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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Maine Fall Foliage Peaking at Downeast Coast/Central Interior


Press release source: VisitMaine.com Photo of foliage at Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, Maine by Dana Moos, an Associate Broker with The Swan Agency Sotheby’s International Realty in Bar Harbor, Maine

Bookmark and SharePardon the pun, but Maine now features oceans of Maine foliage. With the natural progression of the fall season and some mighty cold nights, the time for peak foliage has arrived at the Downeast coast and central interior of the state -- now catching up with the recent peak foliage of the rest of the state. We are personally excited about viewing the bright fall colors, juxtaposed with the famously scenic rocky Maine coast areas!

Our New England friends at the Maine Office of Tourism just sent us the latest Maine fall foliage report press release - enjoy!

AUGUSTA, Maine - Peak foliage color has arrived along Maine's Downeast coast and the central interior of the state, according to the fifth fall foliage report from the state Department of Conservation.

Forest rangers are observing peak foliage conditions, or at least 75 percent color change, in coastal locations from Bucksport to the Blue Hill peninsula, Bar Harbor and Machias, and in central locations from Dover-Foxcroft to Bangor, the report states. Leaf drop is now moderate, between 30 and 50 percent, in the regions.

Peak color is also being reported throughout the lakes regions of Hancock and Washington Counties, according to rangers. Leaf drop is also moderate in the regions.

Maine's southern coast and southern interior locations from Fryeburg to Sebago Lake and Augusta now have high foliage color, or 50 to 70 percent toward peak, with moderate leaf drop.

Foliage color in all other regions of the state is now past peak, although rangers say that there are plenty of leaves to view in the state's western lakes and mountains, and the far north of Maine where a dusting of snow recently added another color to the landscape.

Maine's fall foliage conditions will be updated each Wednesday through Oct. 21 on www.mainefoliage.com. Visitors to the site can sign up to receive the weekly reports by email and post comments about Maine foliage adventures on the Foliage Forum page.

Fun fall events happening this weekend include the 4th annual Foliage, Food & Wine Festival in Blue Hill, the Caribou Fall Arts & Crafts Festival in Aroostook County, and the Mount Desert Island Marathon from Bar Harbor to Southwest Harbor.

For more information about events and activities happening in Maine this fall, log onto http://www.visitmaine.com.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Special Maine Fall Photos: Acadia National Park and Moosehead Lake


Content by Eric H. Photo of Moosehead Lake by Dana Moos

Bookmark and ShareDana Moos, an Associate Broker with The Swan Agency Sotheby’s International Realty in Bar Harbor, Maine, recently submitted some absolutely superb fall photos of Maine. Focusing on the Moosehead Lake and Acadia National Park Regions, Dana has really captured the pristine essence of these two areas. The photo in this posting was taken above Moosehead Lake on a float plane. Amazing!

In addition, here are the links to Dana's photographs, featured on VisitingNewEngland.com:
Moosehead Lake aerial photo
Sawyer Pond photo, Greenville, area
Cadillac Mountain photo, Acadia National Park

Keep up the great work, Dana, and thanks again for your generosity in sharing these photos at VisitingNewEngland.com.

Editor's note: For more information on Dana's business, log onto the Maine Inns and Bed and Breakfasts for Sale blog. Dana can also be found on Twitter at http://twitter.com/danamoos



New England Travel Questions and Answers Forum!

Article by Eric H.

Bookmark and ShareOur flagship site, VisitingNewEngland.com, recently launched a "Questions and Answers" New England travel forum to encourage dialogue between us and our readers. Over the next several months, we will be asking questions on New England destinations, dining, lodging and attractions. We look forward to your responses.

Here are the introductory questions -- please feel free to participate!:

Dining:
What is your favorite pizza place in New England?
You can post a reply here

What restaurant makes the best clam chowder in New England?
You can post a reply here

Lodging:
What is your favorite Vermont inn or bed and breakfast getaway?
You can post a reply here

Destinations
What is your favorite scenic New England fall foliage drive?
You can post a reply here

Attractions and Events
What is your favorite annual Halloween attraction or event in New England?
You can post a reply here

More questions are on the way! If you would like us to post a specific question about New England travel, please e-mail us and we'll consider your idea for publication. Thanks!

Your New England travel friend,
Eric


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Latest New Hampshire Fall Foliage Updates, Oct. 12, 2009

New Hampshire foliage press release source: VisitNH.com. Photo at Silver Lake State Park, Hollis, N.H., by Eric H.

Bookmark and ShareWe're into the New Hampshire fall foliage season home stretch here, with brilliant colors abundant in many areas of the state, according to the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development. Although most of the Great North Woods Region is past peak, strong color remains there while the White Mountains, Lakes, Dartmouth, Monadnock and Merrimack Regions at near or full peak. The Seacoast Region (Portsmouth-Dover area) is not quite yet at full peak, but shows advanced colors in many parts of this coastal area.

Without further delay, here is the latest detailed New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development press release report on foliage updates, from Oct. 12, 2009, throughout New Hampshire:

Great North Woods Region: There’s still a good amount of color in the Great North Woods region despite being just past peak. The wind and frost has taken down some of the leaves, but the good news is that the remaining colors are still strong, and there are expanded views now. Travelers to the region may even see some snow fall this week, which will contrast nicely with the lasting reds and oranges. There’s still plenty of hiking and wildlife watching to do in this area, so consider coming up for a quiet vacation or plan a hunting weekend with friends. Enjoy the solitude of this pristine part of the state.

White Mountains Region: Most of the White Mountains region remains at peak fall foliage, with the exception of parts of the Kancamagus Highway, which retains most of its color on its east side. There are lots of colorful patches throughout the region, including the panoramic views from Lincoln, the area around Franconia Notch State Park, and the Mount Washington Valley. There’s nothing like seeing the fall foliage from a train – please visit www.visitwhitemountains.com and click ‘Things to Do’ for a list of fall foliage train rides and other attractions. Traveling around this region will still reward you with beautiful fall color, so enjoy it while you can.

Lakes Region: The Lakes region is right on time with its near peak fall foliage conditions. We’re told that Lake Winnipesaukee is 80% changed right now. It seems every year this area reaches peak after Columbus Day, which extends the fall season for everyone. Now is the time to plan a scenic cruise on one of the lakes – please visit www.lakesregion.org for a list of cruise options. Click “Where to Play” on the home page, and choose Cruises and Boat Tours. You can see the leaves from any vessel, from a six passenger private charter boat to the high and mighty M/S Mount Washington.

Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region: Although the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region is mostly at peak, some areas are just past. Still, the colors are bright and stunning, and a drive around this region will showcase a mix of sunny yellows, burnt oranges, and vibrant reds. A favorite scenic drive is Route 103 from Newport through Claremont, north on Route 12A to the Cornish-Windsor covered bridge. The foliage surrounding the bridge is vibrant and beautiful – it’s truly a photographer’s dream. Meander north on 12A for a taste of New Hampshire agriculture, as this road passes a number of farms and farms stands.

Monadnock Region: Colorful foliage awaits you in the Monadnock region, as the majority of the area is in its height of color. Although some of the early maples have dropped their leaves, the remaining colors are brilliant. Our leaf peepers are reporting that the oranges, reds and yellows are gorgeous, and it doesn’t matter if you’re driving or walking, the views are spectacular. From a distance, Mount Monadnock appears to be bathed in a smoky red haze, and the colors just pop as you get closer and closer. One leaf peeper described the forest as being lit from within when the sunlight shines through it.
Travel back roads through this region for rewarding panoramic views. The streets of Jaffrey are lined with scarecrows right now in celebration of the harvest season.

Merrimack Valley Region: The red oaks have just begun to turn in the Merrimack Valley Region, and will join the myriad of bright reds, deep burgundies, golden yellows and bright oranges that have pushed this region into peak color. We are told that any road you travel in this area now is drenched with beautiful fall foliage. Look for stone walls lining these roads for vibrant sugar maples flashing stunning orange leaves. Narrower roads have trees arching over them, making you feel like you’re traveling through a tunnel of colors! Take a right, take a left, and enjoy the scenery.

Seacoast Region: Colors abound in the Seacoast region of the state. Although the area is not quite at peak, the foliage is very advanced in some areas and just beginning in others. Routes 27, 107, 108 and 16 provide stunning views and frequent patches of well-established color. Route 101 west from Hampton to Epping is displaying a mix of vibrant reds, sharp oranges, and deep yellows right now; so is Route 4 from Durham to Nottingham. This part of the state is best explored with no particular destination in mind.Travel back roads and look for farm stands, natural areas, and beautiful scenic views.

For a recorded report of fall foliage updates, please call the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development fall foliage hot line at: 1-800-258-3608.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Legendary Vermont Country Store... and Nice Scenic Fall Drive



Article by Eric H. Video Source: eardogproductions from YouTube
Bookmark and Share A nice, scenic Sunday drive and visiting a country store always seems to be a popular combination during the New England fall time. With fall foliage at or near peak in the Weston, Vt., area and its Vermont Country Store representing one of the best of its kind in New England, what better place to be today in the six-state region?

From the north in Stowe to the quaint southern Vermont town of Wilmington, this three-and-one-half hour drive through the fall foliage-rich Green Mountains takes you through charming small Vermont country towns and villages (Stowe and Wilmington included!) and truly spectacular mountain and river scenery. You really can't get any more Vermont than this. The current impressive foliage is many areas of Route 100 only helps the scenic scenario!

A little more than two-and-one half hours from Stowe and an hour-and-20 minutes from Wilmington is the landmark Vermont Country Store (established in 1946). A retail household name in New England, the Vermont Country Store is a trip within itself with a classic country store personality specializing in Yankee bargains, Vermont-made clothing, heartwarming merchandise from yesteryear and just about anything else under the sun. As expected, they have an amazing old-fashioned candy counter, some wonderful Vermont cheeses and homemade fudge.

Weston is certainly worth exploring, too -- a Norman Rockwell-like town where the whole village is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Big old historic homes, a town common with gazebo, surrounding mountain scenery and Vermont fresh air will make you want to stay for a long time!

The Vermont Country Store, Route 100, Weston, VT, 5161, Tel. (802) 362-4667

For more on the Vermont Country Store and Weston, in general, please click on the link above -- this will bring you to our article on VisitingNewEngland.com.




Friday, October 9, 2009

Mt. Sugarloaf in South Deerfield, Mass., for a Sweet Fall Hike

Photo Credit: Kindra Clineff, through MassVacation.com
Bookmark and Share We've received reports that Mt. Sugarloaf State Reservation in South Deerfield, Mass., is near peak foliage, making for a great hike (photo in this posting does not reflect the current foliage).

About a 9/10 of a mile hike to the top, you also have the option to drive (for a $2.00 fee), but there could be a wait given the limited parking space and the anticipated crowds this Columbus Day Weekend. Either way, you''ll witness some commanding view of the Connecticut River, the Pioneer Valley, and the Pelham and Berkshire Hills!

Restrooms and drinking water are available at the top, as well as a picnic area. Enjoy this very scenic, tailor-made for fall destination.

Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation
Rte. 116, S. Deerfield
Tel. 413-665-2928


A Picturesque, Quieter New England Fall Drive

Article and photo (Diamond Hill Reservoir, Cumberland, R.I.) by Eric H.
Bookmark and ShareAs others spend their fall travel at popular New England destinations alongside a cast of thousands they were trying to escape from, you can take the road (relatively) less taken and enjoy a peaceful day in Wrentham, Mass., northern Rhode Island, and the northeast Connecticut area.

Start at downtown Wrentham on Route 1A with its charming village green and have a nice breakfast or lunch at the Looking Glass Cafe. It's a friendly, bright diner-like dining spot with locals joining in in the art of conversation over cups of coffee. Downtown Wrentham also features a nice mix of locally-owned shops, including Tootsie's ice cream parlor and Marcia's Sweet Pantry with its delicious homemade treats. It's especially pleasing to get out and walk the town common to enjoy small town New England life.

Follow Route 1A south to Route 121 south (West St.) a few miles past the rolling countryside and farms into the quaint Wrentham neighborhood of Sheldonville. Here, you'll find the Sheldonville Country Store (1063 West St.) for convenience store-like items and off Route 1A at 207 Arnold St., the Big Apple Farm. Here, you'll find a great selection of pumpkins, apples (call ahead to find out if there's still apple picking), a bakery, farm stand with local produce and an ice cream stand with Richardson's ice cream. Pumpkin ice cream is the appropriate flavor of the month for October!

Back on Route 121, go north past the Sheldonville Country Store and take a right onto Burnt Swamp Rd., following the signs to Adam's Farm (the parking lot is right on Summerbrown Rd.). A wonderful little seasonal destination, this peaceful farm sells apples, cornstalks, mums, hay, Indian corn, candy apples, cider and gourds. Adams Farm also features hay rides, a corn maze and animals (cows, horses, goats)! It's best to arrive on the weekend when things are in full operation.

From Adam's Farm, continue on Burnt Swamp Rd for a few minutes until arriving at the beautiful Diamond Hill (Cumberland) Reservoir. Isolated, scenic and with some flourishes of fall foliage, this is an incredibly beautiful area with expansive water views!

Follow the reservoir back to Route 114, take a right and arrive a few minutes later at the Ice Cream Machine. Regarded by us, VisitingNewEngland.com, as the best ice cream stand in New England, the Ice Cream Machine features thick and creamy unique homemade flavors like cinnamon, key lime pie, brownie batter, ginger, raspberry cheesecake and raspberry truffle. A canopied picnic area provides a restful place to enjoy your choice of ice cream.

On Route 114 a few minutes from the Ice Cream Machine is Phantom Farms, another wonderful roadside farm stand. Phantom Farms is best known for apple picking (again call ahead at 401-333-2240) and has a country bake and gift shop, garden center, and flower shop. Phantom Farms has a busy Columbus Day Weekend calendar of events with a pumpkin harvest festival and Jack-O-Lantern illumination.

After enjoying the Ice Cream Machine and Phantom Farms, take a right from the parking lot onto Route 114 for several miles until reaching the Route 295 south exit. Here, you'll have to endure a few miles of highway until reaching Route 44 west. Although Route 44 is somewhat commercial until the trip-back-in-time Smithfield neighborhood of Greenville (about 15 minutes from Route 44/295), you'll be amply rewarded with scenes of rural New England from this point on. Chepachet features a few antique stores and the Brown and Hopkins Country Store -- the oldest continuously running country store in the United States (1809). Past Chepachet, you'll pass pleasing bodies of water until reaching Putnam, Conn. (about 20 minutes from Chepachet). Known by many as the antique capital of New England, Putnam features 17 shops totalling 50,000 sq. ft. of merchandise. The centerpiece of antique shopping in Putnam is the Antiques Marketplace, at 109 Main St. (860- 928-0442), with four floors of over 350 booths, showcasing more than 50,000 pieces of antiques spanning three centuries! You'll also experience a trip back in time feeling in Putnam with its slow pace, old Montgomery Ward sign still intact, and a generally friendly feeling. Putnam also offers several restaurants, including 85 Main, which looks like a terrific fine dining establishment, (run by Barry Jessurun and Brian Jessurun, owners of the landmark Vanilla Bean Cafe in neighboring Pomfret, Conn.).

Speaking of Pomfret and the Vanilla Bean Cafe, we love the town's classic village green and surrounding countryside and the Bean's cozy, restored 1800s farmhouse personality with delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners. From the Vanilla Bean, take Route 169 north into the classic New England town of Woodstock with its beautiful town common, series of well maintained big old homes and tall white steeple church look. In Woodstock, you'll find the Inn at Woodstock, a charming 1816 inn consisting of a Federal/Georgian style mansion with a carriage house and two barns. Each room has its own unique personality and the Inn also features a fine, upscale restaurant.

We've received reports that the Woodstock area is near peak foliage, so enjoy!

Going Route 169 south, again, through Pomfret and all the way to Caterbury (about a half hour from Woodstock) offers one of the best scenic drives in New England with nearly 200 pre-1855 homes along with farms, historic churches, rolling country hills and quintessential Connecticut village green centers. Here, you'll understand why northeast Connecticut has been called "The Quiet Corner."

From Canterbury, take Route 14 east to Route 395 north (highway) back to Route 44 east to Route 114 to Cumberland to Route 121 north, en route to your original starting point of Wrentham.

If you decide to travel this region, we hope you enjoy its special qualities along the way. Please let us know how everything turned out!

Best regards,
Eric (your New England travel friend)

Adam's Farm, Cumberland, R.I.

Vanilla Bean Cafe, Pomfret, Conn.

The Big Apple Farm, Wrentham, Mass.

Old-fashioned Putnam, Conn.

Phantom Farms, Cumberland, R.I.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Maine Lakes, Mountains Displaying Peak Fall Foliage Colors

Maine foliage conditions for Oct. 7. Credit: Maine Department of Conservation, Press Release source: VisitMaine.com.

Bookmark and ShareJust got word from the Maine Office of Tourism that fall foliage will be best this Columbus Day Weekend at the lakes and mountains of western Maine and the Mt. Katahdin Region.

For those unfamiliar with Maine fall foliage, you're in for a treat. Known to many for its coastal splendor, Maine is also a terrific autumn leaf peeping destination inland, especially around the majestic beauty of Mt. Katahdin (a challenging hike but worth it, as long as the weather is cooperative) and beautiful lake towns like Rangeley. Although Bethel is a famous ski town (Sunday River), the fall can be marvelous here, too, in this quaint, quintessential New England small town. Currently, rangers are reporting high color in the Bethel area with about 50 to 70 percent peak color and moderate leaf drop, according to the Maine Office of Tourism.

Without further delay, here is the Maine Office of Tourism Maine fall foliage updates press release:

AUGUSTA, Maine - The lakes and mountains region of western Maine, and the Mt. Katahdin region will have the best foliage color this weekend, according to the fourth fall foliage report from the state Department of Conservation.

Forest rangers from Moosehead Lake to Stratton, and Mt. Katahdin to Lincoln are observing peak foliage conditions, or at least 75 percent color change, and moderate leaf drop between 30 and 50 percent, the report states.

Rangers are reporting high color, or 50 to 70 percent toward peak, with moderate leaf drop in locations like Rangeley, Rumford, Bethel, Grand Lake Stream and Calais.

"The time is right to head for the western mountains, the Millinocket area, and the northern lakes of Washington County," said Gale Ross, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Conservation. "I have encouraged travelers to plan their Maine foliage trip for this time of the month, and I am happy that Mother Nature cooperated."

High color has also reached the central and eastern portion of the state from Dover-Foxcroft to Bangor, according to rangers. Leaf drop in the region is now moderate.

Rangers are reporting moderate color change along the Downeast coast from Bucksport to Lubec, in southern and central interior locations from Sebago Lake to Augusta, and along the southern coast from Kittery to Belfast. Leaf drop in these regions is moderate.

Foliage color is now past peak and leaf drop is 10 to 50 percent in all of Aroostook County, northern Piscataquis County and northern Somerset County, the report states.

The Department of Conservation also announced that Camden Hills State Park and Bradbury Mountain State Park will host the final state park guided foliage hikes on Sunday, Oct. 11. For information about each hike and to register,
visit http://take-it-outside.com/hike.shtml.

Maine's fall foliage conditions are updated each Wednesday through October 21 at www.mainefoliage.com. The Department of Conservation encourages visitors to post comments about their Maine foliage adventures on the Foliage Forum page, and submit Maine foliage photos on the Photo Gallery page.

Fun fall events happening this weekend include the Damariscotta Pumpkin Fest, Lobster Harvest Day in Port Clyde, and Sunday River's Fall Festival in Newry.

For more information about events and activities happening in Maine this fall, log onto http://www.visitmaine.com.


We're Looking for Your New England Fall Foliage Leaf Peeping Feedback

Photo of Walpole Town Forest, Walpole, Mass., by Eric H.
Bookmark and ShareIf you know of a New England destination that is near or at peak for fall foliage, we would love to hear from you. With the 2009 Columbus Day Weekend fast approaching, we're looking to inform our Weekly New England Travel and Vacation Gazette readers on the best leaf peeping in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and upon review, might appear in an upcoming post. Thanks, in advance, for your future post and for helping us bring the best of New England fall foliage reporting to our online publication!

Best regards,
Eric
Weekly New England Travel and Vacation Gazette


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In Search of Great Pumpkins...

Article and photo by Eric H.
Bookmark and ShareIf you live in the southwest Massachusetts suburbs or Northern Rhode Island and need a great pumpkin, we recommend trying Adams Farm in Cumberland, R.I.

This friendly farm features many pumpkins under its seasonal canopy, as well as in the scenic fields. We've never found a shortage of pumpkins here, with the batting average of healthy-looking pumpkins high! If, however, you need to go beyond pumpkins, Adams Farm sells apples, cornstalks, mums, hay, Indian corn, candy apples, cider and gourds. Adams Farm also features hay rides, a corn maze and animals (cows, horses, goats)!

The best time to visit Adams Farm is on the weekend where this delightful farm seems to be more in full operation. It's a beautiful place, one to kick back and relax in the pastoral New England fall countryside.

Adams Farm, corner of Burnt Swamp Rd. and Sumnerbrown Rd., Cumberland, R.I.


VisitingNewEngland.com Reviews the Red Arrow Diner, Milford, N.H.

Article and photos by Eric H.
Bookmark and ShareOur latest VisitingNewEngland.com restaurant review focuses on the Red Arrow Diner in Milford, N.H. A franchise of the famed Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, N.H., the Milford Red Arrow Diner, like the original location, specializes in extremely well-prepared and plentiful breakfast, lunch and dinner selections (we recommend the freshly carved roast turkey), as well as some amazing homemade desserts (especially the blueberry pie). Open 24 hours a day, the Red Arrow in Milford would be a great choice for those leaf peeping during the fall foliage season in New Hampshire's Merrimack and Monadnock regions.

For a complete review of the Red Arrow Diner in Milford, click on the link above.

Red Arrow Diner homemade potato chips


Newburyport Chili Con-Carnival Cook-Off at The Grog Restaurant, Oct. 17

Photo, courtesy of The Grog Restaurant, Newburyport, Mass.

Bookmark and ShareJust got word from Laura at The Grog Restaurant at 13 Middle St., in Newburyport, Mass., that the second annual Chili Con-Carnival Cook-off will take place Saturday, October 17th, 2009, 12 noon to 3 p.m., under the tent of the Grog's parking lot.

Live music, raffles and, of course, great chili will benefit Our Neighbor's Table in Amesbury, The Pettengill House in Salisbury and Community Services of Newburyport. Participating restaurants include Amesbury Sports Park, Carry Out Cafe, David's Tavern, Giuseppe's Fresh Pasta & Fine Food. Chef Howie's Hobo Cafe, The Korner Kitchen, Michael's Harborside,The Port Tavern, The Purple Onion, The Rockfish, Stella's of Middle Street, Ten Center Street, The Thirsty Whale ...and more to come!

In addition to the official judging, those attending the cook-off will have a chance to vote for their favorite chili.

Admission is $10 for adults, children under 12 free

Additionally, restaurants and individual chili-aficionados are certainly welcome to join the competition! There is no entry fee. Please call the Grog at 978 465-8008 or stop by the restaurant to pick up an entry form.

For more information on The Grog (one of our favorites!), click on the link above.



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Scenic Fall Dining at The 1761 Old Mill Restaurant, Westminster, Mass.


Article and photo by Eric H.
Bookmark and ShareIt's always an added bonus that when embarking on a scenic fall New England drive, you find a restaurant with surrounding scenery that ends up as the most visually pleasing part of the trip.

That's the case with the 1761 Old Mill restaurant in Westminster, Mass. It's hard to find a nicer restaurant scene than the Old Mill's beautiful waterfall, a covered bridge, duck pond and surrounding forest. Inside the former saw mill's several well-maintained dining rooms, you'll be comforted by trip-back-in-time accents like old wooden floors, a roaring fireplace (welcoming you at the lobby), and post and beam ceilings. The menu selections at lunch and dinner are as appealing as the scenery with some fabulous New England staples like chicken vegetable pie, Atlantic sea scallops, prime rib, roast country duck, and for dessert, apple crisp.

Here's a restaurant that's beautiful to look at -- and with excellent food -- to create an overall most pleasant fall dining experience. It's also pretty darn good, any other time of the year, too!

For a full review on The Old Mill, click on the link above.

Weekly New England Travel and Vacation Gazette Advertising Partner Message: Columbus Day Weekend Sale - Find Cheap Flights and Hotel Deals on CheapOair.com. Plus save $10 by using Coupon Code COLUMBUS10.Book Now! Offer Valid till 15th Oct 09.


A Hidden Fall Foliage Travel Gem in Walpole, Mass.

Article and photos by Eric H.

Bookmark and ShareThe Walpole Town Forest is really the Rodney Dangerfield, of Walpole, Mass.: it gets no respect.

Unknown even to many Walpole residents, the Walpole Town Forest is most impressive between South St. and Walpole High School on Common St., with its truly scenic walk alongside the Neponset River. Current foliage is impressive (as evidenced by the photos on this posting), but in a few weeks the mirror-like quality of the river should be brilliantly reflecting the colorful array of leaves. Along this sector of the 365-acre Town Forest, you'll find scenic views from the “White Bridge” and an old dam and waterfall that dates back to 1650. With many more miles of hiking trails, you're sure to enjoy the rest of the mixed forest, ledge outcroppings, and wetland areas, whether it be hiking, horseback riding. mountain biking or cross country skiing (yes, it's not too far away).

Hard to believe the Walpole Town Forest resides in the highly developed suburban Boston area. Why, you'd think you were in New Hampshire! We recommend giving this hidden travel jewel some respect with a visit during what appears to be a very good New England fall foliage season.

On a side note, 30th U.S. President Calvin Coolidge -- then Lt. Governor of Massachusetts -- dedicated Walplole Town Forest in 1916 as the first town forest in Massachusetts!

Editor's note: The best way to access the Walpole Town Forest is at the rear lot lines of the Walpole High School at 275 Common St. or on South St., about a half mile off Common St. (look for the small parking lot on the left)



Weekly New England Travel and Vacation Gazette Advertising Partner Message: Columbus Day Weekend Sale - Find Cheap Flights and Hotel Deals on CheapOair.com. Plus save $10 by using Coupon Code COLUMBUS10.Book Now! Offer Valid till 15th Oct 09.


New Hampshire Fall Foliage Updates, Oct. 5

New Hampshire foliage press release source: VisitNH.com. Photo at Silver Lake State Park, Hollis, N.H., by Eric H.

Bookmark and ShareThe New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development foliage update press release update for Oct. 5, 2009, reports great progress in fall foliage colors over the past week, including "beautiful foliage" overtaking the Great North Woods Region and the White Mountains Regions on "the brink of reaching peak fall foliage color."

The rest of the state shines in splendid colors, too, with some of the best in New England! The Sunapee-Dartmouth Region is also near peak with "flashy reds, burnt oranges and fine yellows showing up everywhere." Leaf peepers report the Lakes Region displaying "a mix of colors here and there," while the "contrast of reds, oranges, pinks and yellows among the green is stunning" in the Monadnock Region. The Merrimack Valley Region "hillsides are ablaze with autumn color," while the Seacoast Region leaves are "nearly 50% changed now, with some areas more colorful than other."

Here is the detailed New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development press release report on foliage updates throughout New Hampshire:

Great North Woods Region: Beautiful foliage has overtaken the Great North Woods region. All roads throughout this area lead to explosive color. Bring your camera for plenty of breathtaking photo opportunities, especially near edges of rivers, lakes and ponds. Our leaf peepers are reporting 100% color everywhere! Deep oranges and reds, along with a few golden yellows, are dominating the landscape from the mountains to the valleys. Some wind has hit the area, which has created colorful carpets of leaves on the ground, but most trees are holding on firmly to the vivid autumn foliage. All lakes are reported to look stunning as the colors reflect onto the water’s surface.

White Mountains Region: The White Mountains region is on the brink of reaching peak fall foliage color, and is expected to be there by this weekend. Reports from our leaf peepers in this area are saying that the colors are great everywhere! Several mountain passes and notches have reached the height of grand autumn color, including the west end of the Kancamagus Highway, Pinkham Notch, Kinsman Notch, and Crawford Notch. Waterville Valley is 90% changed and is showcasing vibrant reds, clear oranges, and lemon yellows, all against a backdrop of green pines. Most any road you travel in this region will reward you with visions of beautiful fall colors.

Lakes Region: Our leaf peepers in the Lakes Region are reporting a mix of colors here and there. Some roads have well-established color, while other areas have just begun to change. The Ossipee Mountain Range is nearly 50% changed, while the Belknap Mountains are still predominantly green. The land surrounding the northern part of Lake Winnipesaukee is showcasing a blend of deep reds and oranges with scattered yellows, while the southern end is 20 to 30% turned. The good news is that the area still has plenty of green, which means lots of change to come.

Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region: The Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region is near peak, with flashy reds, burnt oranges and fine yellows showing up everywhere. Our leaf peepers in this area are reporting great splashes of color throughout, with a fair amount of green trees yet to turn. This area has a number of covered bridges and scenic drives, so don’t be afraid to explore the back roads – the most unexpected scenic vistas can be found by taking a right here and a left there. Overall, the region is about 80% turned and will be near peak by this weekend.

Monadnock Region: If you travel the Monadnock Region this week, you will find that fall foliage color is everywhere. The contrast of reds, oranges, pinks and yellows among the green is stunning. The colors below the summit of Mount Monadnock are coming in very nicely, and all areas surrounding waterways and ponds are reported to be magnificent. Some trees are showing several colors during this transformation – it’s not unusual to find a blend of harvest golds, warm russets and peachy oranges on some trees. Lakes and ponds are reflective pools of color. The region is about 70% changed, and will look spectacular as the season progresses.

Merrimack Valley Region: In the Merrimack Valley region, the hillsides are ablaze with autumn color. All the fall colors are on display throughout this area, from pastels to bright oranges, strong reds, and shy yellows, and the shades are more vibrant in the northern parts of the region than in the southern parts. Generally the edges of meadows and along the banks of rivers and ponds are showing bright colors, while distances beyond are holding on to the greens of summer. This region overall still has some time to go before reaching its full peak of color.

Seacoast Region: The leaves in the Seacoast region are nearly 50% changed now, with some areas more colorful than others. The red and sugar maples are still vibrant, with areas surrounding waterways showing remarkable colors. The oranges and yellows throughout natural areas are most dramatic when viewed in the early morning and late afternoon, when the sun glows through the trees. The eastern side of the region is still mostly green, but that will change in the days ahead, especially with the cold nights and warm days of autumn to help push things along.

For a recorded report of fall foliage update, please call the New Hampshire state tourism hot line at: 1-800-258-3608.

Editor's note: For great reading on New England fall foliage, we recommend checking out The Colors of Fall: A Celebration of New England's Foliage Seasonby Jerry and Marcy Monkman.

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Great Fall Walks: Bird Park in Walpole, Mass.

Article and photo by Eric H.

Bookmark and ShareAfter all that rain yesterday, we highly recommend getting outside today and enjoying better weather in the New England fall time!

If you're in the suburban Boston area and in a walking mood, we recommend strolling through Bird Park, an 89-acre gem in East Walpole, Mass., where stone walkways lead you past open, grassy fields, small walking bridges overlooking the water, mature shade trees, tree groves, and ponds. The leaves on some trees are beginning to turn color, making the experience that much better.

Owned by the the Trustees of Reservations, overseeing 53,000 acres on 94 reservations in Massachusetts, scenic Bird Park is absolutely perfect for walking!

For more information on Bird Park, click on the link above.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Jane and Paul's Farm, a Hidden Fall Travel Gem in Norfolk, Mass.

Article and photos by Eric H.

Bookmark and ShareIf you're looking for an out-of-the-way but worthy fall weekend farm stand destination, we're confident that you'll enjoy Jane and Paul's Farm on Fruit St. in Norfolk, Mass.

Tucked away in a peaceful, rural Norfolk neighborhood, Jane and Paul's features apple picking (MacIntosh, Daybreaks and Empires, at this writing), a pumpkin patch, a farm stand with excellent produce (nice tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers a few days ago!), a good variety of plants for sale, a highly-developed corn maze (could take up to a 1/2 hour to figure out), and a small animal area with goats, rabbits and chickens. Jane and Paul's also sells delicious Ever So Humble Pie Company ready-to-bake, all-natural pies.

We highly recommend visiting this friendly family-owned and operated farm that offers what you'd expect at a farm stand -- apple picking and pumpkin picking (with wagon rides out to the fields), great produce, plants, etc.) -- but without the huge crowds of some of the more hyped, heavily-advertised local farm stands.



Editor's note: please bring cash; Jane and Paul's Farm does not accept credit cards!

Jane and Paul's Farm
33 Fruit St. Norfolk, MA 02056
Tel. (508) 528-0812


Vermont Calendar of Events for October 2009

Press Release source: Vermont Vacation.com

Bookmark and ShareVermontVacation.com just created a press release, tailor-made for Vermont travelers and natives interested in events going on in October. With fall foliage, arts and crafts festivals, town common events, parades and Halloween-related events, to name a few, we think you're sure to find an event of interest. If you have any Vermont events you'd like to have covered at The Weekly New England Travel and Vacation gazette, drop us a line, and we'll consider your idea for publication.

Here is the VermontVacation.com press release for Vermont October events:

MONTPELIER, Vt. -- October is a busy time for fall festivals, and every weekend offers a variety of fun activities ranging from pumpkin carving contests to craft fairs. For a comprehensive, searchable listing of events, visit our Vermont Travel Planner. Here’s a closer look at what’s happening in October.

Fall Foliage Festival
Northeast Kingdom– October 1-3, 2009
Vermont villages invite visitors to celebrate rural life against a spectacular backdrop of orange, red and yellow leaves. The towns of Peacham, Barnet and Groton each host the festival for a day, in that order. For more information and an event schedule, visit www.nekchamber.com.

17th Annual Hildene Fall Arts Festival
Manchester – October 2-4, 2009
The 17th Annual Hildene Fall Art & Craft Festival features 200 booths showcasing art, crafts and specialty foods at scenic Hildene’s Meadow. Enjoy fresh food and live entertainment, and a Vermont Beer, Cheese and Sausage Tent. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. River Road. For more information, visit www.craftproducers.com.

Brattleboro Literary Festival
Brattleboro – October 2-4, 2009
The 8th Annual Brattleboro Literary Festival is an annual three-day celebration of the literary arts. The festival will feature readings, panel discussions and special events that showcase emerging and established authors, including Julia Glass, David Hackett-Fischer and Elinor Lipman. Held at various locations in downtown Brattleboro. All events are free. For more information and an event schedule, visit www.brattleboroliteraryfestival.org.
Weston Antiques Show

Weston – October 2-3, 2009
This event features renowned dealers from across the United States. Items include American and English furniture, accessories, Americana, folk art, silver, samplers, paintings, oriental rugs, jewelry and more. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weston Playhouse, Route 100. For more information, visit www.westonantiquesshow.org.

Brandon’s Harvestfest
Brandon – October 3, 2009
Enjoy making “Harvest People” (scarecrows, stick figures, leaf people) at this fun event, which also includes hay rides, pumpkins, a church bazaar and apple pie. Organizers supply you with all materials, accessories and instruction on how to make your own “Harvest Person.” 10 a.m. Central Park. For more information, visit www.brandon.org.

Southern Vermont Home Brew Festival
Bennington – October 3, 2009
The third annual Home Brew Festival includes tastings, food, demonstrations, vendors and live music. Homebrews judged by expert panel. Hosted by the Bennington Museum and sponsored by Madison Brewing Co. Noon to 4 p.m. Old Bennington Brush Building, South Street. For more information, visit www.benningtonmuseum.org.

Dead Creek Wildlife Day
Addison – October 3, 2009
Dead Creek Wildlife Day offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities and other activities such as nature walks, soap carving and atlatl. Enjoy Native American hunting artifacts and more. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area, Route 17 west. For more information, visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com.

Annual Mount Zion Hike
Hubbardton – October 4, 2009
Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Hubbardton Battlefield and the colors of autumn. Wear sturdy shoes, dress for the weather, and bring water. Meet at the Visitor Center. 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site, Hubbardton. For more information, visit www.historicvermont.org.

Autumn on the Green
Danville – October 4, 2009
Held on the first Sunday in October, Autumn on the Green is an award-winning showcase of more than 100 artisans, crafters and cottage industries amidst the spectacular views and color of autumn. The event includes demonstrations, live music, food and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Held at the Village Green and Town Hall. For more information, visit www.autumnonthegreen.com.

Stowe Foliage Arts Festival
Stowe – October 9-11, 2009
This annual event is widely known as a festive marketplace. In addition to the juried Fine Art and Craft exhibitors, the ambiance is fueled by diverse and delicious food fare, live entertainment, and an amazing array of kids’ activities. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.craftproducers.com.

Oktoberfest/Annual Harvest Art & Craft Show
West Dover – October 10-11, 2009
Enjoy Mount Snow’s annual Oktoberfest celebration, complete with authentic German music, German food and beer, fun games and activities for all ages. Inside the Main Base Lodge, artisans and crafters from across New England showcase fine watercolor paintings, woodwork, fleece, photography, fudge, salsa, kids’ crafts and more at the Annual Harvest Art & Craft Show. For more information, visit www.mountsnow.com.

Ludlow Annual Harvest Craft Fair
Ludlow – October 10, 2009
More than 40 juried crafters provide an early start for holiday gift shopping. Enjoy a variety of folk art, homemade jams and jellies, jewelry, children’s games and pumpkin painting. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Black River High School Gymnasium, Main Street. For more information, visit www.okemovalleyvt.org.

Annual Harvest Weekend
Woodstock – October 10-11, 2009
The Annual Harvest Weekend is a two-day event featuring a husking bee and barn dance each day plus a variety of 19th century harvest activities and programs for the entire family. Named a Top Ten 2009 Fall Event by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Billings Farm & Museum, Route 12, Woodstock. For more information, visit www.billingsfarm.org.

South Hero Applefest & Craft Show
South Hero – October 10-11, 2009
Vermont’s largest apple festival includes free entertainment, music, flea market, cider pressing contest, crafts, petting zoo and plenty of apples. South Street. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.celebratechamplain.org.

Art in the Park Fall Foliage Festival
Rutland – October 10-11, 2009
Vermont’s oldest continuing arts tradition offers something for everyone with free children’s activities, musical entertainment, daily door prizes and grand prize drawings, food concessions, demonstrations, and high quality arts and crafts. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 Sunday. Main Street Park. For more information, visit www.chaffeeartcenter.org.
Annual Vermont Apple Festival & Craft Show

Springfield – October 10-11, 2009
The Vermont Apple Festival & Craft Show is a celebration of the fall harvest, with more than 50 crafters, live entertainment, agriculture and activities for the whole family, and, of course, apples. Wellwood Orchards is once again the official Vermont Apple Festival Orchard. They'll have bushels of red, juicy, ripe apples plus plump pumpkins, sweet cider and other delectable items of the harvest. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Riverside Middle School, Route 11. For more information, visit www.vtapplefestival.com.

Annual Tractor Parade
Charlotte – October 11, 2009
Enjoy antique and modern tractors make their way down Spear Street in East Charlotte. The event includes children’s games, hay rides, farmers’ market, food and more. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., parade starts at 1 p.m. For more information, visit http://tractorparade.com.
Dummerston Apple Pie Festival

Dummerston – October 11, 2009
For more than 40 years, the Dummerston Apple Pie Festival has been held on the Sunday of Columbus Day Weekend, the peak of colorful autumn foliage in southern Vermont. About 1,500 apple pies are made by many church members and friends, and people from all over the United States travel to Dummerston to take part in the festivities. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.dummerston.com.

Giant Pumpkin Regatta and Festival
Burlington – October 11, 2009
The annual Giant Pumpkin Regatta and Festival features local business leaders, students, and others racing in giant hollowed-out gourds on Lake Champlain in a competition of size and speed. The event includes food vendors, activities and entertainment on the Burlington Waterfront. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For details, visit www.vermont.org/pumpkin.

Pumpkin Carving Festival
Manchester – October 17, 2009
Enjoy an afternoon of fun celebrating the fall harvest and pumpkin season. The event includes a corn maize, wagon rides, cider, donuts and a pumpkin carving competition. Noon to 8 p.m. Equinox Valley Nursery, Route 7A. For more information, visit www.manchestervermont.net.

Cabot Apple Pie Festival
Cabot – October 17, 2009
This annual event will feature pie judging, music, crafts, pumpkin carving, children’s activities, silent auction, food and pies for sale. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cabot School Gym, Main Street and Common Road (Route 215). For details, visit http://nek4u.net/cabothistory/ApplePie.html.

19th Century Apple and Harvest Festival
Strafford – October 18, 2009
Press cider in an antique press, taste heirloom apple varieties, meet John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed), make a scarecrow, sample cider, play period games, and more. Enjoy Vermont grown apples, apple treats and pumpkins from the garden, heirloom flower bulbs, and fresh pressed cider. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Justin Morrill State Historic Site. For more information, visit www.historicvermont.org.

Gilfeather Turnip Festival
Wardsboro – October 24, 2009
The Annual Gilfeather Turnip Festival celebrates the Gilfeather turnip, first propagated in Wardsboro in the early 1900s by John Gilfeather. The festival features live music, entertainment, Gilfeather turnip soup, turnip tastings, Gilfeather turnip cookbooks, crafts and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wardsboro Town Hall and vicinity. For more information, visit www.friendsofwardsborolibrary.org.

Haunted Forest
Williston – October 22-24, 29-31, 2009
The Haunted Forest features outdoor community theater set amidst the magic and enchantment of a dark forest. A pair of mysterious guides will lead guests through the Haunted Forest, and the flickering faces of more than 1,000 jack-o’lanterns light the dark trails. Visitors encounter strange and hilarious characters in a variety of Halloween-theme scenes. For details and an event schedule, visit www.thehauntedforest.org.

Haunted Happenings
Shelburne – October 25, 2009
Celebrate Halloween with trick-or-treating, a costume contest, games and more at Shelburne Museum’s annual Halloween extravaganza. Enjoy nonstop activities at 20 buildings on the museum grounds. Haunted house and scary obstacle course, too. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit www.shelburnemuseum.org.

To find more great events happening in Vermont, search the Vermont Travel Planner at VermontVacation.com

Editor's note: To find Vermont lodging, compare rates, check availability and book a room at discount rates, please check out the VisitingNewEngland.com Vermont Hotels guide. If interested in reading a comprehensive, well-written book on Vermont travel, we recommend Vermont: An Explorer's Guide (Explorer's Guides)written by Diane E. Foulds


New Hampshire Fall Foliage Updates, Oct. 1, 2009

New Hampshire foliage press release source: VisitNH.com

Bookmark and ShareWith the New England fall weekend just around the corner, New Hampshire foliage should prove to be spectacular in many areas.

The Great North Woods area "is on the brink of peak foliage," and the White Mountains Region is "getting closer to reaching the height of fall foliage," according to a New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development foliage update press release for Oct. 1 ,2009. The rest of New Hampshire isn't too shabby, either, with many reports of vibrant colors in the Lakes, Dartmouth-Sunapee, Monadnock, and Merrimack Regions. The Seacoast Region, typically the last part of New Hampshire to display great foliage, has shown promise with "lots of color throughout the region and most of it is along back roads that are very quiet," according to the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development.

Have a safe weekend, and listen frequently to the weather reports for any potentially inclement weather (Sunday looks like the better day, weather-wise). Here is the detailed press release report on foliage updates throughout New Hampshire:

Great North Woods Region: The Great North Woods region, also called New Hampshire’s Grand North, is on the brink of peak fall foliage! There are lots of strong oranges and deep reds throughout the region, with some nice yellows and a little bit of green in the background. Here’s a loop that will provide beautiful color, optional hikes, wildlife watching and panoramic views: Begin in Berlin, and follow Route 110 through Stark to Groveton; continue on Route 3 north to Colebrook; take a right on Route 26 and travel through Dixville Notch State Park to Errol. From here, you can either take a left on Route 16 north to Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, or take Route 16 south back to Berlin. There is a detour along this road that skirts around part of 16, so watch the signs. Visit the Northern Forest Heritage Park in Berlin on Sunday for the 10th Annual Lumberjack Festival and Competition. Please visit www.northernforestheritage.org for information on this event.

White Mountains Region: Overall, the White Mountains Region is getting closer to reaching the height of fall foliage. Our leaf peepers in this area are predicting the peak to happen in another 7 to 10 days! Most areas are 80% changed, and the colors are beautiful everywhere. Try this scenic drive for panoramic views of the region: Start in North Conway on Route 16 north – take a left onto West Side Road and stop at the two covered bridges. Continue on West Side Road and follow the signs to the Cathedral Ledge auto road. This little side trip will reward you with a sweeping view of the entire Mount Washington Valley. Continue on Route 16 to Route 302 west, and follow this scenic drive that cuts right through the heart of the White Mountains. Look for markers on the sides of the road that indicate hiking trails and waterfalls. In Twin Mountain, take a left on to Route 3 south, and travel through Franconia Notch State Park. A walk through the Flume Gorge is a must-do this time of year; if you’re short on time, take a lift on the Cannon Mountain Tramway for dramatic views. Continue along the parkway to Exit 32, which brings you on to the west end of the Kancamagus Highway, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. Follow Route 112 along the Kanc, back to Route 16 in Conway. On Saturday, the 20th Annual Chowderfest takes place in Waterville Valley; Visit www.waterville.com for more information.

Lakes Region: Brilliant reds and oranges await you in the Lakes Region! Travel the following roads for a scenic fall tour of this part of the state: Begin in Alton on Route 11 west to Route 11B to Route 3 north into Meredith. Turn right onto Route 25 east, or continue on Route 3 to Squam Lake, also known as Golden Pond; Route 25 east brings you through Moultonborough, a classic New Hampshire town that’s home to the Old Country Store and Museum, possibly the oldest country store in the U.S. Keep going on Route 25 to West Ossipee, where the road pairs with Route 16. Head south on Route 16 to Milton, where the New Hampshire Farm Museum is holding their Harvest Day on Saturday. There are lots of fall activities here for the whole family; please visit www.farmmuseum.org for more information. Take exit 17 and follow Route 75 to Route 11 west back to Alton. History buffs will want to visit Castle in the Clouds on Sunday for their Foliage Festival.This mountaintop mansion features views of Lake Winnipesaukee that are drenched in beautiful fall colors right now. For more information, please visit www.castleintheclouds.org. Planning on doing some hiking during this fall season? The folks at New Hampshire Fish & Game encourage everyone to hike safe this autumn, and be ready for winter-like conditions, especially in the mountains. Please visit www.hikesafe.com for tips on safe hiking.

Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region: There’s lots of fall color coming to life in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region. From downtown Lebanon, any road you travel will take you past vibrant reds, burnt oranges, and golden yellows. Try meandering along Route 4, Route 10, or Route 120 for breathtaking scenic drives. More recommended drives are Route 114 from Bradford to New London, and Route 11 from New London to Newport. At the Library Arts Center in Newport, there is a quilt show beginning on Sunday and running through October 18th. Route 103A brings you through a beautiful showcase of color on your way to Mount Sunapee, where you can enjoy an aerial chair lift ride on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday the Muster Field Farm in Sutton is holding its annual Harvest Day. This farm is open year round. Please visit www.musterfieldfarm.com for information.

Monadnock Region: The fall foliage is over 50% changed in the Monadnock region, and some areas are nearly 75% changed. Our leaf peepers are reporting outstanding colors along many roads. Take this ride for views of hearty oranges, fiery reds, tawny yellows, flashy pinks, and all shades of green: start in Hillsborough on Route 9 west – this road runs alongside a number of marshy areas that are stunning right now with their red maples in full bloom. Watch for wild turkeys along this road – they are usually clustered in groups of 5 or more. Follow Route 9 to Keene, to Route 12 toward Troy; continue on Route 12 to Fitzwilliam, and take Route 119 east to West Rindge. Take a left onto Route 202 east to Jaffrey, and turn left on to Route 124. Follow this road to Marlborough, and take Route 101 east through Dublin to Peterborough. From here you can take Route 202 back to Hillsborough. Take your time exploring this area; don’t be afraid to venture off on some of the lesser-known side roads. You can see Mount Monadnock from almost anywhere in this region, and word is that the mountain is about 60% changed now, with the base a patchwork quilt of yellow, orange and green. Route 31 brings you to Greenfield, where you can see an authentic trebuchet hurl pumpkins nearly a half a mile in distance! For information, please visit www.yankeesiege.com.

Merrimack Valley Region: In the Merrimack Valley Region, the foliage is coming in very nicely. Most roads are showing bright oranges, flaming reds, and golden yellows everywhere – it’s a mix of colors, with the northern part of the region more changed than the southern part. Here’s a scenic loop that will take you past antique shops, natural areas, beautiful scenery and points of interest. Begin in Nottingham on Route 4, well-known to locals as Antique Alley. This road passes lots of water, so be on the lookout for migrating water birds, especially Great Blue Herons which love to hang out in the marshes. Follow Route 4 to the Epsom circle, and take Route 28 south to Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown. With more than 10,000 acres of romping room, there are hiking trails galore in this park – pets are welcome, too, so bring your dogs to help you explore. Continue on Route 28 south and get on Route 101 west in Manchester, to Route 114 toward Goffstown. Follow Route 114 to Route 13 toward New Boston and Amherst. There are great sections that skirt along meadows and brooks that appear to be nearly at fall’s colorful peak. From Amherst, follow the signs for Route 101A to Route 111; travel through the towns of Windham, Hudson, and Nashua, which is holding an Arts Walk on Saturday. Please visit www.artwalknashua.org for the details. The Deerfield Fair is in town this weekend, also – Routes 43 and 107 lead directly to the fairgrounds. Visit www.deerfieldfair.com for information.

Seacoast Region: The Seacoast region is looking pretty nice all dressed in her finest autumn glory. Some parts of the area are still green, but there’s lots of color throughout the region and most of it is along back roads that are very quiet. Here’s a seacoast loop that starts near the ocean and ends up in the inner Seacoast area: Follow Route 107 from Seabrook to Route 125 north in Kingston; follow Route 125 to Route 155 in Lee. This is a country road that takes you past several points of interest, including a winery and an apple orchard. Continue on Route 155 to Dover, and head downtown for the 25th Annual Apple Harvest Day Festival on Saturday. This festival is a family affair, with craft vendors, entertainment, a petting zoo, pony rides, and food, including apples, baked goods and freshly pressed cider. Please visit www.dovernh.org for information.

Editor's note: For great reading on New England fall foliage, we recommend checking out The Colors of Fall: A Celebration of New England's Foliage Seasonby Jerry and Marcy Monkman.

For a list of hundreds of New Hampshire hotels at discount rates,we recommend checking out the VisitingNewEngland.com New Hampshire Hotels guide. Here, you can compare rates, check availability, and book online.


Fall Travel is More Than "Mariginal" by the Ogunquit, Maine, Coast

Article and photo by Eric H.

Bookmark and ShareWith all the recent press coverage about fall foliage, let's not forget that New England offers many other delightful travel opportunities during the autumn season. Some destinations are truly colorful without having much fall foliage!

Take The Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine, for example. This wildly-popular, famous coastal summertime travel destination is equally appealing in the fall with fewer crowds walking the 1 ¼ miles mile paved pathway alongside the rocky cliffs and spectacular Atlantic Ocean views. Starting at picturesque Perkins Cove (with lots of neat, little shops and some great seafood restaurants like Barnacle Billy's), this winding hiking trail leads to the fantastic expanse of sand and water at Ogunquit Beach.

With benches and plenty of scenic coastal nooks and crannies along the way, The Marginal Way is the perfect spot to enjoy the Maine coast in the fall. While there's little foliage -- and summer's vibrantly-colored flowers a thing of the past --The Marginal Way still remains one of New England's greatest destinations in the fall.

For more information, we recommend reading Lina R.'s great article on Marginal Way, Perkins Cove and Ogunquit, in general, at VisitingNewEngland.com. Here, Lina describes the magic of the area, recommending her favorite dining, shopping and scenic spots. On the top right side of that page, you will also find a link that leads to booking hotels in Ogunquit (featuring several well-known hotels). We also advise that some stores and restaurants close down for the season, so call ahead to your specific destination to avoid a "Sorry, WallyWorld's closed" scenario (please pardon the Chevy Chase "Vacation " movie reference!)

Editor's note: For an overview of Ogunguit, past and present, you might want to read Ogunquit (Then and Now) (Then & Now)by Kathryn M. Severson.



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