Hit the road to experience the splendor of fall in New England. I’ve put together a list of the most scenic fall foliage drives in New England that are sure to please any leaf peeper. From the coastal vistas of Acadia National Park to Vermont’s iconic Route 100, these road trips will take you to some of the most scenic landscapes in New England. Get ready to roll past idyllic countrysides, stop for warm apple cider doughnuts, cross charming covered bridges, and pull over for epic overlooks ablaze with fall color.
Vermont: Route 100
Vermont’s Route 100 might be my favorite fall foliage drive in all of New England. It stretches 200 miles from the Canadian border to Massachusetts. As one of the longer drives on this list, it’s best break it into a few days to really enjoy the journey. I recommend driving from north to south to follow the turning of the leaves. Highlights along the way include the hairpin turns of Smuggler’s Notch in Stowe, the historic covered bridge in Waitsfield, the famous Vermont Country Store in Weston, and the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth Notch.
Fall Foliage Road Trip on Vermont’s Route 100
Discover my favorite places to stop and stay along Vermont’s Route 100 in this ultimate fall foliage road trip itinerary.
New Hampshire: Kancamagus Highway
No list of fall foliage drives in New England would be complete without the Kancamagus Highway. This 30-plus-mile stretch of Route 112 connects Conway to Lincoln through an uninterrupted expanse of New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest. It’s one of New England’s most popular road trip destinations for leaf peepers, so expect bumper to bumper traffic during peak foliage months. There are no stores, gas stations, houses, or cell signal along the way. But you won’t want for options to pull off. Choose from dozens of stunning overlooks, miles of hiking trails, and a handful of campgrounds. Two of my favorite stops: the Albany Covered Bridge over the Swift River and Hancock Overlook, where you can photograph sweeping views of the Osceola Range.
Massachusetts: Mohawk Trail
As New England’s first official scenic route, tourists have been flocking to this 60-mile stretch of Massachusetts’ Route 2 since 1914. Before it was officially named the Mohawk Trail, the path was used as a trade route by Native American tribes. Wind along this historic route from the Connecticut River Valley to the Berkshire Mountains to discover no shortage of cultural gems, historic landmarks, and stunning vistas.
Maine: Acadia National Park Loop Road
When autumn hits New England, most people flock inland to Vermont’s lush forests or New Hampshire’s grand mountains. But there’s something uniquely magical about Maine’s rocky coast dotted with fall foliage. Drive the Acadia Park Loop Road, located on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island, to experience some of the best leaf peeping Maine has to offer. Wind your way through forests, past lakes and mountains, and along the shoreline. The 27-mile road includes stops in bustling downtown Bar Harbor, scenic Jordan Pond, and ultimately leads to the summit of Cadillac Mountain.
Do you have recommendations for fall foliage drives in New England that are not on this list? Leave them in the comments below!