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Friday, September 11, 2009

New Hampshire Fall Foliage Updates


2008 Photo of Franconia Notch State Park by Eric H. Fall foliage report, courtesy of VisitNH.com


Bookmark and ShareIt's hard to believe that swimming in a lake on a hot summer day a few weeks ago has transitioned seemingly overnight into cooler days and chillier nights -- and leaves starting to change color.

True to tradition, northern Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire allow for the first glimpses of colorful seasonal change. The colors, admittedly, are spotty, so don't travel great distances yet in hopes of brilliant fall foliage. Still, this is a great time to travel to New England's northern extremes as the fall crowds aren't lining up yet for leaf peeping while the chance to apple pick, drive the scenic country roads, take a hike (we mean that in a nice way) and catch a seasonal event are inherently present at this time of the year. From the scenic, rugged White Mountains to the quiet, quaint Currier and Ives-type towns within the Monadnock region of southwest New Hampshire, this is one beautiful state during the fall season -- or any time of year, for that matter.

With all that in mind, our friends at the Division of Travel and Tourism Development just informed us of some of the latest fall foliage reportings across the Granite State:

Great North Woods: It’s still early in the season for any real color changes in the Great North Woods Region.You may see some spotty colors and faded greens along watery areas, but it’s going to take another week or two before any real foliage appears. If you do travel up north this weekend, be on the lookout for moose along Routes 3 and 16. This area has a number of pet-friendly state parks, also, including Dixville Notch State Park on Route 26 and Umbagog Lake State Park in Errol.


White Mountains: Green is the predominant color in the White Mountains Region. Reports indicate that some color is trying to poke through the green, and several trees are showing limbs with orange and red leaves, but the colors are just beginning. Travelers to this region will want to enjoy the many outdoor interests, like hiking, biking, swimming, and rock climbing, while those who prefer a more leisurely pace will want to explore scenic drives and roadside waterfalls. The Kancamagus Highway, along Route 112, provides breathtaking scenery, easy hikes, and wildlife watching.


Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee: Some swamp maples along Route 103B are beginning to turn in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region, but overall the area is green. Farmer’s Markets are abundant in this region of the state, selling everything from fresh cut flowers to farm grown fruit and vegetables. Meander along country roads and discover covered bridges, historic sites and apple orchards, or pack a picnic lunch and spend time at Lake Sunapee State Park.


Lakes Region: The Lakes Region is still in the midst of summer, but our leaf peepers are reporting some bright red trees along Route 28 from Alton to Wolfeboro, and along Route 104 from New Hampton to Meredith. Hints of orange and red are here and there, but overall, the region is pretty green. A New Hampshire Grower’s Dinner is taking place on Friday evening on the M/S Mount Washington. The menu for this dinner consists of locally grown and bred food from the Granite State. To learn more about this program that joins farms and restaurants, please visit http://www.nhfarmtorestaurant.com/.


Monadnock Region: If you travel through the Monadnock Region this weekend, you may spot a few orange and red swamp maples along the edges of ponds and lakes. Some roads that skirt along such wetlands are Route 119 to Rindge; Route 202 to Peterborough; and Routes 137 and 124. On Saturday, the annual Pickle Festival is taking place in Winchester. This event features a parade with pickle-themed floats, craft vendors, a competition for the best jar of pickles, and free pickles for everyone. Please call 603-239-4202 for details.


Merrimack Valley Region: The Merrimack Valley Region is all green, with just a hint of color beginning in boggy areas. There are occasional swamp maples that are showing some deep reds, but this region has a long way to go before its colors are well established. A great way to get into the autumn spirit is to attend the Hillsborough Country Agricultural Fair in New Boston this weekend, which begins at noon on Friday. Horse pulling, stage shows, handcrafts, giant pumpkins and fried dough are all included in this fall fair. For more information, please visit www.nhfairs.com.


Seacoast Region: It’s still summer in the Seacoast Region, and historically, this area is usually the last to color into fall. Visitors won’t want to miss the 20th Annual Hampton Beach Seafood Festival this weekend. This event, which locals call the “granddaddy of them all,” is a showstopper that features seafood dishes from over 50 restaurants, hundreds of crafts, two stages of live entertainment, and end of the season sidewalk sales. Please visit http://www.hamptonbeachseafoodfestival.com/ for more information.

We recommend logging onto VisitNH.com for more on what's happening during the New Hampshire fall season.


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