fall foliage colorsGreat North Woods: North Percy Peak

If you’ve got some time to take in fall’s eye-catching colors and are up for a bit of a challenge (three and a half hours, give or take!).

Hit the The Percy Peaks Trail from Nash Stream Road. The 4.4-mile round trip offers rugged terrain with lots of lookout ledges as you ascend 2,200-foot elevation, which makes for striking views over the Nash Stream Forest.

For lighter hiking with beautiful sights, head to nearby Dixville Notch State Park.

White Mountains: Arethusa Falls

You really can’t go wrong with this moderate 2.6-mile round trip hike along The Bemis Brook Trail to the majestic 140-foot Arethusa Falls strewn with fall colors in Crawford Notch State Park.

And just a half hour away, Franconia Notch State Park also offers a great fall family-friendly hike, like the Bald Mountain and Artists Bluff loop.

Lakes Region: Gunstock, Belknap and Piper Mountains

If you’re looking to “bag” several peaks without spending days on the trail, we recommend the Belknap Range. Home to a wonderful three-peak, 4.7-mile loop trail that climbs 1,850 feet, this hike delivers with magnificent mountain, lake and foliage views.

The hike starts at the bottom of the Belknap Carriage Road and you’ll want to follow the Gunstock Mountain, Brook, Saddle, Blue, White, Old Piper, and Piper Mountain trails (bring a map!) Book time, approximately 3 hours.

Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region: Mount Cube

Tower over the painted landscape of the Connecticut River Valley, and soak up sensational views of the Southern White Mountains from open ledges on this 5-mile round trip hike. It should take the average backwoods leaf peeper around three and half hours to complete.

Begin your hike on Baker Road off NH Rt. 25 A and take the Mount Cube section of the Cross-Rivendell Trail. You’ll also take the Mount Cube Trail and North Cube Side Trail for a bit too.

Merrimack Valley: South Pawtuckaway Mountain

This short-loop hike in Pawtuckaway State Park serves up a gradual 450-foot elevation gain over 2.3 miles and runs from Tower Road, via the Tower Trail Connector, Mountain Trail, South Ridge Trail, South Ridge Connector and Tower Road.

During your trek, you’ll encounter picturesque foliage along many ledges, rock formations and boulders, so be sure to take along your camera/phone and snap some pics!

Monadnock Region: Pack Monadnock

Whether you’re a bird watcher or just enjoy their dulcet chirps, this 3.7-mile loop is well worth the trip. With a respectable 1,150-foot elevation gain to get you to the top, there are several fantastic viewpoints along the way, including the raptor observatory. Here you can watch hawks, eagles, falcons and other birds soaring above as they migrate.

The hike takes about two and a half hours, and runs along the Wapack Trail and Marion Davis Trail over a partly open summit in New Hampshire’s oldest state park, Miller State Park (don’t forget to climb the fire tower for more foliage awesomeness).

Park Monadnock also includes a circuit of the Summit Loop Trail and a side trip out and back to a viewpoint on the Spruce Knoll Trail.

Seacoast Region: Odiorne State Park

Odiorne State Park’s unique 135 acres offer up something for everyone—from light hiking and picturesque picnic spots to rich autumn hues, fresh salty air, and sweeping ocean views. You can hunt for sea glass on sandy beaches and pretty pebbles along the rocky shoreline, where Pennacook and Abenaki tribes spent summers centuries ago.

A network of trails lets you explore forested trails, ponds, salt marshes, and even the bunker remnants of old Fort Dearborn. When you’ve had your fill of history, you can stop by the Seacoast Science Center to enjoy educational exhibits and programming, too.

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Joan McCray

Joan McCray is a travel writer living in NYC. Her work has appeared in the NewYorker,Travel & Leisure, Town & Country, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Wine,and many local publications.She has published travel anthologies in Salon.com and Lonely Planet.

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https://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2014/09/leaf3.jpghttps://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2014/09/leaf3-150x150.jpgJoan McCrayGetawaysFamily Fun,Family TravelGreat North Woods: North Percy Peak If you’ve got some time to take in fall’s eye-catching colors and are up for a bit of a challenge (three and a half hours, give or take!).Hit the The Percy Peaks Trail from Nash Stream Road. The 4.4-mile round trip offers rugged terrain...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids