Off-Campus Excursions: Making the Most of Fall in New Hampshire

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Fall at New Hampton School means many traditions and activities, but there is even more to explore outside of our campus home. Far from the rigor of the academic day lies a colorful array of autumn treats and adventures. Whether you prefer to witness the beauty of New Hampshire’s favorite season from the comfort of a car ride, while shopping in a new town, or with your hiking boots laced up for a walk in the forest, we’ve got you covered with these local-approved ideas!

Hiking in Franconia Notch and the White Mountains is a tradition for our students, offering beautiful views no matter the season!

1. Adventures in White Mountain National Forest and Franconia Notch

Did you know there are over 1,200 miles of trails in the White Mountains? There is no time like the breathtaking fall to enjoy hiking, climbing, and sightseeing in the Whites. A short drive north offers vibrant colors and easy and challenging excursion options as you immerse yourself in nature. Whether you want to take a gondola ride to the top of Cannon Mountain, walk the twisty pathways of The Flume, or maybe seek the highest peak via the Cog Railway on Mount Washington, there are great options for everyone.

2. Visit the Castle in the Clouds

Explore the historic Lucknow Estate, also known as the Castle in the Clouds, nestled in the Ossipee Mountains. Wander through the castle, gardens, and hiking trails, all offering stunning autumn views. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

3. Experience the joys of Moulton Farm

Head to Moulton Farm in Meredith, a short drive from New Hampton School, to load up on snacks from their market, like fresh cider, fruit, granola, and apple cider donuts. Enjoy the farm’s festive atmosphere, epic corn maze, and warm greenhouses. It’s the perfect place to stop by on a fall afternoon!

4. Scenic Cruises on Lake Winnipesaukee and Squam Lake

Swimming season may be over, but the views from the lake can still be enjoyed with a walk along the shore and, of course, by boat! Take a scenic cruise on iconic Lake Winnipesaukee or Squam Lake, surrounded by picturesque fall foliage. Several companies offer boat tours, allowing you to enjoy the season’s beauty from the water.

5. Apple Picking

Experience the quintessential fall activity by picking crisp apples at a local orchard. Spend a morning in the orchard, enjoying the fresh air and selecting your favorite varieties, and maybe try your hand at making a baked good with your dorm parents by evening!

Students enjoy visits to the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, and have also completed service learning support here to this great local non-profit organization.

6. Explore Squam Lakes Natural Science Center

Discover local wildlife and enjoy interactive exhibits at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness. Learn about the region’s ecology and see animals in their natural habitats amidst the fall scenery. In addition to the animal exhibition trail, there are hiking trails and gardens to visit. Plan your trip soon, as they are open only until the end of October!

7. Visit Canterbury Shaker Village

Explore the preserved Shaker Village in Canterbury, where you can learn about the community’s history, traditional crafts, and architecture. The surrounding fall colors enhance the village’s serene atmosphere.

8. Enjoy a Scenic Drive Along the Kancamagus Highway

Take a scenic drive along the Kancamagus Highway, long renowned for its stunning fall foliage. Marvel at the vibrant hues of the trees and stop at various viewpoints to capture the season’s beauty. Bring along your camera to make the most of it, and be sure to stop in Jackson or Conway for shopping and snacks before making your way back to campus.

off campus excursion gunstock mountain
A group of students share a photo op on top of Gunstock Mountain with Lake Winnipesaukee in the background.

9. Alpine Adventures at Gunstock Mountain Resort

Experience the thrill of zip lining as you soar above the treetops and enjoy panoramic views of the fall foliage, creating unforgettable memories with friends. There are also scenic chairlift rides, the mountain coaster, and much more. These activities offer a perfect blend of adventure, nature, and cultural experiences, making them ideal for a trip away from New Hampton to enjoy all that the lakes and mountains of New Hampshire have to offer.

10. Visit a Haunted House!

October, as some say, is “spooky season.” And if haunted thrills are your thing, you’ll have lots of options for Halloween attractions. Whether you want to visit an acclaimed haunted house, or fun locations such as Salisbury Woods and the locally hosted family-friendly Gilford Community Center, the dark evenings ahead will provide plenty of entertainment to enchant you.

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