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. Don’t miss the Casselman Bridge of Grantsville, a mountain village populated mostly by Amish and Mennonites since the 1800s.
Length: About 193 miles, plus side trips.
When to go: Best between May and October.
Massachusetts Mohawk Trail
LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES/Shutterstock
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 stream-side 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. Check out these things you need to add to your fall bucket list this year.
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, 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.