Explore a Season:
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
So far, it seems like foliage is off to a bit of a slow start in the Great North Woods, but with cold temps at night the past couple days, the leaves should start to turn more quickly soon. Route 16 from Berlin to Errol is a good bet for a drive right now- leaf peepers have spotted some yellow and pinks in trees surrounding the Androscoggin River. Don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for moose too! Route 3 from Lancaster all the way up to the Canadian border should also be a good drive for the weekend, with hints of early season color starting to brighten the drive. Be sure to check back for updated reports- once the trees start to change it could quickly turn to peak season in this most northern region of the state.
Percentage Changed: 5-10%
The foliage season is slowly getting underway in the White Mountains. The color is still very spotty and it's going to probably be 2-3 weeks until peak hits around here. However, the trees that have already changed are showing a sneak peek at the beauty that is yet to come. In Campton and Thornton, you'll see a bit of yellow in the higher elevations, and the swamp maples around Campton Pond on Route 49 have already turned nice and red. Routes 175 and Route 3 heading north from Campton towards Lincoln is just starting to change, and once you arrive in Lincoln there will be more of the same: mostly green with just a hint of yellow and red here and there. Over in Jackson and the western White Mountains, leaf peepers are also reporting a lot of green with some light pink and yellows.
Just the earliest signs of fall have arrived in the Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee region. Though it's nowhere near peak, visitors will be treated to golden trees, red marshes and light color change all throughout the region. The stately Dartmouth quad in Hanover already has entire trees changed to yellow, providing a beautiful contrast with the many greens that still remain. The views from the top of Mount Sunapee are still mostly green. Take a chairlift ride or hike up to the summit to see for yourself and try and spot the early fall colors below while enjoying the majestic views of Lake Sunapee. The drive along the NH/VT border is also still pretty green, but a drive along Route 12 from Cornish up to Lebanon is always nice- be sure make a stop at St. Gauden's National Historic Park or the Cornish Windsor Bridge along the way.
Green is still the main theme color in the Lakes Region. Around the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, you'll find a sea of green with just a random red or yellow tree breaking things up. The Bristol/Newfound Lake area is more of the same- leaf peepers will have to look closely to find the early changing trees. The shores of Squam Lake continue the green theme, although the trees have definitely taken on more of a yellowed tone than the vibrant greens of summer…its coming! Way towards the northernmost part of the region is home to a tiny bit more color, with some light, early season yellow and red spotted up near Ashland and Plymouth.
Percentage Changed: 5%
A chilly September has brought on an early start to the foliage season in the Monadnock region! Although green is still the dominant color, there are already random pops of fall tones that are incredibly vibrant in some spots. Many roads through Richmond, Swanzey, Troy and Keene have sporadic bursts of bright orange and fiery red. Route 119 from Winchester into Fitzilliam is a nice windy stretch with the marshy areas showing off quite a few spots of that bold early color. Routes 9, 12 and 32 are also great choices to find bright trees mixed in with the greens. Again, the color is mostly found in the wetlands so keep your eyes peeled! Hop off the main routes and explore the back roads where dedicated leaf peepers will be treated to the rare full changed individual trees, or even single branches showing off bright red, saturated oranges and pretty pinks.
Percentage Changed: 10-15%
Colder than normal September temperatures in the Merrimack Valley region seem to have sparked the trees to change a bit earlier than usual this year. Though the region overall is mostly green, there are quite a few random trees that have already fully turned and the swampy areas are showing lots of bold, bright red. Turkey Pond off Route 13 in Concord is a perfect place to take in the color via kayak or canoe- the trees surrounding this small pond are already beginning to put on a nice fall show. Take a ride out to Canterbury Shaker Village along the back roads. Hidden among the mostly green trees you'll be treated to the occasional fiery red branch or mellow yellow tree. Explore the trails around Mine Falls Park in Nashua for a sneak peak of the fall color still to come this year- the wooded trails are already showing nice gold and yellow tones. With a warm weekend in store for the region the color change may be put on a hold for a bit, but if you're in the area there are definitely enough signs of the season to put you in the mood for fall!
Typically the very last region of the state to turn, the Seacoast is unexpectedly already showing some fall color! Route 4 traveling east from Concord though Durham all the way out to the coast has far more red, orange and yellow trees than is standard for this time of year. In downtown Portsmouth, you'll be treated to quite a bit of early season color as you stroll through Market Square, another rare site so early in September. And Dover is also displaying a bit of color already, with light yellows and pinks reported through the town. This weekend's weather is looking a lot more like beach weather than fall though, so the color change may stall a bit for now. In the meantime, come enjoy these last warm days! A drive along the coast on Route 1A and 1B is a must do for ocean views and cool breezes.
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