Fall has arrived in New Hampshire, bringing relief from summer’s hot temperatures and a chance to enjoy changing foliage. Though it is not quite time to break out the skis and snowshoes yet, ski resorts have plenty of ways to enjoy the fall season through events, aerial views and other activities.
FOLIAGE, FOOD & FAMILY
There are several events happening at ski resorts over the Columbus Day Weekend, October 8-10. Mount Sunapee is hosting their 8th annual Fall Foliage Pig Roast & Barbeque on Saturday and Sunday, which includes aerial sky rides, games, live music and pumpkin carving. Waterville Valley Resort is also holding their own Fall Foliage Festival with events planned through Monday, including kids’ games, pumpkin painting and live music. Black and Blue Trail Smashers will also be hosting their annual ski and snowboard swap.
Also during Columbus Day Weekend, Loon Mountain transforms into a celebration of German food, drink and culture during their annual White Mountain Oktoberfest. They partner with Sam Adams to offer a full schedule of events, from kids’ activities like pumpkin painting and a root beer keg toss to keg tosses and stein hoisting for adults. Live music will be provided by an Oompah-band during the event.
King Pine and Purity Spring Resort are celebrating craft beer with their Brew Ha Ha event on Sunday, October 9. They are teaming up with Amoskeag Beverages for a day full of live music, giant board games, cornhole, face painting and more.
Pats Peak is hosting their own Octoberfest on November 6, with German food, kids’ activities, a Harpoon Brewery Beer Garden, a NESJA Ski Joring and Mounted Shooting Demo, and more.
The 5th annual Simmer ‘n Brewfest at Cannon Mountain takes place on November 5. Guests can sample beers from more than 15 New England breweries and gourmet soups from local chefs and eateries while enjoying live music. (Please note that this event is for guests 21 and older).
The Ghoullog at Cranmore is celebrating “10 years of fear” this season. This famously scary event opened on September 24 and runs through November 5. Guests make their way through four individual haunts and can also visit The Haunted Playground with rides like the Mountain Coaster, Soaring Eagle Zip Line and Giant Swing. Friday, November 4 is a special 10th anniversary night and Saturday, November 5 is Lights Out night for some extra scary fun. (Please note, this attraction is recommended for ages 10 and older).
During the nights of October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29, take the longest haunted hayride in New England during Ghostly Gorge at Granite Gorge Ski Area. Add some fright to your night during this 25 minute haunted hayride around their property in Keene.
Bretton Woods is holding their Wicked Woods event October 28-30. This weekend-long event celebrates Halloween with activities for kids and adults. Saturday afternoon, costumes are strongly encouraged for the fourth annual Trunk or Treat Family Celebration and Kids’ Halloween Costume Party. Saturday night, it is the adults’ turn to enjoy a “Wicked” costume party.
AERIAL VIEWS & MOUNTAIN VISTAS
When they aren’t whisking skiers to the tops of snow-capped mountains, chair lifts and trams serve as the perfect way to view New Hampshire’s fall foliage.
Gunstock Mountain Resort’s Panorama Chairlift takes guests on a relaxing 15-minute ride to the summit where they can see Lake Winnipesaukee. Hikers sometimes opt to take the chairlift down after hiking to the summit. It is open on weekends through October 30 and on Monday, October 10 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Loon Mountain has New Hampshire’s longest scenic gondola skyride to the summit of Loon Peak, which provides views of the White Mountains. Skyrides are available daily through October 10.
As New Hampshire’s highest lift-accessed point, Cannon Mountain’s Aerial Tramway provides stunning views of four states and Canada. It is open daily through October 16.
Aerial sky rides are also available at Mount Sunapee during the weekends of October 1-2, 8-10 and 15-16, and are free daily at Bretton Woods through October 10. Waterville Valley Resort offers scenic chairlift rides on Snow’s Mountain Chairlift.
For more information and a full listing of events, visit www.skinh.com/resort-activities/events.aspx.
Ski NH is the statewide association representing 34 alpine and cross country resorts in New Hampshire. For more information on ski areas, vacation planning, and updated winter events at Ski NH resorts, call Ski NH at 603.745.9396 or visit the Ski NH website at www.SkiNH.com. For statewide travel info, visit www.visitNH.gov.