Choose your own fall adventure as you spend a day in the Western White Mountains! While you could spend more than a day (and we encourage it!), we know that sometimes you just need to get in the car, hit the open road, and find some fun adventure for the day before heading home again. Join us in the Lincoln/Woodstock area of the Whites for some fall fun.
Be Sure to Visit an Attraction!
With three iconic attractions located within minutes of each other, there’s a good change you’ll find a unique way to see the fall foliage. The Gondola Skyride at Loon Mountain Resort is a great way to summit a mountain and soak in the beautiful fall colors. This 1.3-mile scenic ride seats 4 people and brings you to the summit of Loon Peak. Take in outstanding foliage views while you also explore the observation tower and glacial caves. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, take to the trees and immerse yourself in the foliage during a zipline tour with Alpine Adventures. There are three tours to choose from depending on your adventure level, but all are sure to give you the thrill of a lifetime. (Prefer to keep your feet on the ground? Opt for one of their off-road tours instead!) A White Mountains train ride is another fun way to soak in the foliage and the Hobo Railroad offers a relaxing trip down the rails alongside the Pemigewasset River.
Take a Hike
There’s nothing like taking a walk in the woods in the fall as you are surrounded by the gorgeous colors and scents of the season. There are wonderful, easy trails to explore in this region and here are three of our favorites to choose from. The Lincoln Woods Trailhead and Discovery Trail Interpretive Site are both on the western end of the Kancamagus Highway and each offer its own unique experience. Lincoln Woods is considered the gateway to the Pemi Wilderness which is where some of the more intense hikes of the White Mountains begin. However, it is also a great starting point for those looking for a simple walk in the woods. A lovely footbridge brings you over the scenic Pemigewasset River and then into the woods for a walk on the Lincoln Woods Trail, which is on a mostly flat, former railroad bed. The trail goes for about 3 miles, but feel free to turn around at any point and head back the way you came. The Discovery Trail is the next walk on the Kanc and is a 1.3-mile loop trail with interpretive signage along the way. Feel free to stop and explore and take your time. (Please note that there is a $5.00 recreation fee to park in these two lots. Cash is required and is paid on-site). Lastly, we recommend checking out the Mt. Pemigewasset Trail. Known as the “Indian Head”, the profile can be seen from Route 3 north, and in the fall, the foliage gives the visual impression of a beautiful headdress. Should you choose to hike to the summit, the best trail access can be found at the Flume Gorge parking lot. Take the trail under the highway and meander the 1.7 miles to the bare summit. Soak in the stunning foliage views of Franconia Notch and down into Lincoln and Woodstock.
By now we’re sure you’re pretty hungry and here are some delicious options waiting for you, no matter what you’re craving:
Looking to take home a little souvenir to remind you of your day in the White Mountains? Visit one of the small, local shops in the Western White Mountains before leaving town. Visit the Village Shops in Downtown Lincoln to find these great little shops. Three on the Tree Boutique is a family-run, independent boutique that specializes in vintage pieces, bohemian clothes and accessories, and handmade jewelry and soaps. Rhythm Handcrafted Beverage Studio not only offers tastings of their wine seltzers and slushies, and hard ciders, but you can also buy a bottle or two of their handcrafted beverages to enjoy for a special occasion (or any occasion, really). Stop over at Burgeon Outdoor if you’re looking for outdoor wear that was handstitched right here in Lincoln. Their base layers, hoodies, and fleeces are great when you’re hitting the trail or just relaxing.
Bringing the Kids?
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly activity to do while spending day in the Western White Mountains, check out one of our favorite spots, Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves. Explore 12 glacially formed caves along a 1.5-mile boardwalk, mine for gems in their mining sluice, and enjoy the foliage from up in Kinsman Notch. While you’re over on that side of the region, don’t forget to stop at Windy Ridge for a pick your own apple adventure!
Spending the night?
We understand that a day in the White Mountains just might not be enough, so take a peek at all the great lodging options here in the Western White Mountains.