Hiking & Scenery
Northern New Hampshire is home to invigorating hikes or more leisurely tramps among the fabled hills, peaks and valleys of the Presidential Range of the White Mountains, as well as dozens of other mountain peaks that dot the Granite State’s northern region. There are hikes to suit every age and ability, from toddlers to nonagenarians, from the individual who wants to spend a few hours strolling along a mountain path to the more serious hiker who’d like to bag several of the 4,000-footers.
And what better time to visit northern New Hampshire than during its magnificent fall foliage season.
People come from all over the world to view the colorful reds, oranges, yellows, magentas and russets of our fall foliage and whether viewing the autumn landscape from the comfort of your car of tramping one of our many trails you’ll gasp in awe of the colors that Mother Nature paints across our hills and mountains.
Peak foliage, which is the point at which the color of the leaves is the brightest, generally happens between the third and fourth weeks of September and into the first week or two of October. The trees begin changing color from north to south, that is from Pittsburg and the Canadian border southward through the White Mountains.
The Appalachian Mountain Club offers advice aplenty for hikers in the White Mountains. Check in at the AMC’s Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch or the Highland Center in Crawford Notch for hiking tips, maps, and weather and trail conditions. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of the AMC’s White Mountain Guide, a comprehensive read for anyone who is planning to hike the Whites. Experience the legendary AMC hut hospitality by spending the night in one of the high mountain huts. Huts include Carter, Mizpah, Zealand, Lakes of the Clouds and Madison.
The 162-mile Cohos Trail extends all the way from Crawford Notch to the Canadian border in Pittsburg. If you’d like an international adventure then plan on continuing your hike on the Sentier Frontalier’s trail to Mount Megantic or Mount Gosford in Quebec, Canada. (Don’t forget to pack your passport!) There are plenty of day hikes along the Cohos Trail, or plan a multi-day tramp and experience spectacular scenery through some of the least populated and most remote regions of the Grand North.
AMC High Huts of the White Mountains
Renowned for their unique mountain hospitality, The Appalachian Mountain Club’s eight high huts traverse the high peaks of the White Mountains and are spaced a day’s hike apart. Whether you are an experienced mountaineer or taking your children on their first hike, all of the huts are renowned for their unique mountain hospitality. Overnight accommodations include hearty home-cooked breakfasts and dinners. Self-service and full-service seasonal options available.
For more information visit: https://www.outdoors.org/lodging-camping/huts
AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch
The Highland Center is the Appalachian Mountain Club’s outdoor education center, four-season lodge, family-style dining room and headquarters for hiking the White Mountains. Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and programs for adults and kids, including daily Outdoor Exploration programs, Guided Adventures and evening programs.
For more information visit: https://www.outdoors.org/lodging-camping/lodges/highland
Mt. Washington Auto Road
The Auto Road is America’s Oldest Manmade Tourist Attraction. The road ascends through four climate zones to 6,288-foot Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeast. Hike, drive yourself or take a guided tour in an Auto Road van. Snow Coach tours in winter. Breath-taking vistas whatever the season!
For more information visit: http://mtwashingtonautoroad.com/
Mt. Washington Cog Railway
The first mountain-climbing cog railway in the world. Board the train for a spectacular climb up the three-mile long raised track to the 6,288-foot summit of Mount Washington. On top visit the Sherman Adams Visitors Center, Mt. Washington Observatory’s Weather Museum and the 1853 Tip Top House. Seasonal, from May to mid-October. Reservations recommended.
For more information visit: http://www.thecog.com/
Mt. Washington Observatory
Go behind the scenes of the famous mountaintop weather station and get a taste for what it’s like to live and work at 6,288 feet! The guided tours allow you to meet and interact with scientists, learn how they create forecasts, see the instruments they use to capture Mount Washington’s legendary extremes, and more.
For more information visit: https://www.mountwashington.org/
Great Glen Trails
Great Glen Trails is a year-round destination experience. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, snow tubing, Snow Coach rides, fat biking and lots of family fun. During the warm weather months, take a wildlife kayak tour, and bike, run or walk our trails while you enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Great Gulf Wilderness and Presidential Range of the White Mountains. Learn more here. https://greatglentrails.com/