Plenty of Color for Leaf "Peeperazzi" Over Columbus Day
Throughout Mt Washington Valley, foliage takes center stage. Try one of these scenic drives recommended by insiders for the best photo opportunities.
Fall Foliage Report #6 from Mt Washington Valley, NH
October 8, 2008
Contact: Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331, firstname.lastname@example.org
Foliage Peaking throughout Mt Washington Valley, NH
North Conway, NH - Columbus Day traditionally marks the peak foliage weekend in Mt Washington Valley, NH, and Mother Nature has insured that the spectacular color will inspire travelers once again this year. From Pinkham and Crawford Notches to North Conway and beyond, the vista is alive with the reds, yellows and oranges contrasted against the green pines and blue sky. Looming up above it all is Mount Washington, the tallest peak in the Northeast, recently blanketed with the first snow of the season.
The Mount Washington Observatory forecasts that high pressure will continue into most of the weekend allowing for the clearing trend to spread north, and bringing sunny skies and warm temps through Saturday, perfect weather for the leaf "peeperazzi" who will visit Mt Washington Valley this weekend and next.
This is the time to enjoy a scenic drive in the White Mountains. The hills are alive in color and moose this time of year. If you're really lucky, you'll catch a double whammy and get that perfect leaf peeping moose shot! Try one of these and don't forget the camera.
West Side Road
From Route 16 North in Conway, with an outlet in North Conway Village onto Route 16, or continue North to Route 302 in Bartlett. This country road takes you through farmland, past the White Horse and Cathedral Ledges, and along "pick-it-yourself" strawberry farms. The Bartlett section alone is worth the trip for views across the river and the Intervale.
Cathedral Ledge Road
From the North Conway-Bartlett section of West Side Road. Park at the top and walk out onto the ledge to see all of Mt. Washington Valley before you. This is one of those rare scenic overlooks that you can drive to!
From Route 16 North, go through the Jackson Covered Bridge to Route 16B. The road loops left just before Black Mountain, then goes left again down Carter Notch Road back to Jackson Village. Scenic spots include the picnic stop along Jackson Falls, and the New England Church and gazebo in Jackson Village.
From Route 16 in Conway, head east on Route 113 . You can continue south to Madison or turn left at the lake and go through Snowville. Crystal Lake with the little white New England, steeple church is one of the most often requested photos from this area. Take this scenic drive and capture your own photo to remember it by!
White Mountain Trail
Take Route 112( the Kancamagus Hwy) off Route 16 in Conway and follow New Hampshire's only scenic by-way to Lincoln, NH. This is the ultimate in scenic. You'll travel over 33 miles through the White Mountain National Forest, past waterfalls, mountain brooks and hiking trails. Keep a watchful eye out, as this is one of the best moose-watching locations! Continue on through Franconia Notch and hook up with Route 302 through Bretton Woods, Harts Location, Bartlett and back to North Conway. This is one of the only loops in the country that's been designated as a scenic byway.
Bear Notch Road
Access from Route 302 in Bartlett and take over to Kancamagus Hwy or from the "Kanc" over to Route 302 in Bartlett. For some, this is considered a by-pass, for most it's considered incredibly scenic. This is also a great location for moose-and-bear-spotting, particularly in the early morning or dusk hours.
The Notches- Pinkham Notch
(on Route 16, past Jackson); Crawford Notch (on Route 302, past Bartlett) and Evans Notch (from East Conway) Each of the notches offer scenic glory and ideal picture taking opportunities. Look for fabulous views of Mt. Washington from Pinkham Notch and gorgeous flowing waterfalls and rock formations at Crawford and Evans Notches.
The Scenic Overlook
-on Route 16/302, 3 miles north of North Conway Village - ideal views of Mt. Washington over the Intervale. Parking and traveler information available. To view the gorgeous red stand of trees on Route 16, stop right next to Four Your Paws Only, across from The pink Handcrafters Barn, on Route 16/302 - Every fall Mother Nature never fails us. This stand of trees offers a bright red backdrop to Cathedral Ledge in the background. It's a traffic stopper!
The Jackson Bridge
- Route 16/16B at the entrance to Jackson Village - Dubbed "the Kissing Bridge" this quintessential New England Bridge offers a romantic photo opportunity.
For more information on foliage getaways in Mt Washington Valley, visit http://www.mtwashingtonvalley.org/ or call 1-800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364).
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Photo caption: Photo of Pinkham Notch, looking up at Mt Washington, with recent snow cover. Photo by Jesse Mosston.