10 Things to do in New Hampshire in Fall

If you are visiting New England in the fall, be sure to visit New Hampshire. New Hampshire has lakes, mountains, including New England’s tallest peak Mt. Washington, and brightly colored leaves as far as the eye can see. Last week, I shared my New Hampshire long weekend road trip foliage itinerary. Today I am continuing my discussion about fall in New Hampshire by sharing my favorite things to do in New Hampshire in the fall.

New Hampshire in October
View of a farm and apple grove from the Conroy Scenic Train ride

1. Take a Scenic Drive

The Kancamangus

The most famous New Hampshire foliage drive is over the White Mountains on the Kancamangus Highway (Route 112). This 35-mile ride provides some of the best scenery in New England.

Bear Notch Road, Bartlett

Although this drive is shorter at 9 miles, this road that connects the town of Bartlett to the Kancamangus is less busy and just as beautiful.

2. Take a Casual Hike

There are so many family hikes to choose from in New Hampshire. Read Hikes around Lincoln for some ideas.

3.Mountain Bike

A few ski mountains will rent you bikes. Then you take the ski lifts up with your mountain bike and ride down the ski mountains. Read on for a complete list of participating ski resorts.

4. Zip Line through the Leaves

Read on for a list of zip lining adventures in the White Mountains.

5. Take a Gondola up a Ski Mountain for a View

places to see in New Hampshire in the fall
Lake Winnipesaukee from Mill Falls on the Lake

I have been to the top of both Cranmore Mountain and Loon Mountain. They have panoramic views of the area without putting in much effort. At the top of Loon Mountain, you will find caves. Read more about what to do around Loon in fall. You can also hike any of the mountains to get the same amazing views.

6. Take a Foliage Cruise

You can take a private foliage cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee on a pontoon boat or choose a dinner cruise on a large boat.

7. Walk up the Saco River

Take a ramble anywhere along the Saco River to see reflections of the trees in this rocky river. You can also throw in a fishing pole.

8. Find at Least One Covered Bridge

things to do in New Hampshire in autumn
Albany Covered Bridge

The red bridges look gorgeous surrounded by New England fall colors. There is even one you will pass on your drive over the Kancamagus- the Albany Covered Bridge.

Read on for a complete list of New Hampshire’s covered bridges.

9. Take a Scenic Train Ride

We love the short foliage trip on Conway Scenic Railroad. You will see apple orchards, forests, rivers, fields, and mountains covered in fall colors. I would recommend trying to get a seat on the side of the train opposite the station.

If you really love a train ride, check out the best scenic train rides in North America and consider taking the 5-hour ride on the Conway Mountaineer. This ride in a World War 2 era train travels through the Mount Washington Valley and over the Crawford Notch. There is even a first-class dining car.

10. Hike a Mountain

New Hampshire in fall
It is hard to find a spot alone on the top of Mount Major, but there are a few spots available.

The most popular mountain to climb is Mount Washington, but you will need to be in great shape to do this treacherous climb. It is on my list to do, but I want to do it in two days, staying at the backpacking cabins on my way up.

For a moderate mountain that you can climb in half a day, I highly recommend Mount Major. The views of the lakes and Mount Washington are spectacular.  You can read all about my adventure hiking it.

Another choice closer to Boston is  Mount Monadnock. 

I hope this article has helped you plan your fall trip to New Hampshire. If you have any questions, please ask in the comments.

Read on for things to do in New Hampshire in the fall. #newengland #fallinnewengland #NewHamphshire

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13 thoughts on “10 Things to do in New Hampshire in Fall”

  1. Such a beautiful fall region. I love that you get to see trees of all types because then you are blessed with reds, oranges, and yellows! This looks like the perfect place to go to for a fall getaway with hot chocolate and some warm clothes.

    Reply
  2. New Hampshire reminds me so much of Michigan in a lot of areas. Then all of a sudden there’s a mountain and I’m like, oh yeah – definitely not MI hahahah My partner and I have been trying to plan a North East road trip for all the fall colors so this article is perfect, and it covers all our favorite things to do! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  3. Ah, the covered bridges! I remember these from a movie. Such a beautiful part of the world to visit. I can’t see myself hiking the mountain but looking at that lake, the scenic drive and zip-lining sound awesome.

    Reply
  4. Now I would prefer all the hiking and backpacking in early fall months in New Hampshire for sure. But my wife I know for a fact would love to take a private foliage cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee or ride the Conway Scenic Railroad! We just did a similar one in the Great Smoky Mountains and she loved it! I think between the train and finding the occasional classic wooden bridge like the Albany Red Bridge, I could earn enough bonus points to keep me out of trouble until New Years Eve!!

    Reply
  5. This might sound crazy but I didn’t realize there were mountains in New Hampshire? lol learn something new every day! The bridge is also beautiful. We have many like that at home in Kentucky so we always feel like it’s a special treat to find one!

    Reply
  6. What a beautiful area and with so much to do – zip-lines, gondolas, train rides and hikes! I’d love to do them all and take in that gorgeous autumn foliage at the same time. Thanks for putting the region on my radar.

    Reply
  7. I love New Hampshire and New England in general. I have only been once for my honeymoon back in 2010 and I was there in early September, and I just missed out on the changing of the leaves. I was gutted. I think it started a week after I left. I really do need to come back and see the beautiful forests in the fall. Really love the photography on the post, making me miss the USA even more.

    Reply
  8. While every one of these activities seems amazing (okay, except maybe the ziplining, because I’m terrified of heights), I think a covered bridge surrounded by New Hampshire fall foliage would take the cake!

    Reply

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