There’s nowhere quite like the East Coast when fall comes around. The leaves change to an impressive array of reds and golds and the air turns crisp with a hint of the colder days ahead. The sun stays warm, and some of the best hiking and fishing days of the year arrive.
New Hampshire is no exception to this Northeast bliss, with plenty of places and ways to celebrate the fall season. Forests filled with changing leaves and epic mountain views make New Hampshire an amazing place to spend the best days of the year. To help you get the most of out the season, we’ve compiled a list of six must-do autumn adventures.
This 2.8-mile trail makes our list for its accessibility and a big-view reward. Climb up this steep loop trail at the heart of the New Hampshire’s oldest state park for an impressive panorama of the forest below. Bring a picnic to enjoy at the top and be sure to check out the Audubon Society’s Raptor Viewing Area on the way down.
This little town just on the cusp of the White Mountains is the perfect place to take in all the colors of fall. If you mostly want to snap some photos, take a tram up to Cannon Mountain. For hikes with the same reward, opt for a day trip along a section of the Appalachian Trail or in Flume Gorge. Be sure to stop by Franconia-Sugar Hill-Easton for a fancy cheese snack before you skip town.
Another perfect family hike with beautiful summit views, this historical landmark is not to be missed. Choose from a wide open slow-ascending trail or a steep rocky climb to reach the top, where you’ll enjoy views of foliage in three states: New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts. If you have the time, drive 30 minutes west to Alyson’s Orchards to pick some apples and sample the cider before heading home.
New Hampshire isn’t just great for apple picking and fall colors, it’s also jam-packed with farms and pumpkin patches that get appropriately decked out for the season. Some favorite pumpkin patches include McKenzie’s Farm, which has great views of Mount Washington as well as pumpkin and apple picking, and Sunnycrest Farm— which has a pumpkin patch plus apple cider donuts. Pumpkin festivals also happen all over the state during the month of October, so be sure to do a quick search near your destinations to see if you can squeeze one in.
For a longer trail to amazing fall views, hike the 7 miles to Lake Solitude via the trail over Mount Sunapee and White Ledges. After 2 miles you’ll reach Mount Sunapee, with the option to take a ski lift to the true summit in lieu of hiking. If you choose to hike it, expect to spot some wildlife and a trail that opens up at White Ledges into gorgeous fall scenery surrounding the lake.
This state park is another beautiful fall getaway. It is packed with trails for hiking or biking as well as spots to fish and view wildlife. The park even has its own beach, which is a great place for an afternoon picnic. If you have the time, make the 30 minute drive south to Cider Hill Farms in Amesbury for fresh apple cider donuts, apple picking, food trucks, and just generally awesome fall vibes.