Southern New Hampshire Life

Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor

Southern New Hampshire Life - Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor

New Hampshire Open Doors

Coming up on Saturday and Sunday November 3rd and 4th, New Hampshire Open Doors gives everyone the opportunity to meet hundreds of crafters, artists, farmers, and other creative folk in their own workshops or studios.  For an “up close and personal” time with these inventive people, this can’t be beat!

What began 8 years ago as a way of letting New Hampshire residents know about the great crafters in their midst has grown into a celebration of everything created in New Hampshire – from beer to high-end paintings. Local farms, breweries, wineries, and bakeries join potters, jewelers, clothiers, quilters, photographers and painters for this event.  No matter where you live in the state, you will be able to meet dozens of your most creative neighbors during this two-day celebration.  Also included in the Open Doors event are retail stores like Wilderness Creations and Frye’s Measure Mill which specialize in handcrafted New Hampshire made products.

It’s a great way to start your holiday shopping.  The New Hampshire Open Doors website makes stopping and shopping very easy.  The website includes lists of the participants by name, category, and location, and even contains tours that take you to several crafters who live in adjacent areas, such as the Marlborough-Keene area, Wilton-Brookline-Mason, and the Dover-Rye region.  Further afield, tours are also listed for central and northern New Hampshire places like Meredith-Sanbornton, Canterbury, Hopkinton, and the Littleton-Bethlehem vicinity. Check out the website for the list of participants, detailed maps and directions, and the times each shop or studio will be open.

Miller State Park

This is a great time of year to visit Miller State Park in Peterborough.  The park encompasses much of Pack Monadnock.  A paved road winds up to its 2,290 foot summit, which is topped by a no longer used fire tower that can be climbed for far-reaching views.  On a clear day from the top you can see as far as Boston, Mount Washington, and the Green Mountains of Vermont.  It’s a great way to see the panoply of colors of a New Hampshire autumn.  In addition to riding to the summit, one may hike through the park’s 533 acres; three main trails are marked.  Picnicking is also popular. 

The park is named after General James Miller, a Peterborough native and hero of the War of 1812. It was the first state park to be established in New Hampshire, in 1891. The park is a carry-in, carry-out park. Miller State Park usually opens on weekends starting Memorial Day weekend, expanding its open times to seven days a week during the peak of foliage season, mid-September through the end of October.  It is open from 9AM to sunset; there is a small admission fee.  (2012 dates are: open weekends starting May 25; daily beginning September 17 and ending October 31, when the park closes for the year.)

Miller State Park is located on State Route 101 in Peterborough, to the east of the junction with State Route 202.  To check the park’s schedule, call 603-924-3672.  For more information and photos of the park, see the Miller State Park website.  Looking towards Boston from Summit of Pack Monadnock

The Keene Pumpkin Festival

The celebrated Keene Pumpkin Festival starts Friday, October 19, with store windows along Main Street displaying pumpkins carved by pumpkin carving artists. The main day is Saturday, October 20.  The Saturday festivities start at 8:30AM with the Great Pumpkin Mile Race and wind down after the 8PM announcement of the pumpkin count.  In between those times, Main Street will be decorated with thousands of pumpkins carved into everything imaginable.  This year Keene is challenging Highwood, Illinois to see which town can display the most lit gourds; they are hoping to go over 32,000.  So don’t go empty-handed!  Last year over 16,000 pumpkins were contributed by visitors from 34 states – from as far away as California, Washington, and Florida – and from eight foreign countries, as near as Canada and as distant as China and Australia.

The revived Pumpkin Festival is a great community affair, with 42 nonprofits offering food in the Food Court and around the downtown area. Everything from fried pickles and chicken wings to pizza, burgers, and of course, pumpkin woopie pies will be available.  Main Street will be closed to traffic.  There will be live music and great crafts for sale from Noon to 8:30. If you’re truly public-spirited stay around for the Pumpkin Dump Derby cleanup at 8:45PM.  For more information about this year’s Keene Pumpkin Festival, see the Festival’s website.

UPDATE:  HGTV filmed Pumpkin Wars about the Keene-Highwood rivalry and their 2012 pumpkin festivals; the video of the show is available on their website.   According to The Keene Sentinel 29,381 lit pumpkins were on display on Saturday night; unfortunately not a new record, but Keene did beat Highwood Illinois, according to the Union Leader.  Next year’s Pumpkin Festival will be on October 19th. Check out the Festival’s website for updates as they become available.

Fall Foliage in New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s fall foliage season is a great time to explore our surroundings.  A leisurely drive in the country is often the best way to discover some of the most colorful vistas anywhere. 

Here are some guides to help make your exploring memorable:    

The state government sponsored Visit NH: Foliage pages are updated weekly with detailed reports on how colorful the foliage is in the Merrimack Valley, the Monadnock Region, the Seacoast, and other areas of New Hampshire.  

New sponsors a “Foliage Meter” which graphically shows how much the leaves have turned in the various regions of New Hampshire.  It also recommends foliage tours in each area with maps illustrating the routes to follow.’s New England Travel section lists several websites with tips on where to go and what to do to enjoy the fall foliage season in New Hampshire.  

Yankee Magazine’s Foliage site not only has a map of current conditions; it also has a map showing when and where the foliage should be at its peak based on previous years.  Scenic drives, “The Top 25 Foliage Towns” in New England (including several in New Hampshire) and other features are also included.  

If you are interested in why leaves change color, check out the explanation on the Weather Channel’s website.   

Just about any country road will be festooned with color this season – it’s a great time to enjoy nature.  Take the time out to take a drive and drink in the natural beauty of New Hampshire.


Thinking of moving to colorful New Hampshire?

Check out my website and facebook page and give me a call.  I’m always ready to assist you with your home buying needs.

– Steve Russo, Prudential Verani Realty

Cell:  603-321-9895     Office:  603-888-4600 ext. 1103