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Fall is always just around the corner in New Hampshire, or so it seems.

Road trips through NH is a part of life, we love to see all the new things going on and the foliage is just wonderful!

The leaves turning, the leaf-peeping tourists beginning their scenic drives, and of course, the fall flavors that make their appearance in our recipes are all signs of fall in New Hampshire.

Autumn New Hampshire Scenic Drive

New Hampshire Fall Foliage Road Trip


Today we’re talking about our autumn weekend excursion through New Hampshire, the places we have visited and the things we like to do while taking a fall foliage road trip in New Hampshire. Join us on our journey!

Leaf peepers travel from all over the world to catch a glimpse of the New England fall foliage, the leaves turning from green to brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges before falling to the ground.

It’s just another day here for us, another day closer to the mountains of snow we’ll be shifting around for the next six months.

But nevertheless, the changing of the leaves here in New Hampshire is an amazing experience.

New Hampshire Fall Foliage

You may think, being a native to New England, we’ve seen it all. Well, we may have – but we too turn into tourists from time to time and hit the road, exploring the fall foliage ourselves!

We hop on the road and drive north, following the highway, winding through New Hampshire’s mountain ranges and stopping at a few of our favorite destinations.

We kind of have a ‘loop’ that we do, which includes a bit of hiking, some sightseeing, and shopping, too.

Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves


Our first stop is at Lost River. Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves is a cool place to visit while traveling through New Hampshire.

If you’re up for a short, easy hike, there are free trails to explore.

But, if you want something a bit more challenging, hike the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves.

Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves

You’ll be making your way through the gorge by way of a 1-mile hike and more than 1000 stair steps! Yes, more than 1000 stairs to hike.

It’s basically a 1-mile hike on stairs.

Keep in mind that the Statue of Liberty has only 354 steps, so if you’re not in the best shape, you may want to take it easy and pace yourself.

Lost River Gorge and Boulder Cave Stairs

Clark’s Trading Post


Next, we stop at Clark’s Trading Post to see the bears before they take their winter nap, and (hopefully!) outrun the Wolfman!

Clarks Trading Post puts on black bear shows, with trained black bears.

They do everything from play basketball to swing and balance on barrels.

It’s a fun show to see and learn all about black bears.

Clark's Trading Post Bear Show

The Wolfman is an old man who’s been living in the woods for decades, mining for unobtainium.

He’ll do pretty much anything to scare the train and its passengers away, including shooting off his shotgun, chasing you in his car through the woods, even lighting comical bombs and other quack devices he’s managed to come up with.

What Does Everyone Scream At The Wolfman?


There is one way to anger, and maybe scare off the Wolfman though, it’s to scream “SCRAM YOU OLD GOAT!”

Wolfman at Clark's Trading Post

The Kancamagus Highway


Heading off from Clark’s Trading Post, we hop on the Kancamagus Highway.

The “Kanc” is a scenic highway that begins near Clark’s Trading Post.

Fall Foliage in New Hampshire

Jump on the Kancamagus in Lincoln, New Hampshire, and drive through 35 miles of winding, mountain roads all the way to the eastern side of the state. 

You’ll get off the Kangamangus highway in Conway, New Hampshire at the White Mountain Highway. 

From there, we hit the shopping outlet mall and in-town walk and shop district in North Conway, New Hampshire.

North Conway, New Hampshire – Outlet Shopping


Our last destination stop is North Conway, New Hampshire, and surrounding areas.

North Conway has been a long-time favorite shopping destination to people from all over New England.

The quaint shopping town is home to loads of outlet stores, all located within a short distance of so many great places.

Right in-town, in the midst of the walk-and-shop district, you can find a huge park and the Conway Scenic Railway.

Oh, I can’t forget to mention that there are fabulous restaurants in North Conway too, my favorite is the Muddy Moose.

I always get the buffalo burger. It’s a nice restaurant with an upscale rustic feel. Very well kept, friendly staff and great food!

Spend a day or two in N. Conway, make sure to visit Echo Lake and Cathedral Ledge, a slow drive up the mountainside and a very short hike to spectacular views!

Mt Washington Auto Road and Cog Railway


Only a short drive from North Conway and you can find Mount Washington Auto Road, the Mount Washington Cog Railway.

You can drive up the auto road, or you can drive further out and ride the cog railway.

Both do have fees, and the cog train is small so the fees are pretty steep – I think around $80 to $100 per person if I remember correctly.

Both the Cog and the Autoroad do get you to the same place, the peak of Mt Washington and the observatory.

Mount Washington Cog Railway Trip

After spending a couple of days traveling through New Hampshire, it’s time to head home.

On our way home, we usually don’t do much as far as sightseeing or make many pit stops along the way.

Perhaps we’ll stop to grab some fresh apples or corn at a roadside stand, or to drive through Plainfield to look for the pumpkin people!

Plainfield, New Hampshire Pumpkin People


Of course, it’s not a trip through New Hampshire without seeing all the town activities.

Some towns celebrate fall with town-wide scarecrow displays, scarecrows on every corner.

Other towns, like Plainfield, New Hampshire, host their own unique displays, like the famous Plainfield Pumpkin People!

Plainfield Pumpkin People

This is a traditional town-wide event where residents make “pumpkin people” and display them on their lawns and in front of their homes.

They outdo themselves every year!

Fall Foliage New Hampshire Road Trip

Of course, along with the sights of fall leaves turning, we enjoy the flavors too, apple and pecan pie come to mind.

Check out this recipe for Fall Harvest Apple Pecan Cookies topped with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting.

Where’s your favorite scenic drive?

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