Finding fall foliage in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region

Kayaking on pond at Pillsbury State Park

It’s almost as if Mother Nature flipped a switch, and boom, there’s a fall feel in the air.  With more seasonable temperatures here, perhaps the trees will take their cue and dazzle us with their seasonal display of fiery colors. We’ve seen some nice pops of color on the routes we’ve traveled so far this season but we’re still waiting for the really big show. We headed to the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region to see how the colors there are coming along.

Forest of trees with a boardwalk going through it


Bradford Bog

If you haven’t heard of Bradford Bog before, you’re not alone.  I hadn’t either, so didn’t really know what to expect.  This remote, secluded area is located a bit off the beaten path in the small town of Bradford.  When you arrive, you’ll see a boardwalk that leads into the woods.  The walk through the woods is quiet and peaceful and in only about ten minutes you’ll be at an observation tower that overlooks the bog and surrounding hillsides.  The color has yet to fully develop here, but it was still a really cool place to explore.  If you visit in the spring and early summer you’ll find a variety of wildflowers blooming along the trail.

Pepperoni, mushroom and cheese pizzas in a deli case

Muffins, and other baked goods in a case

From Bradford, we traveled west but had to make a stop when we came upon Marzelli Deli in Newbury.  We always like to sample the local flavor on our road trip, and this was a great find! The aroma of just out of the oven New York Style pizza filled the air.  Then there were the homemade muffins, cookies and other baked goods!  Yum! We grabbed a cup of coffee and…another treat or two and got back on the road, fueled up and ready to go!

View from the top of Mt Sunapee of surrounding mountains and Lake Sunapee

Foliage at Mt Sunapee

From Marzelli’s Deli we continued down Route 103 enroute to Mount Sunapee.  Higher elevations always give a great perspective of the surrounding area.  So we headed for the summit. On weekends during the fall ride the chairlift up to take in the magnificent mountain views.  The Mountain has scheduled a few fall-themed events including a fall festival on the weekend of October 7th.

Biking along Sugar River Rail Trail

After summiting Sunapee, we got back on the road and headed to Newport.  We decided to take some of the back roads to get there, and it was really a nice ride with little traffic and some nice color.  Once in town, we headed to the Sugar River Recreational Rail Trail for a bit of biking.  The trail, about 10 miles long, follows the Sugar River from Newport to Claremont.

Bike along Sugar River Trail with Covered Bridge in background

Covered Bridge over the Sugar River in Newport

Biking on path leading into Covered Bridge

A really cool feature of the Sugar River trail, is the two historic covered bridges you come to along the route:  the the Wrights Bridge and the Pier Bridge.  You can ride (or walk) through them AND, they’re within about a mile of each other! Both bridges are easily accessible from the road, so you don’t have to bike the trail to see them.  You really don’t get a sense of just how massive and tall they are until you’re right in front of them.

Tree with red leaves on a quiet road


Washington Town Center with several buildings

From Newport, we were off to Washington via Route 10 and through Goshen.  I would have to say this was the most colorful part of our trek so far.  Once we got on Route 10 in Goshen, we saw quite a bit of color along the roadsides.  If you haven’t been to Washington, you’re in for a treat. Talk about quintessential, charming, small town New England.  That is definitely Washington. The historic town center is a lovely spot for a photo opp during the fall foliage season, and really any time of the year.  Couple of cool facts about Washington:  1) Washington, NH, it the first town incorporated in the name of President George Washington, and 2) Washington, at 1532 feet, is the highest town center in the state of NH!

Exterior of Gibson Pewter

Display of various pewter pieces at Gibson Pewter

New Hampshire is home to some incredibly talented artisans, many have open studios that provide the opportunity to watch the artists at work. One of those artists is second-generation pewterer Jon Gibson. His studio, Gibson Pewter is just a few steps away from the town center.  We stopped by to see him at work in his 200 year old post-and-beam barn.  Very cool to see what goes into the crafting of each piece.

Foliage and kayaker at Pillsbury State Park

Sunset at Pillsbury State Park

From town, we headed up Route 10 to wrap up our day with a little paddling at Pillsbury State Park.  What a beautiful spot! There are so many ponds and wetlands here.  And camping too! If you happen to time it right, you may even see some wildlife.   We had a pretty scenic ride today, and now that the temps have dropped we’re anticipating more color to develop over the coming week.  For the driving directions of the route we took check below.  And a reminder to follow @LiveFreeWithKris on Facebook and Instagram for updates throughout the fall season.  Until next time Live Free With Kris!

Driving Directions

Starting at Bradford Bog, take East Washington Road, to West Meadow Road to S Road, then turn left onto NH 103 West in Newbury. Route 103 will take you to Marzelli Deli, from there follow until NH-103A N, then take a slight left onto NH-103B S, then continue onto Mt Sunapee Access Road for your next stop.  From Sunapee, take Route 103 West toward Newport, follow this road until you come to Bradford Road. Follow Bradford Road to Elm Street. Follow Elm Street and then take a right onto 103 West/ Route 11 West.  Turn left onto Chandlers Mill Road, and you will come to an access point for the Sugar River Recreational Trail.  When you leave Newport, head east on Route 103/ Route 11 East.  Take a right onto Unity Road, follow that until you come to Pollard Mills Road on the left. Stay on Pollards Mills Road, until you come to Route 10 South – turn right here.  Follow Route 10 through Goshen, then continue on Route 31 South to Washington. You will find the Gibson Pewter right next door to the historic town center.  From here, head back up Route 31 to Pillsbury State Park.













2018-08-27T11:34:37-04:00Tags: , , , , |