If you’re visiting New Hampshire in the Fall, you’re in for a treat.
There’s so much going on, from gorgeous Fall foliage to some of the best haunted houses in New England.
For tips on what to do in New Hampshire in the Fall, keep reading.
Table of contents
- Go apple picking
- Check out the New Hampshire Film Festival
- Dig in at the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival
- Get lost in the Sherman Farm corn maze
- Embrace Scottish culture at the New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival
- Eat your heart out at The Great American Ribfest & Food Truck Festival
- Go for a hike
- Eat even more at the NH Bacon & Beer Festival
- Embark on a Fall foliage train ride
- See jack-o’-lanterns at the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival
- Test your bravery at a haunted house
- What will you do in New Hampshire in the Fall?
Go apple picking
While there are many lovely apple orchards across New Hampshire, I recommend heading to Londonderry, which is well-known for its apple orchards and farms.
Today there are 3 apple orchards left in Londonderry: Elwood Orchard, Mack’s Apples, and Sunnycrest Farm.
Elwood Orchards has been around for over 110 years (since 1910!).
Here you can pick a variety of apples and shop for corn, peaches, and other goodies from their farm stand. They also offer firewood for sale.
Mack’s Apples at Moose Hill Orchard lets visitors pick their own apples and pumpkins during the Fall season.
They also have a market with other produce, like corn and tomatoes, and an ice cream stand.
In the Summer, you can pick your own peaches, too.
Sunnycrest Farm lets visitors pick their own apples in the Fall plus they have a well-stocked market.
The market sells various fruit, vegetables, honey, syrup, milk, bread, and apple cider donuts.
During other seasons, you can also pick your own blueberries, cherries, and raspberries.
Check out the New Hampshire Film Festival
Every October, the New Hampshire Film Festival takes over Portsmouth with screenings, film discussions, youth workshop, parties, and more.
And while many might shrug it off, assuming that a small state film festival isn’t worth it, think again!
Many celebrity actors, film makers, producers, and others in the film industry regularly make the trek to NH to participate.
The New Hampshire Film Festival has been cancelled for 2021, but I have confirmed with organizers that it is planning to be back in 2022.
Dig in at the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival
The Hampton Beach Seafood Festival features local bands, end-of-season sales from beach vendors, local craft sellers, a beer tent featuring New England’s best breweries, and of course, plenty of seafood.
It’s a great way to close out the Summer with one last beach weekend and lots of fun.
In 2021, The Hampton Beach Seafood Festival will take place September 10-12.
Get lost in the Sherman Farm corn maze
New England is full of cool corn mazes, but the one at Sherman Farm in Center Conway might be the coolest!
Every year, Sherman Farm creates an elaborate maze in their corn fields that is a pure work of art (as demonstrated below).
If that sounds a bit overwhelming, there’s a smaller, more simple maze available too.
In addition to the corn mazes, there’s a petting zoo, pumpkin patch, bounce pad, and corn boxes (aka a sandbox filled with corn!).
Last, but not least, there’s a farm market and ice cream shop on site for delicious locally grown produce and homemade treats.
Embrace Scottish culture at the New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival
The New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival is one of the biggest events put on by NHSCOT, a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote Scottish culture, particularly in the Northeast US.
At the New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival, there are traditional events like highland games competitions, vendors selling Scottish goods, whisky tastings, Scottish and Celtic musicians and dancers, and sheepdog trials.
In 2021, the event will take place September 17-19 at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, NH.
Eat your heart out at The Great American Ribfest & Food Truck Festival
If you’re a fan of ribs, this festival is for you!
The Great American Ribfest & Food Truck Festival features a variety of BBQ vendors you can sample.
In addition to ribs, there are food trucks with other types of food, such as ice cream, baked goods, cheese steaks, and seafood.
Aside from stuffing yourself with delicious food, the festival also features vendors selling goods like hot sauce, bbq sauce, seasonings, clothing, and more.
NOTE: In 2021, the Great American Ribfest & Food Truck Festival has been cancelled. It is expected to return in 2022.
Go for a hike
There are tons of gorgeous trails in New Hampshire to choose from, especially when it comes to enjoying the Fall foliage and mild weather.
But there are a few trails that standout for prime Fall foliage viewing. Here are 3 trails to consider in varying ability and lengths.
The Flume Gorge Trail in Franconia Notch State Park is perhaps one of New Hampshire’s most popular trails.
This 1-way 2 mile loop brings you past glacial boulders, covered bridges, and a waterfall. It also includes (lots of) stairs and wooden pathways.
There is an entrance fee to this trail and due to its popularity, advanced reservations are strongly encouraged.
The fee is $16 for ages 6-12 and $18 for ages 13 and up. Children under 6 are free.
The Flume Gorge Trail is located in Lincoln, NH.
While not a hike by definition, the 1.8 mile Lake Winnisquam Scenic Trail is set on asphalt.
This makes it accessible for those with mobility differences and still includes stunning Fall foliage views around Lake Winnisquam.
The trailhead is at the Leslie E. Roberts Beach & Recreation Area in Belmont.
Mount Major Trail in Major Mountain State Forest is a 3 mile out-and-back trail with impressive views from the top of Mount Major.
You can also pick up the Brook trail either halfway up or at the summit to turn this into a 3.7 mile loop trail.
The Fall foliage views are absolutely stunning with Lake Winnipesaukee in the foreground.
Mount Major Trail is located in Alton, NH.
Eat even more at the NH Bacon & Beer Festival
This fun food festival in Merrimack, NH is a fundraiser that supports the High Hopes Foundation of New Hampshire.
The High Hopes Foundation provides life-enhancing experiences, like bucket list trips, service animal training, or celebrity outings, for chronically ill children in NH.
The NH Bacon & Beer Festival features bacon, beer, local musicians, and other local food vendors. It’s a great Sunday Funday activity that helps support children – can’t go wrong!
In 2021, the festival will take place on September 11.
Embark on a Fall foliage train ride
A fun way to take in the Fall foliage in New Hampshire is via scenic railway.
One option is the Hobo & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad Fall Foliage tour.
On this 4-hour tour, you’ll take a round trip train ride from Meredith, NH with 2 stops during the tour.
The first stop is at Common Man Inn & Spa where you’ll have a Thanksgiving-inspired buffet lunch.
The second stop is at the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad Station in Ashland for a tour of this historic station.
Along the way, you’ll see Ashland Summit, Bonnie Brae Deer Farm, Glove Hollow Christmas Tree Farm, and Lake Waukewan, all of which provide lovely Fall foliage views.
Another reputable option for a fall foliage train ride in New Hampshire is via Conway Scenic Railroad’s Mountaineer tour that takes off from North Conway.
The Mountaineer is a 5-5.5 hour train ride that takes you through Crawford Notch.
The ride includes views of mountains, streams, bridges, and of course, plenty of Fall foliage if you visit during peak foliage season.
It also includes a stop at the historic Crawford Depot in Caroll, NH.
See jack-o’-lanterns at the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival
One of the biggest pumpkin festivals in the United States happens right in New Hampshire!
The festival originally started in Keene, NH, but moved to Laconia in 2015.
The goal of the festival is to beat the world record for the most lit carved pumpkins.
As you can imagine, it is a sight to behold with masses and masses of jack-o-lanterns, all lit up at night!
The current record is held by the 2013 festival, which gathered 30,581 lit jack-o-lanterns.
The New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival is cancelled for 2021, but will be back for October 15-16, 2022.
Test your bravery at a haunted house
There are many haunted houses, hayrides, and other spooky attractions in New Hampshire, but these 3 take the cake.
If you’re into spooky things year-round, not just in the Fall, then Fright Kingdom is for you.
The largest haunted house in New England, Fright Kingdom features 5 spooky attractions:
- Apocalypse Z: an immersive zombie apocalypse experience.
- The Abandoned: A haunted house with a mysterious past.
- Bloodmare Manor: A haunted house featuring the diabolical Bloodmare family
- Grim: A pitch-black haunted maze.
- Psycho Circus: A 3D haunted house featuring clowns and other freaky circus ish.
In addition to the spooky attractions, there’s Monster Midway, a classic fair midway with an escape room (for additional cost), photo ops, food, drink, and other fun stuff.
Fright Kingdom is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in October.
Located at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee, Haunted Overload is truly one of the scariest Halloween attractions in the US, much less New Hampshire.
This haunted trail offers multiple options to satisfy any customer, from lights on with no scares to pitch black and all stops pulled out.
Haunted Overload also aims to raise money for the Pope Memorial Humane Society of Cocheco Valley.
Nightmare New England
One of the largest – and spookiest – Halloween destinations in New Hampshire is in Litchfield, NH.
Nightmare New England includes 80 acres filled with spooky activities.
There’s a 1-mile haunted hayride, a spooky maze called The Colony, and Dreamscape, a 3D haunted house.
Another attraction will debut in 2021, but as of August 30, details haven’t been announced.
In addition to the spooky attractions, there’s a beer garden, food, arcade games, go-karts, and other rides.
In 2021, Nightmare New England opens September 24 and runs through November 6 on weekends only.
Check the Nightmare New England website for specific dates and ticket prices.
What will you do in New Hampshire in the Fall?
I hope your visit to New Hampshire in the Fall is full of fun in the great outdoors and all things spooky!
Know of a great event or activity in New Hampshire in the Fall?
Drop me a comment or send me an email. I’m always on the lookout for cool things to consider for this list!
This post was originally published on August 31, 2021. It was last updated on September 5, 2021.