New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » Fall foliage tours-good trip vs. bad dates

When signing up for a group fall foliage tour, watch those dates!

Crawford Notch fall foliage train

Crawford Notch fall foliage train

It goes without saying that some people are more comfortable on organized tours than others.  I personally don’t go on many organize tours just because as a photographer I like the freedom to go where I want.  I also love to get off on my own and explore the surrounding back roads of New England.


Fall colors by train

I’ve been looking over some tour offerings by a train company and I find there are two sides to this coin.  First you get to travel by train (which I love) and by luxury bus, seeing visually appealing locations along the route.  On the other side of the coin you’re locked into this set of dates with no variations.

If the fall colors don’t cooperate you miss out on that portion of the trip.  Back on the other side of the coin though, this particular trip leaves Boston on October 4 which is a good day to start.  Here’s the basic itinerary.

  • Boston to Maine (Oct 5)
  • North Conway (Oct 7)
  • Lakes region (Oct 8)
  • Vermont and Brattleboro/ Sturbridge village (Oct 9)
  • Connecticut and the Gillette Castle (Oct 10)
  • Hyannis on the Cape Cod railroad (Oct 11)
  • Cape Cod national seashore and Provincetown (Oct 12)
  • Back to Boston.

Evaluating your need for fall foliage vs. the dates

If you’re looking for a very nice vacation with wonderful stops and the possibility of seeing some very nice fall foliage colors off and on, then this trip would work out very nicely.  If you look at the dates and read over all my articles on what dates to look at for fall colors then you will see that if this trip was scheduled one week later it would be much more successful.

Mt Washington sets out for a fall foliage tour on the lake

Mt Washington sets out for a fall foliage tour on the lake

As with everything it’s impossible to be in the peak fall colors all the way through this trip.  In general you would travel up the coast into Maine only seeing some color and when you got to North Conway you would be almost in peak color (give or take a few days) and the tour takes you as far north as Franconia Notch (which should be awesome) before heading south.

Instead of spending some time north of the White mountains you head down into the lakes region which generally (rule of thumb) isn’t at peak until 15 October.  But!  There will be color on those trees.  Here is where the trip kind of fails in my mind.  The rest of the trip heads south into very scenic landscapes from the Gillette Castle in Connecticut to the Cape Cod national seashore and a harbor cruise in Hyannis.  I wouldn’t expect a lot of fall color in those locations until the latter part of October.

So when you’re making your reservations and looking at the dates you need to weigh the cost vs. the places you’ll see vs. the chances of seeing all foliage color in these places in New England.

Note to those taking a tour

This is only my opinion and you should not try to drive yourself nuts finding the perfect tour company but instead you should factor all the different facets in that will make the trip enjoyable for you and and then choose the tour that best fits those elements.

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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