New England Fall Foliage Trips
The most spectacular autumn color displays often follow a warm, wet spring, continuing with favorable summer weather and warm sunny fall days with cool nights. Above freezing low temperatures often produce bright reds in the maples, while rainy, overcast days increase the color intensity. The big show starts slowly and builds to a peak over several weeks. In any given area, "peak" doesn't last long (only a few days), then the leaves fall off and it's over.
Unfortunately, autumn color is not very predictable, especially in the long term. Half the fun is trying to outguess nature! But it generally starts in late September in New England and moves southward, reaching the Smoky Mountains by early November. All of the various regions of New England are compressed into a very small area, easily within a day’s drive of one another. Places where the leaves are at “peak” aren’t far from those where the changes have only just begun.
The Forest Service has a Fall Color Hotline (800-354-4595) that can provide you with details as the autumn color display progresses. Also each New England state tourism office keeps great records of prime “leaf peeping” times, as well as weekly or even daily foliage reports and suggested driving routes. Check out the links below to these New England states for state tourism information, as well as a selection of towns where you’ll find the perfect inn, bed and breakfast, or private home along the fall foliage route you choose.