This has been a muted fall in New Hampshire, which is not to say a bad one. There are brilliant trees here and there, but for the most part, this month has been dominated by gold and bronze. Here’s my October sampler, featuring Oak Hill, Horse Hill Preserve, Ponemah Bog, Craney Hill, and Crotched Mountain.
Oak Hill, Concord
It had been seven years since my last walk to the fire tower on Oak Hill. Finally, I got back there. I had been warned about wasps near the cab, but the first frosts must have nipped them.
Oak Hill fire tower, Concord NH
View to west from Oak Hill. The plume of steam is from a plant near the Concord-Boscawen town line.
A small notice announces a new trail on Oak Hill, created by Concord High School students.
The day’s best maple leaves, spotted along the two-mile trail leading to the Oak Hill fire tower.
Horse Hill Nature Preserve, Merrimack
The best color this fall has been in the wetlands, not the hills. A walk to the center of the Horse Hill preserve rewarded me with much brighter foliage than I’d seen just a couple of days earlier on a drive toward the Monadnocks.
I’m amazed that the beavers haven’t abandoned this lodge so close to a Horse Hill trail. I guess we hikers haven’t been disruptive.
Leaf-peeping in one of my favorite spots in Horse Hill Preserve.
Ponemah Bog, Amherst
The shrubs and water plants in the bog were showier than the trees.
Craney Hill, Henniker
The NH Fire Towers page on Facebook clued me in to the Craney Hill lookout tower, once a fire tower. Now, it’s open to the public two weekends a year, during foliage season. I made it to the tower just in time – last visitor on the last day!
Craney Hill lookout tower, Henniker NH.
From Craney Hill, looking toward Craney Pond, mid-October.
Crotched Mountain, Greenfield-Bennington
I didn’t stop with the Gregg Trail this time. Two friends joined me for a walk to the ridgetop via Shannon’s Trail. I owe thanks to the folks who managed to get a picnic table up there.
The view from the picnic table atop Crotched Mountain: a hint of color, and distant Monadnock. And oh, that sky.