There’s nothing more serene and picturesque than a pond or lake in the fall in the White Mountains. If you’re interested in taking in an autumn canoe or kayak ride, or just want to sit on the banks, soak it all in, and get some amazing photos, we have 10 of the best places to see the fall foliage by water in the White Mountains.
As you head west on Route 112 and go around the bend past Lost River Gorge, you will be met by Beaver Pond, which is surrounded by mountains and tall cliffs. There are picnic benches in the parking area so you can have a lunch and enjoy the amazing fall foliage. This is another great spot to put in a kayak or canoe and explore the nooks and crannies of this large pond and take in all the fall colors.
This lovely pond is within the Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge, which offers wonderful biking, hiking, and leaf-peeping. Views of the Northern Presidentials will astound you, and you may see some wildlife while you’re out exploring!
Commanding the view at the lake is Mount Chocorua, one of the most photographed mountains in the Northeast. It is easy to see why when you are standing on the banks of Lake Chocorua and looking off towards the mountain peak. There is no development surrounding this lake, and makes for a serene spot to watch a fall sunset from the beach or out in a canoe or kayak.
Whether you want to relax on the beach or see the view from above from Artist’s Bluff, the views from the 39-acrea Echo Lake are incomparable. Franconia Notch is formed by the Franconia Range and Kinsman Range meeting and the Lake in the middle adds to the stunning scenery. Kayak, canoe and pedal boats are available to rent weekends through October 9. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, rent one of these to get a unique vantage point as well as incredible photos.
This idyllic pond is tucked away off of Route 118 and is a great spot for hikers, fisherman, kayakers, and canoeists. A quiet spot to relax and just enjoy the view and solitude. While it’s not far from the highway, you will feel like you are hundreds of miles away from civilization and that you have discovered a secret place that only you know about.
Lonesome Lake-Franconia Notch
This beautiful lake is hidden from view and requires a 1.6 mile hike to get to, but it is well worth the hike. The yellows and oranges of the chancing leaves will be interspersed with dark green pine trees, which creates a beautiful effect. If you plan on camping, you may opt to stay at the Lonesome Lake Hut where in the fall, the caretaker of the hut makes come cooked breakfasts and dinners. Even if you’re not camping overnight, plan to spend some time enjoying the mountain scenery complimented by the fall foliage.
This man-made wonder, which was created by the completion of the Moore Dam, is a spectacular body of water to check out the finest foliage. There are 3,100 acres to explore by kayak or canoe. You can also hike around the Moore Dam to give you different vantage points for your leaf-peeping pleasure.
Located off of Tripoli Road in the White Mountains National Forest, Russell Pond is a popular spot for camping, boating, and fishing, and offers scenic and beautiful views of the fall foliage. Bring a canoe, and your camera, and relax on this serene pond in the White Mountains.
Looking for some incredible foliage by water, but don’t own a boat? There are guided tour options to bring you around to the best foliage so all you have to do it sit back, relax, and enjoy the fall scenery.
Lake Winnipesaukee-Weirs Beach
View spectacular foliage from Lake Winnipesaukee aboard the M/S Mount Washington through October 15. They will be offering Fall Foliage Dinner Cruises where you can enjoy the lake scenery as well as a buffet dinner with turkey and all the seasonal trimmings.
Experience Squam Boating Excursions is offering “On Golden Pond” Fall Foliage excursions, Thursdays from 11-1 through Veterans Day. While enjoying a 2-hour boat cruise along scenic Squam Lake, you can experience the beautiful fall foliage and visit some of the sites that are in the movie “On Golden Pond”. View wildlife, including loons and possible bald eagles, and learn about the history and culture of Squam and the surrounding region.
(***Please note that some of these spots require the purchase of a White Mountains National Forest day use pass, which can be purchased at the location. Check websites for more information on applicable fees.)