New Englanders are quite lucky living in one of the best areas in the country for seasonal fall activities like hay rides, pumpkin patches, apple picking, but more specifically fall foliage drives. Some of the most beautiful leaf-peeping vantage points are only a few hours outside of Boston, so it would be a shame to let the fall slip by without taking in the stunning fall display of regional trees. To help you out in planning the best fall foliage road trip, we have compiled a list of the best and most scenic fall foliage drives throughout New England.
1. Mohawk Trail - Beginning in Greenfield, MA Ending in Williamstown, MA
The entire Mohawk Trail is 60 miles from Miller Falls, MA to the New York border. This trail was first used as a path for Native Americans who were traveling between the Hudson and Connecticut valleys. As time went on, settlers traveled on this trail by horses and wagons, and then it became a fully paved modern road. Nowadays, this trail runs through quiet country towns and breathtaking bends. After about 10 miles or 20 minutes, you will hit an idyllic small town of Shelburne Falls, MA. Park your car and head towards a footbridge draped in seasonal flowers, conveniently called the Bridge of Flowers. However, check this spot out soon because it is only open from April through October.
2. Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway - Beginning in Russell, MA Ending in Lee, MA
Even though it runs parallel to the Mass Pike, Jacob’s Ladder’s scenery cannot be more different. Rather than bumper-to-bumper traffic and ugly coach busses, this 35-mile path on Route 20 is stunning and serene. This route crosses through the heart of the Berkshires Foothills, where one will find Massachusetts’ history and beauty. Look out for keystone arches, which are stone bridges built in Middlefield, Becket, and Chester for railroads in 1840. If you take this drive, you should stop at the Chester-Blandford State Forest to hike 1.5 miles up towards the waterfalls of Sanderson Brook Falls.
3. Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway - Beginning in Smalls Falls, West Central Franklin, ME Ending in Houghton, Byron, ME
To see the beautiful changing leaves and seasonal foliage reflecting in Rangeley Lake, take a day trip up to Western Maine and cross over the Appalachian Trail. In the past, this area was once settled by woodsmen who saw opportunity in this area’s plentiful fish and lumber. Now it displays its many ponds, streams, and peaks every Autumn. Once you arrive at Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway, be sure to stop at one of the most beautiful outlooks in New England: the Height of Land. You definitely will not miss this overlook with a breathtaking view of Mooselookmeguntic Lake and the White Mountains in the distance.
4. Middlebury Gap - Beginning in Texas Falls, Hancock, VT Ending in Ripton, VT
At the Middlebury Gap, visitors will drive through the heart of the northern Green Mountains and see stunning views of forests, waterfalls, and 3 state parks. This path also takes visitors through Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield, giving you the opportunity to stop, hike, and view the mountain landscapes. Not only will you enjoy stunning fall mountain and forest landscapes, you can also enjoy the many farmers markets and the Ben and Jerry’s factory. You also definitely do not want to miss out on visiting the Trapp Family Lodge, the inspiration behind the Sound of Music.
5. Ocean Drive - Beginning in Ocean Ave, Newport, RI Ending in Castle Hill, Newport RI
Tourists will be able to have the option to bike or drive throughout the twisting roads of Newport for breathtaking fall views of the Atlantic and red, orange, and yellow hues of the Brenton Point State Park’s foliage. This state park overlooks the Newport Harbor and the sailboats in the Narragansett Harbor. After taking in all the beauty that Ocean Drive has to offer, check out the Newport Cliff Walk. This 3.5 mile trail walk follows the rocky Newport coastline offering beautiful views of Jamestown Island.
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