Each Autumn (Fall) in New Hampshire Mother Nature provides a spectacle of colour unmatched anywhere else in the USA. Offering not only spectacular foliage, but a wide variety of ways to enjoy the harvest hues of nature’s artistry, the White Mountains region offers plenty of great ways to see it from the seat of a car, train, bike, chairlift or zip-line.
Here are some conventional and a few unconventional suggestions for viewing Mt. Washington Valley's foliage. Why not try them all!
From the seat of a train:
Mt. Washington Valley offers a host of train rides year round, and Autumn rides add that spectacle of colour through September and October. Take a seat on the Mt. Washington Cog Railway train and ride to the top of Mt. Washington, the tallest peak in the Northeast, or enjoy fabulous scenic tours to Conway, Bartlett and Crawford Notch on the Conway Scenic Railroad.
From the seat of a car:
Washington Valley is renowned for its fall foliage scenic drives, including the Kancamagus Highway, the country's only scenic byway loop. Take a ‘Sunday’ drive through the mountains any day of the week and discover picnic sites, swimming holes, wildlife and family attractions along the way.
From the Top of the Notch:
Take a scenic drive from Crawford Notch to Bretton Woods or Pinkham Notch to Gorham. The drives offer everything from ridge top vistas and rock formations to moose sightings. Be sure to have the camera ready because around every turn there's a new surprise.
From the Moose Van:
Take a ride along the picturesque Androscoggin River and into the 13-Mile Woods area or travel into "Moose Alleys" in other parts of the Valley on a choice of spectacular and scenic Moose/Wildlife Tour – as many as 23 moose have been spotted in one tour. Tours include talks on folklore and historic features of the region.
From a Gondola, Chair Lift or Zipline:
Autumn is the time of year to take in the spectacular vistas from Mt. Washington Valley's mountaintops. For those who'd rather not hike up, take the lift. A scenic ride on the Wildcat Gondola or the high-speed quad at Attitash or Bretton Woods offers fabulous picnic grounds and views into Mt. Washington's Tuckerman Ravine and the whole Bartlett region. For a truly "zipalicious" view of foliage, try the zip line at Wildcat, the Canopy Tour at Bretton Woods, high ropes courses at Monkey Trunks, Soaring Eagle at Cranmore Adventure or the new ZipTour at Attitash – the longest single zipline span in the East!
From the Pumpkin People Tour:
Each year, a highlight of foliage season is the return of the ‘Pumpkin People’ a tradition now in its 28th year. Businesses throughout Mt. Washington Valley create whimsical displays of pumpkin people; the only requirements being that the heads are made of pumpkins. You can take a self-guided tour of the pumpkin people and vote on your favourite.
From the seat of a golf cart:
Many of Mt Washington Valley's golf courses remain open throughout October, offering golfers picturesque holes and challenging courses. This is the time to enjoy golf at Mt Washington Valley's eleven courses, all within a 45-minute drive from North Conway, NH.
From a cosy B&B or inn, motel, hotel or family resort:
Mt. Washington Valley is well known for its wide variety of accommodation options. More than fifty country inns and B&B's offer cosy and romantic retreats, while the region's motels, hostels and campgrounds provide additional options for those seeking getaways on a budget. Family resorts, condos, vacation rentals and timeshare properties round out the offerings, so there's something for everyone.
From the Seat of a Bike:
Mt. Washington Valley offers ideal biking terrain for those looking for gentle back roads that will take them through covered bridges and past farms and meadows to extreme off-road slick track. In fact, New Hampshire was recently named among the most cycle-friendly states in the USA.
From the table in the dining room:
Mt. Washington Valley offers more dining with a view than any other New England destination. Whether it's overlooking North Conway with Cranmore Mountain front and centre for the White Mountain Hotel’s dining room, to a fabulous view of the Moat Mountains and Presidentials from Darby Field Inn, you'll find spectacular dining with a view throughout Mt. Washington Valley. Try the Omni Mount Washington Hotel at the base of the grand dame, Mount Washington, or on the deck at the Muddy Moose Restaurant and Pub or overlooking the 18th hole and Cathedral Ledge beyond at the North Conway Country Club
New Hampshire is surrounded by Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine and the town of North Conway, NH in the Mt Washington Valley, is located in the heart of the White Mountains. For more visit www.mtwashingtonvalley.org Photo credits: Albany Covered Bridge – photo by Dan Houde/Wiseguy Creative Photograhy; A display of Pumpkin People compliments of the Red Parka Pub – photo by Dan Houde/Wiseguy Creative Photograhy; Conway Scenic Railroad’s Notch Train Ride at Elephant’s Head in Crawford Notch – Conway Scenic RR photo; Conway Scenic Railroad’s Notch Train at Frankenstein Tresle – Conway Scenic RR photo; Bretton Woods Canopy Tour with autumn color – Photo by Mark Butterfield; Fall Colors and the Omni Mt Washington Hotel – Photo by Mark Butterfield.