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Your Guide to New England's Best Fall Foliage Drives

Your Guide to New England's Best Fall Foliage Drives

Autumn has landed and it's time to hit the road! While the ongoing pandemic has caused an unanticipated shutdown of many of our favorite venues, the beautiful scenery of New England is a sight that we can always count on.

The Bushari Team has compiled a number of foliage drives throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine and Rhode Island.

* Be sure to bookmark this page for your next planned adventure!


 

Massachusetts

 

Mohawk Trail

Distance: 42 miles (Greenfield, MA — Williamstown, MA)

 

The Mohawk Trail is the first scenic road in New England. It officially opened on October 22, 1914. With 64 miles of unsurpassed splendor and 50,000 acres of state parks and forests, the Mohawk Trail is an excellent drive for all ages and during any season. 

Points of Interest:

• Bridge of Flowers

• Bissell Covered Bridge

• Hail to the Sunrise Park

• Tannery Falls

• MA Museum of Contemporary Art

• Eagle Street

• Clark Art Institute

 

 

Lexington, MA - Concord, MA

Distance: 6.8 Miles

 

While the drive from Lexington to Concord is only about 15 minutes in length, there's a number of parks, history sites and taverns to keep you preoccupied. Sites include Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House, where she both set and wrote Pretty Women, as well as Buckman Tavern, associated with the first battle of the American Revolutionary War.

Points of Interest:

• DeCordova Sculpture Park

• Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

• Lexington Common National Historic Site

• Scottish Rite Masonic Museum

• Buckman Tavern

• Minute Man National Historical Park

• Louis May Alcott's Orchard House

 

 

Route 6A (Old King's Highway)

Distance: 26 Miles

 

Travelers on Old King's Highway, Route 6A can see hundreds of historic sites, ranging from sea captain houses to pilgrim churches and other historic buildings. Other points of interest include cranberry bogs, salt marshes, preserved farmlands, nature museums, the magnificent Sandwich Boardwalk, and many antique stores.

Points of Interest:

• Cape Cod Museum of Art

• Nye Museum

• Sandwich Boardwalk

• Heritage Museums & Gardens

• Sandwich Glass Museum

• Mayflower Beach

• Edward Gorey House

• Nickerson State Park

New Hampshire

 

Kancamagus Highway

Distance: 34 miles (Conway, NH — Lincoln, NH)

 

The Kancamagus Highway is a 34.5 mile scenic drive along NH's Rt. 112 in Northern New Hampshire that is well known as one of the best Fall Foliage viewing areas in the country. The Kancamagus Highway is now designated an American Scenic Byway for its rich history, aesthetic beauty and culture.

The Kancamagus Scenic Byway takes you through a path cut through the White Mountain National Forest with breathtaking views of the White Mountains, the Swift River, Sabbaday Falls, Lower Falls and Rocky Gorge. This route takes you to an elevation of just under 3,000 feet at its highest point at Kancamagus Pass on the flank of Mt. Kancamagus near Lincoln, NH.

Points of Interest:

• Conway Scenic Railroad

• Mount Washington Observatory

• Pemigewasset Overlook

• Diana's Baths

• The Flume

• White Mountain National Forest

• Flume George

• Franconia Notch

 

 

Lake Winnipesaukee Loop

Distance: 6.8 Miles (Alton, NH)

 

Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest and most popular lake in New Hampshire and certainly one of the most scenic. Beginning in Alton, at the southern gateway to the Lakes Region, this route follows NH 11 north through Alton Bay up through Gilford.

The Alton area became one of the earliest tourist destinations around the lake with the arrival of rail in the later half of the 19th century. This western side of the lake shows off exceptional views of the lake and Ossipee Range and offers many different recreational opportunities. Take a hike up to the summit of Mt. Major for wonderful sights of the Lake and surrounding mountain ranges.

Points of Interest:

• Mount Major Trail

• Funspot Arcade

• Endicott Rock State Historic Site

• Hermitt Woods Winery & Deli

• Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad

• Castle in the Clouds

• Gunstock Mountain Resort

• Wright Museum of World War II

 

Monadnock Region Loop

Distance: 80 Miles (Keene, NH)

 

This route begins in Keene, New Hampshire, winding through a number of historic New England towns including Hancock, Greenfield, Peterborough and Jaffrey. Be sure to make a stop at Monadnock State Park, which features over 4,000 miles of hiking trails.

Points of Interest:

• Cheshire Children's Museum

• Pitcher Mountain

• Harris Center for Conservation

• Greenfield State Park

• Hancock-Greenfield Covered Bridge

• Miller State Park

• Mount Monadnock

• Monadnock State Park

Vermont

 

Green Mountain Byway

Distance: 34 miles (Waterbury, VT — Stowe, VT)

 

The Green Mountain Byway travels through the towns of Waterbury and Stowe between the spine of the northern Green Mountains to the west and the peaks of the Worcester Range to the east. Traveling along the Byway provides stunning views of open meadows, farmland and forests, all with a spectacular mountain backdrop. Historic homes, farmsteads, villages, mill sites, the Waterbury Reservoir and three state parks are accessible along the route as is the area’s most prominent natural feature, Mount Mansfield - Vermont’s highest peak - which provides ample opportunities for recreation.

Explore the history of the Green Mountain Byway communities, learn more about four-season recreation activities, discover tastes from farms and local food producers and take in breathtaking views of mountains, forests, farmland, waterfalls and other natural sites.

Points of Interest:

• Camel's Hump

• Cold Hollow Cider Mill

• Little River State Park

• Ben & Jerry's Flavor Graveyard

• Mount Mansfield

• Smugglers Notch

 

 

Vergennes, VT - Montpelier, VT

Distance: 49 Miles

 

Vergennes, Vermont’s oldest city, is the starting point of this spectacular roller-coaster ride from west to east, slicing through the heart of the Green Mountain State. And with exceptional eateries along the way, there’s no need to pack provisions.

Points of Interest:

• Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

• Button Bay State Park

• Lincoln Peak Vineyard

• Bristol Falls

• Halpin Covered Bridge

• North Branch Nature Center

• Vermont State House

• Vermont Historical Society

• Hubbard Park

 

Middlebury Gap

Distance: 16 Miles (Texas Falls, VT - Ripton, VT)

 

Route 125, known as Vermont's Middlebury Gap Road, offers plenty of must-stops along its high and low points including the beautiful Texas Falls and a wooded walk that inspired famous poet Robert Frost.

The ups and downs of the Middlebury Gap offer an abundance reasons to stop. Plot out the best hiking trails, fishing holes, picnic areas and campgrounds for a Vermont road trip with memorable outdoor activities.

Points of Interest:

• Robert Frost Interprative Trail

• Texas Falls Recreation Center

• Lake Dunmore

Connecticut

 

Merritt Parkway

Distance: 38 miles (Greenwich CT — Stratford, CT)

 

Merritt Parkway is nestled in the heart of Fairfield County. It runs from the border with New York in Greenwich to Stratford’s Housatonic River. This road is not accessible to trucks and buses, making it a tranquil drive for cars and motorcycles.

It’s an idyllic stretch that showcases New England in the fall at its finest. Famed for its natural beauty, brought to life by an abundance of imposing trees, this route is also known for its collection of Art Deco bridges. These unique structures were built during the 1930s and 1940s and they add to the stunning aesthetic of the scenery.

Points of Interest:

• Seaside Park

• Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

• The Discovery Museum

• Sherwood Island State Park

• Devil's Den Pasture

• The Maritime Aquarium of New England

• Sheffield Island Lighthouse

• Lockwood Mathews

• Stamford Museum & Nature Center

• Bruce Museum

 

 

Last Green Valley

Distance: 35 Miles (Norwich, CT — Woodstock, CT)

 

This scenic byway — dark at night, green in the daytime — is what is known as the “Last Green Valley,” an oasis of rural beauty starting from roughly Norwich in the south and heading north to the area between Southbridge and Webster, Massachusetts.

Explore wildlife preserves, hiking paths, and a number of museums.

Points of Interest:

• Roseland Cottage

• Taylor Brooke Winery

• Nipmuck State Forest

• Roseland Park

• Pulaski State Park and Recreation Center

• Pachaug State Forest

• Old Furnace State Park

• Mohegan Sun

• Slater Memorial Museum

• Mohegan Park

Maine

 

Castine & Penobscot Bay Loop

Distance: 80 miles (Ellsworth, ME)

 

This beautiful drive skims the coastline and passes through a number of small fishing towns. Almost every town, particularly Castine, Brooklin, Blue Hill, and Ellsworth, is worth a stop to stroll the streets and enjoy local architecture, arts, and restaurants.

Points of Interest:

• Maine Maritime Academy

• Dyce Head Light

• Blue Hill Peninsula

• Woodlawn Museum

• Wild Acadia Fun Park

• Downeast Scenic Railroad

• Great Maine Lumberjack Show

• Fort Point State Park

• Roque Bluffs State Park

 

 

Park Loop

Distance: 27 Miles (Bar Harbor, ME)

 

The 27-mile Park Loop Road winds through the heart of Acadia National Park on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island.

The road is the primary artery of the park, leading visitors to grand mountain and ocean vistas, through leafy green forests and sunny meadows, and past sparkling lakes and ponds, to more than a dozen of the park’s most popular and prized attractions.eserves, hiking paths, and a number of museums.

Points of Interest:

• Acadia National Park

• Cadillac Mountain

• Jordan Pond

Rhode Island

 

Newport Ocean Drive

Distance: 10 miles (Newport, RI)

 

This winding drive that offers fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Fort Adams State Park. Complete with eye candy of impressive sailboats and mansion lining the coast.

Tip: If you are making the drive on sunny afternoon travel Ocean Drive beginning at the Fort Adams end to avoid glare from a setting sun.

Points of Interest:

• The Breakers

• Marble House

• International Tennis Hall of Fame

• Fort Adams State Park

• The Elms

 

We'd love to hear about your trip!

Shoot us over an email at hello@bushari.com and let us know what you think of our guide.

 

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