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Friday, October 2, 2009

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.


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