Massachusetts Mohawk Trail
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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.
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. At 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. These are the most stunning pictures of fall across America.