New Hampshire Fall Foliage From The Water: Start Planning Now.
Although we hate to see Summer go, fall foliage season in New Hampshire brings its own joys and wonders. Many of us here at Secondwind enjoy being outside during these fall months, even more so than during the summer. And, of course, we enjoy being outside on, or near, water. Here are five of our favorite ways to enjoy New Hampshire’s autumn splendor near, or on water.
1) Fall Waterfall Wonder
Dozens of waterfalls speckle New Hampshire’s landscape. In order to reach some, you need to prepare to hike some pretty steep trails. Thankfully, many are extremely accessible. One of our favorite easy access waterfalls in the fall are Profile Falls in Bristol, NH. It’s located right off of Route 3A, and even though it’s close to the road, it offers a spectacular fall experience.
2) Beautiful Lake and Mount Sunapee Viewing
The Kearsarge region of NH is home to Lake and Mount Sunapee, which offer a wide variety of recreation. From hiking year round, to skiing and ice fishing in winter, to boating in 3 seasons, you won’t want to skip this area of the state. One of the best ways to get a broad perspective of the region is a Lake Sunapee Cruise aboard MV MT Sunapee II. The fall views will simply take your breath away.
3) A Colorful Ocean View
New Hampshire’s slice of shoreline may only stretch 18 miles long, but it supplies many beautiful ways to experience the beauty of fall while enjoying the crisp autumn air.
Located in New Castle, NH, the Portsmouth Lighthouse is a lovely stop along the way for a fall ocean view. The lighthouse is open for public tours from late May to mid-October on Sunday afternoons, 1 to 5 p.m.
Porstmouth Harbor Cruises provides a different view on fall foliage. The Inland River and Fall Foliage Cruise carries you into the Great Bay tidal estuary. This saltwater and freshwater system provides an important feeding ground for birds. At this time of year, expect unparalleled leaf peeping and the migratory bird watching. This estuary has special protection by the US Environmental Protection Agency as one of 28 estuaries of national significance.
4) Kayaking or Canoeing New Hampshire’s Lakes, Rivers, and Streams
Floating or paddling through sun-dappled waters offers one of the most immersive and relaxing ways to enjoy sun-dappled waters and the radiant hues of Fall. You your pick of 944 lakes and over 41,800 miles of rivers and streams, lined with trees dancing with the deep and textured colors of fall here in New Hampshire. Here’s a great resource from Visit NH that lists outfitters and guides, if you don’t own a kayak or canoe of your own. We recommend checking out the Androscoggin River, originating in Errol, NH or Grafton Pond, with almost 300 acres of uninterrupted shoreline, near Enfield, NH. Check out Contoocook River Canoe Company, conveniently located for even a short trip down the Contoocook.
5) It’s Not A New England Fall Foliage Tour Without A Covered Bridge
The quaint, college town of Henniker, NH is home to what is known as the New England College Covered Bridge, which crosses the Contoocook River. Stop around lunchtime and grab a bite to eat at Daniel’s Restaurant overlooking the river.
If you want to traverse the oldest, and one of the most scenic covered bridges in NH, travel to Woodsville, NH and visit the Bath-Haverill Bridge. Built in 1829 the bridge adds charm to the landscape with its lattice truss construction, a method covered bridge enthusiasts can tell you isn’t often employed anymore. The bridge is closed to traffic and there is a pedestrian bridge attached.
Peak Fall Foliage Experiences
Figuring out when to catch the peak foliage in NH can be tricky. Check VisitNH.gov’s Fall Foliage Tracker often, and begin planning your water-focused leaf peeping excursions today.