What not to miss in New Hampshire!
The breeze coming in my window last night turned decidedly chilly by dawn, brrr, I loved it! The cicada’s are singing in good form and I’m getting reports from Waaaaay up in Caribou Maine and Canada that branches on some maples are beginning to turn. What has me taking notice is that the swamp maples in southern Connecticut are turning as well and I have to assume they are very stressed. Also
What follows are my top 10 places to visit in New Hampshire. You will note this isn’t my top 10 routes or top 10 covered bridges. These are places that families, couples, photographers will find ample subjects to “oh” and “ah” over. If you are saying but the “Kanc” is a route. Lets just say the “Kanc” makes it onto all my lists of places/things to visit regardless.
The Kancamagus (or Kanc as it’s known by the locals) is one of New Hampshire’s old grand dames of scenic drives. It also has falls, covered bridge, rivers hiking trails and history. It’s also as old as me! Construction finished on her in 1959, but I’m still a work in progress, ask my wife. The best time to visit the “Kanc” is usually between 1-12 October but as with all these places, the dates slide one way or the other, depending on the weather.
Clark’s trading post is just north of Lincoln New Hampshire on route 3, (exit 33 off Route 93) and you should be aware that they do close down on Columbus Day. Also there is a schedule of different attractions like the bear acts so plan your arrival to take advantage of that. Best foliage is in the 1-10 Oct neighborhood.
This is another of those don’t miss spots and I always try to stop at least once during fall foliage season. This is also a four season attraction so be prepared for great food and great scenery. You ask about the scenery? just up the road you’ll see a multi-directional sign and you’ll have your choice of places to check out. Best foliage is in the 1-10 Oct neighborhood.
4. Flume Gorge
The Flume is another of those early October destinations because you are up in the White mountains. This area is generally best between the 1st and the 7th of October. You pull off of I-93 and pull into the large parking lot. Now the visitor center doesn’t open until 9AM but for those who want a shot of the Flume at dawn, then you will have to bring your own maps and find the path in. Just when you come out, go through the visitor center and pay them then. (yes they do charge…)
For those who like to do it themselves, you can take your car up the Mount Washington Auto Road. This journey takes you up from Route 16 at Pinkham Notch to the very top of the mountain. The last time I did this there were no guardrails so if you might be a bit uneasy about driving up.
But the view is wonderful! So take a few extra layers because it’s always 10-20 degrees colder or more up on top.
Take a ride on the Conway scenic rail road and see fall foliage the way it’s mean to be viewed at a leisurely pace. Lisa and I took the long ride up to Faybans station and it was great. We did bring our own lunch and safe a little money but the views were great.
Situated at the feet of the Presidential Range, Pondicherry wildlife refuge is a great stretch for the legs and there are several entrances. I find most walks in are about a mile or so, so be prepared for both the walk and the spectacular view. You get all the way in and Cherry Pond stretches out in front of you with views of the mountains reflected in the surface of the pond.
Milan State Park and the Fire tower have been a favorite of mine since I found this several years back. You can find my write up of the Milan fire tower on my scenic Route 16 through the northern white mountains. The views from this tower rain or shine can be very dramatic, yes I said rain or shine but if there is lightening in the area, maybe you should rethink going up three stories on a tall metal tower on top of a hill… 🙂
But a soft misting rain with a rainbow? go for it! https://www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/milan-hill-state-park.aspx
The cost is about $12 (Please check before you go) and what can I say, fall colored trees and 19th century period buildings, the combinations are just screaming to be explored.
10. Portsmouth NH
From Portsmouth harbor and the lighthouses visible from the shore over to the Strawbery Banke Museum. I can go to Newcastle beach and photograph both Portsmouth lighthouse and Whaleback lighthouse which is really a Maine Lighthouse. I won’t tell if you don’t. Check these links for some more Portsmouth goings-ons… http://www.portsmouthnh.com/listing/portsmouth-harbor-lighthouse/ and http://www.portsmouthnh.com/listing/whaleback-light/ and http://www.portsmouthnh.com/search-results/?q=portsmouth%20lighthouse
You maybe saying But you left off so many… That’s right I did, but this gets you started and that is the point. I can’t hold your hand through all of New Hampshire. BUT! I can get you started on exploring all the nooks and crannies for the treasures that can be found just around the corner.
Please enjoy and feel free to leave a comment with your favorite and be sure to tell people where to find it also.
Jeff "Foliage" Folger You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites
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but people call me Jeff Foliage.
I have several pages that I write blogs for such as: http://www.4cornersnewengland.com/
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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.