Best Places to See the Foliage in NH

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Fall is here and that means the fall foliage is on its way, too. Living in New Hampshire, we have some of the best opportunities in the world to take in the vibrant colors. To learn about some of the best spots in New Hampshire to take in these beauties, read along!

Lake Winnipesaukee

Lake Winnipesaukee is one of the many gems of New Hampshire, located smack dab in the middle of the state. The lake is known for its beautiful scenery and its pristine waters in the Summer months, but it is just as beautiful in the Fall. When it gets cold, the water stays just as pristine, but the surrounding foliage explodes with vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows! There are so many spots where you can go to enjoy these colors. If a stroll through a quaint town is your style, I suggest stopping in Meredith. If you prefer to be more secluded, one of my favorite spots is the A-frame house at Oliver Lodge. Take in the views, and if you’re brave enough, take a kayak or canoe out on the water. Just don’t fall in!

Kancamagus Highway

Photo by Alex Elliot

The Kancamagus Highway is one of these most scenic drives in the U.S. The road whips you around corners, spanning 56 miles and over the heart of the White Mountains. Around every bend, a beautiful view of the vast landscape is presented in front of you. The highway is a popular travel destination to begin with, but when fall rolls around, tourists flock to take in its awe. There are plenty of turn offs where you can look off into the mountains. The once lush green landscape will soon turn red, looking like fire draped over the White Mountains. Just make sure to keep your eyes on the road!

Artist’s Bluff

Photo by Alex Elliot

One of the easiest hikes in the White Mountains, but one that holds just as much beauty, is Artist’s Bluff. As the name infers, the hike yields stunning views that have captivated artists for years. The hike resides right off of route I-93, right after Franconia Notch. Once you get to the top, it showcases the wonder of the notch. The hike is a short 1.5 mile loop and is about 400 feet of elevation. The final destination is a rock clearing overhanging the highway. Viewers can look as the road disappears into the towering mountains like it is being swallowed up. These same mountains are clad with foliage, and in the fall, are stunning with colors. The hike is worth it any time of the year, but the views during fall are almost un-matched.

Dixville Notch

Photo by Alex Elliot
Photo by Alex Elliot

Dixville Notch holds spectacular views, but it may not be common to most New Hampshire residents due to its location. The Notch lays even further north than the White Mountains, in Dixville, New Hampshire. If you can find time to venture all the way up, it is by far worth the drive. Towering cliffs hug the roadside, as it twists and turns through a valley. A hike called table top rock is home to some of the best views of the notch. The dense foliage on the surrounding mountains make for a perfect canvas for the fiery red trees. Be careful if you do venture to table top rock, as the final path is a 4-foot wide walkway on a rock jutting out of the mountain side. If you are brave enough to venture to the end, you will truly feel on top of the world.

Frankenstein Trestle

Photo by Alex Elliot

If you’re looking for a thrill along with plenteous views, visiting Frankenstein Trestle is for you. Huge steel beams jut from the ground, holding a railroad over 60 feet in the air. The track hugs a towering rockface, and it creates a picturesque frame of Crawford Notch. A walk along the tracks is scenic enough, as bright foliage canopies over hikers, but once you reach the clearing where the trestle lays, you are greeted with an explosion of color. The brave can venture over the trestle, as there is a two foot wide walk-way. Just be careful because the railroad is still active! To get to the trestle, go to the Arethusa Falls parking lot, go past it up the hill, and follow the railroad to the end.

Henniker

Photo by Alex Elliot

Yes, your campus is home to some of the best foliage in New Hampshire. Covered bridges are iconic in this state, and you get the benefit of having one right in your backyard. Paired with vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, it makes for a perfect view. Whether you’re driving down the street, or walking in between classes, the colors will compliment every view. If travelling to a distant location is tough for you, just take the time to wander all the vast trails this town has to offer. Venture over the covered bridge, walk along the Contoocook river, or take a scenic drive down Henniker’s back roads.

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