New England is home to six states, and each one displays a stunning bit of Autumn foliage during the Fall. Autumn color descends north to south, so it makes sense that this northeastern region has become such a destination for leaf peepers, but which state offers the best foliage experience to its visitors?
From the viewing towers of Connecticut to the foliage-lined coasts of Rhode Island and Maine, it is quite hard for travelers to make a bad choice. However, travelers can make the best choice for them, so here is a guide to what state travelers should travel to this Fall for leaf peeping.
As colors sweep across the leaves, changing their colors to autumn hues, Connecticut will be one of the last to change and last to lose its leaves. This, however, makes Connecticut a prime late-season destination for leaf peeping.
Talcott Mountain State Park
Heublein Tower in Talcott Mount State Park is a 165-ft tower that grants visitors sweeping views of Connecticut. Travelers should take Route 18 toward Simsbury, then park along the road once inside the park. There is a brief 1.25-mile hike before reaching the tower.
- Address – Summit Ridge Dr, Simsbury, CT 06070, USA
- Hours – Wednesday to Monday (closed on Tuesdays), 10 am to 5 pm
- Visit Website
Mohawk State Forest
Mohawk State Forest is home to another viewing tower that allows for great views of foliage in Connecticut. Views from this tower include the Catskill, Taconic, and Berkshire mountain ranges.
- Address – Mohawk State Forest, Goshen, CT 06756, USA
Rhode Island’s transition from the Ocean State during the Summer to the Foliage State in the Fall is quite a sight to behold. All the same beautiful coastal land with the splash of Fall color is stunning.
Scenic Route 102 to 1A
Starting from either northern or southern Rhode Island, travelers can travel across these two scenic roads. The drive is full of some stoning and amazing views. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants along the way to refresh.
The Blackstone Valley in the northern part of the state is home to many fantastic scenic locations, particularly Lincoln Woods State Park. Here there are 627 acres of woods and trails gifting visitors with incredible views of foliage.
Massachusetts usually sees its best fall color starting in the second half of September until mid-October. The Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts usually draws the largest crowds of leaf peepers, and it’s not a shock why.
Famous for being the home to a couple of renowned Universities and a famous poet, Amherst is a bastion for stunning views of Foliage. It’s downtown, a tight collection of colonial-style buildings that catch that New England Fall aesthetic perfectly.
Shelburne Falls is a pinnacle small western village complete with an abandoned trolley bridge. This small town isn’t just aesthetic; local artisans and shopkeepers are quite well-equipped to entertain visiting leaf peepers.
Vermont, being a long state, may experience foliage a bit differently in its northern and southern regions. However, that just means different opportunities at different times to check out this state’s incredible foliage.
At the end of Summer, Manchester offers its Southern Vermont Art & Craft Festival. It is a bit early in the season, but it is a popular time for leaf peepers to start showing up. Equinox Mountain is close by and offers some of the best foliage views possible.
The home of Smugglers’ Notch and the cliffs of Mount Mansfield, Jeffersonville offers some of the most scenic terrains for viewing foliage. Travelers can even enjoy their pretty village and friendly downtown when they are finished viewing leaves.
New Hampshire offers many great locations for taking in the Fall color change. In the north, the Great North Woods is fantastic for viewing during the early-peak season. The Monadnock Region further south offers great colors during the mid-peak season. Though travelers should never struggle much to find stunning colors in this state
As aesthetic valleys go, New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley ranks quite well. Cradled by the White Mountains, this popular ski town is a haven for foliage during the Fall.
Travelers can’t find a more aesthetic village for viewing Fall foliage than Jackson, New Hampshire. You must enter the small town through a covered bridge in the What Mountain National Forest, starting the trip off perfectly. Beyond that, travelers can explore local hiking trails and the downtown.
From Baxter State Park in the early-peak season to Bar Harbor during the middle-peak season, Maine has much for leaf peepers to explore. Being the largest state in New England while having a fairly low population means that Maine is full of stunning wilderness for leaf peepers to enjoy.
This mountain town is a bit of a gem as it offers visitors so much accessibility to the surrounding area. Travelers and drive through Evans Notch or check out their Sunday River Ski Resort. All of these places will offer stunning views of foliage.
One of the most dramatic foliage views in New England is the forested slopes of Mount Battie and how they transition to the equally colorful masts that decorate Camden Harbor. Camden offers a choice of experiences with the cozy seaside town and the close news of Mount Megunticook or Bald Rock Mountain.