New Hampshire regularly earns top marks for its fall foliage from national magazines and websites. Of course, that probably doesn’t surprise you if you live in Northern Massachusetts, Seacoast New Hampshire, or Southern Maine. With acres of forests, the state is the perfect place to enjoy the changing leaf colors. These places are among the top spots in New Hampshire to take in the fall foliage.
White Mountain National Forest
Hop on the Kancamagus Highway (Route 112) for spectacular views of the White Mountain National Forest. Watch the scenery through your car window or plan a few stops at scenic locations along the way. Sabbaday Falls offers a perfect backdrop for your leaf photos, as does the Rocky Gorge Scenic Area in Conway.
For the best views, board the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway in Franconia. Your cable car will travel 4,080 feet to the top of Cannon Mountain in just under 10 minutes. Once at the summit, you’ll have a panoramic view of fall foliage in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York, and Canada from the 360-degree observation deck. If you’ve gotten a little hungry on your leaf-hunting journey, be sure to stop by the mountaintop café for a meal or snack.
During leaf-peeping season, the Highway can get busy. Expect slow traffic at times on the 34-mile route, particularly on weekends.
Lake Winnipesauke is a good spot for a day or weekend of leaf viewing. Drive the loop around the lake or get out of the car and take in the view from one of the hiking trails. Looking for a bird’s eye view of the leaves? Sign up for a zipline tour at Gunstock Mountain Resort.
Mt. Washington Cruises offers another way to see the sights. The cruise line provides narrated brunch, lunch, dinner, and cocktail cruises. While you’re in the area, be sure to stop in the quaint towns that surround the lake for a leisurely lunch or a little shopping.
Currier and Ives Scenic Byway
With a name like “The Currier and Ives Scenic Byway,” you’re bound to see some unforgettable colors when you make this Merrimack County road your leaf viewing destination. Whether you prefer to drive, walk along a rail trail, or kayak, you’ll enjoy the seasonal display of vibrant colors.
The Byway passes through Salisbury, Webster, Warner, Henniker, and Hopkinton. If you’re in the area from October 8 - 11, plan to stop by the Warner Fall Foliage Festival. Although some events have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will feature rides, food, local bands, and a 5K race.
Great North Woods
Are you looking forward to seeing some wildlife in addition to fall foliage? During your leaf-peeping trip to the Great North Woods, you might just spot a moose or two. The area, known as Moose Alley, is home to thousands of the creatures. For the best leaf and moose views, pick up route 3 and head north for incredible views and moose sightings. You won’t have to worry about getting lost in Moose Alley. Route 3 is the only road in the area and can be accessed from Pittsburg or Colebrook.
We may be a little prejudiced since our office is here, but there’s no denying that the Stratham area is an excellent place to get your fall foliage fix. You’ll see bursts of orange, yellow, and red when you take a drive along Osprey Cove, Stratham Heights, or Union Roads. Bay Road in Newmarket also offers great views of the changing leaves.
Leaf Peeping Tips
The prime time for fall foliage viewing can vary from year to year. Dropping temperatures, longer nights, and the amount of summer rainfall affect the timing of the colorful changes. To make sure you don’t miss the peak of the fall foliage season, follow your local news for updates or visit NH.gov’s leaf tracker.
Does your Seacoast New Hampshire home provide a place to enjoy the fall foliage? If not, we can design and build an addition that features a stunning view of your property or build a brand-new custom home that offers the perfect vantage point of the surrounding area. Be sure to contact us for information about our remodeling and building services.