New England in the Fall: the Loveliest Autumn Sights
Featured destinations: USA
Published 30 March 2016
We may be famous for our kaleidoscopic autumns in Britain, but it’s easy to take the things you see every year for granted. So why not hop over the pond to the USA and appreciate it there instead? The autumn (or ‘fall’ as they Americans say) in New England is just as beautiful and dramatic as it is in its UK namesake. So what are you waiting for? We’ve hand-picked 14 of the best Stateside spots for gawking at foliage throughout September and October…
The Mohawk Trail, Massachusetts
This is one of the most popular fall drives in New England, so can get crowded at the height of autumn. Don’t be deterred though – this route gets busy for a reason: the colours are utterly breathtaking. You’ll motor through small Massachusetts towns and into the undulating Berkshire mountains, all framed by oranges, yellows and browns.
The Esplanade, Boston
Just because Boston is a city, doesn’t mean you can’t see some fantastic fall foliage here. The tree-lined Esplanade in particular is peppered with colour – golds and oranges reflect off the Charles River in the October sun, perfect for a gentle walk, run or bike ride along the water.
The White Mountains trail, New Hampshire
‘Some places have all the fun’ is the tagline for The White Mountains, and it’s easy to see why. There’s golfing, hiking, swimming, boating and natural wonders just begging to be enjoyed. And speaking of natural wonders, take the trail via the 34.5-mile Kancamagus Highway and you’ll see some of the best autumn spots in the state, such as scenic Lower Falls.
Camden Hills State Park, Maine
This massive park is a leaf-peepers dream. We’re talking 30 miles of hiking trails and towering lookout points that give you a bird’s-eye view of all that colour.
Mount Monadnock, New Hampshire
If you can withstand the autumnal chill, trekking to the summit of Mount Monadnock is a great way to spend the fall in New England. The air is fresh, the scenery is beautiful and the panoramic, leaf-filled views stretch for miles on a clear day.
Harold Parker State Forest, Massachusetts
In the summer this 3,000-acre forest is all about camping, hiking and biking, but come October it’s the vibrant changing leaves that take centre stage. Thanks to the multitude of trees and calm mirror lakes, the colours here are particularly intense.
Much like Mount Monadnock, the Battle Monument at Bennington (pictured above) offers a great sky-high view of the beautiful foliage below. The only difference is that even the non-energetic can tackle this as there’s an elevator to the top.
Old Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts
This 1830s New England Living History Museum is one of the best places to experience the state’s autumn offering – not just because of the changing colours, but for the special fall-themed events too. Visit in October to partake in one of the site’s ‘Apple Days’ where you can tour the orchards, pick apples and try some utterly delicious (and utterly potent) locally-brewed cider.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Every October the colours literally explode in Acadia National Park. Reds scatter the treetops, oranges and yellows permeate through the shrubs and myriad hues of brown are reflected in the lakes and ponds.
Blackstone Valley, Rhode Island
The fall foliage around Blackstone River is so renowned that you can even take a scenic train through the winding valley for up-close vistas.
Gouveia Vineyards, Wallingford, Connecticut
Gouveia Vineyards offers grape-growing at its best and, when the leaves are at their peak here, you won’t want to be anywhere else. Especially if you’ve got a crisp glass of wine in your hand.
Roseland Cottage, Woodstock, Vermont
Woodstock is a classic New England country village and Roseland Cottage is the classic country house that goes with it. It’s also a National Historic Landmark and its dramatically pink Gothic revival architecture stands out even more when framed by the oranges, yellows, red and browns of the turning leaves.
Rangeley Lakes, Maine
There are two routes that wrap around Rangeley Lake – Routes 4 and 17 – and both of these are perfect for viewing the changing autumn foliage, especially as the peaks transform from emerald green to vivid oranges, reds and yellows.
Litchfield Hills, Connecticut
The topography of Litchfield Hills, the rolling foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, is blissfully undulating, making for some of the prettiest fall foliage landscapes in New England. Not just that, but even the historic town of the same name is lined with autumnal trees, making it a great spot for shopping, culture and nature all in one.