Fall foliage on Meredith Bay.

No Filter Needed: 5 Places for Exceptional New Hampshire Leaf Peeping

As another summer comes to a close, it’s time to trade those sandy beach days for afternoons as crisp as our closest apple orchard. Got your eye trained on the fall foliage tracker too? While you eagerly await the first hints of red and orange, start prepping your New Hampshire leaf peeping journey with five of these colorful leafy locations.

Our Top Spots for New Hampshire Leaf Peeping in the Lakes Region

 

Kancamagus Scenic Byway

Who needs a destination with such a scenic drive? The Kancamagus Scenic Byway (or simply “The Kanc,” to locals) wends its way through 34 miles of natural beauty in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest. Enjoy the ride and scenic outlooks along the way, or make your way into the thick of it on a spectacular hike.  

Fall foliage on the Kancamagus Scenic Byway.

Photo: Eric Kilby via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Castle in the Clouds

If a more immediate fall foliage payoff, take a 25 minute drive to Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, N.H. This time of year, the multicolored birds-eye view of the Lakes Region is even more of a draw than the 16-room Arts and Crafts–style mansion itself. To upgrade your foliage tour even further, just add water! The nearby Fall of Song trail is home to a 40-foot waterfall.

Leaf peeping from New Hampshire's Castle in the Clouds

Photo: massmatt via flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Covered Bridges: Squam River and Tannery Hill

What’s more “New England” than red maples in October? Try a covered bridge on a country road. Squam River Covered Bridge is just a 16-minute drive from us, and an excellent stop on your way to the equally scenic Squam Lake area. To pair bridge views with the sound of another babbling brook, head to Gilford’s Tannery Hill Covered Bridge just off of Route 11A.

Squam River Covered Bridge fall foliage

Photo: Corey Balazowich via flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Fawn Over Foliage From the Water

Surround yourself in the fall colors of New Hampshire by taking a kayak or canoe out on the cool blue water. An unbroken, 360 degree view of the mountains is an autumn miracle that makes us love the lake that much more.

Meredith, NH fall foliage from the water

All Aboard: Fall Foliage Rides on the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad

Take in the fall splendor aboard a restored vintage coach. The Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad offers one and two hour ride options along the lake’s western shore. Your only job is to sit back and take in the breathtaking views. Tempted to book an even longer loop? Plan ahead and reserve tickets for the four-hour Fall Foliage Special Train that departs from Meredith on select weekends during leaf season. This grand tour heads north into the White Mountains with beautiful lake views and stops at stations along the way. A hot buffet luncheon is served at the Common Man Inn & Restaurant in Plymouth, with the option to tour the historic Ashland Railroad Station on the return trip.

The key to perfecting a New Hampshire foliage getaway? Starting each day with a colorful view across Meredith Bay from your room. The season is fleeting, so grab your camera (and a backup battery) and head to our neck of the woods for autumn’s spectacular show — and if you uncover a hidden gem along your journey, let us know!

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