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adnil1962 Oct 6th, 2013 07:12 AM

Return of the Pumpkin People & Great Foliage!
Foliage in the White Mountains is currently at peak.

If you are in the area, be sure to stop in Jackson for the 26th annual "Return of the Pumpkin People" - over 100 businesses participating this year in N. Conway, Bartlett & Jackson - it started as a Jackson event so most are in that area - really creative stuff this year! Displays out until Oct 20th.

My husband & I (and a few other board members) did the display at the Jackson Historical Society & Museum of White Mountain Art. It is called Shapleigh From the Inside Out to go along with our FREE current exhibit of Shapleigh paintings - he used to sit inside barns and paint the view of the mountains and always included many of the same elements like yellow hats, pumpkins, cats and chickens. Our pumpkin display won 1st place this year! Not sure if you can see it, but here is a link to a photo on Facebook:

The art exhibit doesn't officially open until the 18th, but our 90 year old curator Warren is giving sneak previews - open if you see his white Lexus in the parking lot, great first art exhibit for kids since many of the paintings have animals.... also have a giant topographical map of the area, fun for hikers & kids of all ages.

charsuzan Oct 6th, 2013 10:04 AM

Sounds like lots of fun.

michele_d Oct 6th, 2013 11:54 AM

We plan to visit Vermont and NH next year for the first two weeks of October for the fall foliage. Looks like, if this year is any indication, that the first part of Oct is the best time to visit. We plan to rent a motor home so we can 'chase' the color wherever it might be during our visit.

Am I correct in understanding that this event runs Oct 1-20? Thank you. Any other similar events between the two states that you, as a local, would recommend? We plan on leaf peeping, antiquing, wine tasting, visiting cheese and maple syrup farms, and wandering aimlessly through the two states enjoying the beauty. Can't wait!

dfrostnh Oct 7th, 2013 04:14 AM

Check the dates for campgrounds since some close after Columbus Day. Get the cheese and wine trail maps for each state. Find good farmstands for freshly picked apples. If you aren't from an apple region, the variety at some orchards will amaze you. Flagg Hill Winery in NH is a nice visit you can make on your way from Concord NH to Portsmouth NH. there was a great news story on LaBelle Winery recently.

Adnil, that is a great pumpkin display! I didn't expect such an elaborate composition. Thanks for sharing photo. I live further south but agree the color is really nice this year. I think color is early this year and this past weekend, the weather turned rainy. Friends and I usually go away on the third weekend in Sept and just about always have fantastic weather. This year we went last weekend and it was gorgeous (Concord MA/Harvard MA area).

michele_d Oct 7th, 2013 07:27 AM

Thanks dfrostnh,
Thanks for the tips about checking the closure dates. I did see that many close around Columbus Day. Really looking forward to the trip.

adnil1962 Oct 15th, 2013 01:28 PM

michele_d- yes, the Pumpkin People event runs from Oct 1-20, but I have heard that the state wants us to keep them up until the 31st next year! (not easy to keep the pumpkin heads from decaying).

In town here we have the Goulag at Cranmore Mountain - kind of expensive but a really great/scary haunted house if you are into that kind of thing.

We have never made it to the Keene, NH pumpkin festival, but heard it is awesome!

Also the Fryeburg Fair is held this time of year as well - it is about a 30 minute drive from our area (as long as you take the back way up over Hurricane Mountain Road) - - we usually work the Kiwanis coffee booth a few afternoons, so stop by and say hi!

In North Conway there is also a scenic train ride that goes up to the Notch - you can have lunch on the train - fabulous way to see the foliage (do the notch ride, the valley ride is a short ride, I think more geared to kids) -

You should also try to get to the top of Mount Washington - "home of the world's worst weather". You can hike, drive the auto road yourself, have a van take you up the auto road or try the cog railroad (we found the cog to be expensive and they didn't let you stay up top very long). The auto road does partially shut down once it snows, some years early October, so then the cog would be the only way to the top. There is a weather observatory and museum at the top, great views if it is a clear day and of course the resident cat Marty! They have trips where you can stay overnight (we did a photography one in February which was fabulous!)

A visit to our only remaining Grand Hotel is nice too - - "the Cave" is cool but only open late night - we usually take visitors for lunch or just get a snack in the Rosebrook Bar. You don't have to eat - it is pretty just to see and walk around the grounds.

The foliage changes year to year, I think it depends on how much rain we get.... Peak seems to usually fall during the last week of September to the first week of October, some years a little later.

dfrostnh - thanks!!!

michele_d Oct 15th, 2013 02:00 PM

adnil1962 ...Thank you so much for all the great info. I am soooo excited for this trip. We love train rides so will definitely do that. And the drive up Mt Washington sounds great. Now I just need to figure out where to begin and end our trip. Thanks again!

adnil1962 Oct 15th, 2013 06:37 PM

michele_d - I don't know much about Vermont, but Acadia/Bar Harbor Maine is one of my favorite places if you have never been - also love Camden, Maine. Lots of quaint Maine places... Haven't been to VT in years, guess I have to add it to my list!

michele_d Oct 15th, 2013 06:58 PM

We drove through Vermont years ago, during early September. I just remember so vividly how beautiful it was even without the color change. I have always wanted to return and thought leaf changing time would be a great time to do so. With a motor home we will be free to 'chase' the color wherever it is when we are there.

I wish we had a month to go and explore Maine and Pennsylvania also but unfortunately we cannot do that lengthy of a trip this time. Thanks again for the info.

MainerGirl Oct 19th, 2013 07:39 PM

Was in N. Conway last weekend and loved seeing all the pumpkin people. :-)

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