Where to View the Autumn Foliage in New England

Fran
Lucy Lazarony
November 3, 2020

New England is known for a lot of things but in autumn it is known for its stunning fall foliage. Fall is when the trees change from green leaves to red and orange and yellow. Viewing the changing leaves is a real pleasure and many people drive up to New England just for that reason alone. Planning a trip? We’ve gathered together viewing spots with the most spectacular autumn foliage.

Connecticut

In Connecticut, the best places to view the fall foliage are in the state parks and forests. Here are the top 10 viewing spots for taking in the changing autumn leaves.

Talcott Mountain State Park. Heublein Tower is a 165-foot tower that is found within Talcott Mountain State Park in Simsbury, Connecticut. The top of this tower offers sweeping views of the Farmington River Valley. And when the day is clear you can see several surrounding states as well. This is a great place to take in the view of fall foliage both near and far, so be sure to visit if you live in or are vacationing in Connecticut this fall.

To get to Talcott Mountain State Park take Route 18 heading toward Simsbury. Once you are inside the park, you’ll need to head on a 1 ¼ mile trail and bear left to get to the Heublein Tower.

Mohawk State Forest. Visiting the lookout tower in Mohawk State Forest in Goshen, Connecticut is a must for a fall foliage tour. Once aloft the tower, you’ll get views of the Catskill, Taconic and Berkshire mountain ranges.

Haystack Mountain State Park. Haystack Mountain State Park in Norfolk, Connecticut has sweeping views for those who make it to the top. Hikers will be rewarded with views of the Berkshires and New York and Green Mountains.

Peoples State Forest The Jessie Gerard trail gives you two paths to the Chaugham lookouts where you can take in the autumn colors. You can’t go wrong with whichever path you choose.

Pachaug State Forest. The Pachaug State Forest, located in Voluntown, Connecticut, is the largest state forest in Connecticut. Once you get to the forest there are two main areas to explore, the Chapman area and the Green Falls area. If you are interested in big views, you will want to visit the Chapman area where Mount Misery overlook is located. Mount Misery overlook is the highest point in the area and offers great views for those who climb to it.

Macedonia Brook State Park. Macedonia Brook State Park in Kent, Connecticut offers views from the top of Cobble Mountain. From here, you will be able to see the Harlem Valley and the Taconic and Catskill mountains, which abound with autumn foliage.

Shenipsit State Forest. Shenipsit State Forest is located in Somers, Connecticut. Once in the forest, just take the Shenipsit trail which will lead to the top of Soapstone Mountain. There is an observation tower there for viewing the surrounding area and all the trees in their autumn colors.

Mount Tom State Park. Mount Tom State Park is located in Litchfield, Connecticut. Located off of Route 202, there is a stone tower 1,325 feet above sea level and you can get there by hiking a one-mile long trail. The views of the autumn leaves are more than worth the hike.

Dennis Hill State Park. This park is located off of Route 272 and there is a summit pavilion located 1,627 feet above sea level that provides views of New Hampshire and Vermont’s Green Mountains. The drive to the summit is only open in October. So plan your trip accordingly.

Goodwin Conservation Center. Located on Route 6 in Hampton, you can view the autumn colors reflected in the waters of Pine Acres Pond. There are wildlife-watching platforms nearby that make it easy to take in the view.

Maine

The most northern of New England states offers many views of the autumn leaves in state parks and public lands. You have plenty of spots to choose from. Here are the top 10 places in Maine with fabulous views of the autumn foliage.

Androscoggin Riverlands State Park. You can kayak the Androscoggin River along this park and take in the views of the surrounding trees while you paddle.

Bigelow Preserve and Flagstaff Lake Public Lands. Take in the foliage and Bigelow Mountain too while paddling Flagstaff Lake. You’ll get lovely views of the trees.

Bradbury Mountain State Park. Hike to the top of this mountain for views that extend all the way to the ocean. What a way to see the beautiful changing foliage!

Aroostook State Park. Get a close up view of the trees and their changing colors while hiking or view the trees as you paddle Echo Lake.

Camden Hills State Park. Hike or drive to the top of Mount Battie and you will get ocean views in addition to the fall colors.

Down East Sunrise Trail. You can visit this trail by bike, by foot, by horseback and by all-terrain vehicle. However you travel it, you will see amazing autumn leaves.

Grafton State Park and Mahoosuc Public Lands. The Old Speck Trail is a challenging but rewarding hike, 3 ½ miles, but you’ll enjoy great views when you get to the top.

Lily Bay State Park. At Lily Bay State Park, you can hike along the shoreline trail or paddle along the shore of Moosehead Lake. Both will give you great views of the foliage.

Mount Blue State Park. When you hike Center Hill trail you get a nice view of the surrounding area and the lovely changing trees. If you love the water, you can paddle along Webb Lake.

Seboeis Public Lands. Take in autumn’s glorious colors from Seboeis Lake. There are a number of waterside campgrounds if you want to stay overnight.

Massachusetts

The Central and Berkshire mountains regions in central Massachusetts have beautiful peaks and idyllic river valleys. And they are ideal places to see the changing colors of autumn leaves. There are also great views of autumn leaves in the North of Boston Cape Ann region and also around Plymouth. You can stop for apples, cider or pumpkins at pick-your-own farms along the way for a real autumn treat.

There are a number of lovely places in Massachusetts to see the autumn foliage in all its splendor. Here are a few that are must-visits. Leaf lovers should be sure to check out Appleton Farms in Ipswich, Leominster State Forest, Towie Land in Carlisle, Bash Bish Falls in Mount Washington, Borderland State Park and Sunderland.

Don’t want to leave the city? There are also a number of places to view the autumn foliage in the city of Boston. These places include the Public Garden, Boston Common, Beacon Hill, Harvard Yard and the suburb of Concord where Walden Pond is located.

New Hampshire

Here are seven regions in the state of New Hampshire and tips on viewing autumn leaves.

Great North Woods Region. You see the first signs of color in the leaves in mid-September. So travel north to see some early color this autumn.

White Mountains Region. The trees in this region start turning colors in late September. So travel to the White Mountains region in late September or early October for the first glimpses of autumn.

Dartmouth Lake Sunapee Region. Fall begins arriving with its new colors toward the end of September. The more dramatic colors arrive in early to mid-October.

Lakes Region. Be on the lookout in the Lakes region for bright, beautiful foliage toward the end of September. The shores along lakes and ponds make lovely vantage points for the new fall colors.

Monadnock Region. Foliage in the Monadnock region begins changing colors in late September and into the first week of October. Take a drive on a country road and take it all in.

Merrimack Valley Region. The leaves in the Merrimack Valley region begin to change colors toward the end of September or early October. This area is full of scenic drives made all the more memorable by the stunning autumn foliage.

Seacoast Region. This region is usually one of the last to experience the changing of the autumn leaves. Visit in early October to see foliage in bright colors.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island shows its brightest fall colors in October. Lovely foliage will be on display at the Roger Williams Park and Zoo in Providence and at Blithewold Mansion and Gardens in Bristol. For a great scenic drive take Route 1 and 1A from Westerly to Wickford. You’ll see plenty of fall foliage along the way.

Fall is also a good time to visit the Newport Cliff Walk. You’ll stroll the 3 ½ miles path taking in the mansions and ocean views and of course the trees in all their glorious autumn colors.

For a stunning view of foliage take Route 110 from the University of Rhode Island south into South Kingstown. You’ll pass by the Great Swamp Wildlife Reservation and Worden Pond.

Goddard Memorial State Park attracts thousands of visitors every year and is a lovely place to take in the changing autumn colors.

Vermont

There are many places to take in the fall foliage and other sites in Vermont in autumn. Here is a short roundup of some places you can go to see the stunning foliage on display.

Burke in the northeast part of the state holds the town’s annual fall foliage festival the last Saturday in September. So head north and join in the celebration.

Route 100 goes along the edge of the Green Mountains and is one of the most scenic highways. You’ll see plenty of bright colors as the autumn foliage flushes with color.

Shelburne Farms is 20 minutes south of Burlington and a National Historic Landmark. With views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks, it is worth the stop especially in autumn when the trees are awash with bright fall colors.

Route 2 heads from east to west from Lake Champlain to Maine. You’ll see many trees ablaze with color along the way.

In Mount Philo, the oldest park in the state of Vermont, you get amazing views of the Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains. What a wonderful spot to take in the fall colors.

Route 7 takes you from the Massachusetts border into Burlington. The views and the foliage are rich along this road. So take your time and enjoy the drive.

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