Fall in New England
Dead, damp, brown leaves and overcast days, usually signifies the advent of autumn, in Britain. In contrast, fall in New England (United States) is an explosion of fiery color, in shades of red, yellow, purple and green with clear sunny glorious days and crisp mellow nights.
In late September, leaves on millions of trees change color in northern Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Then the beautiful coloring spreads south, through Massachusetts to Connecticut and Rhode Island. Usually, the display peaks within the first fortnight of October, which often coincides with the Columbus Day national holiday weekend. The long weekend is often a great excuse for a bit of Leaf-Peeping.
Some trees to look out for are Fir and Spruce which remain dark green, the Dogwood, Sassafras and Maples trees, tend to turn blazing scarlet. Poplars, Elms and Ginkgoes trees are responsible for the splashes of golden yellow; Mountain Maple and Hickory, provides an orange hue and the Sumac shrub a purple tone.
As large as the rest of the New England states put together, Maine has plenty of room for Leaf-Peepers and more trees than there’ll be time to see. Whether you travel from Portland to the mountain village of Bethel or onwards to northern Maine and the Canadian border, you won’t be disappointed as you feel at one with nature as it unravels. It’s a paradise for photographers who love the combination of blue sky and sea, sandwiching hillsides covered in colorful foliage.
Vermont is magnificent in autumn. Close your eyes and visualize broad valleys and rolling farmland, white farmhouses and red barns, forests and the Green Mountains. Heavenly! As well as providing stunning color, the maples up here are tapped for America’s finest maple syrup. In southern Vermont, roads go up and over the Green Mountains or view the shrubbery from the water; cruise down Lake Champlain, where there is gorgeous color on both the Vermont and New York shores.
Ride the aerial tramway to the peak of Cannon Mountain, near Franconia, for spectacular views, of the sprawling valleys bellows. On a sunny autumn day, the vista stretches to four states and even to Canada. At Bretton Woods, ride the 140-year-old Cog Railway to the summit of Mount Washington. Lake Winnipesaukee is vast and worth a visit with its stunning backdrop of the White Mountains. One of New England’s best-known scenic drives is the Kancamagus Trail. This 35-mile-long stretch of road links Lincoln and Conway, whose sister-town, North Conway, attracts bargain hunters to its outlet shops.
Visit the Berkshire Hills or try the Mohawk Trail. Even near Boston, the foliage can be glorious in and around historic towns such as Concord, where the color provides a background to colonial houses. On Cape Cod, the meadows and woodlands provide gentle colors, while north of Boston, between Essex and Newburyport, the glowing maples set off more white-painted historic homes. Massachusetts is truly is a magical place and the scenery will last in your heart forever.
Within easy reach of New York City, the Litchfield Hills are always popular, particularly the pretty villages of Litchfield and Kent. Near Salisbury, you’ll find Bear Mountain, the tallest peak in the state. From its summit, you can see three states, all ablaze with leafy colour. Across in the north east, the area known as the Quiet Corner has an almost English feel, with gentle rolling farmland, villages and hedgerows. You will feel like you’re at home and you wouldn’t believe that you were in Connecticut.
The smallest state in the US is a treasure with its soft scenery of winding rivers and gentle hills. The Scituate Reservoir is a haven for birds and furry animals. In the east, Little Compton, an old-fashioned hamlet, is where autumn is also grape-harvesting time at the award-winning Sakonnet Vineyard. Offshore, Block Island combines autumn shades with stunning ocean capes. Fortunately, in the south of New England, the fall colors usually remain till the end of October.
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