Foliage Reports

September 18, 2020

Great North Woods Region: 15% Color Change

Up North the foliage is beginning to develop attractively and is expected to change rapidly with below freezing temperatures predicted overnight this weekend. While there are still plenty of green leaves decorating the landscapes, there is an abundance of vibrant orange, red, and yellow colors that are starting to dot the treetops. Driving along Route 3 may grant some colorful views, especially moving towards higher elevations or passing through the Columbia, Colebrook, and Pittsburg areas. Or you can pay a visit to Beaver Brook Falls Wayside just off of Route 145 in Colebrook. This spot may give way to some colorful vistas, but even if the foliage remains subtle by the time you arrive, you’ll still enjoy the enthralling 80-foot-tall waterfall there which dazzles in any season.

White Mountains: 10% Color Change
With some cooler temps still mingling with the last warm days of summer, the Foliage is very slowly starting to arrive in the White Mountains. After the dry summer New Hampshire experienced, the foliage is predicted to crowd around lakes and ponds this season to start. But for now the trees remain mostly green, with a few hints of color starting to show up. Observant leaf peepers can spot some exciting shades of gold and deep red along Route 49, Route 3, or along the northern portion of I-93. The region is particularly beautiful in these last few days of summer, and a scenic drive just may grant you some striking, gently colored views.

Lakes Region: <10% Color Change
The foliage is slowly making an appearance in the Lakes Region, which is starting to see a few sparse splashes of transitional colors. While the trees are still mostly green, early leaf peepers can catch some pink and yellow leaves at higher elevations in the Ossipee Mountains. Experienced hikers looking for a climb can take the Turtleback Mountain Trail and veer off to make the short detour to the summit of Bald Knob for a sweeping view of the mountain range. With just enough luck, the elevation may give way to some gently colored scenic vistas.

Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region: <10% Color Change
A handful of early trees have started to show off their colors in the Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region, but the landscapes are still primarily green—hanging on to those last few warm days before fall really settles in. If you’re up for a hike, the summit of Mount Kearsarge, accessed via Winslow State Park, is always worth a trip. While the trees may still don their summer colors, you may be able to spot some early transitional hues from the peak. Be sure to make a reservation in advance to ensure access to the park as capacity is limited. Or, if you’re traveling along I-89 you may be treated to some gently shaded views when heading north from New London to Lebanon, so be sure to stay on the lookout.

Monadnock Region: <10% Color Change
Over in the Monadnock Region, the foliage is cautiously starting to peek out. If you keep your eyes peeled, you may be able to spot a few shaded leaves nestled among a sea of green foliage. The region is still hanging on to the tail end of summer, with slightly warmer temperatures keeping the colorful foliage at bay for now. If you’re up for a scenic drive, try Route 32 from Richmond to Swanzey, where you may spot some unexpected pops of color. Looking for an afternoon activity? Keep North towards Keene and follow Route 12 to stop off near Main Street. You can take a walk among the idyllic downtown and check out the collection of fascinating Walldog Murals painted on buildings around town while you search for more foliage!

Merrimack Valley Region: 10% Color Change
In the Merrimack Valley, some early foliage is beginning to appear and the leaves are starting to change quickly. Each chilly night seems to garner more color in the region, especially around wetter areas. While some premature Birch trees have already started to shed their yellowed leaves, the majority of the foliage remains green this week. If you’re around Route 101A near the Hollis/Amherst border you may see some splashes of color near ponds, swamps, and wetland areas, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. Or, make a trip out to Turkey Pond in Concord where the trees are really starting to show off bright red and orange hues. A walk out to the pond from the parking area would offer nice views, or you can launch a small boat for fishing or canoeing to enjoy the peaceful pond.

Seacoast Region: <10% Color Change
The foliage appears to be hiding early in the season on New Hampshire’s Seacoast. With less than 10% color change reported for the region, it’s safe to say that summer’s verdant green foliage is still claiming the treetops. But don’t worry—with some cold nights predicted over the next week, the foliage may start to slowly develop in due time. Now might be the perfect opportunity to squeeze in those last trips to the beach or to explore downtown Portsmouth while the weather is comfortable. Check out Prescott Park in Portsmouth to see the last touches of summer and beautifully landscaped gardens before the cooler temps begin to transform the park into a fall wonderland with autumn hues and mums galore.