Friday, September 26, 2008
New Hampshire Perspectives, Fall Foliage Updates, and Events
Photo of Wolfeboro, NH, by Eric H.
What better time to visit beautiful New Hampshire than during the fall foliage season?
The fall foliage in New England is as good as it gets, an added benefit to the inherently rugged, dramatic mountain ranges, the family-friendly traditional attractions and events, and the many lake towns that gently force you to relax. Mt. Washington affords the most amazing mountains views with its 6,288 ft. of rural splendor, but I also recommend the following communities:
Wolfeboro, for its quaint, active downtown and location on the quieter side of Lake Winnipesaukee.
Meredith for its extended lake walks and shopping at the Mill Falls Inn and Marketplace.
Hollis for its winding country roads, quintessentially quiet downtown village-like look, and pleasant farms that offer apple picking.
Keene for its Oct 25 Pumpkin Festival, one of the most vibrant small-town, downtowns in New England, and the academic look of Keene State College.
Peterborough for its artsy feel, the Peterborough Diner and presence near beautiful Mt. Monadnock -- great for hiking!
Milford for its circular-shaped village green and a great downtown that was honored by the National Trust For Historic Preservation's Main Street Center with their Great American Main Street Award in 2002.
Portsmouth for its scenic location on the Piscataqua River and great mix of historic buildings, waterfront restaurants, sidewalk cafes, and galleries and boutiques.
Bristol for being just a good all-around town that seems stuck in time near beautiful Newfound Lake and with nice mountain views.
To fully enjoy the greatness of New Hampshire, the folks at VisitNH.com have supplied us with the latest New Hampshire fall foliage updates, as well as upcoming events:
Great North Woods Region: Autumn has arrived in the Great North Woods region!
Cool, misty evenings and warm, sunny days have pushed extreme color into this northernmost area of the state. Western parts of the region are showing well-established colors, which may reach peak fall foliage by next weekend. Route 3 toward Colebrook is alive with plenty of deep reds, bold oranges, and a few pale yellows. Travelers on this road may see deer, moose, and wild turkeys. On the eastern side, reds and oranges are scattered everywhere, especially along the edge of the Androscoggin River. Their reflections in the calm water just increase the intensity of the color. The 9th Annual Northern Forest Lumberjack Festival takes place on Sunday at the Northern Forest Heritage Park in Berlin. This family event begins at 8am with a Lumberjack breakfast. Please call 603-752-7202 for more information.
White Mountains Region: Fall colors are everywhere in the White Mountains region.
Well-established foliage is reported in Waterville Valley, where the 19th Annual Chowderfest takes place on Saturday at the Town Square. For details, please call 603-236-8175. Areas along rivers and waterways are showing spectacular reds in all shades, from bright pink to deep cranberry. Mountainsides are beginning to burst into vibrant oranges, reds and yellows, mixing nicely with the remaining greens. Points north of Franconia Notch are reported to have an indescribable myriad of colors, with the following scenic drives showing brilliant foliage: Route 18 from Franconia Notch State Park to Littleton; and Route 142 from Interstate 93 to Route 116. The reds and oranges in the Mount Washington Valley are becoming more pronounced with each day, with the Presidential Mountain Range showing 25% color. The colors will be a nice backdrop for the 12th Annual Fall Festival and Scarecrow Contest, which takes place Saturday on Route 16 in North Conway. For more information on this free event, please call 603-356-7031.
Lakes Region: A lot has changed in the Lakes Region since Monday’s report. Red maples and golden ashes are scattered throughout the area, with some beautiful patches of orange and red showing up along the edge of Lake Winnipesaukee. Route 104 from New Hampton to Meredith brings the traveler past some colorful waterways. The top of the Ossipee Mountain range is a blend of beautiful autumn color. Scenic drives in this area are particularly beautiful because of the many ponds and lakes that reflect the fabulous colors. Route 28 north to Route 16 north to Route 25 east into Effingham is a beautiful drive. For those who prefer a hike, Knight’s Pond in East Alton is a favorite. Take Route 28 to Rines Road and go east to the Lakes Region Conservation sign for Knight’s Pond. Flaming red maples surround this natural area. Route 125 takes you to the New Hampshire Farm Museum, where folks will celebrate Apple Day on Saturday. Please call 603-652-7840 for more information.
Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region: Parts of the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region are approaching well-established conditions, with hillsides and mountain views resembling a vibrant patchwork quilt of color. Route 4 from Lebanon to Danbury takes you by frequent blocks of beautiful reds and oranges. Further south to the Sunapee Lake area, the leaves are about 25% changed, with red maples showing their brilliance against the evergreens and early yellows of the birch and witch hazel. Route 10 from Newport to Route 31 with a visit to Pillsbury State Park to Washington is a pleasant scenic drive.
Route 103 takes you to Mount Sunapee where you can take a chair lift ride to the top of the mountain to a 360-degree view of the fall colors. The foliage in the town of Warner is looking fine, and will provide a nice ambiance for the Harvest Moon Festival, which takes place on Saturday at the Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum. Please call 603-456-2600 for more information, or visit www.indianmuseum.org.
Monadnock Region: While some areas of the Monadnock region are showing brilliant reds and oranges, other parts are still in the just-beginning stages. Route 9 from Hillsborough to Spotford has lots of swampy and boggy areas that are bursting with color blasts of deep reds and hearty oranges, while Route 202 between Peterborough and Jaffrey is showing just spotty color. The south side of Mount Monadnock is in full color, while the north side is still pretty green. Route 101 from Keene to Peterborough is showing moderate color, with most of it surrounding Dublin Lake. There are lots of photo opportunities in this region if you know where to look. On Saturday, the 6th Annual Schnitzelfest takes place along Central Street and Butler Park in Hillsborough. For information on this ethnic seasonal event, please call 603-464-5858.
Merrimack Valley Region: The cool overnight temperatures have shot some serious color into portions of the Merrimack Valley Region. Trees along waterways and rivers are showing dazzling reds, along with occasional oranges. Open areas along fields and meadows are edged with colorful foliage, while tree trunks are wrapped in nearly red ivy vines. A suggested scenic drive would be Route 122 south from Amherst, past Silver Lake State Park to Hollis, to Route 130 west through Brookline, then north on Route 13. There are lots of orchards and farms throughout this region where you can choose that perfect pumpkin or pick your own apples. For a complete list, please visit our website at www.visitnh.gov. Go to Best Time to Visit; choose Harvest; and then Pick Your Own.
Seacoast Region: What can we say? The Seacoast region is always last to showcase fall foliage, and this year will be no different. Some color can be seen along Route 108 from Dover to Durham; Route 88 from Hampton Falls to Exeter is showing occasional bright reds with some yellows; and Route 9 from Somersworth to Madbury, especially around the reservoir, has some vibrant reds along the edges of the woods. Route 4 from Portsmouth to Nottingham is close to 50% changed, with frequent patches of bright red and orange trees. There is still a lot of green in this region, but when the color strikes, it will be magnificent. If you’ve never been inside a lighthouse before, now is your chance. The Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse on Route 1B in New Castle is holding an open house on Saturday from 1 to 5pm. Climbers can enjoy a panoramic view of the harbor and points beyond. Please call 603-436-3988 for more information on this fun and educational event.
For more information on New Hampshire travel and vacation ideas, log onto VisitNH.com
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