The ideal New England autumn destination would have all of these things. And it would be just like autumn in New Hampshire’s North Country.
Here are a few ways you can enjoy New Hampshire’s North Country this fall.
Each year, visitors from around the globe flock to northern New Hampshire to experience the region’s spectacular fall foliage, which arrives early in the North Country. The area’s leaves begin changing color around Labor Day and peak during the last two weeks of September, several weeks ahead of the rest of New Hampshire.
Visitors have lots of ways to enjoy the region’s fall colors. They can take a scenic hike, climbing to the top of 3,360-foot Mount Magalloway – one of the highest peaks in the region – or hiking one of several scenic trails in Dixville Notch. Another popular option is paddling one of the area’s beautiful lakes or ponds, such as Lake Umbagog, East Inlet or one of the Connecticut Lakes. Many visitors enjoy renting an ATV and exploring miles of remote wilderness ATV trails on the Ride the Wilds trail system. Cruising through the region when it’s at its most colorful is a great way to end the North Country’s ATV season, which concludes on September 30. Some visitors enjoy viewing the foliage from the comfort of their own cars. For those people, the area is home to plenty of scenic roads, with Route 26 as it cuts through Dixville Notch perhaps being the most breathtaking.
For anyone who loves the thrill of hunting, the woods of the North Country offer some of the best hunting grounds in the Northeast come fall. The region’s rugged wilderness and ground cover provide an ideal habitat for a variety of birds, making it one of the best places in the eastern U.S. to hunt species like pheasant, woodcock and grouse. Bird season begins October 1 and runs through the end of the year.
For those looking for bigger game, northern New Hampshire is legendary for its big white-tailed deer, making it a great place to hunt for that trophy buck during November. Of course, if you’re lucky enough to be chosen in New Hampshire’s moose-hunting lottery, the North Country is prime moose territory. This year’s moose hunt is October 20 to 28.
To make the best of your North Country hunting experience, hire a local guide who knows the ins and outs of the region and its wildlife.
As cool autumn temperatures set in, many species of fish become more active in the region. Among these species are landlocked salmon. From late September into early October, these salmon are prime targets for anglers. The salmon fishing is especially good along the North Country’s famed Trophy Stretch, a two-and-a-half mile stretch of the Connecticut River from First Connecticut Lake down to Lake Francis that is home to some of the best fly fishing in the eastern U.S. The region’s expert fishing guides can show anglers the best fishing spots and teach them the nuances of fishing the area’s waters.
On Saturday, October 6, Colebrook Downtown Development Association will host the annual Harvest Fair at the Colebrook Elementary School. Held from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the popular fair features a chowder and chili challenge, crafts, gifts, music, food, a farmers market, 50/50 raffle and much more.