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Thread: NE Fall Colors

  1. Default NE Fall Colors

    Planning a train/road trip in the fall to see the fall colors in the northeast part of the country. Looking at taking the train from NYC to either Plattsburg, NY or Rutland, VT then renting a car and driving back to northern NJ. Don't know whether to drive through the Adirondacks and Catskills from Plattsburg or driving south through VT from Rutland. Would like to make this a 4 or 5 day trip during the week and avoid the weekend. I'm hoping the middle of October will be right for peak colors or even just before the peak.
    Last edited by pasway; 06-22-2019 at 02:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Why the Train?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Seriously, I really am puzzled as to why you plan to do the north-bound leg of your trip by train and then switch over to a car for the rest, including both touring New England and returning to New Jersey. I understand the appeal of trains, especially those with observation cars, but in this case I think you're needlessly adding to your costs. First, of course, there's the cost of the train ticket(s), then there's the substantial added cost of doing a one-way rather than 'local' car rental. Coupled with the fact that the train will be staying at lower elevations (the Hudson and/or Connecticut River valleys for the most part) where the chance to observe foliage at peak will be diminished. Keep in mind that even a place like Crawford Notch NH, in the heart of the White Mountains is a relatively easy day's drive from 'northern New Jersey' (I used Morristown for comparison/planning purposes).

    However you get there, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning a leaf-peeping trip. The first is that peak foliage is a moving target and where the best will be depends on not only the time of year but weather conditions for several weeks leading up to your trip. In general early to mid October was traditionally when colors are were their best in the northern New England mountains {Adirondacks (NY), Green (VT), and White (NH)}, but this has tended to move just a bit later with global warming. Also keep in mind that throughout peak season the roads will be filled with day trippers from New York, Boston, and other nearby metropolitan areas, so that getting off on back roads rather than the well-traveled 'scenic' routs such as NH-16, I-93, I-91, US-7 and US-9 would be a good first step. Two of my personal favorites are VT-100 and ME-113. I've said it before on these forums but it bears repeating: It is almost impossible to find a non-scenic road in northern New England. Don't feel you have to use the same roads everyone else is using.

    I'll be happy to offer more specific recommendations as your trip planning progresses, but for now the above should help get you started. If you have any particular interests besides just seeing the fall colors, be sure to let us know.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default RTA's Lists

    There are a number of sites that start posting reasonably accurate forecasts and actual field reports for fall foliage. Here is a list that we maintain.


  4. Default

    Thanks a bunch for the help. I've watched many train videos on you tube because of your post and will forget about the train trip as the scenery is not at all what I was hoping to see. I now plan to drive the entire trip going up through the Adirondacks then over to Stowe, VT and coming back on VT-100 and US-7. I have a little flexibility so will be checking the leaf popping posts to take advantage of the best times as Mark suggested.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Phoenix, Arizona

    Default Another Satisfied Customer, Heeding Good Advice!

    Two points to Buck for the easy lay-up, with kudos to Mark for the assist!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default It's Been a While, But...

    Check with the Vermont's tourism and highway departments to see if they are still publishing their road map. If so, get one. In the past, said state-published maps have indicated the location of each and every covered bridge in the state and were invaluable in finding the most scenic combinations of fall colors, red (typically) bridges, and babbling streams.


  7. Default

    Thanks again, will check that out and get the map. Much appreciated.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default State Maps

    Check with the Vermont's tourism and highway departments to see if they are still publishing their road map.
    I am pretty sure I picked up one last year. Was on route 7, at the Bennington Visitor Centre. Unfortunately I did not bring it home, so cannot confirm the accuracy of my memory.


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