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  1. Default New England Avoiding Leaf Peepers

    My husband and I are planning a road trip to New England (starting and finishing from Boston) in early October but would like to avoid the busy leaf peeping areas.
    We're looking for suggestions of scenic roads, interesting places to visit and things to do, can you help?
    We enjoy hitting the open road, spending a few days somewhere before moving onto the next place. We like doing day hikes, watching wildlife and doing crazy mad things that take us out of our comfort zone.
    Any ideas would be welcome and we look forward to hearing from you.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default You don't want to peep at the leaves, too?

    Welcome to the Roadtrip America forums.

    To be honest, I tend to be contrary and try to get where the crowds aren't myself. ;)

    I'm not one of the gurus around here with extensive travel experience in that part of the country. Sorry. But I can point you to some discussions that might give you some good ideas. Go here and follow the links in that post. This discussion also has some good ideas. Hopefully this is enough to get you started.

    I'm sure someone with more intimate knowledge of the area will pop in here to give more personalized advice, especially if you return here to ask more questions during your planning process.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default They're Everywhere

    Fortunately, early October is the peak of leaf season in northern New England. Unfortunately, it is also the heaviest travel season for just that reason. There are roads, like NH-16 and NH-112, that will be bumper-to-bumper traffic. there are also roads that are just as scenic but significantly less utilized. From Boston northward try staying on I-95 into Maine and then using ME-109/US-202/ME-5/ME-113 to get you past the White Mountains. Few tourists venture north of here, but there are some great hikes and small towns. US-2 would than take you across northern New Hampshire and Vermont. VT-100 is your best southbound road. It will get its fair share of traffic, but it's worth it. Finally, use MA-2 (the Mohawk Trail) back to Boston, another great road that should be fine as it shouldn't be peak yet this far south. The threads Judy pointed you to has some of the best places to stop and see, but the general routing I've outlined should work well for you.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Nature watching

    One place that you might find interesting is the Quabbin Reservoir (one of Boston's primary water sources) for nature watching. There are some interesting hikes within the grounds, but one of the highlights is catching a glimpse of the eagles that nest here, and soar over the water.

    Additionally, if you head West on MA-9 from here, you are in for a treat, driving through some of Massachusetts' more scenic towns, and the traffic generally isn't too bad.

    If you are following Buck's route, you could head South on I-91 and hook up with MA-9 East in Northampton and get to the Quabbin in Belchertown. From there, you can get back on I-90 in Palmer and head back to Boston.

  5. Default New England Here We Come!

    Many thanks for all your suggestions so far - what a great help and a great website.
    We've now decided on where, the question now is, what's the best, most scenic route, preferably 'off the beaten track'? We've been lucky enough to see THE fall before so it's not important for this trip.
    We (just the two of us) have 2 weeks at the beginning of October:
    -kicking off in Boston
    -heading west to Lenox to explore the Berkshires
    -if time allows, heading over to the Airondacks
    -up to Niagara Falls (just one night to see the fireworks)
    -south east to Acadia then down the coast taking in
    -Boothbay Harbor
    -Saco to Ogunquit via Rte 1a???
    -Plum Island
    -back to Boston
    We'd appreciate your help and suggestions again on scenic routes and things to see and do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France

    Default Head north!

    I think your best option to avoid the crowds is to head north. Northern Maine is pretty deserted all year-long all along the border. The Green Mountains of Vermont is also a great alternative to the somewhat tourist-bustling White Mountains of New Hampshire. VT routes 125, 108, 109, 118 and 125 all offer awesome moutain sceneries. Traffic might get heavier as you reach Smuggler's Notch but it is nowhere as painful as the route to Mt Washington in leaf-peeping season!

    Have fun!

  7. #7

    Default Quabbin

    Quote Originally Posted by Mass Tim View Post
    One place that you might find interesting is the Quabbin Reservoir (one of Boston's primary water sources) for nature watching.
    I'll second this recommendation--the Quabbin is great for animal sightings and because many of the roads in and around the area are closed to any type of vehicles it remains quite peaceful and undisturbed.

    You may be in for a long hike, but the area around the Quabbin will definitely be your best bet for avoiding those leaf-peepers. Some of the areas even have historical markers giving a glimpse into the history of the Quabbin's former inhabitants (the reservoir covers four former Massachusetts towns).

    Watch out for moose, deer and foxes--they are among the areas inhabitants.

    Have Fun,


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