The 20th annual Fields of Lupine Festival is just wrapping up as we close out June. It celebrates the blooming of this wildflower, a favorite in New Hampshire and Maine, and the tiny town of Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, takes center stage for the event. The Franconia Notch Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the festival, insists that “every visitor is guaranteed abundant photo and recreational opportunities in the Northeast’s most spectacular mountain region.”
Throughout the festival there are plenty of things to do: a parade, open air market, concerts, art show, and music. But the main attraction is the flowers, and they always put on a good show. The most popular location for viewing is a large field across from the Sugar Hill Sampler (a refuge for those who would rather shop than shoot) … the field has wide walking paths winding through it with small plaques that feature verses by Robert Frost, who had a homestead in Sugar Hill for nineteen summers. You can also take a horse-drawn wagon ride through the fields.
Two not-to-be-missed places: Polly’s Pancake House, legendary around here for its rustic ambiance, beautiful views and delicious breakfasts (this time of year expect to wait an hour for a table on the weekends); and the pretty and historic St. Matthew’s Chapel, painted a cheery yellow and white, just down the road. It is listed as one of the most photographed churches in New England.
Set against the backdrop of the Franconia, Presidential, and Kinsman mountain ranges, the lupines offer a rolling sea of purples, pinks and blues. Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to see New England fall foliage … but to truly appreciate what the rest of the year has to offer, come to Sugar Hill in June to see the colors of summer!