13 Best Places to See New Hampshire Fall Foliage in 2023

There are tons of incredible places to see New Hampshire Fall foliage and this post isn’t just going to show you 13 specific places for that, but also the best times to visit each spot to catch the peak colors.

Usually the best times to see peak fall foliage in New Hampshire is around early October (first 2-3 weeks), but that’s usually around the southern half of the state. Anything beyond (the northern half), you’ll want to go anywhere between the last week of September through the first 2 weeks of October.

Here are 13 of the best places to see New Hampshire Fall foliage (in 2023):

new hampshire fall foliage picture

  1. Cannon Mountain.
  2. Flume Gorge.
  3. Lost River Gorge.
  4. Beaver Pond.
  5. Mount Washington.
  6. Artist Bluff Overlook.
  7. Franconcia Notch Parkway.
  8. Conway Scenic Railroad.
  9. Wildcat Mountain.
  10. Mount Willard Trail.
  11. Jericho Mountain State Park.
  12. Stark Covered Bridge.
  13. Sugarloaf Mountain.

1) Cannon Mountain:

new hampshire fall foliage cannon mountain

Location and details:

Cannon Mountain NH is one of the most popular destinations within the White Mountains and it’s also easily accessible place from Interstate 93. There are many reasons why I am recommending you go to Cannon Mountain to see amazing New Hampshire fall foliage views and here’s a few:

  1. There is a gondola ride you can take to see the autumn colors all around you.
  2. Cannon Mountain is also located right by a bunch of other mountains in the region, giving you awesome views all around of the autumn colors.
  3. Because it’s so easily accessible and you can hike or reach the top of the mountain with the gondola ride, there’s also a lot of 360 views of the region there to see.

Best time to see peak fall foliage in Cannon Mountain New Hampshire:

Typically the 1st-3rd week of October is the best time to see fall foliage here.

2) Flume Gorge:

new hampshire fall foliage flume gorge picture

Location and details:

Flume Gorge is also a very popular spot inside the White Mountains area and it’s not very far from Cannon Mountain either. It’s a 2+ mile hike that has you cross covered bridges, gorge waterfalls and more and while I personally think the hike is OK (at least compared to other hikes I’ve seen and done in the White Mountains), when you add fall colors to it, it becomes a lot better and this is why I’m adding it to the list. There are 2 things to know before you go to Flume Gorge New Hampshire and they are:

  1. There is a $20+ fee per person for the hike.
  2. The hike is pretty moderate in difficulty, but it is great for kids and most people.

Best time to see peak fall foliage in Flume Gorge:

I would recommend the 2nd or 3rd week of October to see amazing fall foliage here.

3) Lost River Gorge:

new hampshire fall foliage lost river gorge picture

Location and details:

Lost River Gorge is located 15 minutes west of North Woodstock New Hampshire and it’s also very close to Flume Gorge and Cannon Mountain. This is another paid attraction that gives you access to a beautiful step trail. You’ll start by walking down many stairs to see a bunch of waterfalls and rivers, and the entire time you will be surrounded by amazing fall foliage. Another great add on attraction within the Lost River Gorge NH area is that this hike is full of boulders with lamps which add even more beauty to this trail. 

Best time to see peak fall foliage in Lost River Gorge:

I’m also going to recommend visiting Lost River Gorge around the 2nd or 3rd week of October as well.

4) Beaver Pond:

new hampshire fall foliage beaver pond picture

Location and details:

This is 5 minutes from Lost River Gorge so whether or not you visit that attraction, you can still easily come here before/after. Beaver Pond in my opinion is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited in the White Mountains. It’s a small pond with picnic tables. You also have the option to kayak on the pond. The Appalachian Trail also passes by it and there are some unmarked trails around Beaver Pond to check out too but when it comes to New Hampshire Fall foliage, this place is a stunning spot to visit and it’s also completely free to go here as well. 

Best time to see peak fall foliage in Beaver Pond:

Also the 2nd or 3rd week in October.

5) Mount Washington:

mount washington new hampshire fall foliage

Location and details:

Mount Washington is a must visit for New Hampshire fall foliage. Because it’s the highest mountain there, you are going to get the furthest views of the fall colors from everywhere around you and there are also plenty of attractions and trails around Mount Washington itself that’ll give you great views of that as well. The good news about this mountain is that you have plenty of options in how you explore it, including being able to drive to the very top of it if you don’t wish to do any hiking.

Best time to see peak fall foliage in Mount Washington:

I would recommend going here during the 2nd week of October because you will likely see great fall views not just from the top of Mount Washington itself but also from the other mountains around it too.

6) Artist Bluff Overlook:

new hampshire fall foliage artist bluff overlook picture

Location and details:

Artist Bluff is located very close to Cannon Mountain and it’s basically one of the top 5 overlooks in the state. I’ve done this hike before and there’s a short, but fairly steep 1/4 mile hike to get to the overlook (a large parking lot is available nearby). Once you’re there, you’ll see Cannon Mountain, Echo Lake and a few other mountains in the Franconcia Notch State Park area, which makes it one of the best places to see New Hampshire fall foliage. There’s even a good chance you won’t even want to hike or visit another overlook after because this may very well be the top spot for you.

Best time to see peak fall foliage in Artist Bluff overlook:

I would recommend anything within the first half of October (week 1 through 3).

7) Franconcia Notch Parkway:

new hampshire fall foliage scenic road (1)

Location and details:

Scenic drives are another great way to catch New Hampshire fall foliage and the Franconcia Notch Parkway is easily the top choice for that. It’s located on Interstate 93 and the specific scenic section of that is when you cross the White Mountains, through Franconcia Notch State Park. On this drive you will see a bunch of mountains including Cannon Mountain and others, but besides stopping at each one if you wish, the drive itself might be one of the best you ever take. I consider Franconcia Notch Parkway to be one of the most scenic drives in North America and have done it several times.

Best time to see peak fall foliage while driving through Franconcia Notch Parkway:

Typically the 2nd week of October is when you’d see incredible fall foliage on this drive.

8) Conway Scenic Railroad:

new hampshire fall foliage train ride picture

Location and details:

Conway Scenic Railroad Station is located east of the White Mountains and it’s the most popular scenic train ride in the state to see New Hampshire Fall foliage (there are other great options too though). This ride takes you through a 50+ mile loop trip through the White Mountains. 

If you’re reading this now in 2023 while fall foliage is going on, there’s a good chance that it’ll be very difficult and even impossible to get a reservation to do this ride (because it’s so popular). Ideally you should try and reserve a spot for this ride several months before October, which is when the fall foliage begins. 

Best time to see peak fall foliage on the Conway Scenic Railroad:

If you can do this ride during the first week of October, you’ll likely see a bunch of great fall foliage, but for peak colors, week 2 would be ideal. In a related note, there’s also scenic train rides in neighboring states where you can also see fall foliage.

For example, in my post on Vermont fall foliage, there’s a Green Mountain scenic railroad ride worth checking out (and that state is also great for fall foliage exploration). It’s very different than the Conway railroad option but there’s a lot of similarities and differences between the White Mountains vs Green Mountains too and you can totally see both when you do a fall foliage road trip here (additionally, there’s an entire post I made on the best places to see New England fall foliage too).

9) Wildcat Mountain:

new hampshire fall foliage wildcat mountain

Location and details:

Wildcat Mountain is located east of Mount Washington (you can see it from Mount Washington too) and it’s a very popular ski resort. But besides skiing, this is also a great place to visit for fall foliage colors. There’s hikes, gondola rides and much more (similar to Cannon Mountain). There’s also lodging available and my personal recommendation is the Glen House which is right outside Wildcat Mountain. There’s also incredible views of the White Mountains there and a bunch of other trails to explore.

Best time to see peak fall foliage in Wildcat Mountain:

For this area, week 2 or 3 of October is perfect for that.

10) Mount Willard Trail:

best places to see fall foliage in new hampshire crawford notch state park

Location and details:

Mount Willard is located within Crawford Notch State Park which is a top 3 spot in New Hampshire for hiking, waterfall explorations, scenic drives and more. But for New Hampshire fall foliage views, this is where in my opinion you’ll find the best view of it. The trail is about 3+ miles total and easy-intermediate, but once you reach the overlook area, it may very well match the beauty of Artist Bluff Overlook that I mentioned earlier. 

Best time to see peak fall foliage on the Mount Willard trail:

On this specific hike, the 2nd or even 3rd week in October is great to get amazing fall views.

11) Jericho Mountain State Park:

jericho mountain new hampshire fall foliage

Location and details:

Jericho Mountain State Park is located north of the White Mountains and in many ways the New Hampshire fall foliage views here are just as good as any you’d find in the White Mountains, except in this case, it’s less crowded. There are a lot of remote roads here but you can check out the park on a regular vehicle and do some hikes that’ll take you to incredible overlooks. There aren’t as many lodging options around this park, but there are campgrounds available.

Best time to see peak fall foliage in Jericho Mountain State Park:

In this park’s case, the last week of September through the 1st week of October would be ideal.

12) Stark Covered Bridge:

covered bridge new hampshire fall foliage

Location and details:

Stark Covered Bridge isn’t far from Jericho Mountain and I’m recommending this specific spot because it is a very scenic little bridge in a nice town with great fall views around it. But I’d only visit this place if you are already planning on seeing Jericho Mountain as it is a bit out of the way from the other locations mentioned throughout this list.

Best time to see peak fall foliage in Stark Covered Bridge:

Same thing as with Jericho Mountain (last week of September through early October).

13) Sugarloaf Mountain:

sugarloaf mountain new hampshire fall foliage

Location and details:

Sugarloaf Mountain is north west of Jericho Mountain. While on the pro end it’s great for seeing New Hampshire Fall foliage, on the con side it is located in a much more remote area of New Hampshire and the hike to get to the top of the mountain to see the great fall views is 3+ miles but strenuous. So I would only recommend visiting Sugarloaf Mountain if you are already planning to see Stark Covered Bridge and/or Jericho Mountain.

Best time to see peak fall foliage in Sugarloaf Mountain:

As with the last 2 options, the same timing applies here which is late September through the first week or two of October. You can also see a New Hampshire fall foliage tracker to make sure the peak times are happening in whichever spot above you wish to visit.

Other questions about seeing fall foliage in New Hampshire:

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

Peak fall foliage colors in New Hampshire are usually best between the last week of September through the 2nd week of October.

What road has fall foliage in New Hampshire?

There’s several roads in New Hampshire which have the best fall foliage views including Franconcia Notch Parkway, Moose Trail, and the Crawford Notch scenic drive.

Thank you for checking out my list of the best places to see New Hampshire fall foliage! If you have your own suggestions on specific locations in this state to also see it (it could be hikes, drives, towns, etc…), I’m happy to add them below, but if you’ve never visited New Hampshire then I hope the list above helps you have an awesome fall foliage experience there!

About the Nature Seeker author:

Hi my name's Vitaliy. I love nature travel and this blog encapsulates all of my adventures and top recommendations of what to see (and what to avoid).

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