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5 Underrated, Beautiful New England Fall Foliage Destinations

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[bctt tweet=”To fully enjoy fall travel in New England, consider taking the road less taken.”]

If you love the New England fall foliage season but would rather “leaf” behind the overwhelming tourist crowds, have no worries. New England offers many less traveled, beautiful autumn destinations that will allow you to focus better on what you came here for in the first place — that is, the colorful leaves, the surrounding scenery and a bit of classic New England fall flavor. Additional great news: the New England destinations, as mentioned in this article, are nice any time of the year so just don’t relegate your visits to just the fall time!

Great Head Trail, Acadia National Park, Maine

Great Head Trail, Acadia National Park ME. Credit: National Park Service - Greta Rybus
Great Head Trail, Acadia National Park, Maine Credit: National Park Service – Greta Rybus

Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park — a popular summer destination where the ocean meets the mountains — is also splendid in the fall. Acadia offers more than 120 miles of hiking trails and the stunning scenery just seems endless. Making the amazing scenery even more appealing is that you generally don’t have to put in a huge effort to hike for incredible views as the average one-way length is about a mile. Keep in mind, though, that most trails cross several others making navigation challenging to those not familiar with the area.. The best bet is to combine just a few trails to create a loop.

The Great Head Trail, located on the east side of Sand Beach, is a moderately challenging 1.4  hike with amazing views of The Beehive, Thunder Hole and the Atlantic Ocean. More on Acadia National Park

Sugarloaf Mountain, South Deerfield MA

Mt. Sugarloaf makes for a great fall foliage hike (Photo Credit: Kindra Clineff, through
Mt. Sugarloaf makes for a great fall foliage hike (Photo Credit: Kindra Clineff, through

Less than a mile of relatively easy incline hiking (or taking the car to the top, if you wish), results in great views of the Connecticut River, the Pioneer Valley, and the Pelham and Berkshire Hills at Mt. Sugarloaf Reservation. So, while everyone is flocking to the most popular fall foliage destinations in northern New England — and virtually breaking their backs to hike for commanding foliage views, you could drive just a few hours from Boston to this western Massachusetts spot for an easier walk — and accessible scenery that ranks amongst the most pleasing within the six state region. More on Mt. Sugarloaf Reservation

Walpole, N.H.

walpole NH town common
Walpole, N.H. town common. Photo by Eric.

Sleepy Walpole is every bit as “New England quaint” as the most popular local destinations that get much more mention in mainstream travel guides. Located near the Vermont line in the beautiful Monadnock Region (just 90 minutes from Boston), Walpole has a beautiful downtown and town common that look especially nice in the fall and one central district attraction we think you’ll really like: LA Burdick, a combined French-American restaurant, chocolate shop, and cafe with baked goods! More on Walpole

World’s End, Hingham, Mass.

Photo of World's End, Hingham MA
World’s End, Hingham, Mass. (photo by Eric)

This 251-acre wonderland features carriage paths leading to rocky shores, wide hillsides, open grassy lands, saltwater marshes, meadows, granite ledges, forest, and amazing panoramic coastal water views of the Boston skyline only 15 miles away. The walk is easy — mostly flat — and the scenic rewards plentiful. More on World’s End


Moosehead Lake Region, Maine

Mooshead Lake, Maine. Photo by Dana Moos
Moosehead Lake Region, Maine. Photo by Dana Moos

Scenic mountain ranges and a beautiful lake have a special way of making the fall foliage season look spectacular in New England. Few with that combination rival The Moosehead Lake Region. Although leaf peepers frequent this special part of inland Maine, the crowds aren’t as large as New Hampshire and Vermont’s most popular foliage destinations. The Moosehead Region is also the perfect place for outdoor recreation — and, of course, some peace and quiet. More on the Moosehead Lake Region

Editor’s note: not sure when the leaves are turning in a certain New England region? You can track foliage through reports and photos right here:

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