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15 Creative Ways to Peep a Leaf in Mt Washington Valley, NH

Planning a Trip

Mt. Washington Valley, located in the heart of the White Mountains of New Hampshire and in the shadow of the tallest peak in the Northeast, offers up a spectacle of color unmatched anywhere else in the USA. And this year is no exception.

Track the changing color of the leaves throughout the Valley using the New Hampshire fall foliage tracker, a timely tool to use to check fall color.

Come “hail to the leaf” in a wide variety of creative ways like from the seat of a train, zipline, or ATVs, or behind the putter or petal. Here are some conventional and a few unconventional suggestions for viewing Mt. Washington Valley's fall foliage. Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce challenges visitors to try them all!

Take in fall foliage from the seat of a train!

1. From The Seat of a Train: Mt. Washington Valley offers a fabulous scenic train ride and fall rides add that spectacle of color to the views. Book your seat on the Conway Scenic Railroad and enjoy trains to Conway, Bartlett or into the Notch. Or take a ride straigh up Mount Washington on the first ever cog train to be built in America, the Mount Washington Cog Railway. Click here for a complete list of Mt. Washington Valley's trains and attractions.

2. From the Top of the Notch: Scenic drives through Pinkham Notch to Gorham or Crawford Notch to Bretton Woods offer everything from ridge top vistas and rock formations to moose sightings. Be sure to have the camera ready because around every turn there's a new surprise.

3. From the back of a dogsled: It doesn’t have to be winter to enjoy dogsledding in Mt Washington Valley. Take in the gorgeous fall foliage from the trails in and around Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel where the runners are removed from the dog sleds and replaced with wheels in the spring and fall. Drive the sled yourself of sit and take in the view as the dogs mush their way through gorgeous trails. **Please note that dog sled rides are on hiatus for the 2020/2021 season.**

4. From the Moose Van: What could add to the thrill of Mother Nature’s fall artistry any more than a moose sighting? Take a ride along the picturesque Androscoggin River and into the 13-Mile Woods area or travel into "Moose Alleys" in other parts of the Valley on a choice of spectacular and scenic Moose/Wildlife Tours. As many as 23 moose have been spotted in one tour. Tours also includes folklore and historic features of the region.  Choose from Gorham Moose Tours and MWV Moose Bus Tours/Moose Safari and get ready for a thrill.

View fall foliage from New Hampshire's largest Gondola at Bretton Woods.

5. From a Gondola, Chair Lift or Zipline: Get high for the beautiful fall foliage vistas from the seat of a gondola, zipline or chairlift, that is. For those who'd rather not hike up, take the lift with a scenic ride on the Wildcat Chairlift, or gondola ride at the Bretton Woods Adventure Center. Both offer fabulous views of the Presidential Mountain Range!

The Canopy Tour at Bretton Woods is also a must-try for all adventure seekers this fall foliage! This three-hour canopy tour takes you by zipline to nine platforms, three rappels, and two sky bridges, as you zip over the White Mountain National Forest. The Soaring Eagle at Cranmore Adventure Park is a family-friendly zipline that takes two riders at a time up 700 feet and then back down the mountain side, on a suspended cable. The Soaring Eagle zipline is one of five rides at this mountain park that indulges in the young and young at heart looking for fall foliage fun!

6. From the Pumpkin People Tour:  Each year, a highlight of foliage season is "The Return of the Pumpkin People" now in its 32nd year.  Businesses throughout Mt. Washington Valley create whimsical displays of pumpkin people; the only requirement being that the heads are made of pumpkins.  Take a self-guided tour of the pumpkin people and vote on your favorite from Oct 1-31, 2015. At least a dozen of the pumpkin people will be located at Settlers Green. Maps available at participating properties and online at

Settlers Green is also hosting a series of fall inspired events with its Fall Fest on September 25th, complete with pumpkin guessing game, kid's hay maze, live music, and more. It's also hosting its annual Busker Festival, which pays homage to live music on October 9th and 10th.

7. From the top of the roller coaster or ferris wheel: Whether the thrill comes from the ride or the colorful view, you’ll be enthralled with both on roller coasters and flume rides at Story Land and Santa’s Village, both open weekends through Columbus Day.  Hop on board the ferris wheel at the Fryeburg Fair anytime from October 3rd through October 11th, and take in the foliage-filled view over the fairgrounds and well beyond to the mountains. The Sandwich Fair is also running October 9th through October 11th, with rides, a parade, concessions, and more.

8. From the wall of a ledge:  Mt Washington Valley is renowned among rock and ice climbers for its fabulous terrain. From popular climbs like Cathedral and Whitehorse Ledges to Frankenstein Cliff, here’s yet another way to “get high” in order to take in the view. For newcomers, learn to climb with Redline Guiding or International Mountain Climbing School. For experienced climbers, these outfitters also offer up gear and ideas, along with Ragged Mountain Equipment.  The number and expertise offered by Mt Washington Valley’s climbing outfitters along with the incredible terrain and of course the fall views, is what makes Mt Washington Valley a Mecca in the East for climbers.

9. From the Seat of a Car:  When it comes to scenic drives, don’t wait until Sunday during fall foliage season. Mt. Washington Valley is renowned for its fall foliage scenic drives, including the Kancamagus Highway, the country's only scenic byway loop, named over and over again to Top 10 places to see fall foliage. Travel+Leisure Magazine just named the Kanc among the country’s most iconic drives. Take your Sunday drive through the mountains any day of the week and discover picnic sites, swimming holes, wildlife and family attractions all amidst a backdrop of spectacular fall foliage along the way.

Aerial View of Indian Mound Golf Club in Ossipee, New Hampshire.

10. From the seat of a golf cart: Many of Mt. Washington Valley's golf courses remain open throughout October, offering golfers picturesque holes and challenging courses with backdrops of yellows, reds and oranges.  This is the time to enjoy golf at Mt Washington Valley's eleven courses, all within a 45 minute drive from North Conway, NH. Click here to check out profiles of each course, including lists of the most picturesque holes on each golf course, and you can believe with fall foliage in the background, these are gorgeous spots for putting and peeping.

11. From a cozy B&B or inn, motel, hotel or family resort: Mt. Washington Valley is well known for its wide variety of lodging.  More than fifty country inns and B&B's offer cozy and romantic retreats, while the region's motels, hostels and campgrounds provide additional options for those seeking getaways on a budget.  Family-friendly and even pet-friendly resorts and hotels, condos, vacation rentals and timeshare properties round out the offerings, so there's something for everyone.  Many of these lodging properties have created packages and itineraries for fall foliage getaways.  

12. From the seat of an ATV: ATV and snowmobile trails wind their way throughout Mt Washington Valley, especially near Gorham. A family-friendly activity and a great way to hail to the leaf during fall months, visit Northeast Snowmobile & ATV Rentals in Gorham to rent your ATV or get in on a guided tour of the best fall foliage views.

13. From the bow of a boat: Rent a kayak or canoe and peep a leaf from your place on the rivers, lakes and ponds that surround Mt. Washington Valley.  If you’d rather spend your time taking photos or taking in the view and leave the work to someone else, how about a cruise on Long Lake in Naples aboard Songo River Queen II? Mt Washington Valley offers a number of boat rental outfitters that will outfit with you with a canoe, kayak or tube to take on the rivers of Mt. Washington Valley.

14. From the Seat of a Bike:  Peep and pedal your way through Mt Washington Valley this fall as Mt. Washington Valley offers ideal biking terrain for those looking for gentle back roads taking them through covered bridges and past farms and meadows to extreme off-road slick track.  In fact, New Hampshire was named among the most cycle-friendly states in the country. There are even inn to inn biking tours offered throughout the fall.

15. From the table in the dining room: Mt. Washington Valley offers more dining with a view than any other New England destination. Whether it's overlooking North Conway with Cranmore Mountain front and center from Ledges Restaurant at the White Mountain Hotel, to a fabulous view of Black Cap and Kearsarge Mountains from The Oxford House Inn, you'll find spectacular dining with a view throughout Mt. Washington Valley. Try the Omni Mount Washington Hotel at the base of the grand dame, Mount Washington, or on the deck at the Muddy Moose Restaurant and Pub or overlooking the 18th hole and Cathedral Ledge beyond at the North Conway Country Club. You'll find plenty of choices for fine dining with spectacular views when you click here.

Whether you put your foot to the pedal or the metal, don't forget to bring a camera, because the foliage in Mt Washington Valley is arguably the most exquisite in New England. Yankee Magazine rated North Conway and Jackson among the top 12 foliage towns in New England and named it among the best fall destinations in the country. USA Today/10 Best has put North Conway and the White Mountains on its list of the top 20 fall foliage destinations in the country for multiple years in a row! Come see for yourself. For all your fall foliage planning information call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364) for help in planning your getaway. And go to for all the resources you need in exploring New Hampshire this fall, too.

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