Happy Fall! Peak season is almost here and the fall foliage is expected to be spectacular. Here's our guide to the best fall foliage drives in New England.
Better known as Route 2, this was New England's first official scenic highway.
If you're coming from Western Mass you can start all the way in Pittsfield and follow Route 7 North to get a peek at Mount Greylock. You can also make a quick stop in North Adams before you continue east to the Mohawk Trail State Forest in Charlemont. And be sure to stop in Shelbourne Falls on the way for a quick stretch!
State Route 169
is a must-see, National Scenic Byway located right in Connecticut. Starting in North Woodstock and traveling south to Newent, this tree-lined drive is quaint but breathtaking.
It only takes about an hour if you drive straight through—but there are plenty of places to stop along the way, too!
In addition to being one of New England’s prettiest drives, the Kancamagus Highway is also one of the easiest driving tours to navigate. Simply follow Route 112 West in New Hampshire, starting in Conway and ending in Lincoln (or vice versa, if you're traveling west to east). The stunning 34-mile drive cuts into the White Mountain National Forest offering ample greenery and stunning views.
Motorcyclists will be particularly happy with this one—there are lots of fun twists and turns as the highway nears the 3,000-foot peak of Mount Kancamagus.
The small towns and backroads of inland Maine are a treasure trove for leaf-peeping. Following this route, you can start in Portland or in Bethel to explore the mountains and lakes of western Maine during the pinnacle leaf season of the year.
Many New England skiers know this route well. It cuts straight up the middle of Vermont state, running 146 miles from the Massachusetts border to Canada. This winding stretch also has lots of twists and turns and takes you through several quintessential Vermont towns.
If you have the time to drive all of it, you can see leaves at various color stages as you rapidly change latitude and altitude. Plus, the lovely Vermont Country Store
is right on Route 100 in Weston—it's a must-see!
Get Ready For Your Fall Foliage Drives With V&F
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This article was originally published in 2020 and is updated annually to reflect the best drives in New England.