We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Fall foliage drive/tour near Manchester NH

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
7 posts
27 reviews
Save Topic
Fall foliage drive/tour near Manchester NH

I am a Texan traveling to Manchester, NH for the first time on business the week of Sept. 25-Sept. 30. We are staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites Manchester-Bedford. Work will wrap up on Thursday and most of the team is flying home Thursday night or Friday morning, but I am taking a later flight Friday so I can do some sightseeing/leaf peeping on Friday. Could you recommend a short scenic drive or a tour that I can take starting early Friday morning which will enable me to get to the airport in time to return my rent car and make my 5:45pm flight?

NH
Level Contributor
3,764 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Fall foliage drive/tour near Manchester NH

The leaves are just starting so show a "hint" of color. Some pretty drives could be suggested...just not much in the way of drives that will offer much color.

Maybe one of the contributors on the forums who lives around the lakes region or out toward Keene will chime in with info on their areas??? ..Little to nothing for color in the lower central part of the state.~~~allfins

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
7 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Fall foliage drive/tour near Manchester NH

Thanks allfins! Do you think I would have time to do the Kancamagus Highway? If I leave Manchester at, say, 7am?

NH
Level Contributor
3,764 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Fall foliage drive/tour near Manchester NH

Hm-m-m-mm.... You should probably be at MHT for your rental return and flight around 4:30-ish. I lean toward being more conservative when it comes to time allowances for travel. If you left Manchester at 7AM to drive the Kanc, it's probably doable without much of a problem but would not allow for many stops for photos. The issue would come if you left any later than 7AM. Fridays are a high volume traffic day heading north on I-93.

Here is what I would do if I were you: Go for it! If you look at your watch at 11AM and you still have not reached your farthest destination point, turn around and head back to MHT. You'll have time to grab some lunch, fuel up and get back to the airport in plenty of time for your flight.

The worst case scenario would be that you still got to see some spectacular scenery and maybe even had time for stops and a few pictures. Even if you don't make it to the Kanc, I guarantee that you will not be disappointed with the views from the highway once you reach Exit 26 and beyond.

Is there any chance that you can check out of your Thursday night accommodations in Manchester and drive up as far as Plymouth on Thursday night? This would give you a really good jump on your goal for sight seeing and making it to the Kanc on Friday.~~~allfins

Edited: 9:24 am, September 20, 2016
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
7 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Fall foliage drive/tour near Manchester NH

Thanks allfins! I had thought about moving on Thursday night as well. Great suggestion! Weather looks like it might be a little rainy Friday afternoon so I'd better do as much as I can Friday morning. I really appreciate your help!

NH
Level Contributor
3,764 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Fall foliage drive/tour near Manchester NH

Enjoy!

Lincoln (Exit 30-ish) is only about an hour 20 minutes from Manchester. If you were able head north on Thursday night to stay anyplace between Plymouth and Lincoln, doing the Kanc would be VERY easy!

There are some pretty good lodging options in that area and you should be able to find a room without too much trouble this early in the foliage season.~~~allfins

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4,735 posts
259 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Fall foliage drive/tour near Manchester NH

You won't see any color this coming weekend, except some of the weaker trees along the highway or wetlands.

The Kanc, with no stops, will take 1-1/2 hours if you just turn around at the end and come back. It's about 1-1/4 hours each way from Bedford to the Kanc to Manchester. So yes, you could do it, and if you get an early start, would have enough time to make a few stops.

I'd suggest when you get back to I-93 if there is enough time, drive up into Franconia Notch - you can do the Basin trail, only takes 20 minutes round trip, drive up to Echo Lake, etc.

NH
Level Contributor
3,764 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Fall foliage drive/tour near Manchester NH

fffbrgst... Well... I guess you could drive to the Kanc in 1 1/4 hours from Bedford. ...Not too sure I'd recommend it.

From my own driving experience, I allow 1 hour from the Concord area to ski at Loon (door to "parking lot") The Kanc is still up the road from Lincoln with some nice photo opts that might be worthy of stopping for.

The website "Travel Math" figures 1 hour 16minutes Manchester to Lincoln.

Vicki, if you see a car speeding up behind you with a license plate that's "red on white"...pull over. They just might have "a date" with one of our "State Police" a little further up the road. ;) ~~~allfins

Edited: 10:13 am, September 20, 2016
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
7 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Fall foliage drive/tour near Manchester NH

Thank you!

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4,735 posts
259 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Fall foliage drive/tour near Manchester NH

Yeah, I drive fast from Mass, but Bedford to the rte 112 exit is 85 miles. At 65mph that's 1 hour, 18 minutes!

Georgia
Level Contributor
3,148 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Fall foliage drive/tour near Manchester NH

According to googlemaps, you can drive from Manchester airport to Conway NH, via THe Kanc in just over 2 hours. You could turn around and retrace your steps and stop several times in 6 hrs or so (round trip). Two other options would be to either go north on Rt 16 at Conway to complete the 112/16/302/93 loop. OR, turn south on 16 at Conway and find your way back along the north end of the lake, probably taking around 3.5 hrs w/a stop or two.

Change of leaves would be at a minimum but its still very scenic.

Why not check out on THursday night and head up toward Stowe VT? zChances for color would be a little better in northern VT Manchester to Stowe can be done in about 2.5 hrs. Then next morning, find your way over to St. Johnsbury and then head south on 93 thru the FRanconia Notch (north of Lincoln). You should have time for a stop at THe Basin or The Flume.