I’ve always thought that autumn in Connecticut was as pretty as it got. That is, until I journeyed into New Hampshire’s White Mountains. While a lot of our timing for fall foliage was a bit off due to the drought in the Northeast, it happened to coincide perfectly with our four days in New Hampshire. While we barely made a dent in all of New Hampshire’s incredible outdoor options, here are five things you definitely shouldn’t miss:
1. Mt. Lafayette via the Franconia Ridge.
Summiting Mt. Lafayette via the Franconia Ridge was one of the hardest hikes I have ever completed. Over the course of nine hours, we summited three mountains with an elevation gain of 3,800 feet (3,100 foot gain within the first three hours). The views were outstanding, and completely worth the pain of getting up the mountain! Prepare yourself for an alpine hike should you take this route. Read more about the climb up Franconia Ridge here.
2. Sabbaday Falls.
This super short, easy hike gives way to a beautiful waterfall. Sabbaday Falls is a great little stop and perfect for anyone that doesn’t want a rigorous activity.
3. Vistas along the Kancamagus Highway.
I cannot believe the beauty of the Kancamagus Highway! It goes perfectly through the White Mountains and is lined with stunning pullover spots, particularly in the autumn!
4. Lily Pond.
Yes, it’s actually named the Lily Pond. We caught ourselves stopping abruptly along the Kancamagus Highway to take a look into this peaceful area.
5. Glen Elis Falls.
Glen Elis Falls is more like a lot of rapids and one stunning single-drop waterfall. It's worth it though, as it offers beautiful views over the valleys as well.
(Dis)honorable Mention: Flume Gorge.
The Flume Gorge is highlighted as one of New Hampshire’s biggest attractions, but I’d argue that it’s one of New Hampshire’s worst attractions. Not only is it over-priced at $16 USD per person to enter, but it’s overcrowded and nothing special. While, yes, the water wasn’t flowing heavily, there appeared nothing unique or original about Flume Gorge that justifies the ridiculous price tag to see some waterfalls. Skip out on these two miles of disappointment.
Where to Sleep?
We found Tamworth Camping on Passport America, and we are thrilled that we did! The owners are are sweet as could be, and they have an awesome property on their hands. Many of their campsites are lined along the Swift River and offer both splendid views and plenty of privacy! If you're looking for a tranquil place to stay in New Hampshire, Tamworth is the place!If you’re up for petting some farm animals too, this is the place…
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**Photographs taken by David M Gallo Photography.