new england fall foliage – the most scenic drives on a day trip

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower ” Albert Camus

leaf turning fall color

Best time to visit : Mid September till Mid October

And once you are in New England region of USA, you will know how true it is. Seasons are more pronounced here, sun now sets at 7 in the evening slowly pushing us into shorter days, sky is bright and clear, with zillions of stars glittering in the night, air is cool and crisp, evening strolls are no more pleasant but you can feel the chill in the air, backyards are slowly filling up with the piles of fallen leafs, brown, yellow, red colored leafs scattered everywhere, and leafs starts changing their color into yellow, orange and red before shedding the trees.

fall foliage new hampshire

Soon the forest will be painted in vibrant yellow, orange and red with riots of color to display amidst the stark green pine trees and other conifers, who doesn’t change their colors before shedding their leaves. The end days of these deciduous forest are really beautiful.

fall foliage new england

And such delights of nature are in full display to be enjoyed by everyone, so a trip to New England is must. But before moving ahead, have a look at the Yankee foliage for foliage forecast and map, which proved immensely helpful to us and do check out the devoted blog on fall foliage which is beautifully painted in autumn colors by Jeff-foliage.

Vermont is no doubt the best place to see the color of autumn, but if you have missed it, New Hampshire and the white mountains has lots to offer. Early to mid October is the best time to visit there but every year the peak foliage time changes due to many of climatic conditions. This year the fall color may not be that much vibrant, little muted compared to previous years, because of hurricanes and wet spring, but none the less you will enjoy every bit of it.

fall foliage new england

If you plan to do a day trip like us, then rise early in the morning, pack some foods with you and drive your way to I-93, which goes straight to Franconia Notch State Park, which opens at 9 in the morning. I-93 is not only the best but also gives you a dramatic entry to fall foliage scenario. Keep your camera ready, you will get lots to shoot.

fall foliage franconia

At Franconia Notch state park, one hour trail will lead you through the flume gorge, much talked about flume covered bridge, avalanche falls, liberty gorge and glacial boulders. A unique geological landscape, brooks, water falls and trail through the moist woods will give you lots to capture the color of fall. Though till now green is more pronounced there but is slowly turning into yellow and red.

autumn color flume gorge

Next, we hopped to Cannon Mountains through exit 34-B, Canon’s tramway will bring you to over 4000 ft msl and 180 degree view atop is just spectacular. Having spent almost 40 mins there, we climbed down and a curious visit near the lake surprises us, the white birch was adorn with vibrant yellow and orange fall colors, and it looks beautiful. But the ripples in the lake fails to produce much of the fall color reflections in its clear water.

fall color birch

Exiting the Franconia and coming back all the way down to Lincoln, where we got delayed for half an hour due to traffic congestion, we moved further east to the scenic Kancamagus Highway.

kancamagus highway

Kancamagus Pass to Conway is about an hour, but the scenic byway is painted in all yellow and red, though the color is little muted, not that much vibrant, yielding a moderate fall foliage, but your eyes will definitely haunt down some spectacular colors.

sugar hill fall kancamagus

Little bit of hiking, picnicking, relaxing along the brooks, ponds, woods that slowly starts showing some fall colors, and capturing those wonderful moments will consume your day.

fallen leaves autumn

Leaving the Kanc pass, we arrived at Conway, small and beautiful village / town, all decked up to welcome the autumn with pumpkins and apple cider farms all the way, and here we got delayed for almost an hour in traffic congestion.

So we missed the summit of Mt.Washington, as the last entry to the hilly road can be made only till 4.30 in the evening. But we did drive till Mt.Washington auto road, the sun was nearing the horizon, and we did get some time to see the color of fall in the fading rays of sun.

mt washington fall

We moved further north to catch the I-93, because that was the shortest route and this leads us through another beautiful town Gorham

foliage town

and as we were moving ahead, this silent lake mirroring the color of falls looks absolutely stunning and beautiful and that makes our day.

fall color mirror lake

Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we did

Sukanya