusty toned these days. The bright side to the leaf drop is the views- with clear cuts through the trees, the views are wide open and framed by the trees with a bit of remaining color as well as the dark evergreens. The sides of roads are covered in piles of orange and brown leaves, making for really picturesque drives throughout the region. Your best bet for remaining foliage will be in the more southern part of the region- try a ride from Lancaster down towards Carrol on Route 3 or Berlin to Gorham on Route 16. Berlin is reporting some pretty color left along the Androscoggin River as well in the surrounding hillsides- it's a mix of nice golds, yellow and a bit of orange.
Percentage Changed: 100% - Past Peak
The White Mountains have headed past peak, but there should still be plenty of options for leaf peepers here this weekend. The key will be sticking to the more southern part of the region. The northern White Mountains and higher elevations have lost a lot of leaves, but down around Campton and Thornton our leaf peepers are reporting plenty of color remaining, even though it is a bit past peak. In Campton, headed towards Waterville Valley along Route 49, the views are still really nice. The colors have muted a bit, but you'll spot lots of rust tones as well as some reds and yellows. There are still some oak trees that have yet to change, which could bring a renewal of orange and yellow to the area as well. The Woodstock/Lincoln area is still pretty too, despite a bit of leaf drop. And though it's lovely year round, this may be one of your last real weekends for true leaf peeping on the Kancamagus Highway, so be sure to squeeze that ride in while you can!
Peak foliage is hanging on in the Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee region, but it probably won't last long- head up this weekend! Route 4 and 4A are always a good bet for leaf peepers in this region. These roads will take you through a number of small villages and towns with stretches of beautiful color in between. The town of Canaan is reported to have really nice color right now. Be sure to take a drive down historic Canaan Street. This wide, tree lined street is drenched in fall color and runs right along beautiful Canaan Street Lake. Our leaf peepers also suggest a visit to Enfield, where the color is still very pretty despite a bit of fading color. If you visit Enfield Shaker Museum, be sure to take a hike to the Shaker Feast Ground for a spectacular vista of the Shaker Village nestled along Mascoma Lake.
Percentage Changed: 100%
The Lakes region is holding onto peak color and looks glorious right now! There is a bit of leaf drop that has occurred in the past couple days, but that shouldn't affect the perfect views this weekend. Though we recommended it before, it's worth saying again- the drive around Newfound Lake is a must do! The views are absolutely stunning along Route 3A to North Shore Drive to West Shore Drive. You'll cruise right along the lake with bright vibrant leaves around every turn. Make a stop at Wellington State Park in Bristol. You can walk the sandy shores of Newfound Lake while surrounded by bright red, yellow, and orange on all sides. Squam Lake in Holderness is beautiful as well. Try Route 3 in Ashland to Route 25 to 113 in Holderness for a nice scenic drive through this area. Another drive for leaf peeping this weekend will be Route 11 from Alton to Farmington, where the peak foliage is holding strong with red, yellow and orange colors.
The Monadnock region is enjoying what seems to be an extra-long peak season this year. Though there have been some duller colors spotted, most days are still ripe with vibrant color. There is still an abundance of very bright reds that are usually only seen towards the beginning of the season, yet they are holding strong now into the end of October! The area surrounding Mount Monadnock is gorgeous and well worth a visit. Take a ride on Route 124 near the base of the mountain- you'll pass by beautiful Perkins Pond where the reflections on the water can be stunning. Other suggested routes for this weekend include Route 119 from Richmond to Fitzwilliam, Route 12 south from Swanzey through Troy and Fitzwilliam and Route 12 North from Keene into Walpole.
The Merrimack Valley region continues to be a mix of green all the way up to peak color. In Pembroke, our leaf peepers reported some trees completely vibrant and fully peak, others that are past peak, and still others that are mostly green. It's quite a mix! In the Londonderry/Manchester area, there is more color coming out by the day as the area reaches near peak. Around Concord and Hooksett, the trees are really starting to get more vibrant. The reds are fiery and the oranges are bold- a nice change from what was looking a bit dull in the past couple weeks. In Canterbury the trees are very close to peak. You'll definitely want to take a ride out to the Canterbury Shaker Village along Shaker Road. The village is drenched in gold, yellow and orange and is simply stunning. Nashua is also reporting peak color- be sure to make a stop at Mine Falls Park in the heart of the city for a walk along the peaceful and colorful trails.
Percentage Changed: 50-100%
The Seacoast is still waiting for peak color to arrive. The roadsides are patchy, with large sections of green mixed among the autumn colors. There has been increase in orange and red over the past week, although heavy winds have left some bare spots as well. The picturesque town of Exeter is reporting lots of pretty color throughout the town. A drive through downtown along Main Street, Water Street and Front Street will be nice- find a parking spot and hop out to explore the shops and great dining by foot! Though you won't spot a ton of color along the coast, a drive along Route 1A from Hampton all the way to Newcastle and Portsmouth is well worth your time. You'll have gorgeous ocean views the whole way and now is the perfect time to explore our beaches!
Percentage Changed: 25-75%
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