Head to the White Mountains of New Hampshire This Fall
Owner of AZTEC Financial Group, Eric Wasson, spends a lot of time in the mountains and lakes regions of New Hampshire, year-round. For those of you who live in the greater NH Seacoast area or are lucky to live up north closer to the mountains, you know how beautiful the scenery is all year round. While the foliage is at or past peak in most areas of the state, that doesn’t mean it’s any less beautiful in the white mountains of New Hampshire.
Any day is a good day to visit and take a hike, explore nature, and just take in the breathtaking views of the mountains, lakes, and valleys; they never disappoint! But if you’re looking for specific places to take in the stunning natural landscape, here are a few places to put on your list.
8 Places to Take in the Fall Scenery in the White Mountains
- Ride Along the Kancamagus Highway and Route 302
Road trips don’t have to be for the purpose of getting from point A to point B; sometimes a long drive is just what you need to unwind from a busy week. The Kancamagus Highway is one of the best drives in New Hampshire, especially this time of year. Be prepared to do a lot of stopping to take pictures of the incredible scenery along this route, so you might want to bring a snack along for the ride.
- Take a Moose Tour
If you’re lucky, you might not have to pay a cent to see a moose when you’re in the White Mountains. They are often seen by hikers and nature explorers, but if you want to be sure to see one of these magnificent animals, check out Gorham Moose Tours. Of course, they can’t promise you’ll see a moose, but they report a success rate between 93% - 97%, so it’s likely you’ll catch a glimpse.
- Shop Local in North Conway & Jackson Village
North Conway Village boasts over one hundred unique stores and art galleries, along with factory outlets if you travel a bit outside of the center. Plus, the area is surrounded by the Presidential Range, Mt. Washington, and the Moat Mountains, offering one of the very best views in New England. And, if you’ve never ventured to Jackson Village, you’re in for a treat. This little town is full of adorable shops and great places to eat breakfast, lunch, and enjoy casual or fine dining.
- Take a Hike
We couldn’t possibly list all of the great hikes in the White Mountains, but some of our favorites include:
- Mount Chocorua, a pretty serious hike at 8.5 miles round-trip loop, but worth the effort
- Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Loop, a strenuous at 8.6 miles round-trip but like nothing you’ve ever seen when you are walking along the ridge above treeline
- Mount Pemigewasset Trail, a moderate hike at 3.2 miles round trip featuring gorgeous wildflowers, stream crossings, and a breathtaking view at the summit
- Ride Cannon’s Mountain Aerial Tramway
Hiking up Cannon is certainly an option in the fall, but if you’re looking for a more leisurely experience in the White Mountains, Cannon’s Aerial Tramway is the only one in New Hampshire and was the first in North America. The cable car takes you to the summit at 4,080 feet in just 10 minutes, offering views of mountains in four states and Canada on clear days. Take a scenic walking path at the summit, check out the 360-degree observation deck, and grab a bite at the cafe while you’re there.
- Visit Franconia Notch State Park & the Flume Gorge
If you’re looking for a spectacular adventure in the mountains, Franconia Notch State Park offers many things to explore. One of the most popular sites in the park is a natural gorge, The Flume, which extends 800 feet at the bottom of Mount Liberty. The designated trail is a one-way, 2-mile loop that takes about 1.5 hours to complete, featuring some of New Hampshire’s historic covered bridges, views of the scenic Pemigewasset River, and cascading waterfalls.
- Take a Ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad, North Conway
Not to be missed, the Conway Scenic Railroad is one of the most famous attractions of North Conway, located in the center of the adorable Conway Village. The train offers multiple featured excursions, including travel back in time on a Heritage Rail Excursion, a leisurely ride through the Saco River Valley to Bartlett or Sawyer River, and a Mountaineer Excursion that recreates the experience of a post-World War II Transcontinental streamlined train.
- Head to the Summit on The Mount Washington Cog Railway
We talked about the Mount Washington Cog Railway in one of our recent blogs, “Local NH & ME Attractions for Your Family Staycation,” but it’s worth mentioning again, but it’s worth mentioning again, because it’s just such a beautiful ride, especially in the fall. Fall trips to the summit end October 17th (weather permitting), but don’t worry, winter trips to Skyline (5300‘) and Waumbek Station (4000’) start Monday, October 18th!
With so many amazing places to visit, you’re sure to have something to fill every free weekend this fall. The best part is, visiting these local scenic spots never gets old, so you’ll want to return back time and time again. Happy exploring!