A Fall Foliage Road Trip Through New Hampshire

Autumn New Hampshire Scenic DriveFall is always just around the corner in New Hampshire, or so it seems. The leaves turning, the leaf peeping tourists beginning their scenic drives and of course the fall flavors make their appearance in our recipes are all signs of fall in New Hampshire.

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 sight seeing and shopping, too.

Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves

Our first stop is at Lost River. Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves is 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 it’s passengers away, including shooting off his shot gun, chasing you in his car through the woods, even lighting comical bombs and other quack devices he’s managed to come up with. 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 runs from Clark’s Trading Post (about 1 mile away) in Lincoln, New Hampshire through 35 miles of winding, mountain roads all the way to the eastern side of the state and ends 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.

Fall Foliage in 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!

Only a short drive from North Conway and you can find the Mount Washington Auto Road, the Mount Washington Cog Railway and an assortment of other awesome places to explore nature such as Cathedral Ledge, a slow drive up the mountain side and a very short hike to spectacular views!

Mount Washington Cog Railway Trip

After spending a couple days traveling through New Hampshire, it’s time to head home. On our way home we usually don’t do much as far as sight seeing or make many pit stops along the way. Perhaps we’ll stop to grab some fresh apples or corn at a roadside stand, but other than that – we’re on a bee-line home!

Plainfield, New Hampshire Pumpkin People

Plainfield 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 Plainefield, New Hampshire, host their own unique displays, like the famous 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 TripOf 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?