With hundreds of thousands of acres of White Mountain National Forest surrounding our little town, Waterville Valley is an ideal Fall Foliage destination. If you’re looking to get more in tune with nature while capturing great views of the trees as they turn to different hues of red, orange, and yellow, check out these top 5 hikes for experiencing Fall Foliage in Waterville Valley.
1. Welch and Dickey Mountains (Moderate, 4 miles)
Driving up rt. 49, Welch and Dickey Mountains are the first official peaks you pass after crossing into Waterville Valley. This 4 mile loop trail offers many great views of Waterville Valley, the Sandwich Range, the Campton area and I-93 Corridor, and the Southern White Mountains. For a shorter hike (2.5 miles) you can hike the loop counter-clockwise to the first ledge on Welch mountain and enjoy a great view before returning to the trailhead the way you came.
2. The Scaur (Moderate, 4.2 miles)
The Scaur is a large rocky hill on the north side of Waterville Valley. Accessed by Irenes Path via Livermore Road, it offers a stunning vista looking south over the Valley including the Ski Area and the peaks that encircle the Valley. During the Fall this trail will be a great jaunt among the foliage and will give you sweeping views over the many colored tree tops.
3. The Cascades (Easy, 3 miles)
The Cascades are one of the most popular natural features in Waterville Valley, but it sees much less traffic once summer passes and the seasons begin to change. A 1.5 mile hike from the Snow’s Mountain parking lot will take you to a series of several waterfalls with hiking trails on each side. The Cascades carve their way through the forest with thick leafy trees on each side that promise to offer beautiful fall colors. For a shorter hike the Cascades can be easily accessed from the Snow’s Mountain Lift, which runs on weekends through October. Just ask the lift attendant for directions.
4. Waterville Flume (Moderate, 5.4 miles)
Regarded by locals as one of the most underrated natural features in the White Mountains, the Waterville Flume is nestled deep in the northeast end of the Valley. With 60+ foot walls this section of Flume Brook has dug it’s own path through the mountains. Looking west from the Flume you get views of the Osceola Peaks and the Greeley Ponds scenic area. The Flume lies a couple miles past The Scaur (#2 on this list) on Irenes Path, so you can easily see both in one trip.
5. Mad River Path (Very Easy, 1 mile)
The Mad River Path follows the banks of the Mad River in the heart of Waterville Valley. in the fall it will offer great views of the colorful trees along the river. At the north end of the Path there is a river crossing made out of large stepping stones placed in the water.
For more info on hikes in Waterville Valley visit our hiking page here.
To learn more about Fall in the Valley visit our foliage page here.
Now go out and peep some leaves!
-Jonathan Content Coordinator, Snow Reporter