New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » NH Scenic Drive for Autumn

Welcome leaf peepers to one of my favorite New Hampshire scenic drives.

Stark NH Covered bridge

Stark NH Covered bridge

It’s a great one with 3 churches, 1 stone tower, 3 covered bridges, a Grist mill (really in VT but only just) and a fire tower with incredible views. This scenic drive has everything.

Mentally preparing for your autumn trip

Today I’m looking at the calendar and July  is just around the corner and we’re on that gentle slide into autumn! Lisa (my wife) refuses to accept that we haven’t even been to the beach yet this summer.

Please don’t focus so much on fall that you don’t take advantage of your summer. Use my site to help make your plans and then get out to the beach or start the grill and enjoy the warm weather! Make great memories that when combined with autumn’s incandescent colors you will have memories that will keep you warm through the snow filled months.

New Hampshire Scenic Drive

You may ask why a NH foliage scenic drive in June? well, I see a lot of people asking about the fall colors in a few forums and my comment areas and so far this year New Hampshire is leading the polls. So with that in mind I will mention an early October scenic drive:

Escape today

I’m starting this scenic drive in Lincoln but you can pick it up almost anywhere. Or, if you are staying in Woodstock it’s just a few miles east to pick this up.

depending on whether or not you get out of the car will determine how long this trip takes.

  1. Flume gorge tapestry of fall color

    Flume gorge tapestry of fall color

    If you get out in each of the locations and photograph or explore then this is an entire day trip for you.

  2. You can pick this trip up anywhere but I’m starting it in Lincoln New Hampshire. Generally this trip would be great around 1 October to the 5th of October.
  3. I think if you left, the first thing in the morning at dawn then you should finish back here in the late afternoon in time for a wonderful dinner.
  4. as you leave route 112 for I 93 you will head north and travel a short distance until you are in Franconia Notch State Park.
  5. This first wall of foliage shot  in the Flume Gorge parking lot. I didn’t even have to go hiking. BUT! please get your gear and take the hike to the Flume Gorge covered bridge and the Pine Sentinel bridge, you’ll be glad you did.
  6. The Flume covered bridge in New Hampshire's Franconia state park.

    New Hampshire foliage locations

    Next, will continue North on 93 and get off at route 18 Or Profile Rd. and head West short distance and you will take the exit along the road for the parking lot which is at the foot of Cannon mountain and you’ll have echo Lake to explore.

  7.  your next turn off will be from 93 onto Route 3 and you will follow Route 3 North until it joins with Route 302. As much fun as route 302 is to explore were going to ignore it today and continue north on Route 3 through the intersection.
  8. It’s probably best to take route 116 and skip 115 for another time although there are some very nice streams coming out of the white mountains that make me think you might want to come back this way on your way to Lincoln.

    Saint Johns chapel

    Saint Johns chapel

  9. The First church is Saint John’s Highland Chapel on the corner of Black Velvet road.
  10. Carter’s tower on Route 2 (
  11. The 2nd church is the Randolph Church
  12. Once you get done exploring in photographing the churches continue your way until you get to Gorham New Hampshire there you will look for route 16 and head north to Berlin. Once you’re in Berlin continue on to Route 16 N. and you will, come to Milan New Hampshire.
  13. Watch for 110B and make a left. Follow this until you see the signage for the Milan State park on your left.
  14. Keep your eyes open for signs indicating a left-hand turn (assuming you are heading north on this journey and not doing it in reverse) with a turn for Milan Hills State Park.

    A fire tower view of the hills in Milan State Park

    A view from the firetower

  15. Turn onto the dirt road and proceed uphill into you reach the Ranger station and I always like to drop a few dollars in the donation bin even though I’m not staying overnight our state parks just like our national parks need your love in the way of dollars.
  16. Once you get to the top of the hill you will easily find the fire tower climb to the top explore and climb back down and continue on your way on 110B until you intersect Route 110 (the main road).
  17. Route 110 will take you right to Stark New Hampshire and the Stark covered bridge and white church. Get out and explore and if you climb into the cemetery to do some photography be mindful of where you’re at and respectful of the space.
  18.  As you continue along route 110 you will come into Groveton and just before it  joins backup with route three you will find a Groveton covered bridge. If the colors are as good as I hope they will be for you, you should see the Hills in the distance covered in the fall colors as well is through the bridge itself.
  19. preceding onto Route 3 and heading south keep your eyes open for ocean state job lot on the left and then route 102 on your right it crosses the Dean Brook River and into Vermont.

    The old Crawford farm gristmill in Guildhall Vermont

    Vermont Gristmill

  20. You will need to take it South out of Guildhall and 5 min. down the road or 2.2 miles you will find Granby road on your right.. This is also the old Crawford farm property on your right and just a little ways in you will see the farm on the Hill and then the Gristmill behind a wood fence.
  21. Please be respectful of the property and use your own best judgment as to standing on the wood fence or crossing it as I know some people do. I think the wood fence adds to my pictures a certain rustic quality so I choose not to shoot from inside their property.
  22. Now you will backtrack the 2.2 miles to the New Hampshire side of the border and pick up Route three down through Lancaster

    Lancaster Covered Bridge

    Lancaster Covered Bridge

  23. Lancaster Covered Bridge. known as the Mechanic Street covered bridge or  also known as the Israels River Bridge in Lancaster New Hampshire. It’s also NH’s number 31 covered bridge. There are also several nice restaurants to pick up a sandwich or heavier faire in Lancaster. From here you can head down Route 3 through Whitefield which has several scenic opportunities if you have the time and the light has not left the sky yet.
This will bring you down to route 302 and you can either continue on Route 3 and route 302 or if you’re plum tuckered out and want to get back to Littleton, at Whitefield, grab route 116 and take it back to Lincoln.
Now you’ve done a complete scenic drive in the North white mountains area of New Hampshire. If you did this in less than four hours, go back and do it again because I’m betting you missed a few things. 🙂

Have a great fall foliage day!


Jeff "Foliage" Folger  You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites
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Jeff Foliage

My name is Jeff Folger,
but people call me Jeff Foliage.
I have several pages that I write blogs for such as:
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff
I live in Salem, Massachusetts and work as a blogger and Travel Photographer. I'm also the founder of the New England Photography Guild.
Feel free to visit me on my blogs and see what life in New England is like.

I started with Yankee Magazine as their first blogger on everything fall foliage. Now I blog on my own blog on my favorite subject, telling leaf peepers where the fall foliage is showing up in New England and helping them (to some extent) plan their fall foliage vacations.
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NH Scenic Drive for Autumn — 7 Comments

  1. Again, Jeff, many thanks! I normally stay in N Conway and am thinking how I can adapt this both to take in Stark and immediate surroundings and to hit the Cherry Pond. I need to get out of my rut and hit some NEW stuff.

  2. Pingback: Autumn’s Arrival in New England

  3. Jeff great trip ideas. You can also take the Crawford Notch Route via the Conway Scenic Railroad. One thing though, make sure for the best views from the train stay on the engineers side aka the right side and in the open car

  4. Thank you so much for NH scenic drive information. That is exactly the kind of information I need. In earlier correspondence I told you we would probably go after Oct. 10th, but after looking over the calendar with hubby we have decided to be in Boston Sept. 30th, rent a car, and then drive through VT, NH, and ME and be back in Boston by early morning on Oct. 7th to fly home. Are there any other suggestions you can give us.

  5. Thanks, Jeff! I know the Kanc – Franconia – Rt 302 circle route well but you’ve added some “extras” that I really need to check out next time I’m in the area. Also, right now is the time of year I begin counting the weeks until Labor Day. Summer is unbearable where I am.

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