New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » Resources for planning fall foliage trips Pt2

Planning routes

Planning can take hours of your time and you may ask yourself (or me) is it really necessary?
Hmmm, no it’s not. BUT! please read on and why it may pay to plan and make reservations.

I will admit that on many of my trips, I head out the door with only a final destination in mind. This works for me because I’m trying to locate where the color is and blog about it. I’m normally by myself but if Lisa is with me, then the ball game changes… (read on)

Why this might not work for you?

View off the trail of the nearby mountains with all the hillsides covered in fall foliage

View off the trail of the nearby mountains

For you, it’s a bit different, you want/need to go out and find fall colors. You will stop at various locations to have  lunch or maybe take a walk/hike in the woods. There is also that New England favorite, a lobster dinner!

There are so many factors that are unique to you and what you like that we need to start at the beginning.

So sit down with who ever is going with you and start by answering the questions below.

Your pain level and answering the question, do you need to plan the trip?

  1. You have to decide if you can sleep in the car if necessary.
  2. Can you sleep in a motel room where smokers sleep/smoke?
  3. If you need room service and want the TLC that goes along with it, then you need to plan.
  4. Does getting in the car with no set destination make your palms start to sweat?
  5. Does the idea of not knowing where you are on the map worry you? Then you need to plan.
  6. Can you afford a trip where every night will cost you $150, then you will have to plan.
  7. Are you bringing the kids? Then BOY do you have to plan for it!
  8. Do you enjoy free wheeling it and a devil may care attitude? Then maybe you don’t have to plan it.

The way a foliage trip goes for me and my wife

I have my own specific needs when I take a fall foliage vacation with my wife. She knows that I am looking to make good images to sell and I know that she doesn’t want to spend the entire day in the car driving. So We plan to do various things while on the road.

Our requirements are simple but they are rigid.

  • Nice establishment, a B&B with a porch or deck and a fireplace are all nice.
  • breakfast and dinner readily available.
  • comfortable surroundings and a whirlpool tub is a plus in her book… 🙂
  • Central to the areas I can travel to in a one to two hour drive. I don’t want to have to still drive more than I have to. I want to get somewhere quickly and be able to take my shots and Lisa can sketch.
  • Places of historical significance to explore IE, Hildene, or museums or antique shops. etc…

Our first steps in planning involve picking out places to visit

First Lisa grabs a Delorme Gazetteer which is our map book of preference. It doesn’t really matter what map book you take with you as long as you have one. The Gazetteer has routes and land forms such a lakes, ponds, and rivers. It has the elevation marked so if you understand the geography you can look for roads that have walls of color on both sides of the road.

If you are planning on picking one up when you get here, no problem, they’re sold everywhere from bookstores to gas stations. You can even pick one up here on my purchase tab up top (makes a great gift for your travel junkie).

A portion of Mad Tom's Notch road in the Green Mountains of Vermont

Mad Tom’s Notch rd

In 2009, Lisa said “let’s do Southern Vermont” So with that simple goal in mind I started looking through the Vermont Gazetteer for the different areas in the southern green mountains. What I found there was a road named “Mad Tom’s notch road”.

(yes, I had to go there!)

I built my entire trip around locating and driving on this notch road. I wanted to find someone to talk to about why Tom was mad or was he some mountain man that lived up in the mountains and was considered mad? You know, I never found out the answers to these questions but I did drive on Mad Tom’s road. I had to turn around when we started to cross the Appalachian hiking trail (We’re in a sedan and not a jeep!) 🙁

We also found Hildene and the Silas Griffith Inn and a home of Pearl S. Buck which after hurricane Irene, is now in a nearby river. If you don’t know what or who these things are… well it sounds like you need to do some planning of your own.

I hope this helps you get some ideas for your explorations next year or whenever you come for a visit.


Jeff "Foliage" Folger  You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites
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Jeff Foliage

My name is Jeff Folger,
but people call me Jeff Foliage.
I have several pages that I write blogs for such as:
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff
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.
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Resources for planning fall foliage trips Pt2 — 1 Comment

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