This Week's White Mountains Fall Foliage Drive

It’s that time of year again- the White Mountains begins its transition from one season to the next. The mornings get cooler, the days get shorter, the air gets crisper, and the leaves prepare for their annual show. One of the (many) nice things about the White Mountains is the fact that regardless of the weather, there is always a scenic drive waiting for you. You may be familiar with some of the more popular ones like the Kancamagus Highway or Franconia Notch. This time of year, we like to get out of the office to explore the region first-hand. Then, we report our findings to you and you can get foliage updates from the White Mountains in real-time. Join us every week for our suggested drives and leaf-peeping tracker.

This past weekend we travelled off the beaten path in search of fall foliage, mountain views, and quieter roadways. Columbus Day Weekend is arguably the busiest weekend for the White Mountains and if you were in the vicinity this past weekend, that’s not news to you. It’s the perfect storm of a long weekend, peak foliage, and exciting area events resulting in crowds of people flocking to the region. Even for those of us that call the White Mountains home, we can’t help but brave the madness for the spectacular views that await.

Our journey began by taking Exit 31 for Tripoli Road. In the heart of the White Mountains, Tripoli Road offers a number of White Mountain National Forest campgrounds and hiking trails to nearby peaks. It’s quiet at times, but still vehicles lined the edge of the roads when we approached any major trailhead or campground. Even with the crowds of people, it’s hard not to be in absolute awe of your surroundings. The fall colors are vibrant and the photo opportunities are endless.

We soon came upon Waterville Valley (which is at peak right now by the way, if you’re still in the area). A few quick turns later and we were on the road that would lead us to our ultimate destination: Sandwich Notch Road. This is the definition of off the beaten path. It’s quiet and remote and I feel obligated to issue a warning to those of you that may seek out the route. It is narrow and unpaved in several spots along with many potholes and exposed rocks. I don’t want to deter you from taking the road, but want you to know what you’re signing up for in advance. Despite all of the obstacles the road may bring, it offers some of the brightest fall colors I’ve seen all season. Our voyage ended in the town of Sandwich, a quaint village with historic homes and a beautiful library.

Remember, stop back weekly for a new scenic drive suggestion and to see our updated foliage tracker. In the area and looking for information or maps and guides? Stop in to see us at Exit 32 in North Woodstock.

Welcome to the 2019 White Mountains Fall Foliage Tracker!

Report by Regions

White Mountains Fall Colorometer

Western White Mountains
Towns: Lincoln/Woodstock, Campton/Thornton, Waterville Valley, Plymouth, Rumney, Warren


Suggested Drive:

Route 25 Plymouth to Warren

White Mountains Regional Map

Northern White Mountains
Franconia Notch, Franconia/Sugar Hill, Bethlehem, Twin Mountain/Bretton Woods, Gorham, Jefferson


Eastern White Mountains
Bartlett/Glen, Jackson, North Conway, Tamworth, Madison, Albany


Suggested Drive:

Route 16B through Jackson

Southern White Mountains / Lakes Region
Ashland, Meredith, Center Harbor, Tilton, Moultonborough, Wolfeboro, Alton, Ossipee


Suggested Drive:

Route 3 through Meredith

For more information on Fall Foliage throughout New Hampshire
visit the State of NH website at (link is external)