Scenic Drives for Fall Foliage

Why the Leaves Change Colors

The Leaves change colors in the fall due to the lack of sunlight. Leaves are primarily green because it contains a large amount of chlorophyll, which is obtained through long exposure to sunlight. When there is less sunlight there is less green. Therefore we get the beautiful red, yellow and brown colors of the epic season known as fall foliage.

We'll cover 5 Drives to take for a Fall Foliage Adventure. The best part is that it doesn't cost that much money because all you have to do to experience this is hop in a car and go for a drive.

The 5 Drives:

  1. Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire
  2. Glocester Loop, Rhode Island
  3. Litchfield County, Connecticut
  4. The Berkshires, Massachusetts
  5. Route 100, Vermont

1. Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire

This 34.5 mile scenic highway is one of the highlights of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. It runs from North Woodstock to Conway, passing through the White Mountains National Forest. Gorgeous any time of year, this route is particularly charming in the fall, when the changing seasons turn the forest a variety of beautiful colors. In addition to fall foliage, you’ll get lovely views of the Swift River, Sabbaday Falls, and Lower Falls. A number of pull-offs allow you to dip your feet in the river or snap photos of the gorgeous colors from scenic overlooks. It’s no wonder the Kancamagus Highway has been designated an American Scenic Byway by the US Department of Transportation.

Point for Your Fall Foliage Drive

show route and directions
A markerThe Berkshires -
The Berkshires, Sandisfield, MA 01245, USA
[get directions]

B markerKancamagus Highway -
Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire, USA
[get directions]

C markerGlocester Loop -
Glocester Road, Mapleville, RI 02839, USA
[get directions]

D markerLitchfield County -
Litchfield County, CT, USA
[get directions]

E markerThe Berkshires -
The Berkshires, Sandisfield, MA 01245, USA
[get directions]

F markerRoute 100 -
Vermont 100, United States
[get directions]

2. Glocester Loop, Rhode Island

This scenic drive is only minutes from Providence. Take Route 44 west, Route 94 south, Route 14 east, and Route 116 north to make the loop. The trees creep right up to the edges of the highways, giving you a beautiful view of the colors for your entire trip. Look for apple orchards where you can stop and pick your own or buy a bushel.

3. Litchfield County, Connecticut

The Litchfield Hills were named one of the most scenic driving destinations by National Geographic Traveler, and there is no better time of year to take in their beauty than during the autumn. Route 7 will give you plenty of picturesque views of fall foliage, as well as some historic and cultural stops. Begin in Ridgefield, being sure to stop at the Keeler Tavern, where guides in costume will show off Colonial artifacts. Stop in Danbury for more historical sites. The route will take you over the covered Bull’s Bridge to Kent, which was once named the #1 New England town for fall foliage by Yankee Magazine. If you’re up for a hike, check out Kent Falls State Park. Finish your tour in West Cornwall.

4. The Berkshires, Massachusetts

The Berkshire Mountains are one of New England’s top leaf peeping destinations. In the autumn, the mountains are alive with shades of red, yellow, and orange, and the best way to see them is to take the Mohawk Trail. Start your drive east on Route 2 from Williamstown. Take a right on Notch Road to enter Mount Greylock State Reservation. The drive up Mount Greylock, the highest mountain in Massachusetts, offers the opportunity to see some spectacular views. Continue on Route 2 to Greenfield, being sure to stop at some of the many parks along the way.

5. Route 100, Vermont

Stretching the entire length of the state of Vermont from north to south, Route 100 is one of the longest and most spectacular scenic drives in New England. Begin in Bennington and drive north. Be sure to stop in some of the picturesque small towns along the way, such as Weston and Wilmington. The route takes you through the Green Mountains and the Lakes Region. Stop at Moss Glen Falls and drive to the top of Mt. Mansfield. During the autumn, the trees will be ablaze with color every step of the way.

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