Something about seeing the reflection of red, orange, and yellow leaves on the bank of a river and the hearing the crunch of dried leaves on the trail gets me excited for the fall season. While pumpkin spice lattes, warm autumn sweaters, and Halloween decorations are staple fall traditions – consider adding another to your family’s fall repertoire – a foliage hike! Here are my favorite family friendly fall foliage hikes on the Seacoast!
5 Family Friendly Fall Foliage Hikes on the Seacoast
Burley Farms – Epping, New Hampshire
The host property of the impressive new SELT building, Burley Farm is the perfect place for the family to get great fall views with an easy hike. The one mile Burley Farm loop travels by pond, through forest, and around the edge of a field. The diverse views along the well manicured/mowed trail is a picturesque setting and even prettier with fall foliage. Check out the many events and free guided hikes offered through SELT while you are there. The trail is manageable with a trail-friendly stroller and there is plenty of free parking. Burley Farms trailhead is located at 245 N River Road in Epping, New Hampshire.
Raymond and Simone Savage Wildlife Preserve – South Berwick, Maine
This private home turned preserve is on a heavenly piece of GWRLT property at the convergence of the Salmon Falls River, Cocheco River, and Piscataqua River. This gentle one mile loop travels on mowed grass, over wooden bog bridges, and along dirt paths. Along the river, there are nice picnic areas and spots to watch wildlife. The fall colors really pop along the river bank. This spot is tucked away at 15 Dover Rd in South Berwick, Maine – just across the border from Dover, New Hampshire. Parking is free and ample. However, dogs are not allowed.
Hamilton House at Vaughan Woods State Park – South Berwick, Maine
Located along the Salmon Falls River, Vaughan Woods State Park has winding trails through a mixed forest of hardwoods, hemlocks, and pines. Gorgeous fall foliage lines the river bank with views of the majestic Hamilton House. While a full loop can be two miles or more, families can easily make short loops through the many trails to fit their needs. While parking in the main lot costs $1-$4 a person, parking in the nearby Hamilton House lot at 40 Vaughans Ln is free and provides gorgeous views and easy access to the state park trails on foot. Dogs are allowed on leash but leave the strollers at home.
Gonic Trails – Rochester, New Hampshire
It can’t get much better than watching golden leaves fall on Locke falls in autumn. The Gonic Trails 1.5 mile loop from the yellow to the red trail takes hikers through hemlock forest down to the Isinglass River. Here, enjoy the reflection of the colorful leaves over the river bank. The falls are one of the best in the Seacoast region and the prettiest this time of year. For detailed trail information, download my electronic trail guide Seacoast Hikes and Nature Walks on your iPhone or on a phone’s Kindle app. The trailhead is free to the public and located at 103 Rochester Neck Road. It’s not very stroller friendly. Leashed dogs are allowed.
Stonehouse Pond – Barrington, New Hampshire
Imagine a still reflection of fall colors against a rock cliff. Stonehouse Pond’s 1.4 mile loop from Locke Trail to Ledges Loop is the perfect fall family hike for a little elevation gain and a whole lot of view. This trail passes through forest, over small bridges, and up to a cliff face overlooking the circular Stonehouse Pond below. Parking is free and dogs are allowed on trail. For even more information about this hike including recommendations, parking, and a detailed step-by-step trail description, download my electronic trail guide Seacoast Hikes and Nature Walks on your iPhone or on a phone’s Kindle app.
So Much To Explore
I always feel fortunate to have so many trails in the area that we can explore as a family. When visiting these special places, please remember to Leave No Trace – including taking your trash and dog waste with you when you leave, not discarding food waste along the trail or in the woods, and respecting rules of the trail. If you want to view videos of these trails, head over to my instagram account Seacoast Hikes, where I provide photos and short videos of each of the many Seacoast hikes I’ve profiled. Looking for even more fall foliage hikes? Check out some of my other recommendations.
Which are your favorite family friendly fall foliage hikes on the Seacoast?