We can’t think of a better way to get the most bang out of your foliage buck, than to hike up a mountain and see the autumn world below you. October is the perfect time to hike in the White Mountains as the air is cooler, there isn’t as much foot traffic as in the summer, and the pay-off at the top is incomparable. These five foliage hikes will convince you to slap on those hiking boots, grab a camera, and get outside!
Stunning views of the White Mountains and Western Maine await you at the top of Black Cap. Due to the nature of the trail, this is a great hike for hikers of all ages and abilities, and would be fun for families to tackle. The Black Cap Trailhead is located off of Hurricane Mountain Road and the 2.4 mile round-trip trail meanders through Beech trees and Red Oak, offering you beautiful color before you even get to the summit.
The views from the summit of this popular 3.2 mile hike will leave you speechless. The mountain tops and valleys from below will be aflame with color. Take in the panoramic view of Crawford Notch from above and make sure you have your camera ready. There is also a lovely waterfall that you will pass as you head up the trail.
This 4,000 footer in Coos County is the 2 nd northern-most 4,000 footer in the state. To access the summit of Waumbek, you must hike up the Starr King Trail, which will also bring you to the summit of Mount Starr King. You may be greeted by a gray jay or two as you get closer to the top. This hike is a total of 7 mile round-trip, but the views of the Presidential range at the summit will be well worth the trek.
One of the more popular, quicker, and easier routes to the summit of Pine Mountain is the Pine Mountain Loop. This trail can be accessed at the Pinkham B Road in Gorham. There is an old fire tower a little more than ½ a mile up the trail and is a great place to have a picnic, and enjoy the view. Near the top, Chapel Rock is an excellent place to see stunning fall views of Pinkham Notch and the Carter Range.
This 1.4 mile hike up the Kilburn Crags Trail is more of a nature walk, really. The trailhead is located on the northeastern shoulder of Walker Mountain and a small parking lot is available on the St. Johnsbury Road off of Route 18/135. At the lookout on the summit, you will be greeted by incredible views of the town of Littleton, the Presidential Range, and the Ammonoosuc River Valley. Plan to bring a lunch and enjoy it at the picnic table at the top.