Best of America

7 Road Trips to View Stunning Fall Foliage

View as Slideshow

© NYS Dept. of Economic Dev.-images by Darren McGee
New York Adirondack Adventure
The Adirondack Park, the largest wilderness east of the Mississippi, sprawls far and wide across upstate New York -- a rugged, pristine realm where forests and mountains reign supreme. Encompassing both public and private land, the Adirondack Park is shaped a bit like a giant oval, and it bounds an astounding 6 million acres -- a tapestry of woodlands, meadows, high-shouldered peaks, and thousands of streams and lakes. Tiny villages are nestled across the countryside, and campgrounds and trails abound. It is no wonder, then, that visitors who come here tend to stay a while in order to savor the stunning scenery, protected since 1892 by a state law decreeing that the park shall remain ''forever wild.'' Above, the 16,000-acre Wilmington Flume Preserve on Rte. 86 is part of Adirondack Park.

Length: About 270 miles, plus side trips.

When to go: Fine scenery year-round, with drastic and dramatic seasonal changes.

Read more about this road trip

Maryland Panhandle
Hidden in the time-worn mountains of far western Maryland is a pristine province where rivers run deep, forests grow thick, and tiny mountain towns beckon with cozy inns and tales of frontier lore. Above, the Casselman Bridge of Grantsville, a mountain village populated mostly by Amish and Mennonites since the 1800s.

Length: About 170 miles, plus side trips.

When to go: Best between May and October.

Read more about this road trip

Massachusetts Mohawk Trail
Forested mountains, rich river-bottom farmlands, and riotous explosions of autumn color -- the splendors of this Massachusetts drive have inspired the raves of travelers for generations. Above, a floral cascade blankets the streamside trail at Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls.

Length: About 60 miles, plus side trips.

When to go: Popular year-round, but best in fall for the foliage.

Read more about this road trip

Content continues below ad

South Carolina Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway
Threading along the slopes of the southern Appalachians, this drive crosses an ancient Indian path as it winds past orchards and a historic battlefield to a land of forests, lakes, and a legendary white-water river. More than 50 waterfalls-among them some of the tallest in the East-splash down from the heights of the Upcountry, as South Carolinians call these western mountains. At Raven Cliff Falls (shown above) visitors look up to see a series of cascades that plunge more than 400 feet through a narrow gorge. In autumn, when the foliage of oaks, hickories, and maples achieves its peak, Raven Cliff affords one of the state's most splendid scenes: a misty tableau of yellows, reds, and oranges enlivened by the dancing silver water of the falls.

Length: About 130 miles, plus side trips.

When to go: Fine scenery year-round; icy conditions may close roads in winter.

Read more about this road trip

West Virginia Midland Trail
In the rugged mountains of lower West Virginia, where wild rivers race between towering cliffs, the twists and turns along this drive offer irresistible temptations to slow down and savor the views. Above is the autumn view of Hawk's Nest State Park. A park gondola carries passengers down into the depths of the gorge. Wildflowers stud the slopes in spring; come fall, the region is a golden blaze of fluttering foliage.

Length: About 120 miles, plus side trips.

When to go: Popular year-round.

Read more about this road trip

Vermont Green Mountain Highway
This classic tour through the heart of Vermont passes green pastures grazed by contented cattle, tidy villages with quaint general stores, and mountains that seem as old as time. Words to the wise: Book reservations early for fall foliage tours and accommodations. Above is Plymoth Notch in the fall, the town encapsulates 30th president Calvin Coolidge's life.

Length: About 220 miles, plus side trips.

When to go: Popular year-round; fall foliage is especially beautiful in early to mid-October-newspapers have color reports.

Read more about this road trip

Content continues below ad

New Hampshire White Mountain Wonderland
“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,” wrote Robert Frost, moved by the icy beauty of the White Mountains. But while these sugarcone peaks live up to their name only in winter, they are worth a visit at any time of year. Best from mid-September to mid-October, when fall foliage is at its most spectacular. Above, a pond at the 6,500-acre Franconia Notch State Park which is built around a spectacular mountain pass.

Lenth: About 125 miles, plus side trips.

When to go: Popular year-round, but best from mid-September to mid-October, when fall foliage is at its most spectacular.

Read more about this road trip

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

One thought on “7 Road Trips to View Stunning Fall Foliage

  1. Fall’s a bit far away from now, but it doesn’t hurt to plan a road trip to one of those places. Camping or hiking is great, but what’s needed the most is the family and friends you can bring, and a camera for photos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy