Fall road trips are certainly among the prettiest journeys you can make. As Mother Nature bedecks the trees in their most colorful finery, the landscape turns gorgeous shades of reds, browns and golds. And, although New England is synonymous with the colors of fall, other states are just as pretty. Have a look at these – some of the best fall road trips in the US.
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Route 100, Vermont
One of the most scenic fall road trips is Route 100 in Vermont. It offers storybook views of incredible gold and red leafed trees, quaint tucked-away villages, maple shops and even white chapels poking out of valleys here and there. It is also known as the “skier’s route” because it passes many of the main resorts on its way from Massachusetts to the Canadian border. Popular resorts include Jay Peak, Okemo Mountain Resort, Killington, Mount Snow, Sugarbush, Stowe Mountain Resort and Mad River Glen. Because of the autumn sights and recreational areas, the road can be heavily trafficked in fall and winter, but it still feels very rural.
Maple and Mountains Tour, Maine
The Maple and Mountains tour in Maine is arguably the quintessential fall colors road trip. This North Eastern route goes about 28 miles from Naples to Fryeburg and then loops back to Naples via Route 302. Sights include covered bridges, historic towns and plenty of shopping opportunities for antique hunters. Traditional sporty types will enjoy the plethora of outdoor offerings from both Grafton Notch State Park and White Mountain National Forest.
Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway, Massachusetts
Another of the picture perfect North Eastern road trips for fall is the Jacob’s ladder Scenic Byway in Massachusetts. This 35 mile stretch of Route 20 dates back to 1910 and is roughly parallel to the Massachusetts Turnpike. It was developed for the use of the earliest automobiles and traverses 5 towns beginning in Lee, Massachusetts. Visitors are encouraged to meander through Becket, Chester, Huntington and end in Russell, all the while enjoying the picturesque charms of each one. The Byway also intersects the Appalachian Trail in October Mountain State Forest, the largest state forest in Massachusetts.
Columbia River Highway, Oregon
The Pacific Northwest may not immediately come to mind when considering a fall foliage drive, but the Columbia River Highway in Oregon is not to be missed. This National Historic Landmark dates back to 1913 and runs for 75 miles between The Dalles and Troutdale. It winds to the top of 900 foot cliffs which overlook the Columbia River. Be sure to stop at the 620-foot Multnomah Falls, 4th highest in the country. You can hike a little more than a mile to the top to take in the fall colors in their full glory.
Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway, Colorado
Colorado offers up some lovely road trips for fall. Go from Cedaredge to the top of Grand Mesa via the 63 mile Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway to witness breathtaking golden aspen leaves. The 11,000 foot elevation of the largest flat top mountain in the world takes visitors through hundreds of stocked trout lakes, canyons, sandstone bluffs and wild flower fields. The Land’s End ranger observatory is also accessible from this route.
Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, South Dakota
Enjoy a trip through the Black Hills via the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway in South Dakota. In addition to a colorful fall backdrop, the 68 mile route offers fall road trip motorists a chance to visit both Mount Rushmore and the massive Crazy Horse Memorial, a mountain carving that has been underway since 1948. When completed it will be the largest in the world.
Feather River Scenic Byway, California
The East Coast does not have a monopoly on covered bridges and railway history. Drive the Feather River Scenic Byway in Northern California and see these same types of attractions. The route starts in Sacramento and ends 130 miles later in the Great Basin. This journey, passing through the Tahoe National Forest and Plumas National forest will take about 3 hours.
Fall is a lovely season to view nature in full glory. Did you ever think of taking any of these fall road trips?
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