A long time fall tradition at beautiful and picturesque Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire has been a day off from studies mid-week in October for the entire school to climb Mt. Kearsarge on Route 103 in Wilmot and Warner, New Hampshire. Some ambitious students actually run to the summit from the parking lot once or twice during the day off. I have climbed Kearsarge several times myself and it is a place to explore that will put a smile on your face and make you feel like you own the world.
One of the reasons this is such a nice day trip is that you can drive into the park for about three miles and enjoy the scenery from your car. Be sure to pack a lunch or good snack, because the parking area has available picnic tables nestled in the area. You can then take a short hike (under a mile) up the mountain to the summit, just less than 3000 feet high, with views that are breathtaking and air so fresh it sparkles.
This is a nice family hike or a place to enjoy a day with friends and get exercise. The views are spectacular as they are on most mountain tops, but this is pretty easy hiking and provides a close up view of the lakes of Sunapee all the way north to the White Mountains and south to Boston if you have the right weather. As is the case for most parks, they have rules and regulations, such as hours of operation and parking fees. Be sure to check when the area is open before making the trip, but you can be sure it is open at least into October for New England fall foliage.