Ultimate New England Foliage Road Trip

If you're looking for a fall road trip, this route may be one of the best. Depending on your activities and how long you linger, it takes about a week, starting in CT and ending in NH, with fantastic views along the way. New England trees are spectacular in October, and this is a trip that will have you loving the drive as much as the destinations.

1. Lake Candlewood (CT): Candlewood is the largest lake in Connecticut. On the western shore, the Squantz Pond State Park is popular with leaf-peepers, who come to amble the pretty shoreline. In Brookfield and Sherman you'll find quiet vineyards with acres of grapevines on the hillside. There are several wineries to tour, and you can even take a hot air balloon ride!

2. Kent, CT: Kent has previously been voted the spot in all of New England (yes, even beating Vermont) for fall foliage viewing. The Litchfield hills are beautiful to begin with, but on the banks of the Housatonic River, Kent is surrounded by dense woodlands. For a gorgeous view, hike up Cobble Mountain in Macedonia Brook State Park, a wooded oasis 2 miles north of town. The steep climb to the rocky ridge affords panoramic views of the foliage against a backdrop of the Taconic and Catskill mountain ranges.The Appalachian National Scenic Trail also runs through Kent and up to Salisbury on the MA border. Unlike much of the trail, the Kent section offers a mostly flat 5-mile river walk alongside the Housatonic, the longest river walk along the entire length of the trail. 

3. Housatonic Meadows State Park (CT): Popular with artists and photographers, one of the most photographed fall scenes is the Cornwall Bridge in West Cornwall, CT, an antique covered bridge that stretches across the broad river, framed by colored foliage.

 4. The Berkshires (MA): In the westernmost part of Massachusetts, the rounded mountains of the Berkshires turn their leaves as early as mid-September. The ideal town in the Berkshires is Great Barrington, a formerly industrial town whose streets are now lined with art galleries and upscale restaurants, as well as a great place for a hike in nearby Beartown State Forest. 

5. Mt Greylock State Forest (MA): Massachusetts' highest peak is not so high, but a climb up the War Veterans Memorial Tower rewards you with a forested panorama stretching up to 100 miles, across the Taconic, Housatonic and Catskill ranges, and over five states. Even if the weather seems drab from the foot, driving up to the summit may well lift you above the gray blanket, and the view with a layer of cloud floating between tree line and sky is stunning.

6. Manchester, VT: Manchester is known for its New England architecture. For fall foliage views, head south of the center to Mt Equinox, the highest mountain accessible by car in the Taconic Range. Wind up the 5 miles - with breathtaking scenery at every hairpin turn - seemingly to the top of the world, where the 360-degree panorama unfolds, offering views of the Adirondacks, the lush Battenkill Valley and Montréal's Mt Royal. 

7. Lake Champlain, NY: With a surface area of 490 sq miles, straddling New York, Vermont and Quebec, Lake Champlain is the largest freshwater lake in the US after the Great Lakes. On its northeastern side, Burlington is a gorgeous base to enjoy the lake. Explore it by foot on our walking tour. 

8. Bretton Woods (NH): Step away from the car - it's time to become one with the foliage. Enjoy the foliage via zip lines! The four-season Bretton Woods Canopy Tour includes a hike through the woods, a stroll over sky bridges and a swoosh down 10 cables to tree platforms.You can also try the Mount Washington Cog Railwayat the western base of Mt Washington, the highest peak in New England. This historic railway has been hauling sightseers to the mountain's summit since 1869.

9. North Conway, NH: Many of the best restaurants, pubs and inns in North Conway come with beautiful views of the nearby mountains, making it an ideal place to wrap up a fall foliage road trip. 

There are great road trips to be had in New England in every season, but fall offers such a treat at every turn! Happy driving!

About the Author: Meredith Napolitano blogs at FromMeredithtoMommy.com, where she writes about raising kids while keeping her own identity as well! Follow her on Facebook!

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