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Michaella Sheridan | 09.05.2018

Leaf-peeping season is fast approaching, and it's about time you took that epic fall road trip through New England. With so much to discover along the way, it's helpful to plan out your pit stops and photo-worthy hikes. Luckily, we've done the leg work for you. Following the typical wave of foliage as it sweeps north to south, our leaf peeping road trip winds through Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and touches down in Connecticut. While mid-October is usually the sweet spot, check out a peak fall foliage map to make sure you'll get the brightest colors. 

  • Acadia National Park: Sitting on the northeastern edge of New England is this epic national park that stretches from sea to mountains. Catch peak fall foliage with a sea breeze on one of the many day hikes, like a 7-mile traverse up Cadillac mountain via the South Ridge Trail or the 5-mile climb up the neighboring Champlain Mountain via the South Ridge Trail. If you've got the bikes in the car, set out on a long ride through the 45 miles of carriage roads that weave through the park. Just be sure to look up and enjoy the leaves. 
  • Sebago Lake: Admire the foliage from the water of Maine's second largest lake. In the fall, the summer crowds at this 28,771-acre lake thin out, offering a peaceful paddle. Enjoy visiting coves and beaches with overhanging trees in transition. Bring your camera and maybe even a fishing rod for a full fall afternoon. 
  • Burlington Bike Path: An awesome adventure in all seasons, the 9-mile bike path through Burlington really shines during fall. Ride through colorful fall foliage, stopping to enjoy a warm apple cider downtown. 
  • Prospect Rock: Stretch your legs on this 2.6-mile round-trip hike to a summit that overlooks the Lamoille Valley in Vermont. When the leaves are at their peak, you'll get a sweeping view of vibrant colors. 
  • Burnt Rock Mountain: About an hour south of Prospect Rock, this similar 5.2-mile hike offers amazing views of Camel's Hump State Park. Soak up views of the classic Vermont foliage from the treeless granite face section.
  • Mount Pemigewasset: Head east from Burnt Rock a couple of hours into New Hampshire, and you'll find this relatively easy 3.4-mile hike that offers amazing views of Franconia Notch State Park in all of its fall glory. 
  • Zealand Falls: If you have some time to spare, venture to the middle of White Mountain National Forest to experience this 5.4-mile family-friendly adventure that packs waterfalls, mountain views, and an AMC hut into a relatively easy hike.  
  • Franconia Falls: Be sure to bring your camera on this pit stop! A short drive from Mount Pemigewasset, this round-trip hike is considered one of the easiest in the White Mountains, making it perfect for hikers who want to take their time and enjoy the foliage rather than huff and puff up a grueling granite mountain. As the trail follows the Pemigewasset River, enjoy gorgeous views of the falls, mountains, and surrounding forest. 
  • Lake Solitude via Summit Trail: About two hours south of Franconia Falls, this scenic trail is a family-friendly adventure that offers some unbeatable fall views. With the option to take the chairlift to the top of Mount Sunapee, you can sit back and enjoy the fall foliage from up above or hike among the changing trees. 
  • Walden Pond + Adams Woods: A short drive from Boston, this natural respite is a great place to surround yourself with some fiery foliage. Serving as the inspiration for Henry David Thoreau's "Walden'," a walk around these woods in autumn is a novelty that shouldn't be missed. 
  • Mount Wachusett: Located in 100 acres of Massachusetts old-growth forest, this 4-mile round-trip hike offers amazing views of surrounding mountains and the chance to hike among some of New England's oldest trees. These trees have been doing this fall foliage thing for hundreds of years now, so you're bound to get a good show. 
  • Cold Harbor Trail - Bring your dog along for this 4.3-mile out-and-back hike through a quaint Massachusetts park. Enjoy the surrounding fall foliage as you walk along old carriage roads and discover a big field that's perfect for playing fetch. 
  • Trout Brook Valley Preserve: Want to enjoy the fall foliage from the saddle? Head to this awesome little preserve in southern Connecticut that offers more than 12 miles of technical terrain. Just be sure to slow down every now and again to enjoy the leaves! 
  • Orange Vista Trail: Located within Devil's Hopyard State Park in Southern Connecticut, this 2.9-mile trail offers the chance to catch some late fall foliage. Be sure to bring your camera and capture shots of the covered bridge and 60-foot waterfall surrounded by the changing leaves. 
  • Chatfield Trail: Enjoy the leaves and some fun rock scrambling before the winter sets in on this exciting 3.7-mile trail through thick forest. With the option to climb glacial boulders and explore rocky outcroppings, this trail allows for some play with your peeping. 


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