On Fall's Trail in New Hampshire

What to Do & Where to Do It
Fall in Francestown, New Hampshire

Drive Hanover to Orford and Into the White Mountains

This country road, which twists along the Connecticut River along the New Hampshire and Vermont borders, will take you away from home through the college community of Dartmouth, into the shopping and dining explosion of Hanover and onto Polly's Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill where you can stock up on maple's finest. The spectrum of New England culture on this route is paralleled with the spectrum of fall's bouquet. The only interruption to viewing the foliage is the covered bridges that you will come to along the way.Access: Highway 10 north, to Route 302 and then Route 117
Peak color:Mid-October

Drive Lincoln to Conway Along the Kancamagus

For literally drop-dead views of White Mountain National Forest, this drive takes the high road navigating through some of the best fall foliage in the state. There are places to picnic with scenic vistas en route, campgrounds and hiking trails. After a dizzying drive up the mountains you can take a walk along Sabbaday Falls or Champney Falls. Before starting out, grab a gondola ride at Loon Mountain in Lincoln to the mountain's top for an aerial view of fiery fall. Once in Conway take a foliage ride aboard the Conway Scenic Railroad. Excursions are available to Conway and Bartlett, as well as through Crawford Notch.Access: Highway 112: 34-mile stretch
Peak color: Mid-October

Drive Holderness to Center Sandwich and Beyond

Here, fall's portrait is mirrored in the waters of New Hampshire's lakes region, a favorite drive for many. You'll pass Squam Lake featured in the film, On Golden Pond, and through the clapboard village of Center Sandwich. Stop at antique stores along the way and in Wolfeboro you can pick up the M/S Mt. Washington for a 2 1/2 hour cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee where you could catch any of their fall themes including Oktoberfest, and Autumn Lobsterfest. Call for reservations: 603/366-BOAT.Access: Route 113, Route 109
Peak color: Mid-October

Drive Along New Hampshire's 18-Mile
Seacoast and into Portsmouth

Hugging the shoreline, this drive from North Hampton to Rye to Portsmouth takes you past sandy beaches, “millionaire's row,” Rye Harbor and into downtown Portsmouth. Grab your red, white and blue and explore the contrast of old and new along Portsmouth's Harbour Trail. Walk through gardens, waterfront views, and browse past places where our forefathers set the course for America. The trail also passes by Strawbery Banke, The Portsmouth Children's Museum, The Seacoast Repertory Theater, the Portsmouth Music Hall, Prescott Park and some great places to cozy up your belly.Access: Route 1A
Peak color: Mid-October

Biking Pisgah State Park

During Autumn, a kaleidescope of color canopies this 15-mile ride in Pisgah State Park that uses jeep trails to start with and rougher terrain for the majority of the trail. Located in the southwestern tip between the towns of Chesterfield and Winchester, the woods are stocked with rock outcroppings, wetlands, hemlock and birch trees, beaver ponds and wildlife. Heading West will position you for more trails. Fall is the optimal time to bike this trail, as it closes for off-road biking during the winter.

Access: From NH 9, turn south on NH 63.In Chesterfield, turn left onto Old Chesterfield Road and follow brown signs for Pisgah State Park. After two-tenths of a mile turn right onto Horseshoe Road.
Peak color: Mid-October

Hike the White Mountains

Stand grand in all fall's glory on the high peaks of the White Mountain range. Hikes for beginners to more arduous treks for the advanced are in plenty here and the panoramic views from any White Mountain peak on a clear autumn day is unbeatable. Choose from the many trails including Boulder Loop for a few hours of hiking to an all day excursion on the Franconia Ridge trail.

Route: Highway 93 or Route 302
Peak color: Mid-October

Canoe Great Glen Trails

The hills are alive with the colors of autumn and the sound of paddles. Take an all-day canoe trip from Great Glen Trails in Gorham using the waterways from the Saco and Androscoggin watersheds. You'll be guided through prime foliage areas as well as history of the area and a rundown of the diverse plants and wildlife that inhabit the area. Perfect for a great family outing. For reservations: 603/466-2333

Access: Highway 16
Peak color: Mid-October

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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