If you’re like many, a trip to New England might be in your plans for the upcoming fall season — a perfect time to review a list of the best fall color drives in New England.
- 1 If you’re like many, a trip to New England might be in your plans for the upcoming fall season — a perfect time to review a list of the best fall color drives in New England.
- 2 New Hampshire’s Best Fall Color Drive: The Kancamagus Highway
- 3 Massachusetts’ Best Fall Color Drive: The Mohawk Trail
- 4 Connecticut’s Best Fall Color Drive: State Route 169
- 5 Maine’s Best Fall Color Drive: The Road to Rangeley
- 6 Rhode Island’s Best Fall Color Drive: The Arcadia Management Area
- 7 Vermont’s Best Fall Color Drive: Route 100
- 8 Bonus:
- 9 New York State’s Best Fall Color Drive: The Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway
- 10 Get more RV travel ideas, tips, news, and perks!
Sure, we’ve talked about “5 Awesome RV Destinations for Fall Color” and it did include Williamstown, Massachusetts.
But we didn’t want the other New England states to feel left out so we were interested when Trip Savvy put together a list of “Best Fall Foliage Drives in New England.”
To make it easy, I put the list below (and for good measure, a bonus entry from New York).
Check it out and please be sure to leave feedback in the comments below, especially tips for your RV Lifestyle Fellow Travelers.
New Hampshire’s Best Fall Color Drive: The Kancamagus Highway
Some consider this the granddaddy of all New England fall drives. Start by heading to New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Be prepared to tap your brakes often along Route 112—the Kancamagus Highway— but in exchange you’ll get 34 miles of amazing fall foliage views. The route offers scenic overlooks and trail heads throughout, so allow plenty of time to stop for photos and invigorating hikes around pretty ponds and waterfalls. The color season typically starts in late September and holds through the first three weeks of October.
Massachusetts’ Best Fall Color Drive: The Mohawk Trail
You won’t be disappointed with the stunning scenes that unfold as you navigate New England’s first official scenic road: Route 2 in Massachusetts, aka the Mohawk Trail. For maximum color intake, start your leaf-peeping journey by driving to the summit of Mount Greylock, one of New England’s best mountains to drive. Travel eastward through the Mohawk Trail region, and keep your eyes on the road at the famous hairpin turn. When you need a break, stop at the Shelburne Falls, where you can walk across the Bridge of Flowers and see the famous glacial potholes.
Connecticut’s Best Fall Color Drive: State Route 169
State Route 169 starts in North Woodstock and travels south to Newent. Connecticut’s first National Scenic Byway connects picture-perfect towns in the still-rural northeast corner of the state, which is known as part of New England’s “Last Green Valley.” The drive will take you past classic churches, orchards, stone walls, shops, fairgrounds, and nearly 200 homes built before 1855. That includes the pink-painted Roseland Cottage, which is open for tours June through mid-October.
Maine’s Best Fall Color Drive: The Road to Rangeley
RVers are recommended to start in Portland or Bethel to explore the mountains and lakes of western Maine during this pinnacle season of the year. On your way to Rangeley Lake State Park, take a short detour to visit Maine’s most painted and photographed covered bridge, pan for gold in Coos Canyon, and marvel at the scenery from Height of Land, named one of the best drive-to spots for fall foliage views in all of New England. It’s reported that the sunsets here are so stunning in the fall, even locals can’t help but pull over.
Rhode Island’s Best Fall Color Drive: The Arcadia Management Area
Did you know that Rhode Island is actually two-thirds forested? That means plenty of leaf-peeping and less traffic that sometimes clogs popular scenic routes in the northern part of New England. One of the fall color drives in New England is to drive into Rhode from Connecticut on Route 165, turn right and follow Arcadia Road south through the largest state-owned forest: the Arcadia Management Area. Then, when you’re in Wyoming, Rhode Island, connect with Route 138 West to loop back to the Connecticut state line. Scenery includes serene ponds, stone walls, and woodlands painted with fall’s distinct palette along this off-the-beaten-path drive.
Vermont’s Best Fall Color Drive: Route 100
Vermont’s Route 100 Scenic Byway cuts straight up the middle of the state, running 146 miles from the Massachusetts border to Canada. Drive the whole route, and you’ll see leaves at various color stages as you change latitude and altitude. The road takes drivers alongside the Green Mountain National Forest and right through popular mountain towns like Killington, where RVers might want to stop and get a unique view of all the colors on a gondola ride. Keep in mind that nothing in Vermont is terribly far off this central highway, so you can detour and meander without worrying. One recommended must-top is the Vermont Country Store — right on Route 100 in Weston.
New York State’s Best Fall Color Drive: The Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway
Another one of our best fall color drives in New England is this 52-mile drive through New York State’s storied mountains is an exhilarating way to check out fall colors. The designated byway sticks mostly to New York State Route 28 linking bucolic towns along the way. Get your Clark Griswold on at Mount Tremper, where you can visit the world’s largest kaleidoscope: an attraction that is guaranteed to be colorful. Sports fans might want to extend their trip to Cooperstown, where the Baseball Hall of Fame celebrates America’s game.
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