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Leaf Peep: New England Fall Foliage Guide

Compiled by Nirmala Garimella

Greater Boston/Merrimack Valley

From Boston, take Rts. 2 and 4 to Lexington, then Rt. 2A to Concord's famous North Bridge and Minute Man statue. From Concord Center, bear left at the fork on Sudbury Road. At the Sudbury line, the road becomes Concord Road and takes you through Sudbury Center and onto U.S. Rt. 20. Return via U.S. Rt. 20 through Waltham to Boston.

Bristol County

From the intersection of I-495 and I-95, head south on I-495, then take Rt. 140 South through Norton and past Wheaton College. Remain on Rt. 140 South to New Bedford. Then take Rt. 6 East or West. Rt. 6 East takes you to the charming seaside town of Fairhaven. From Rt. 6 West, take Rt. 177 to Westport, then Rt. 88 South to Horseneck Beach State Reservation.

Plymouth County

Just south of Boston, pick up Rt. 24 South, then take Rt. 104 to Bridgewater. Continue on Rt. 104, then Rt. 106 to Halifax. Rt. 58 South will take you to North Carver, where you'll see cranberry bogs flooded with pools of crimson berries as the harvest gets underway. From North Carver, continue south on Rt. 58 to Rt. 28 East to Rt. 6 West and the towns of Wareham, Rochester, Marion, and Mattapoisett.

Cape Cod

From the Sagamore Bridge, take Rt.6A, the "Old King's Highway," which winds through the historic villages of Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, and Brewster.

Central Massachusetts

Enjoy superb color at a relaxed pace when you drive along the less frequently traveled routes to the Quabbin Reservoir: From Rt. 128, follow Rt. 117 to Stow, in the heart of apple country, then Rt. 62 South and West to Princeton. Turn north on the unnumbered route to Wachusett Mountain Reservation. There you can drive, hike, or take a "skyride" to the summit for a sweeping view of the countryside. Return to Rt. 62 and head west to Barre, then south on Rt. 32 to Old Furnace Rd. Follow the unnumbered road west to Hardwick. Turn north on Rt. 32A, which runs along the Quabbin Reservoir to Petersham. At Petersham follow Rt. 101 East through Templeton, Gardner, and the Ashburnhams to the junction with Rt. 119. Head east on Rt. 119 through the Willard Brook State Forest in Ashby and Townsend.

Greater Springfield/Franklin County

The secondary roads of Rt. 116 and Rt. 9 wind through rolling countryside and hill towns. Rt. 116 passes through the picturesque towns of Conway and Ashfield; Rt. 9 leads through the village centers of Cummington and Goshen and the college towns of Northampton and Amherst. Scenic routes 143 and 112 travel through rolling New England countryside in the towns of Goshen, Chesterfield, Worthington and Huntington.

The Berkshires

Follow Rt. 7 North from Sheffield to Williamstown. Rt. 8 runs from Sandisfield to Dalton and is a superb route between two state forests. Rt. 183, from Great Barrington to Lenox, follows the Housatonic River and passes through small villages. Take Richmond Rd., off Rt. 183, just south of Tanglewood, and stop at the overlook for views of Stockbridge Bowl and the southern Berkshire Hills. Rt. 43 East, off Rt. 7, is the lower road to Williamstown, and passes through lovely farmland. Rt. 23, from Great Barrington to Monterey, and then right onto Tyringham Rd., takes you through the Tyringham Valley and eventually to Lee. Mohawk Trail The Mohawk Trail, which runs 63 miles along Rt. 2 from Orange to North Adams, is one of the state's most popular foliage routes. Excellent "up-country" viewing sites include: the Whitcomb Summit; the hairpin turn before North Adams; the 10-mile drive to the summit of Mt. Greylock; the French King Bridge, Millers Falls; the Bissell Covered Bridge, Charlemont; and the enchanting Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls.


Enjoy one of Maine's most scenic routes during fall foliage: Route 17 along the Swift River to stunning panoramas at Height of Land, overlooking mountains and lakes, and on to pristine Rangeley Lake State Park.

New Hampshire

I-93 narrows as it winds through craggy Franconia Notch. The sinuous Kancamagus Highway passes through the mountains to Conway. In Center Harbor in the Lakes Region, you can ride the M/S Mount Washington for views of the Lake Winnipesaukee shoreline, or ascend to Moultonborough's Castle in the Clouds for a falcon's-eye look at the colors.


In Burlington, the elms will be turning color on the University of Vermont campus. A ferry ride across Lake Champlain affords great views of Vermont's Green Mountains and New York's Adirondacks. After visiting the resort town of Stowe, continue on beneath the cliffs of Smugglers' Notch. The north country's palette unfolds in Newport, where the blue waters of Lake Memphremagog reflect the foliage.

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