Saco River and Fall Foliage

This summer and fall has been close to drought here in New Hampshire. Many wondered what would happen to the fall foliage this year, would it be dismal, or nonexistent? It’s been below average for sure, but still a magnificent sight to see each year. Fall in New Hampshire and Maine brings lots of tourism to the area, but the Saco River seems to be deserted, thankfully. Not far from where I shot this the Fryeburg Fair was in full swing, rides, animals, lines of people waiting to get fried dough and almost utter silence here on the water. Perfect.

foliage in full color near swans falls dam in Fryeburg, Maine
Not even bright fall foliage can make this mess look good.

This past summer I decided that I would paddle from North Conway to The Atlantic Ocean via the Saco River. I’ll be doing it in sections, when I can fit it into my schedule, so far it’s been a few hours after work or a long day here and there. It’s been a great way to see the river that runs through New Hampshire and Maine with little notice. There are 8 dams through the entire length of the river. This day I paddled 2 and half miles upstream to Swans Falls Dam, the first dam I’ve encountered on my way to the ocean. It’s an ugly thing, decaying and I’m not sure if it even generates electricity anymore. An eye sore none the less. ┬áBut I have diverged completely.

If you’re looking to explore Maine or New Hampshire this fall to see the foliage grab a canoe, or paddleboard and get on the water. The reflections and the contrast between the blue and oranges are fantastic. Best of all there’s no traffic to contend with….


Yellow leaf in the Saco River
A lone yellow maple leaf floating down the Saco River

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