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  1. Default New England Fall Foliage 2009

    My husband and I have decided to to a road trip to New England for 2009's fall foliage. We are avid autumn lovers, and after so many autumns in Gatlinburg, TN we are ready for a change. We are from Indianapolis, and our beginning plan is to fly to Providence, RI and rent a car. We are planning on 10 days in the New England area.

    Neither of us have ever been beyond NYC - so we have NO CLUE where to begin. We are huge nature lovers and enjoy hiking. We don't really want to do anything within cities (except we do plan on a day or two in Martha's Vineyard). I love waterfalls and mountains - and we really want to catch some great photo opps. I also really want some lobster and crab (selection in the Indy cornfields is

    Acadia is def. on the list - and I need to get to Ben & Jerry's. But other than that - we need some help.

    What can't be missed? Where can I find some majestic waterfalls? What are some neat "off the beaten path" spots that locals love and tourists can't find?

    And most importantly - we are wanting to go during peak foliage - what is our best bet? We are thinking October 2-11......should we shift to a week earlier? later?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Start here

    We maintain a web resource for fall foilage displays -- so I would start here and get a sense of what happens this year. Also post your reports of what you are seeing this year in your neighborhood. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some of My Favorite 'Unknowns'

    You can hardly call a place "off the beaten path" if it has a web site, but it's also true that there are a few overcrowded 'best' tourist spots in New England and a host of nearly as good but overlooked places that will, I think, give you much more of the flavor you are looking for. Let's start with your drive north to Acadia. Rather than use I-495 (or even worse, I-95/MA-128) take the really back way of CT-169/MA-31/NH-101 up to the Portsmouth, NH area. Here's your first chance to get an authentic lobster experience (crabs are really a Chesapeake Bay speciality) at either Warren's or Newick's. Also take a stroll through Strawbery Banke. There are lots of great peninsulas to explore on the way down the Maine coast, but my favorite would be the one south of Damariscotta that includes Colonial Pemaquid.

    After Acadia, Alt-US-1 to Bangor and then US-2 west from there will take you through the Longfellow Mountains of Maine, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Green Mountains of Vermont. To be honest the two BIG attractions of the White Mountains are the Mount Washington Auto Road and the Kancamagus Highway (NH-112). Both are likely to be exceedingly crowded at peak foliage season. For far less traveled alternatives, try the Patte Brook Auto Tour and the Evans Notch road (ME-113 south of Gilead).

    In Vermont, beside's Ben and Jerry's in Stowe, a great place to visit and walk around is the grounds of the Trapp Family Lodge. Another favorite destination of mine in northern Vermont is Shelburne Farms. If you get that far west, also think about taking a ferry ride (sans car) from Charlotte, VT over to Essex, NY; walk around and then take a later ferry back. Some final suggestions on the way south back to Providence. In Barre, visit Hope Cemetery. That may sound strange, but this is where the local stonecutters bury there own and the monuments here must be seen to be believed. Next, and this will take some navigation because in their quest to be "off the beaten path" they have refused road improvements or a local exit on the nearby I-89, a visit to the town of Bookfield, VT would be in order if for no other reason than to drive across the 'floating' bridge that carries VT-65 across the local lake. Finally, VT-100 down through the center of Vermont is the quintessential New England back road - just make sure to stop in Plymouth and visit the Calvin Coolidge Historic Site.

    As to timing. The traditional date for peak foliage is Columbus Day (Oct. 12th) in the mountains and 2-3 weeks later along the southern coast. So a week's delay might be in order. Just note that this is the busiest time of year for many of the motels, inns and B&Bs in New England, so reservations are definitely in order.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-17-2008 at 07:54 PM. Reason: Correction

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Good bet for next year too

    One of those resources I alluded to above is the Maine Foilage Report (which I think is one of the best such sites on the web). Here is this week's report and you can see how the coast is looking this year.

    Even better is the page which shows reports by the week for the past few years -- What I recommend is that you choose a specific period (Oct 13th week) over the past five years and see how the "peak display" changes.


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