Whether it's the oak leaves going from green to yellow, the alpine grasses turning a golden brown or frost on the car windshield, the early signs of fall are here in the Whites which marks my favorite time of year to be outside and enjoying the mountains.
I returned yesterday from a trip up to Greenleaf Hut where I was able to visit the fall crew, eat some spiced apple cake and hang out with a wonderful group of high schoolers from Long Island who were in the Whites for their first time. Although we've had a couple sub-freezing nights on the summits producing that quintessential visual of frosty mountain tops and colorful valleys, my trip up the Old Bridle Path was a pleasant one with temps in the high 60's and a light breeze to keep me comfortable. As I started at Lafayette Place, there were already a few leaves on the ground but as I ascended the 2000 ft to the hut, I could see more and more colored speckles on the trail and as I emerged out of the woods, I was able to get some great views of early color in Walker Ravine below Franconia Ridge.
At the hut, I was lucky enough to catch some great evening light on Lafayette just before the sun set behind Cannon Mtn. to the west. Unfortunately, the sunrise the next morning was hidden by the thick fog which is typical in Franconia Notch but it created a quiet, ocean-like feel for my hike down Agony Ridge and back into the hardwoods. As I sit here at Pinkham Notch, I'm excited to get back out soon to see how other parts of the Whites are changing with the season. I know there's been some moose and beaver activity in the Zealand Valley, beautiful ridge hiking along the Twins and Bonds and some late season trout fishing up at Lonesome and Carter. As the leaves and temps continue to change this fall, we'll keep you updated with photos and some reports but don't just take our word for it, come on up and enjoy the Fall!