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Lake Winnipesaukee Resort Blog

Lake Winnipesaukee Resort Blog


Tag Archive for 'fall foliage'

Hiking Trails in the New Hampshire Lakes Region

With the fall colors spreading across the landscape and the cooler air setting in, this is the perfect time of year to enjoy a hike in the Lakes Region. The Summit Resort’s central location offers easy access to some of the best hiking trails in the area. Check out our favorites below, and let us know which ones you like best!

Mt Major:
Located just 14 miles from the resort in Alton Bay, this popular hiking destination offers beautiful views overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. At 1,785 feet in elevation, this family friendly hike includes three main trail options. The Mt. Major Trail is approximately 1.5 miles to the top and is marked with blue blazes, the Boulder Loop Trail is 1.6 miles from the summit to the trail head and is marked with orange blazes. For something a bit longer, you can try out the Mt. Major and Brook Trail which is 2.4 miles, you will follow the blue blazes and then take the yellow blazes. Whether you are a beginner, a kid, advanced, or an adult this hike can be done by anyone. With the arrival of peak foliage season, the views from the summit are sure to be beautiful.

Red Hill:
This moderate hike located in Center Harbor, NH is a 3.5-mile loop trail to the summit and offers beautiful panoramic views of Lake Winnipesaukee and Squam Lake. With more than six different trail options, you can find something to fit your fitness level at Red Hill. The summit includes the scenic fire tower lookout and wardens cabin. If you are brave enough climb the tower (weather permitting), they may even let you in to show you the 360-vistas of the surrounding area. Red Hill has a long history that dates back to a time when the Native Americans would hunt on the slopes; to read more on the history check it out here. On your way out of town be sure to check out our new sister resort, the Center Harbor Inn. Visit the beautiful waterfront and stop by the front desk to find out more information on the hotel.

Gunstock:
You may be familiar with Gunstock as the ski mountain, but it’s much more than just a place to go get your winter skiing in. Gunstock Mountain has things going on all year round. With zipline tours, an aerial treetop adventure, and hiking trails you can spend a full day of fun here all year long. There are six different trails you can embark on, so try one or make it a goal to try all six. Trail distances range from .85 miles up to 3.6 miles so whether you are just a beginner or an avid hiker you can find something for everyone here. Aside from the hiking trails, Gunstock also offers a ¼ mile handicap accessible boardwalk for those that can’t make it up the hiking trails but still want the opportunity to get out and enjoy nature. Be sure to check out their website here for other fun things they offer year-round.

Belknap Mountain Range:
This range of mountains, the subject of the magnificent views at our sister resort, Steele Hill, offers one of the best kept hiking secrets in the Lakes Region. Comprised of three primary mountains in Gilford, New Hampshire: Piper, Belknap and the backside of Gunstock, the Belknaps offer beautiful views of Lake Winnipesaukee and Lake Winnisquam. The Belknap Range includes a variety of Moderate to Difficult hikes so if you are up for the challenge this hiking destination is just for you. Shoot up piper Mountain, for a short but rewarding hike with a treeless, granite peak and plenty of options to take in wild flowers or foliage depending on season. Other options include the more lengthy loop up Piper over the ridge to the top of Belknap Mountain where you can explore the fire tower and finally down the backside of Gunstock back to the parking lot.

Lakes Region Scenic Fall Foliage Drive


The Summit Resort is centrally located in the New Hampshire Lakes Region offering close proximity to Weir’s Beach, and some of the best fall foliage viewing in the state. It’s the perfect time of the year to enjoy a scenic drive around Lake Winnipesaukee. Take note of the beautiful fall colors, don’t forget to get out and stretch your legs along the way for some great food and tax free shopping. For more information on the towns you will be driving through check out the blog from our sister resort on Lake Towns here.

Start your day off taking Rt. 3 From Weirs Beach, all the way into Meredith Town Center. Grab some delicious breakfast at Sunshine and Paws and take a walk-through downtown for some awesome shopping and lakeside views before hopping back into your car.

From Meredith town center, continue on to Rt. 25 until you hit Center Harbor. Don’t blink, because this small town packs a lot of New Hampshire punch. This section of the lake avoids the heavy crows that Meredith and Weirs Beach bring while offering a variety of excellent restaurants and inviting shops. Enjoy the small town charm and appreciate the beautiful oranges and reds on the trees surrounding the route. While in town don’t forget to head down to the lakefront and check out our new sister resort, the Center Harbor Inn.

Once through Center Harbor and into Moultonborough, hop on Rt. 109 and head towards Wolfeboro. The long stretch on 109 is surrounded by beautiful trees and will give you a front row seat to the famous fall foliage of New Hampshire. Keep your eyes peeled for some beautiful houses along the way. There are a few spots that give you clear views of the lake right in Tuftonboro, pull off to the side, step out, and enjoy the fresh crisp air coming off the lake and take a photo with your family before getting back in the car and heading towards Wolfeboro.

Once you hit downtown Wolfeboro find a place to pull over on Main St. to get out and stretch those legs. Wolfeboro is your quintessential lake town, downtown is located right on the southeast shores of Winnipesaukee. With coffee shops, boutiques, and restaurants, you can enjoy being on the lake without actually being on the lake. Try one of our favorite spots for lunch at Garwoods! They are open year-round and offer a waterfront patio overlooking Wolfeboro Bay. Whether you are craving seafood, or a hearty fall soup, they have it here.

From Wolfeboro take Rt. 28 until you hit Bay Hill Rd. and take a right onto Rt. 11 on Mt Major Hwy, where you will cross the Southernmost point of the Lake at Alton Bay. Continue onto 11 until you get to 118 and take that straight back to the Summit Resort. The entire drive should take about 1hr 45min, with stops along the way you can make a full day of experiencing Fall in the New Hampshire Lakes Region. This is a lakeside adventure you will remember for a long time.