Popular spots for viewing New England fall foliage
I travel around New England each fall and I have to admit that I haven’t been to all these popular fall foliage destinations (Ok I’ve been to 5 out of the 7 spots) But it has taken me years to get around to just those.
One of the reason for not doing all the popular spots is that EVERYBODY wants to do the popular spots and I’m more interested in seeing the spots less traveled. I’ve spent years making it a habit to travel the back roads of New England.. Give me a dirt road any day.
These The dates I’ve stated are best case and depending on the following factors the dates could be earlier or later or non-existent.
- Weather received once the leaves are turning
- climate from the preceding winter, spring and summer
- rainfall amounts
- sun received
- Tress disease or insect infestations
So these areas can anywhere from only a few days, when they will be at peak and up to a few weeks! (A few weeks because a few of them stretch from Northern Vermont to Massachusetts). So I will put the dates I think you will see good color at these locations.
15 Oct -25 Oct Walden Pond State Reservation (Concord, MA): Walden Pond is hidden from direct view of route 2 near Lexington and Concord. The woods are where Henry David Thoreau built a small cabin and lived from 1845 to 1847. When the leaves are turning and the trees are reflected in the water, it’s hard to imagine why he left.
10 Oct-25 Oct Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge, MA): More than 5,000 trees spread across Mount Auburn’s 175 acres. Each deciduous specimen changes color on its own schedule, and at the peak of foliage season, each seems to be a different shade of red, orange, or gold.
5 Oct-15 Oct Bash-Bish Falls State Park (MA): Head from the comely village of South Egremont up into the forested hills of the southwest corner of Massachusetts. The roads, which change from macadam to gravel to dirt and back again, wind between crimson clouds of sugar maples and white birches feather-stroked against banks of black evergreens. The payoff is a three-state view from a promontory above a 50-foot cascade notched into a bluff, with carpets of russet and gold stretching all the way to the Hudson River.
20 Oct – 25 Oct The Litchfield Hills (CT): Route 7, running south to north through the rugged northwest corner of Connecticut, roughly along the course of the Housatonic River, explodes with color in the weeks before and after Columbus Day. Leaves drift down to the water and whirl down the foaming river.
25 Sept – 25 Oct (it passes through the North East Kingdom. I-91 (VT): An interstate? Don’t scoff (the traffic can be terrible on narrow state roads). If you like your foliage viewing wholesale, cruise I-91 from Brattleboro to Newport. You’ll be overwhelmed with gorgeous terrain, from the gentle Connecticut River Valley to the sloping hills of the Northeast Kingdom.
25 Sept – 25 Oct (Same as 91) Vermont Route 100 (VT): Route 100 winds the length of Vermont from Readsboro to Newport, plying the Mad River Valley for a stretch. It’s the major north-south route through the center of the Green Mountains, and it’s surprisingly undeveloped farm land along most of its length. You won’t have it to yourself especially along the southern stretches on autumn weekends, but as you head north, you may leave the crowds behind.
4 Oct-15 Oct North Conway New Hampshire while you are visiting this area make reservations to take a train ride from Conway station to Crawford Notch.
27 Sept – 4 Oct – Route 302 passes through this scenic valley, where you can see the brilliant red maples and yellow birches high on the hillsides in a tapestry of fall colors. In fall with Mount Washington, in the background, you may be lucky to see it dusted with an early snowfall.
17 Oct- 30 Oct Camden (ME): The dazzling fall colors that cover the rolling hills are reflected in Penobscot Bay on the east side, and in the lakes on the west. Ascend the peaks for views out to the color-splashed islands in the bay. Autumn usually comes a week or so later on the coast, so you can stretch out your viewing pleasure.
These are just a few spots with POSSIBLE dates and if you have questions stop in on the forum and I’ll try to answer your questions there.
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I live in Salem, Massachusetts and work as a blogger and Travel Photographer. I'm also the founder of the New England Photography Guild.
Feel free to visit me on my blogs and see what life in New England is like.
I started with Yankee Magazine as their first blogger on everything fall foliage. Now I blog on my own blog on my favorite subject, telling leaf peepers where the fall foliage is showing up in New England and helping them (to some extent) plan their fall foliage vacations.