The summer travel season is over, but that doesn’t mean you should put your suitcase away just yet. The beautiful fall foliage is spreading throughout New England. This is the best time to embark on a road trip to see fall’s warm array of colors. Rich hues of orange, vibrant yellows and hints of burgundy will transform the northern landscape for just a short period of time. Here’s a quick 3-day itinerary to see the best of the season. Three days is too short? We’ve added two more destinations so you can customize a longer weekend if you prefer.
Day 1: Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine
Why begin the itinerary in the northern most New England state? Quite frankly, you may not want to leave. With 47,000 acres of pristine landscape, you may find yourself wanting to base your camp there for the entirety of your trip. Acadia National Park is marked by countless small islands, coves, harbors, wetlands, woodlands and much more. The majority of the park is on Mount Desert Island located within close driving distance from Bar Harbor airport – just in case you’re thinking to just fly in.
With so many options, how do you narrow it down, especially if you’re headed out after a day? Here are our top 3 picks:
- Jordan Pond
Hike along a mountain lake and see the fall foliage against a one-of-a-kind mountainous backdrop that will leave you breathless. When you’re done, head to Jordan Pond House restaurant for some R&R and sustenance.
- Sand Beach
Even if the temperatures aren’t ideal for a swim, there is something immensely calming about fall foliage where land meets the ocean. A great place to connect with nature and take some Instagrammable shots.
- Cadillac Mountain
With an elevation of over 1500 feet, you bet hiking Cadillac Mountain will give you an endless view of the entire park. It’s the best spot to take in the entire view.
Day 2: Flume Gorge Trail, New Hampshire
Through a hilly terrain and moss-covered rocks, you will find that New Hampshire’s Flume Gorge Trail will unveil a sea of fall foliage. It is a short two mile walk that most can complete in 2 hours or so. On your hike you will walk through connecting walkways that line the deep granite cliffs. Waterfalls cascading against the rock, leading to a gentle stream can also be seen against the blooming leaves. This is a very easy trail that you can complete and enjoy in a day. The path runs in an easy loop that gives you a tour of the cliffs reaching almost 100 feet high. End your hike at Lafayette Place Food Court for a quick bite and some rest.
Day 3: Peacham in Vermont’s Northern Region
Peacham, Vermont looks like a small town that could inspire a Thomas Kinkade painting, especially when the fall foliage is at its peak bloom. The Owlshead Mountain Trail is a relatively easy 3.2-mile hike that will take you through a mix of mountainous terrain, lakes, ponds and a New England Forest that is so beautiful, it looks like it could be a complete fantasy. Begin at New Discovery Park headed towards Osmore Pond. The trail is easy to follow, and you’ll end with a trifecta of beauty with a view of Lake Groton and Kettle Pond. When you’re done, reward yourself with chocolate at one of Peacham’s Chocolate shops. Enjoy for yourself and stock up for the holiday season.
Day 4: The Mohawk Trail in Berkshires, Massachusettes
Like Acadia National Park, The Berkshires is another destination that you can make your mainstay if you’re looking for one spot to enjoy the foliage. Whether you’re taking the day or you’re winding down from Maine for day four, you have to experience the amazing views of Mohawk Trail. Give your legs a rest and take a 37-mile drive on the historic trail from Greenfield to North Adams. The Mohawk Trail (Route 2) winds through the Hoosac Range. If you’re looking to stretch your legs, pull at Hoosac Range and choose between Sunset Rock or Spruce Hill. You’ll see souring views of endless trees in a spectrum of warm autumn colors. If you keep going, you’ll reach the iconic Hairpin Turn at the Clarksburg, North Adams Line. This drive will let you enjoy the best of New England’s fall foliage and all while in your car.
When you’re done, be sure to try some of the countless farm-to-table restaurants and local breweries that The Berkshires is known for. It’s a great way to welcome fall.
Day 5: Macedonia Brook State Park, Kent – Cobble Mountain, Connecticut
Views from the Harlem Valley to the Taconic and Catskill Mountains are what Macedonia Brook State Park is known for. To enjoy the best of the park’s views, hike the Blue Trail directly across Cobble Mountain. The trail has spectacular fall foliage views along with splendid woodlands and creeks. The Park isn’t just for hiking. Visitors can picnic, go fishing or biking. It’s a perfect blend of site seeing and outdoor activity.
If this is the tail end of your trip and you’d like to bypass hiking, try a motorcycle cruise throughout Connecticut. You can still enjoy the view and the crisp fall air while zooming through on a motorbike.
Check with an up-to-date fall foliage tracker to help you plan the best time to see the amazing views that welcome fall and all the hearty warm weather foods and flavors that come with it.
Peak time for fall foliage exploration is October to early November