Sponsored by Zappos
Fall is easily my favorite season. I love the cool weather, the change of color in the leaves and of course, the clothes. It’s no question that the “must-do” for me this fall would be to visit the East Coast of the United States. It’s easily one of the most beautiful fall destinations on this side of the world, and for good reason! During Autumn, the entire coast turns into a wonderland of orange and gold.
I recently spent 2 weeks driving from New York to Maine and back. Who knew there would be so much to see on a New England fall road trip? While this blog is not meant to be a hard-set itinerary for you to follow, it should give you some good ideas as to what to look for when planning your own New England fall road trip. Please note, though, that colors on the East Coast can change at any moment! I suggest following foliage maps and keeping your plans flexible. Most of the time, my group and I made last minute accommodation plans, so we were always one step away from where the color were. For this reason, I have broken this blog down by state. As always, please make sure that if you visit any of these locations you follow Leave No Trace principles.
I’d first like to turn your attention to this Merinolux Flannel from Royal Robbins. I was able to order this flannel on Zappos just in time for the fall season and give it a go on some AZ trails before heading East. Zappos offers plenty of options when it comes to flannels and other pieces of apparel. I love this Royal Robbins one, though, because of how soft it is. If you want a similar one, you can purchase it here.
While I’m aware that New York is not considered to be a part of New England, I still think it’s worth seeing! New England in general can be small, so driving to New York will not put you too far off course should you choose to go here. Watkins Glen State Park is easily one of my favorite areas of the entire New England fall road trip! Not only were the colors magical, the waterfalls were insane! On your way to Watkins Glen, you’ll be greeted by plenty of places to pull over for a quick hike, which I highly recommend. If you choose to go on the Gorge Trail, make sure you get there during the day with enough light to see it in all its glory!
The Catskills are home to places like Lake Minnewaska and the famed Kaaterskill Falls. However, my favorite part of the Catskills were the endless cabin hangs we had at the Casa Minnewaska. Hot tubs and fall weather are always a good combo.
The Catskills are also full of hidden gems you’d need a drone for! You’d be surprised what you can find on your New England fall road trip when you’re in the clouds.
Fire Watch Towers
New Hampshire is home to some of the most iconic New England fall road trip destinations like the White Mountains. A quick Google search will bring up some amazing hikes located in these areas. I suggest, however, doing something a bit different and backpacking to a fire watch tower. Unlike the PNW, the competition to stay in one of these in New England is not as steep. You’ll also be greeted with amazing sunrises, sunsets and maybe some colors from a higher perspective.
Flume Gorge is where you will find red bridges and gorge-ous (see what I did there?) views of the creek that runs through the gorge. It’s an easy 2 mile loop hike that costs $16 per person. While I realize that a $16 entry fee can be steep for a hike, the fall colors in the area make up for the view. When you’re done, you can take a drive along the Kancamagus Highway. Due to timing, my group and I skipped the highway and continued to Maine. However, if you’re a fan of road shots and droning, I highly suggest stopping here!
There are also some great island cabins across NH if you can find them on your New England fall road trip!
Acadia National Park
Maine was by far my favorite part of the entire New England fall road trip! The colors were at their peak and we did a good amount of hiking, which was a nice break in between drives.
Bass Harbor Lighthouse
We knew we had to make a stop at Acadia National Park, but little did we know how in love with it we’d be! The very first sunset we hit was at the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. This is one of the busiest places in the park, especially during sunset, so make sure you get here early to find parking!
The next morning, we caught the first sunrise in the United States at Cadillac Mountain. We were a bit disappointed by the cloud coverage, but the views of the ocean still left us in awe.
If you have time for just one thing in Acadia National Park, make sure it’s the Beehive Trail! The trail is a moderate 2 mile out and back hike that consists of metal ladders and a bit of scrambling. While the trail is not extremely difficult, it probably isn’t for the faint of heart. I will say, though, that I am beyond terrified of heights and still found the willpower to complete the hike! The way the colors danced along the horizon left me speechless. Take an amazing sunset, combine it with some fall colors and you have a recipe for perfection, which is this hike in sum.
Our days in Vermont were cut short due to the weather taking down most of the leaves. However, the moody weather made for some great road shots! I also suggest stopping at Stowe and the Sleepy Hollow Farm while on your New England fall road trip. I may have not been able to do so, but that doesn’t mean you can’t!
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on the East Coast. I feel as though it’s not given as much credit for its amazing hidden gems like the West Coast is, which just means there’s a ton of untapped potential there when it comes to adventure spots!
I hope this blog gives you some inspiration for your next road trip. I’d also like to say thank you to Zappos for sponsoring this blog and allowing me to add a new fall staple to my wardrobe. You can buy this Royal Robbins flannel here.