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Foliage Reports

Foliage Report for September 20, 2019

Great North Woods Region
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.

White Mountains Region
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.  

Lakes Region
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.  

Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region
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.  

Merrimack Valley Region
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!

Monadnock Region
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.  

Seacoast Region
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.