My Best Pictures of Fall in New Hampshire

by dustytoes

I live in New Hampshire where the Fall foliage season brings the most spectacular colors and visitors from all over the world.

I grew up in New England and always loved the Fall foliage season best. There is just something about the refreshing, crisp air that sweeps in with it's wonderful smell that pulls us outside to walk, bike, and take pictures.

Autumn is the one time of year that I truly try to enjoy each and every day. It passes so quickly, and there is always the threat of a wind and rain storm to chase away the color before it's time. The New England area gets lots of visitors this time of year and some of them come from very far away. This area of the United States is known for it's Yankee Ingenuity and small towns that feature home made products of all kinds. Tourists can shop for unique items while they enjoy the autumn color.

When is the Fall Season?

Don't be late or the branches will be bare.

bare tree branches

Leaf Peepers visit New England from all over the world and it's a very busy tourist season.  Book your reservations early.

Peak foliage season varies from north to south.  Foliage season begins in mid - to late September and is done by the middle to end of October in all of New England. Trees begin to change color in the north first and color changes progress southward.  In my area of south-western New Hampshire it's usually best around the first week of October, but that depends on the weather.

 You can usually find great color someplace by mid September and if we have good weather, it will still be beautiful in mid- October.

Keep in mind that it depends on the tree type also.  Maples are one of the first types to change (and you'll see the brightest colors near swampland), and oaks seem to be last.  Even if there is not much to view in general, you may come across some spectacular looking singular trees.

The 2013 Season in Southwestern New Hampshire

This picture was taken October 3, 2013
Fall in New Hampshire, 2013
Fall in New Hampshire, 2013
Narrow Road Designs

Finding Peak Color Using Foliage Forecast Maps

Don't miss the peak time for viewing in your area.

Not every foliage season is the same.  Color is generally always good, but some years are better than others, for whatever the reasons.  Sometimes the color pops right on time, and at others we wonder where the change is, until suddenly everything is gorgeous all at once.

I've found a pretty cool foliage progression map at the Yankee Foliage site where you can find general, early to late season color using the map of the New England states and a corresponding calendar.  It has a pause button too, which helps.

***********    Peak Foliage Forecast Map   *************

Find Good Foliage From September into Mid-October in New England

The bright foliage shows up first on the trees growing near bodies of water.

trees along the waterSwampy, wet areas are a good place to first see the bright colors of our Fall foliage.    I lived near a lake for three years and could easily visit during good weather to get some great photos.

Gregg Lake is in a small town and has only a few summer homes along the roadway.  Other camps and cottages, and year round houses are also nestled in woods.  It is also home to the Camp Chenoa Girl Scout Camp which takes up a large section of the shoreline.

This picture was taken in October, 2013


Fall Scene By the Lake

Narrow Road Designs

The Little Wooden Bridge in a Country Setting

Taken Fall season 2009. See the comparison below taken this year (2013).

wooden bridgePictures of foliage are more interesting with another object in the photo, like this old bridge over a stream.

This little wooden bridge connects two roads and the views from either side of it are interesting.  One view looks toward the hills and the other looks toward the lake. 

One year the town had to dig up a beaver damn  from under the bridge. It was blocking the flow of the water. I thought that was a bit mean, but I guess it made sense. The beavers probably built in another area. It's common to see chewed off trees in that area which the little critters use to make their homes.

Fall at the Bridge in 2013

Looks like some of the color has already blown away.
The Wooden Bridge
The Wooden Bridge
Narrow Road Designs

The Landscape Can Change From Year to Year

A winter storm can damage trees that once gave us beautiful fall foliage.

Landscapes can change from season to season.  For instance, one year we had a horrific ice storm in December that toppled many tress, even huge ones. Favorite spots for photos now had a different look.This little bridge is a favorite spot of mine to get seasonal (any season) photos, but when I visited this year I noticed that even the bridge had received a makeover.  The boards had been replaced, which was desperately needed, but now it has less of a rustic look.

Also catching the bright foliage at just the right time is key.  And you really never know for sure when that will be.  As you can see from my images, the 2009 shot has more color.  In general, that was a fabulous year for bright leaves.  This year it seems that I missed it by a few days, or else the colors are just not as bright.  Each fall can give us different results.  One year can be very bright and gorgeous, and the next, not so much.

Orange Leaves - 2009
Orange Leaves - 2009
Narrow Road Designs

Time Really Flies in Autumn

In Autumn it's easy to see time fly.  Once we realize the leaves are changing, it seems that each day we see more color - if we pay attention.  A beautiful tree can look different each day, and before you know it, the leaves blow away.  Well, not really, they blow into our yards and we have to rake them up!

Sometimes early Fall storms can remove the colorful leaves before they should be gone.  Procrastination is not possible if we are to enjoy the Fall colors in New England.

A Heron in The Reflecting Pool

A photo from my first Fall season living in New Hampshire.

heron fall autumn

The heron photo is one of my earliest shots. I had moved back to New England in 2005 after living in Florida for nearly thirty years. Although I had family in the northeast, I never had the chance to go back in Fall as my kids were always in school at that time. Our visits were always planned for summertime.

And so, once I lived here again, I could not wait to see the beautiful Fall colors I remembered from long ago.  Visiting the lake is always interesting as the wildlife is everywhere.  It's not unusual to see turtles sunning, herons and loons along with ducks, geese and sometimes a snapping turtle or deer.  It is rumored that there is also a moose close by, and I've seen tracks, but I have never seen him.


Red, Orange and Yellow Maple Leaves

orange maple leaves

Gather pretty leaves and spread them out on a table to get a shot like this one. It's been a popular selling postcard in my Narrow Road Designs store.

For the most part, we look for scenic landscapes in Fall and may overlook the very thing that makes the views so lovely - the leaves!

To the best of my knowledge these are mostly  maple leaves except for the oak leaf in the corner.

How is the color in your neck of the woods?

I know that other places, besides New England, have gorgeous Fall color. Brag about your place here!
Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
Not much to see here. I'd rather be in New England for the season.
sheilamarie on 08/26/2012

I especially miss New England in the fall. There are fall colors in many other places, but nothing beats a New England autumn!

Fall is beautiful where I live - who needs New England!
BrendaReeves on 10/21/2012

Fall is also beautiful in Kentucky. However, I'm from CA and lived there until I was 56 years old. Most of that time was spent in L.A. where the few trees that exist aren't that spectacular. To get a really beautiful fall in CA you'd need to go to the mountains. I would love to visit your fall.

Ragtimelil on 08/25/2012

I actually will miss the season there, but not the line of cars filled with leaf-peepers.

Partially Bare Branches of a White Birch Tree

White and gold against the blue sky.

white birch yellow leavesIt must have been near the end of Fall when I took this photo of the white birch trees. Most of their golden leaves had blown away.

The white bark, yellow leaves and dark branches looked so pretty against the bright, blue sky.

It tends to be very windy near the lake. The north wind sweeps down over the hills and blows over the road and right into the beach end of the lake.  For this reason, the trees along the lake road will lose their foliage first.

One reader of my blog informed me that she was using this photo as a reference to paint a picture.  I always wonder how it turned out.

Updated: 12/27/2021, dustytoes
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

Have you visited New England in Fall?

Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
dustytoes on 05/26/2013

Thanks for the visit Mike. The coolness of the Autumn air is wonderful which is the best reason to get out and view the foliage.

MikeRobbers on 05/26/2013

Absolutely stunning photography! New Hampshire is very beautiful that time of the year. My favorite thing about autumn though is the color of the foliage.

dustytoes on 10/30/2012

Some Fall seasons are better than others, but it's always nice. Thank you!

dustytoes on 10/21/2012

Thanks Brenda for viewing.

BrendaReeves on 10/21/2012


sheilamarie on 08/26/2012

Beautiful photos, Dustytoes! I'll be enjoying some NH beauty this September, as I'll be visiting family. Lucky me!

katiem2 on 08/25/2012

Fall is such a beautiful time of year. Here in Ohio we have beautiful color and variety in our fall foliage. You've become quite the photographer. :)K

dustytoes on 08/25/2012

@Ragtimelil, Maybe if you get back this way, we can meet! I hope it happens one day.

Ragtimelil on 08/25/2012

Yes, 40 years of it. One regret is that we could have met up. I lived north of you in Canaan. It's a bit of a drive now, from Texas. :))

Mira on 08/25/2012

Yes, I did see New England in fall and it's quite impressive. I also traveled to Bucovina in northern Romania during the fall one time, and the landscapes were really nice, with leaves of all colors. We do have most of these trees, but somehow they're not planted together :-). Then there's the light. Mid-September light is my favorite in Bucharest. Now you've inspired me to make sure I don't miss that light this fall (be out more and photograph more). :-)

You might also like

Collect Your Own Gems and Minerals at Ruggles Mine in New Hamp...

Take the whole family on a day trip to Ruggles Mine in New Hampshire. The k...

Summer Vacation on Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire

Vacation on a New England lake in New Hampshire with an old Indian name.

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...