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Why 'Fall' for Mt. Washington Valley


From fall fairs to cider donuts to the most amazing leaf-peeping, Mt. Washington Valley is New England’s number one destination for a fabulous fall getaway.

Here’s why. Nestled into the shadow of Mount Washington, the tallest peak in the Northeast, Mt. Washington Valley, NH is found in the heart of primo leaf-peeping country. 

It’s surrounded by 770,000 acres of White Mountain National Forest, which means hundreds of thousands of acres of vibrant reds, oranges, yellows, and greens, to take in.

While it’s hard to pin down the absolute best time to take in fall foliage’s peak, we stay true to the idea that the last two weeks of September, and first two weeks of October, is the best window. So, what are some of the best ways to take in all of this color? We’ve collected a wide range of resources – from family fairs to scenic drives and selfie-worthy overlook. Read on for links to all the fall foliage activities in Mt Washington Valley.

More ways to peep a leaf!

From the seat of a car to the seat of a train, and on foot, above the canopy of the forest or from a chairlift, click here for 15 ways to peep a leaf in Mt Washington Valley, NH.  Come “Hail the Leaf” in ways you’ve never tried before!

View fall foliage from any angle in Mt. Washington Valley!

Incredible Scenic Drives

From the 100-mile White Mountain Trail – the only Scenic Byway Loop in the Country – to quiet back roads with covered bridges and scenic overlooks, you’ll find a wide variety of amazing drives to view colorful fall foliage in Mt Washington Valley.  Click here for a list of seven selfie-worthy drives and scenic overlooks for the ultimate in Instagram-worthwhile photos.

Fall Family Fairs

Maine’s Blue Ribbon Classic Fryeburg Fair is back, and excited to have you and your family roam the its fairgrounds. Happening October 1st through the 8th, families can enjoy classic fair food, 4-H exhibitions, carnival rides, livestock events and more! Themed days happen daily during the Fryeburg Fair week, along with special events and live music.

The Sandwich Fair gates open on October 7th through the 9th. It will feature “Children’s Day on Saturday, and on Sunday, “Family Day” and a parade. Enjoy thrilling rides, music and entertainment, agricultural exhibits, crafts, parades, and delicious food. On October 6th, a day before the official start of the fair, a new cornhole tournament is being held.

Fall Fest at Settlers Green: Experience the best of fall in the White Mountains with family-friendly fun at Settlers Green's annual Fall Festival on September 30th. Featuring a Candy Pumpkin Guessing Contest, complimentary apples on the green, a kids hay maze and pumpkin painting as well as fall displays.

Live Music featuring String Equinox - the talented duo of Shana Aisenberg and Beverly Woods - will be ongoing from 11am to 1pm "on the green" in the Courtyard. Beverly specializes in playing the hammered dulcimer and Shana specializes in the violin. Seating will be provided to sit in and enjoy.

Settlers Green is also hosting the Busker Festival on October 7th and 8th, where shoppers will discover music around every corner at Settlers Green. More than a dozen street musicians are scattered throughout Settlers Green, filling the autumn air with sweet sounds of bluegrass, jazz and rock and roll to enjoy while shopping and dining. The buskers play from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Settlers Green's Boo Bash is also taking place on October 27th! This event is highlighted with a kids costume parade, free outdoor Halloween-themed movie, games and prizes.

It's also important to save the date for Settlers Green's famed annual shopping event, Bring a Friend on November 3rd - 12th. The perfect girls getaway, enjoy shopping deals, great dining experiences, giveaways and entertainment. The bulk of activities will be taking place November 11th-12th, with Saturday, November 11th being the primary day for festivities. Shop the best names in fashion with added festivities to make it an experience you'll turn into tradition.

Hundreds of Miles of Hiking

Get up close and personal with your peeping …of leaves that is! With hundreds of miles of hiking trails through woods and White Mountain National Forestland, the fall colors will surround you.  Click here for 15 fall hikes offering the perfect fall photo ops.

Pumpkin People Panorama

From more than 60 pumpkin people to Pumpkin Patch pickings, take a self-guided tour or train ride to experience this orange ball of fall. Now in its 38th year, the Return of the Pumpkin People is a self-guided tour of more than 60 different locations hosting Pumpkin People on display throughout October. Look for creatively themed and designed Pumpkin People doing all kinds of things from flying across yards to deep sea diving, then vote for your favorite.

Follow along with this year's 'Return of the Pumpkin People' throughout Mt. Washington Valley!

Family Attractions and Fall Foliage

Conway Scenic Railroad is boarding trains daily throughout fall, where you’ll be able to take in fall foliage colors, from Conway, NH, to Bartlett, NH and into Bretton Woods, NH!

Another amazing vantage point to view fall foliage from is through the Bretton Woods’ Canopy Tour. This is a three hour zip line tour that has you flying high above the trees to a network of nine different platforms, as well as two sky bridges, and three opportunities to rappel, while hooked into your harness. You’ll be surrounded by views of Mount Washington, and the Presidential Range, as you make your way through this attraction.

View Mount Washington from a completely different side, and take train up the Eastern side of this famed mountain. The Mount Washington Cog Railway is another way to view fall foliage, and is a great family-friendly activity. The Cog is the first mountain-climbing cog railway in the world, and the only one currently operating in North America. It will take you up Mount Washington on a three-hour train excursion, allowing you to summit New England’s highest peak.

Take some time to explore all the options for fall getaways in Mt Washington Valley call vacation planners at 800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364). To learn more about a vacation in New Hampshire at any time of the  year, go to

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