We hit the changing of autumn colors in New Hampshire at the most perfect time. The end of September through the second week in October is a good time to expect peak color in the White Mountains. The White Mountains is an 800,000-acre forest extending into western Maine, offering outstanding scenery. ‘The Granite State’ is full of historic sites, picturesque covered bridges, quaint towns, and breath taking autumn views.
It was very difficult to select which photos to post since the choice was so vast. Patty shot her very best autumn photo in New Hampshire at a hidden lake she spotted from the road one evening on the way back to Twin Mountain Motor Coach RV Park.
The cooler, shorter days of September cause the green chlorophyll to disappear from the leaves. Gold, brown, and yellow become prominent color of poplar, oak, beech and birch trees. Sugars are trapped in the leaves as a result of the warm day and cold nights, bringing out the reds and purples in sugar and red maple trees.
Campton, New Hampshire is in the foothills of the Sandwich Mountain Range where the second longest covered bridge, Blair Bridge sits over the Pemigewasset River. Blair Bridge was originally built in 1829 and is 292’10” in length.
Saco Bridge built in 1890 and is 244’9″ in length is located in Conway, New Hampshire. This well-preserved covered bridge is in scenic Mount Washington Valley, and surrounded by peak fall foliage.
The 151’ long Stark covered bridge is a historic wooden covered bridge over the Upper Ammonoosuc Rive in Stark, New Hampshire. The shore ends of the bridge rest on abutments of granite stone, while a reinforced concrete pier supports the center of the bridge,
LITTLETON, NEW HAMPSHIRE:
Littleton was named one of America’s Best Main Streets. Littleton was home to Eleanor H. Porter who wrote the children’s classic ‘Pollyanna’. There were numerous umbrellas hung on Main Street as well as a Pollyanna statue in front of Littleton Library. Behind the 1798 gristmill renovated into the Schilling Brewery is the 352’ covered foot bridge over the Ammonoosuc River. Chutters Candy Store is home to the World’s longest candy counter of 112’ of gleaming glass jars filled with candy.
FRANCONIA NOTCH STATE PARK:
Mountain passes, gaps or divides are called notches in New Hampshire. The narrow opening between mountains ‘notches’ because they resemble a V as if a giant ax notched the mountain landscape. Franconia Notch State Park is a deep valley made up of 6,440 acres between the towering peaks of the Franconia and Kinsman ranges. We marveled at the views of Mt. Liberty and Mt. Lincoln and the beautiful waterfall set in granite.
APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB AT ZEALAND FALLS:
One day we hiked on the Hale Brook Trail and the Zealand Trail to the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Zealand Falls Hut. The AMC was organized in 1876 to preserve the beauty of mountain forests, waters, historic sites and publish accurate maps of the White Mountains. The AMC owns and maintains a series of eight mountain huts in the White Mountains. Hikers can reserve a bunk and hike between the huts on the various White Mountain National Forest trails.
We hiked on a tree-root exposed trail past several scenic marshes, Zealand Pond, forests of hardwoods and conifers, up Mt. Hale to the rustic hut sitting just above the Zealand Falls at elevation 2,700’. The view from the Falls was absolutely gorgeous, reassuring us that we had hit the changing of the season at the most perfect time.
When we purchased the Appalachian Mountain Club – White Mountains National Forest Trail map, the volunteer noted a place to take early morning photos. Cherry Mountain Road between Jefferson Meadows and Bretton Woods is a go to place for a picturesque photo. We named this place ‘Reflection Lake at the base of Mt. Deception’.
CONWAY SCENIC RAILROAD, CRAWFORD NOTCH STATE PARK:
We stopped at the 1874 Victorian station to the Conway Scenic Railroad. The vintage train travels over tracks that were laid in the 1870’s for the Crawford Notch excursion. Opting for a hike instead of a train ride, we drove into Crawford Notch State Park.
Crawford Notch State Park is 5,775 acres with 6 miles of unspoiled rugged natural beauty in scenic mountain pass. Mt. Willard Trail was fairly steep and closed in by trees, but the end of this hike rewarded us with stunning panoramic views of Crawford Notch. We were on a ledge above the cliffs when Patty noticed the Conway Scenic Train approaching the Frankenstein Trestle. It was fun to see the same train at the station on the tracks below, in the steep ravine.
MOUNT WASHINGTON WEATHER STATION:
Mount Washington, the highest point in New Hampshire and the highest point in New England, is part of the White Mountain Presidential Range. It is 6,288 feet above sea level and home to some of the worst weather in the world. The world’s highest land wind velocity was clocked there at 231 mph.
Instead of taking the Cog Railway up to the top of Mt. Washington, we drove the 8-mile long Mt. Washington Carriage road crossing five different ecological zones. We went to the Observatory deck to enjoy panoramic views, toured the Tip Top House an1853 hikers’ hostel which is chained to the ground to hold it steady.
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