With autumn around the corner, sometimes the best way to see the color change is inside a car. You can see the farms and little towns, enjoy a coffee on the way, and see a whole lot more than you normally can on foot. Here are 10 amazing fall drives and when to take them!
Mohawk Trail, Massachusetts – The Second Week in October
Also known as Route 2, the Mohawk trail is one of the oldest roads in the state, having been traveled by the local Native Americans before becoming paved and traveled by settlers. The route still boasts some stunning views of the countryside in autumn. If you’re a fan of shopping in some of the local places, there are some amazing general stores, candle shops and interesting farmers markets. If you’re just there for the sights, the bridge of flowers is a great place for some seasonal beauty.
Arcadia Management Area, Rhode Island – Second through Third Week in October
One of the most beautiful drives in Rhode Island, the Arcadia Management Area is the largest state-owned forest in Rhode Island. The best way to drive it is to go from Connecticut down Interstate 165 until you reach Arcadia Road. This cuts right through the forest and will let you go through the park to see the color changes. Make sure you go in the late second week or early third. From predictions this year, the best time to see things is a small window of the late second and early third week, but it’s worth it.
Route 125, Vermont – First through second week in October
Starting in Middlebury, interstate 7 branches into route 125, considered one of the best drives in the state. If you’re looking for a long day, taking a hike to Texas Falls will let you see a fantastic waterfall, and if you’re a literature fan, the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail offers a few that inspired one of Frost’s most famous poems. Even if you just drive, there’s plenty of winds and bends that’ll offer you an amazing experience regardless.
Route 113, Between Maine and New Hampshire – First week in October
While the more popular Kancamagus Highway allows you to see some beautiful sights, it can also be a little overcrowded by people who are trying to see the sights just the same as you. Route 113 offers some amazing sights of the fall, along the Maine and New Hampshire borders, and it’s usually a little more of a less well-known drive, so you can enjoy the sights at your own pace, and often find a few off-beat places to explore.
Route 169, Connecticut – Second through third week in October
One of the last unspoiled areas in the state, Route 169 takes about an hour if you’re going to drive straight through, but the route takes you through some of the iconic towns and countryside, letting you see the stone walls, forests, and churches that make the state so well known. On a quiet day, it might make you feel like you’ve gone back in time to an autumn day that happened a long time ago.
Route 20, Massachusetts – Second Week in October
Known as Jacob’s Ladder, Historic Route 20 is a little quieter than the Mohawk Trail, but it’s steeped in the history of the state, as well as going through the October Mountain State Forest, the largest forest in Massachusetts and even part of the Appalachian trail. Make sure to take the road all the way to the summit for the best fall view on the route.
Arcadia Loop Road, Maine – First Week through second week in October
Arcadia Park Loop Road is considered one of the most beautiful scenic routes in Maine. The route is a one-way trip through Arcadia Park, and it’s a stunning way to see fall come in. The road winds along the coast, offering plenty of places to stop, get out, and look around, including Schooner Head Overlook, Otter Beach, and the popular Jordan Pond and House. On the downside, the trip costs about $30 to experience, but it’s well worth the price to see the fall along the Maine Coast.
Merritt Parkway, Connecticut – Second through third week in October
Easily Connecticut’s most famous drive, this small part of Route 15 is not just filled with natural beauty. The road itself is filled with art deco bridges and mosaics, and the colors of fall against this backdrop just make it come even more alive. If the route leaves you wanting more, make a quick detour to route 8 and keep heading north until you reach Indian Falls Park, where there are plenty of hiking trails to let you see even more of autumn colors.
Ocean Drive, Rhode Island – Second through third week in October
Ocean Drive is just called ‘the Drive’ to locals, and it’s not surprising. The route is filled with views of the ocean, historic landmarks, and fun things to do. During the fall, you’re greeted with the ocean on one side, and the colors of the season on the other. If you want to make a stop, a great place to enjoy the scenery and the history is Fort Adams State Park, which still has the original fort as well as beautiful views, and even some creepy looking catacombs if you’re looking for a little early Halloween fun.
Green Mountain Byway, Vermont – First through Second Week of October
I’ve mentioned Route 100 before, but the Green Mountain Byway is a special treat, branching off Route 100 into a loop of Route 15, 100C, 108 and Smuggler’s Notch Byway, Green Mountain encompasses some of the best sights in central Vermont, including Mount Mansfield, the Smuggler’s Notch pass and several centers of rural towns that are on the historic register. If you’re just passing through, or plan to look around, this isn’t something to miss in the fall.