Friday, September 18, 2009

The Latest New Hampshire Fall Foliage Updates


(2008 photo of Concord, N.H., by Eric H.) Fall Foliage report source: New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism)

Bookmark and ShareThe New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development just sent us an update on the latest fall foliage reports across New Hampshire. As could be expected, this is the time of the year when trees start to turn over an "old leaf," many transforming into bright colors. While we still have a ways to go to reach peak fall foliage in the "Granite State," areas like the Great North Woods, the Monadnock and Merrimack Valley regions and, surprisingly, the Seacoast Region have sectors of impressive colors, according to New Hampshire Travel and Tourism.

Regardless of level of fall foliage color, anytime is a great time to visit New Hampshire. Personally, we simply can't get enough of the pristine, small lake towns in the Lakes Region (Wolfeboro and Meredith, in particular), the rugged and scenic White Mountains, the charming coastline splendor of Portsmouth and Rye, the "Courier and Ives" communities of the Monadnock Region, and the classic New England Towns of Hollis, Amherst and Milford in the Merrimack Valley region. So, yes, fall foliage brings out a special element of New Hampshire. But even if the colors aren't brilliant, New Hampshire certainly is when it comes to scenic travel and vacation destinations!

We highly recommended calling the State of New Hampshire recorded fall foliage report hotline at 1-800-258-3608. For now, here is the latest report, thanks to the New Hampshire Divison of Travel and Tourism:

Great North Woods Region: The warm days and cool nights are pushing a little more color into the Great North Woods region, and the most color change is taking place along the banks of the Connecticut River, and on exposed trees that stand alone. Mountain views provide occasional reds and yellows among the green. Bull Moose and bald eagles were spotted this week near the Pontook Dam on Route 16 in Dummer. The area overall is less than 25% changed, but with a frost expected this weekend, that could change by next week. The Balsams is hosting the Grand Lumberjack Challenge on Saturday – watch the wood chips fly as lumberjacks compete in this one-day challenge where strength, skill and determination will decide who wins. For more information, please call 603-255-3122.

White Mountains Region: There hasn’t been much change in the foliage in the White Mountains region since Monday. The area remains mostly green with sprinkled oranges and reds along waterways and swamps. Some cold nights will push this area into colorful autumn glory soon. The weather is looking fine this weekend for a scenic drive; you can photograph waterfalls, walk across covered bridges, visit roadside farm stands, see panoramic views, and explore years of history in this part of the state, so take your time and enjoy these last traces of summer. Loon Mountain in Lincoln is the site of the 34th Annual Highland Games, the largest Scottish cultural festival in the northeast, from Friday through Sunday. For information, please call 1-800-358-7268.

Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region: The Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region remains draped in green right now, with just hints of color change in watery parts of the area. Some of the trees have that iced look that takes over before changing to bold orange and blazing red. Travelers may want to drive Route 4A, which runs along Mascoma Lake, and visit the Enfield Shaker Village Museum. Nature lovers will want to visit Rollins State Park and Mount Kearsarge State Forest this weekend. Take exit 8 off Route 89; follow Route 103 about one mile and turn right onto Kearsarge Mountain Road. Follow signs to the state park. This time of the year brings hawk migration, where thousands of broad-winged hawks can be seen flying over this small mountain. The upcoming cold nights should push some color into this region soon.

Lakes Region: A few more pockets of color have appeared in the Lakes Region this week, but overall this area is green. Route 25 toward Tamworth is a colorful ride, and Route 3 up through Weirs Beach, Meredith, and Holderness will be spectacular once the color strikes. For a real taste of New Hampshire’s fall-time heritage, a visit to the 134th Annual Rochester Fair is a must-do. This lively festival has livestock shows, motor sports, live entertainment, rides, tons of food, and lots of fair exhibits, including massive pumpkins and other prize-winning fruits and vegetables. Please visit www.rochesterfair.com for more information.

Monadnock Region: Low valleys and swamps are colored with vivid reds in the Monadnock Region of the state. Some developed color can be seen along Route 124, also. Our leaf peepers in this region tell us that Route 101 through Marlborough has the best overall color so far this season, and Route 202 south is showing some definite change. This “Currier and Ives” corner of the state has much to offer visitors, including quiet back roads, farm stands, apple orchards and country stores. The Stone Arch Bridges of Hillsborough are worth a trip to see – these marvels of yesteryear were constructed simply of stone blocks cut to fit perfectly without any mortar to keep them together. For information about these bridges, please visit www.hillsboroughnhchamber.com. The town of Antrim is holding a Home & Harvest Festival this weekend. Food, arts & crafts, children’s activities, music, and a pumpkin regatta will be featured, topped off by an awesome fireworks display on Saturday night. Please call 603-588-4835 for more information.

Merrimack Valley Region: More and more of the maples are starting to turn their familiar reds in the Merrimack Valley region. Peak colors of blazing reds and sunny yellows are alive in some bogs and meadows, while other swampy areas still have a way to go. Some of the tops of trees have turned bright orange, but the area overall is predominantly green. If you travel to this region during the weekend, you may want to attend the Hollis Old Home Days. This small-town gathering really demonstrates a slice of New Hampshire’s heritage. Enjoy music, a parade, rides, a barbecue, a dunk tank, crafts – even a pet parade – and more. Please visit www.hollisoldhomedays.org for more information.

Seacoast Region: The Seacoast region, usually the last to herald fall, is showing colors already! Our leaf peepers in this area are reporting beautiful reds and oranges along Route 27 from Hampton to Exeter, and vibrant red maples coming to life in the lowlands that surround the marshes. Route 88, a beautiful country road, is beginning to display some fiery reds and blazing oranges. Even the Spaulding Turnpike is coming alive with spotty reds and oranges here and there. Families will want to visit Portsmouth this weekend for the 5th annual Fairy House Tours. The tours are held Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4pm, starting at Pierce Island and meandering through various Portsmouth gardens and historic homes. Everyone is invited to bring natural materials to help build a Fairy House village. For more information, please visit www.fairyhouses.com.


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