For the Love of Lupines! Bring your camera

Road Trip Time!

It’s a beautiful time of year for a road trip to New Hampshire.  For anyone who enjoys a scenic drive I’ve got just the place.  Head to the Franconia Notch area and keep your eyes out for beautiful spikes of purple, pink, blue and white along the roadsides.  I’m talking about lupines, lots and lots of lupines.

Field of lupines with mountain range

Celebrating a wildflower

A month long festival, known as the Celebration of Lupines , pays homage to the arrival of this iconic wildflower.  People come from all over to capture these blooms in all their glory.  While the flowers bloom in other parts of the state, they’re particularly picturesque around Sugar Hill. You really can’t beat the striking scene created with these beautiful blooms against the backdrop of the Franconia, Presidential, and Kinsman Mountain ranges.  In a word, breathtaking.

Pink and purple lupines in a field

Blooms in June

So when is the best time to see the lupines?  Every year, right around the beginning of June you’ll start to see a vibrant sea of color in the local fields and pastures.

Don’t miss stops

If you’re headed to the area one of the best places to see the seasonal sight is in Sugar Hill.  From Franconia, head toward Sugar Hill and turn onto Route 117. Follow this road and you really can’t miss them.


Right across the road from the now closed Sugar Hill Sampler, you can walk through the lupines on a specially mowed path.  Read the inspirational poetry along the way.   Two other spots not to miss if you’re headed this way are Polly’s Pancake Parlor  where you’ll find made from scratch pancakes and waffles served with pure New Hampshire made syrup; and Harman’s Cheese & Country Store  which boats the “world’s greatest” cheddar cheese in their quaint, classic country setting.



Festival organizers, the Franconia Regional Chamber of Commerce have put together a map of where to see the lupines on the region’s scenic roads and byways.  So what are you waiting for? Grab your map and go, the blooms will only be around a little while longer!








  1. Gene June 11, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Go to NH each fall, last week in Sept., always go to Sugarhill and stop at all three places. Good food, Polly’s, great cheeses at Harman’s and many bargains at the Sampler. A must visit for anyone in the area, great fall foliage drive from Lincoln.

    • kneilsen June 12, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Hi Gene,
      Glad to hear you have such a nice time when you visit New Hampshire in the fall. It’s a beautiful time to visit! Thanks for your feedback!

  2. Pratap September 25, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Hi Kris,

    Planning to visit white mountains on 10/14,10/15 from New Jersey. Will that be too late to view the fall colors?

    • kneilsen September 25, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      Hi! Thanks for the question. Historically peak foliage in the White Mountains and further south in the state is right around the second week in October, so you’re timing looks like it might be perfect this year. That said, it is always difficult to predict how quickly the leaves will turn and when. Things have slowed down a bit with the warmer weather we’ve been having, but if things start to cool down again the changing of the leaves will likely pick back up. We do have warm weather in the forecast this week, at least until Thursday. I hope that helps and hope you enjoy your trip to NH!

      • Pratap Penmetsa September 25, 2017 at 9:42 pm

        Thanks a lot Kris for the nice insight into the local conditions.
        We are waiting to enjoy he fall experience at NH.

        • kneilsen September 26, 2017 at 9:05 am

          Thank you for the nice feedback! I hope you have a wonderful experience in NH this fall season!

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