There is nothing better than stepping outside of your home and being greeted by fall foliage. New Hampshire has some of the most beautiful and intensely changing leaves in the country. There are so many spots where you can enjoy the vibrant orange, reds, yellows, and pinks as plants get ready for winter. Follow along to discover when leaves change color in New Hampshire and 5 must-visit towns with beautiful foliage you won’t want to miss!
When do Leaves Change Color in New Hampshire?
If you’re wondering when leaves change color in New Hampshire, the answer is a bit complicated. The change in the leaves depends on the region. However, fall foliage is typically visible in New Hampshire from mid-September through mid-October. The ‘peak’ changes every year slightly. For more specifics, here is a recent Fall Foliage Report for September 2023. Currently, in mid-September, the area within New Hampshire with the most color change is the Great North Woods. The trees that change color are typically maple, oak beech, gum, willow, and birch.
5 New Hampshire Towns with Beautiful Foliage
Although we are only listing 5 towns, there are dozens and dozens of beautiful cities, towns, and villages to explore in New Hampshire that receive beautiful fall foliage. Narrowing it down wasn’t easy!
The first town on our list is Franconia. You’ll be blown away by the intensely colored fall leaves and how they fall in large piles. The cool weather is also perfect for taking walks and hikes throughout the town and its surrounding attractions. Franconia is a town in Grafton County with a population of a little over 1,000. This lovely town was incorporated in 1764 and has a rich history. However, what sets this town apart from others is the location!
Franconia sits in the White Mountains. Also, the lovely town is home to the northern half of Franconia Notch State Park, the White Mountain National Forest, and the Appalachian Trail. Although the town only has a population of a little over 1,000, the surface area is 65.8 square miles. Near the town and in the state park is Echo Lake where you can admire the fall foliage as it falls into the water.
North Conway is just as beautiful as Franconia. Technically, North Conway is a village within the town of Conway. It’s surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest to the west and north. While in the town, you can visit places like the North Conway 5 and 10 Cent Store, Echo Lake State Park, Conway Scenic Railroad, and Cranmore Mountain Resort.
North Conway is a charming village in eastern Carroll County. It has a population of about 2,000. The surface area of North Conway is 6.96 square miles. Many people travel to this small village and stay the night to brave the Cathedral Ledge, a popular rock-climbing point in Echo Lake State Park. The views during fall are breathtaking!
Another must-visit New Hampshire town for its stunning fall foliage is Laconia. This small town is a lot larger than the previous two on our list. The population is around 16,000, and growing. Laconia is in Belknap County. It was incorporated as a city in 1855. The surface area of this city is 26.08 square miles.
Laconia is a perfect place to visit in Autumn if you’re looking to relax and enjoy peaceful scenery. You can walk through downtown and admire the many mom-and-pop shops and restaurants. Laconia also hosts the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival. Imagine viewing gorgoes and bright fall foliage, while also carving and lighting the most pumpkins. In 2012, the yearly pumpkin count was 29,381.
Next on our list of the best places to see fall foliage in New Hampshire is Hanover along the Connecticut River in Grafton County. Hanover is home to Dartmouth College. The town has a population of around 11,000 and a surface area of 50.2 square miles. Hanover was incorporated in 1761.
Generally, the best time to see the leaves change in Hanover, the ‘peak’ is during the second or third week of October, although it changes. To see the vibrant red, orange, and yellow leaves, plan a picnic at a local park. Some local parks include Foley Park, Kendal Riverfront Park, Storrs Pond Recreation Area, and Mink Brook Nature Preserve.
Chesterfield is a must-visit for nature lovers who want to admire the changing seasons. This lovely town has a population of around 3,000 and a surface area of 47.5 square miles. Within this beautiful town are the villages of Spofford and West Chesterfield.
While here, you can take a walk within the Madame Sherri Forest and look up at the very tall trees. Bird watching is also a popular activity here. The forest is on the eastern slope of Wantastiquet Mountain. In the forest are the remains of Madame Sherri’s “castle”.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Loud Canvas/Shutterstock.com
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