New Hampshire is one of the premier destinations to witness the natural splendor of rich golds and brilliant crimsons of fall foliage. Nestled among the numerous lakes and ponds and in the shadow of a legendary mountain range, visitors can take in the splendor of the season.
New Hampshire Lakes Region
On the shores of the great Lake Winnipesaukee is the historic Lake Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. The rail has been in use since the 1890s,when it brought Boston’s elite class to the New Hampshire Lakes region to summer. Now the scenic Foliage Tours, are one of the best ways to take in the natural splendor of autumn. The scenic railroad travels along the banks of the Winnipesaukee and through the yards of some of the finest historic homes in the area. It’s a great view from both sides of the train!
Laconia is also home to the annual New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival. An annual tradition the pumpkin festival boasts over 20,000 pumpkins, rides, and seasonal refreshments. A 5k and 10k, a pumpkin contest, and a beer garden, complete this festive affair.
Lake Sunapee Region
Celebrate the kick-off of fall foliage season at Mount Sunapee with their annual Fall Festival Pig Roast and BBQ, Columbus Day Weekend. Mount Sunapee creates a family friendly and fun atmosphere with Skyrides from 10am-4:30pm. The BBQ themed menu includes- pulled pork, grilled half chicken, cornbread, sides and desserts served outdoors with the backdrop of the fall colors. Libations will also be available on the Sunapee Patio. Best of all the event is free.
After a fun day at Mount Sunapee, you can take in spectacular views on the Sunapee Loop. Approximately 140 miles, the loop begins in Greenfield, NH.
Directions, courtesy of nhmagazine.com
- From Greenfield, head north on Route 31 through Antrim and Hillsborough, past the Franklin Pierce Homestead (former home of the 14th U.S. President), through the towns of Windsor and Washington and past Pillsbury State Park.
- Just south of Goshen, you’ll join Route 10; continue on to Newport and Grantham, where you’ll turn on to Springfield Road, then Route 114 to Springfield. The route winds south through New London (home of Colby-Sawyer College), Sutton, Bradford and Henniker. Make sure you take a moment to check out New England College in Henniker.
- In Henniker, turn east on Route 202/9 to Hopkinton, where you’ll pick up Jewel Road, also known as Route 13 through Goffstown to Route 136 (just north of New Boston), which leads back to Greenfield.
The Upper Valley Offers a variety of fall themed activities to enjoy a crisp New England fall day. Our five favorite fall activities in the Upper Valley are-
- Apple picking at River View Farm.
- Adventuring through Lost River, Boulder Caves
- Enjoying a Wine Pairing Dinner at Pine in Hanover, NH
- Hiking to Holt’s Ledge, in Lyme NH
- Visit Seven Barrel Brewery in Lebanon, NH for one of their house made beers or ciders.
Southern New Hampshire
Southern New Hampshire is home to many popular fall foliage driving routes, as well as some unique destinations.
Scenic Byways in the Merrimack Valley Region, courtesy of nhmagazine.com
- Amoskeag Millyard Scenic and Cultural Byway: Take Exit 5, Granite Street Bridge or Exit 6, Amoskeag Bridge to Commercial Street in Manchester. View the contrast of the old mills against the beauty of the foliage and flowing Merrimack River.
- Apple Way in Londonderry: Drive through Londonderry off of Route 128. This byway is special because of the luscious fields and agricultural area.
- Canterbury Shaker Village Byway: Get off at Exit 16 off I-93 and drive from Canterbury Shaker Village to Exit 18, I-93. This byway highlights Canterbury Shaker Village as well as conservation areas, open marshes, stonewalls, cemeteries, pre-Revolutionary homes, and access to Hutchins Forest.
- Currier & Ives Trail: Take Route 127 from north of Salisbury to Contoocook along Route 103 to Route 202/9 to below Henniker. This byway provides a taste of quintessential New England.
- General John Stark Scenic Byway: Drive along Route 114, Route 13 and Route 77. This is a 34 mile circular route that connects the towns of Goffstown, Dunbarton, Weare, and New Boston and is named in honor of New Hampshire’s best known Revolutionary War hero, General John Stark.