The White Mountains of New Hampshire is always a phenomenal place to see the fall foliage. Like scores of other people, we love taking a nice , fall drive, and pulling off at scenic overlooks to get some great photos. You may be one of those people, OR You may be interested in finding new ways to immerse yourself in the fall foliage season. Here are some unique ways to see the beautiful fall colors here in the White Mountains.
Ride or Drive to the Top of a Mountain!
Drive yourself or take a guided tour to the top of Mount Washington on the historic Mount Washington Auto Road. Built in 1861, it is America’s oldest man-made attraction. Take your time as you head up the mountain to stop at the many overlooks along the way. Make sure you bring your camera to take pictures of the mountain views and fall foliage that surrounds you.
Ride New Hampshire’s longest gondola and soak in the scenery as you make it to the top of Loon’s 2,733 foot summit. At the top, explore the foliage of the White Mountains from the observation tower which offers 360 ° views. Take a moment to breathe in the fresh mountain air from the amphitheater or make your way through the prehistoric glacial caves.
This 80-passenger cable car brings you to the 4,080-foot summit of Cannon Mountain in a 7-minute scenic ride. On a clear day, you can see the mountains from four states and even into Canada, and the stunning reds, oranges, and yellows of fall foliage. At the summit, you'll find spectacular scenic walking paths, a 360 ° observation deck, and incredible foliage views.
Beautiful and panoramic views of Mount Washington and the Presidentials along with stunning foliage await you at the summit of the 4,000’+ summit of Wildcat. Ski Magazine named the view from the top “The Best Scenery in the East”, and fall is the perfect time to check it out.
Ride to the summit of Mount Washington on the world’s first mountain-climbing cog railway—built in 1869. Choose eco-friendly biodiesel or historic steam locomotives for a thrilling train ride to New England’s highest peak (6,288 feet!) Beautiful mountain scenery, and incredible fall foliage awaits you, and on-board guided tour provides an entertaining narrative. 3-hour round trip adventure includes one hour at the summit for activities. Upon return to the base, enjoy the gift shop, restaurant and new Cog Railway Museum.
Conway Scenic Railroad-North Conway
Experience the scenic wonder of foliage in Mount Washington Valley and Crawford Notch. The Conway Scenic offers a variety of excursions for you to enjoy a ride on the rails. If you are in the area the weekends of October 19-21 or 26-28, book a trip on the Pumpkin Patch Express. Kids can pick their own pumpkins and there are a variety of games and activities for families to participate in.
The Hobo Railroad’s annual Hobo Harvest Time Express Fall takes on an entirely new look for Fall with the addition of the Hobo Farm Stand which is filled with pumpkins for purchase and the Hobo Farm Yard which turns into a family-oriented playground with games like pumpkin bowling, ring toss, horse shoes, bean bag toss, sack races and corn hole. Guests aboard the one hour and twenty minute train rides will be treated to a variety of Fall-themed samples including warm apple cider as well pumpkin granola and apple spiced granola. The Hobo Railroad’s popular “Cornstalk Critters” will once again be on display and this year’s theme is “Scarecrows of the Small Screen.”
Soar Through the Foliage!
Zip through the foliage and enjoy the crisp White Mountains air as you soar through the trees. There are varying levels of adventure courses ranging from the Treetop Canopy Tour (great for families and first-time zippers), all the way up to the Super Sky Rider (a more of a choose your own adventure course). Your experienced guides drive you to the base of the zip course in a Swiss army transport vehicle called a Pinzgauer, and off you go.
You’ll have plenty of time to soak in the foliage as this is the longest single zip line east of the Rockies! You control your own speed as you zip down 4, 969 feet in length between two zip lines. Reach speeds of up to 65mph and heights of 250 feet. That’s a whole lot of scenery from an incredible vantage point!
Fly above the treetops on the 4-person ZipRider while being surrounded by stunning views of Mount Washington and the iconic fall foliage of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. The adventure begins with a ride up the Snowcat Triple chairlift, then descend 2,100 feet above the tree canopy and the Peabody River. View the foliage from 70 feet in the air while soaring at speeds up to 45 mph.
Fly Like An Eagle!
Vertical Ventures Aviation-Whitefield
Vertical Ventures Aviation offers stunning fall foliage tours of the White Mountains including the Presidential Range and some of the iconic White Mountains attractions, such as the Cog Railway and Mount Washington. Soar above Franconia Notch and the Flume Gorge and witness these sites like you’ve never seen them before. A once in a lifetime joyride!
White Mountains Helicopter, LLC-Warren
White Mountains Helicopter LLC offers year-round excitement that will bring you new heights! With 5 different flight routes to choose from, you’ll gain a new perspective and see foliage in different areas of the White Mountains. Explore the Warren area, Plymouth, the Connecticut River and Franconia Notch from a bird’s eye view. They also offer aerial photography workshops so you can snap incredible aerial shots of the White Mountains region. An experience not to miss.
Take a scenic, private Fall Foliage Tour of Squam Lake with Experience Squam. Along with the most beautiful foliage, you will often see groups of loons gathering and large groups of migratory birds often stop to rest along their journey south. Bald eagles have been spotted regularly as well as mergansers, blue heron and cormorants. Tour historic Church Island, stroll along the Chamberlin Reynolds boarded swamp walk or see sights from the movie On Golden Pond.
The Lakes Region experiences stunning foliage against the backdrop of the mountains and quaint lake towns. Explore Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire, aboard this expansive cruise ship. Not only do they offer daily scenic cruises, they also Fall Foliage Dinner Cruises on Sundays through October.
Enjoy an informative and scenic pontoon boat ride on Squam Lake. Your knowledgeable guide will take you around the lake where you will see loons, learn about this historical and ecological aspects of crystal clear Squam Lake, and view the incredible foliage that this part of the region offers. Cozy under a blanket, grab a pair of binoculars and soak in the scenery.