This year, the 2016 Milford Pumpkin Festival aims to take place on the weekend of the 7th-9th of October, and endeavors to attract over 35,000 visitors to its grounds. This is the 27th anniversary of its creation, and whilst the base principles of the event have remained the same, it continues to adapt and introduce more stimulating attractions to its visitors. Encouraging outdoor activity, family bonding and traditional excursions, the festival may be one of many reasons to visit New Hampshire this fall.
Interestingly, historical research shows how the tradition of Pumpkin picking in the fall may originate from the Irish culture, when individuals created jack-o’-lanterns from turnips or potatoes. Upon the immigration of Irish workers to America, where pumpkins had been growing indigenously for at least 5000 years, the gourd was adopted as the new primary vessel for jack-o’-lanterns, and a tradition began. Today, it has become a staple custom for many American families to journey to their nearest farm and trawl through the fields to find the perfect pumpkin.
Pumpkin picking is far from the only activity specialised to the fall and New Hampshire, a state which may be well known for its agritourist attractions. Among other things, tourists may explore local farmers’ markets and agricultural fairs, or perhaps visit pick-your-own farms to collect their fill of fruits, flowers or vegetables.
Alternatively, New Hampshire also offers a selection of sports activities for the more energetic travellers, many of which encourage outdoor exploration and exercise. For example, the state is widely renowned for its prestige in snow sports, with America’s most accomplished alpine skier, Bode Miller, having established himself on the slopes of the Cannon Mountain as a child. In addition to peaks known for their general ski capabilities, New Hampshire is also home to Mount Sunapee, a mountain which serves a diverse range of individuals and abilities, including the disabled.
Another pair of outdoor sports which may appeal to the adrenaline junkies of the travel world may be whitewater rafting or kayaking. As well as offering thrills and bonding opportunities, rafting in New Hampshire maximises and cherishes the important history of the rivers which once supported the paper mills, the life-blood of the region. Alternatively, travellers may cherish another natural element, the air, by visiting one of New Hampshire’s many canopy centres and adventure camps, which aim to offer zip lining in order for tourists to experience a new angle of the forests.
If general exploration is desired over set activities, New Hampshire may have many state parks to offer visitors, and features various parks throughout the year in the hopes of diversifying opportunity and attraction to each. Currently, Pillsbury State park is featured by New Hampshire’s parks and recreations organisation, who herald it as ‘one of the more primitive and unknown gems of the New Hampshire Park system,’ suggesting the raw, natural land mass which occupies the area. The park is also home to a variety of habitats and fauna, providing guests with the opportunity to engage in an assortment of nature-spotting activities.
Whilst the weather may be growing colder as autumn arrives, families may still be able to enjoy the great outdoors and fresh air when visiting New Hampshire in many ways. Even as the temperature drops, the parks, slopes and centres of the state endeavor to welcome guests and continue providing a variety of sports, sights and stimulation regardless of their ability or experience, allowing family fun and socialisation to continue outside regardless of the weather!
In which ways may individuals expand travel opportunities through autumn and winter?