An aerial view of Purity Spring Resort in Madison, NH (Photo by Joe Viger/courtesy Purity Spring Resort)

Nothing beats fall in New England, from cool weather to blazing foliage to nature’s endless bounty.

September is the perfect month to get out on the water and hit the hiking trails and savor the beauty of the season.

Consider these two places for a great escape in September where you can combine wilderness with creature comforts.

Purity Spring Resort in Madison, NH, is a perfect September destination for the Granite State. Nestled between the bustling Lake District and bustling Mount Washington Valley, Madison is an oasis of calm.

Purity Spring Resort ( is the heart of Madison. Acres of lakefront property, nearby hiking trails, canoes and kayaks (the lake water stays warm through September), Traditions restaurant with patio, and lovely rooms of all kinds are what you will find.

It’s like someone has taken your summer camp experience and given it the posh treatment.

The resort offers guided hikes or can direct you to your own tour (we suggest stopping by the quaint Eaton’s Village Store in the nearby Eaton Center for sandwiches and all the supplies for a picnic or drive-in hike ) and canoes and kayaks remain on hand for guests until Columbus Day.

For a hike with beautiful views, head to the trails at King Pine Ski Resort – part of the Purity Spring experience. You will see for miles and leave with the desire to go skiing this winter.

Or you can hop in your car and take Route 153, a quiet, winding back road that takes you past beautiful ponds and lakes, through small towns and through beautiful foliage scenery.

There’s also the Hoyt Wildlife Sanctuary in East Madison, a former Girl Scout camp now operated as a 135-acre sanctuary by New Hampshire Audubon. You can spot a plethora of flora and fauna, including beavers and river otters.

The Wildflower family's Glamp tent at Sandy Pines Campground.  Kennebunkport, Maine.  (Photo by Douglas Merriam)
The Wildflower Family GlampTent at Sandy Pines Campground. Kennebunkport, Maine. (Photo by Douglas Merriam)

You know Kennebunkport, Maine for its ocean views, striking swamps, great shopping, fabulous restaurants and, of course, the Bush family playground.

What you might not know is that it’s also home to Sandy Pines Campground – a classic campground that not only offers old-school facilities, but just about every type of glamping scenario. than you can imagine.

Sandy pines ( celebrates its annual Great Maine Camp Out September 16-18.

Guests can choose between traditional campsites, glamping tents (single, couple and family) and cottages.

You can also choose a retro Airstream, a “glass house,” a Conestoga “chuck wagon” setup for comfort, and even “Fannie,” their vintage turquoise trailer.

If you’re not used to camping, Sandy Pines has a general store and snack bar on site to help you out or help you get what you forgot to bring.

During the Great Maine Camp Out weekend, all guests can enjoy activities like a campfire cooking class with New England culinary masters Elle Jarvis and Erik Morrill, a s’mores (with a prize of a two-night stay during the 2023 season), and a group bonfire at dusk.

There’s also a heated saltwater pool, a beautiful beach, tons of lawn games, kids’ activities (like crafts and games), bike rentals, and of course, a chance to swim. to be outdoors and relax.

Kennebunkport is just down the street, if you want to dive into the bustling September scene there, and your camp is just a quick quiet return for an evening – and sleep – under the stars.

The Starry Nights Glass House option at Sandy Pines Campground in Kennebunkport, ME.  (Photo Douglas Merriam)
The Starry Nights Glass House option at Sandy Pines Campground in Kennebunkport, ME. (Photo Douglas Merriam)