The fall foliage in New Hampshire may have started a little bit later than usual due to some unseasonably warm weather in September, but the colors right now in many areas of the state sure are captivating. We saw some incredible shades of peach, coral, red and yellow lining the roads throughout the Lakes Region. Come along to see the show Mother Nature has in store for you!
What an incredible way to see Newfound Lake, from the summit of Little Sugarloaf! Just take the Elwell Trail, about a 15 or so minute hike up before the trail opens up to a spectacular view of one of the state’s most pristine lakes. The trail is located on the western side of the lake, with the trailhead located off West Shore Road. It’s accessible year round for hiking, walking and wildlife viewing! It’s also pet friendly, as long as your pet is kept on a leash.
If a stroll along the beach is more your style, just across the road from the trail is Wellington State Park. Stop by, walk along the sandy shore and enjoy the peace and quiet of a crisp fall day in New Hampshire. You might even find you have the place to yourself, a stark contrast from the very active summer season. As the largest freshwater swimming beach of all NH State Park’s it’s very popular on summer holidays and weekends. During summer, besides swimming, enjoy fishing, boating and nature trails too!
Fall sure is looking fantastic in this part of the state, our drive from Newfound to Groton was dazzling. So many pops of color! We were in Groton to see the Sculptured Rocks Natural Area. I’ve never been, but heard it’s a must stop when you’re in the area, and we were indeed in the area! The area spans just over 270 acres. I am in awe of the power of nature when I see things like this. This was formed thousands of years ago, when the Cockermouth River carved a narrow canyon in the bedrock on its way to Newfound Lake creating really cool shaped rocks and potholes. Definitely awesome.
After leaving Sculptured Rocks, we drove around the other side of Newfound and back to Bristol, all along the way enjoying the captivating colors of fall. Once in Bristol we found the perfect place to refuel: The Purple Pit! Their Hot Mocha Nut really hits the spot on a brisk fall day. Be sure to check their events calendar, as they offer live music in the Purple Pit Jazz Club!
Just outside the Purple Pit in Bristol’s Central Square be sure to check out the collection of scarecrows that are part of the Bristol Fall Scarecrow Decorating Contest. Residents and businesses have created some clever creations for the annual event that’s organized every year by the Bristol Community Events Committee.
From Bristol, we made our way to Holderness to stop at one of my fav places, the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center. There’s so much to explore and discover at the science center. Let’s start with the wildlife! Bears, fox, otters, bobcats, turtles, raptors, fishers, mountain lions and we’re just getting started. If you like wildlife, this is a great place to see it up close. The self-guided tour takes you around the live animal exhibit trail while exploring hand-on educational exhibits.
While at the center explore some of the great hiking trails. If you plan a visit during the summer months, consider checking out the Squam Lake Cruises, a great way to get out on Squam and learn about the wildlife, ecology and history of the area.
From Holderness we headed to Gilford enjoying a most colorful drive along the way! We came to Gilford to stop at Beans & Greens Farm. Fall in New Hampshire means corn mazes and we heard they’ve carved out quite a challenging course in their corn. This is the 15th year the folks here have been designing this fun fall event. On average it takes about an hour to navigate through. The maze has questions and riddles to solve and be sure to check out the cool bridges they’ve built into it. If you’re brave enough, try the haunted corn maze open on weekend nights. Beans & Greens also has a fantastic farm stand with an amazing array of fruits & veggies, baked goods, there’s a children’s play area and barnyard animals too!
From Gilford, we headed to Laconia and Ahern State Park. We started our day with hiking, and thought we would end it with some biking. Ahern has some great single tracks for more experienced riders, and double tracks for those looking to just cruise around and enjoy the lakeside views.
Ahern spans about 128 acres, with 3,500 feet of shoreline located right on Lake Winnisquam. We thought what a perfect, quiet spot to wrap up our day. Foliage sure seems to be hitting its stride in the Lakes Region, be sure to catch this color while you can. For driving directions to the route we took check below. As always, be sure to follow @LiveFreeWithKris on Facebook and Instagram for updates throughout the fall season. Until next time Live Free With Kris.
From the Elwell Trail, cross West Shore Road in Bristol to Wellington State Park. From Wellington, head northwest on West Shore Road, turn left onto Groton Road, follow it to Sculptured Rocks Road in Hebron. Leaving Sculptured Rocks, head east on Sculptured Rocks Road, toward Hardy Country Road, continue straight onto Groton Road, to North Shore Rd, then turn right onto NH-3A S, follow this road into Bristol, then turn right onto Central Square Street, and the Purple Pit. From here, get out to NH-104 East, follow this road toward New Hampton. In New Hampton, get onto I-93 North. Take Exit 24 off I-93, turn right onto NH-25 East/US-3 South, follow to NH-113, take that left, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center will be on the left. Leaving the Science Center, take NH-113 back to US-3 South, follow this road until NH-11 B South. Stay on this road and Beans & Greens will be on your left. Leaving Beans & Greens, follow NH-11B North to NH-11 W, follow this road to Laconia, then turn right onto Elm Street. Follow Elm Street to North Main Street/Parade Road and turn left. Follow this road to Ahern Park Road, on the right, follow the signs into the park.