Best time to travel to New Hampshire

New Hampshire Fall Colors

The state where your dose of fall foliage resides

New Hampshire Fall Colors
New Hampshire Fall Colors
New Hampshire Fall Colors
New Hampshire Fall Colors
Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire

Mid-September through mid-October is when colorful fall foliage rushes over New Hampshire, and it usually unveils itself from northwest to southeast. For a true leaf peeping adventure, take a scenic drive along Route 112 or the so-called Kancamagus Highway winding between Lincoln and North Conway.

You will find Crawford Notch and Franconia Notch state parks a bit further north, where vistas are at their finest. Here, you will also find a cluster of crystal lakes in the area's Lakes Region. Squam and Winnipesaukee lakes add some blue to the autumnal landscapes of The Granite State.

New Hampshire boasts an abundance of towns for leaf peepers. Just look through the list below, bring your camera, and go on an adventure!


There may be no better way to see foliage than by train, and the Conway Scenic Railroad is your ticket to unforgettable views. Jump on board and go through White Mountain clefts lit by the colors of fall. Also, consider trekking to Diana’s Baths, a picturesque chain of swimming holes and waterfalls.

Waterville Valley

Discover an unbelievable U-shaped mountain range that cradles Waterville Valley. This region becomes especially beautiful as the autumn colors light up the slopes. That's why this region's abundant hiking pathways look so inviting for so many outdoor enthusiasts.


Pleated between the woody foothills of the White Mountains and the loon-rich banks of Squam Lake, Sandwich village offers plenty of driving routes, hiking trails, and an alluring downtown scene. But if your visit coincides with the 100-year-old Sandwich Fair, you would have even more fun: livestock competitions, midway rides, and much more.


Welcome to a beautiful village bordered by 19th-century buildings, accompanied by orchards, farms, and the Connecticut River, of course. The views at Alyson’s Orchard, one of the best orchards in the country, are definitely heart-stopping. Just come and see for yourself.


Hanover is famous for its lush landscapes. The Appalachian Trail, the Connecticut River, and all the nearby mountains will certainly take your breath away. To take in all the beauty around, you can rent a kayak or canoe from the nation’s oldest boating club—Ledyard Canoe Club.


Surrounded by the White Mountains and girded by numerous hiking paths, Jackson is the gem of the Whites. The town sees its inns filled with skiers throughout the winter, but you've never seen a place like this before during fall. Here you can take in 5 mi (8 km) of the stunning mountain scenery along Jackson Scenic Loop. You can discover it by car, by bike, or on foot.

Fall Foliage Drives

New England can offer a load of amazing fall foliage drives, but the Kancamagus Highway or simply the Kanc in the White Mountains is the most famous. Evans Notch (Route 113) provides a quieter alternative to the Kanc. It begins and ends in Maine, but along the New Hampshire border, this route is winding, steep, and truly unforgettable. You can also choose to drive around Squam Lake and Lake Winnipesaukee, which offer outstanding views of mountains and water altogether.

Where to Stay

If you've made a choice to visit New Hampshire during the fall foliage period, the state has an endless list of hotels, lodgings, and inns to offer. But campsites continue to be particularly popular around New Hampshire. All-time favorites are Mead Explorer Base Camp near Sandwich and Hampton Beach State Park Campground near Walpole.

New Hampshire Fall Colors Map

The map below depicts top fall foliage viewing locations across New Hampshire. These places are mentioned above with more details. Pick your destination and hit the road!

Practical info

When is the best time to see fall foliage in New Hampshire?

The period from mid-September till mid-October marks the best time to view the fall foliage display in New Hampshire. The leaves transform into vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow, starting from the northwest and spreading southeast. The state recommends consulting the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism for updates on the foliage season duration each year, as it varies depending on weather conditions. Show more

Where are the best places to see fall foliage in New Hampshire besides Kancamagus Highway?

Apart from the Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire has various other scenic locations for viewing fall foliage. Crawford and Franconia Notch State Parks and lakes such as Squam and Winnipesaukee offer magnificent overlooking vistas. Diana's Baths with its waterfalls and swimming holes is another scenic spot. Additionally, towns like Sandwich, Hanover and Jackson provide picturesque views. Show more

What outdoor activities can you do in New Hampshire during the fall season?

New Hampshire offers many outdoor activities in the fall season, including strolling through the White Mountains and Lakes Region's nature trails, hiking, scenic train rides, boat rides, kayaking or canoeing on its many bodies of water. Sporting activities like fishing, rock-climbing, Ziplining, ATV excursions, and camping are also popular during this period. Show more

Where can you rent a kayak or canoe in Hanover to explore Connecticut River?

The Ledyard Canoe Club is the oldest club in America offering kayaking, rowing, and canoeing courses and rentals to explore Connecticut River, and is situated at Dartmouth College campus waterfront in Hanover. Another option for rentals is the Mascoma River Greenway Kayak & Canoe near the downtown area of Hanover, which allows visitors to explore the river close to the town proper. Show more

What are some popular campsites for leaf peepers in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire has many campsites near leaf-peeping areas like Mead Explorer Base Camp near Sandwich, Hampton Beach State Park Campground near Walpole, and Jigger Johnson Campground in the White Mountains. These campsites provide beautiful scenery and a unique camping experience among the autumn colors of the state. Show more

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Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva