Lakes Region visitors have plenty of options from where they can do their “leaf peeping,” the informal name of the activity that draws people to the region to take pictures and view firsthand the colorful phenomenon in September and October. Many choose to drive back roads to see the colors up close. Others opt to charter a boat or take a cruise of one of the many lakes, from Squam Lake to Winnipesaukee and Sunapee, to gaze at more of the views on a wider scale; the reflections of the foliage on the water double the impact. Outdoorsy types may choose to hike a nearby mountain or bike the hills, taking in the fresh air and one-of-a-kind views at the same time.
In addition, Tropical Storm Irene, which raged through the northeast in August, left New Hampshire’s Lakes Region with no physical damage, making the area the ideal spot for tourists in northern New England.
Fall and foliage-related events are popular at this time of year. Here are a few highlights:
- New Hampshire Highland Games: Friday-Sunday, Sept. 16-18. Loon Mountain Ski Resort, 60 Loon Mountain Road, Lincoln. www.NHscot.org. The largest Scottish festival in the Northeast includes the International Highland Games Federation Professional Scottish Heavy Events World Championships, as well as the IHGF World Hammer Championships. Tickets will be available at the gate.
- Harvest Festival: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. Prescott Farm, 928 White Oaks Road, Laconia. www.PrescottConservancy.org. Family event includes horse-drawn hayrides, face painting, pony rides, petting farm, food, music, family barn dances, workshops/demonstrations, tours and more. Children and families can drive a team of oxen. Free admission.
- Sylvania 300 – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25. New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 1122 Route 106 North, Loudon. www.NHMS.com. NASCAR stars return to New England for this 300-lap race in the Chase for the NASCAR Spring Cup. Tickets start at $39.
- Foliage Trains: Through October. www.FoliageTrains.com. Opt for a 1.5-hour trip on the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, a 2-hour trip aboard the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad from Meredith and Weirs Beach, a 4-hour ride to Livermore Falls or a foliage dinner train from Meredith. Prices vary.
- Harvest Moon Festival: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2. Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum, 18 Highlawn Road, Warner. www.IndianMuseum.org. Celebrate fall harvest with Native American-themed games, contests, craft demonstrations, activities and Native American food. Members: $5 for adults, $20 maximum for families; nonmembers: $8.50 for adults, $26 maximum for families.
- Columbus Day Weekend Sale: Friday-Monday, Oct. 7-10. Tanger Outlet Center, Route 3, Tilton. www.TangerOutlet.com/
- Fall Foliage Celebration:
The Lakes Region Tourism Association is the official tourism board of the region, representing close to 100 communities, 273 lakes and ponds, and more than 380 businesses in central New Hampshire, including area attractions, restaurants, retail establishments and accommodations. For more information or visitors guides, visit http://www.LakesRegion.org or follow on Facebook or Twitter.
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