Now that fall is here, I thought it would be fun to share some favorite fall foliage
destinations around New England, as well as information as to when the different locations will be at their peak.
Connecticut - Literally in my backyard, driving along the Merritt Parkway (Route 15) running from the New York border to Meriden, Connecticut is an excellent way to see fall foliage at its best.
The tree lined parkway is listed on the US National Registry of Historic Places. Route 7 North from Norwalk will take you on a colorful scenic drive along the Housatanic River ending up in Kent, Connecticut, voted the #1 leaf peeping spot in the country by the readers of Yankee Magazine.
Stop at Kent Falls State Park for an easy hike to the top of the falls. Stay at the Mayflower Inn in Washington, Connecticut. Connecticut foliage is expected to be at its peak this year the third week in October.
Massachusetts - Continuing up Route 7 into Massachusetts, you will enter the Berkshires, with some of the most scenic roads in the state. You will pass through Stockbridge and Lenox ending up in Williamstown. While in Williamstown, visit the Clark Art Institute, an excellent small museum. Detour to the top of Mount Greylock, which at an altitude of 3,491 feet will provide you with sweeping vistas of Massachusett's fall splendor.
Nearby is North Adams, home to the renowned Mass MOCA, the highly touted contemporary art museum (if you go, the Sol Lewitt wall drawings are absolutely amazing). Stay at Blantyre or Wheatleigh in Lenox. Western Massachusetts foliage is expected to be at its peak the second week of October. (Alternatively, Cape Cod is known for its brilliant fall colors as well, expected to peak closer to the end of October.)
Vermont - From Williamstown, MA, Route 7 continues on into Vermont. In addition to the vibrant fall colors you will see along the way, try taking this drive around Bennington County, Vermont where you will see five covered bridges. The town of Manchester, Vermont, a little further north along Route 7, is the quintessential New England village. Stay at The Equinox.
From Bennington, Route 9 known as the "Molly Stark Scenic Byway," will take you across southern Vermont to the New Hampshire border. Colors in Southern Vermont are expected to be at their peak the first weekend in October. If you prefer to go further north, the Green Mountains and the Champlain Valley will be spectacular in late September.
New Hampshire - Often referred to as the "best fall foliage trip in the country", New Hampshire's Kankamagus Highway (the "Kanc") is a 34-mile road that cuts through the White Mountains, providing you with stunning fall vistas at every turn.
If you would rather not drive, take the Conway Scenic Railroad to view the foliage. Detour up to the top of Mount Washington, the highest peak the Northeastern US. Stay at the Mount Washington Resort. New Hampshire is expected to be at peak color the first week in October.
Maine - For the best of both worlds, consider taking in the fall foliage along the coastline in Downeast Maine. The Acadia Byway will take you through Acadia National Park and across Mount Desert Island to the towns of Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor. Maine leaf peeping is expected to peak in late September/early October. Stay at The Bayview in Bar Harbor.
Rhode Island - Although tiny, Rhode Island still offers some fall foliage viewing opportunities. Why not explore Historic Newport while viewing the fall colors along the magnificent Ocean Drive? Or stroll along Cliff Walk and see the Historic Mansions, the ocean and the fall colors. Fall colors in Rhode Island are expected to be at their peak the third week in October. Stay at The Chanler at Cliff Walk.
Yankee Magazine now offers an app for iPhone or Android to indicate when the leaves are at their peak in various areas - it can be downloaded here. They also offer an interactive foliage prediction map that will be helpful in planning your fall