Looking to plan a memorable autumn escape? Want to take the family out on a day trip? Planning a romantic trip for two? Autumn is the perfect time to travel to Massachusetts for one common reason: fall foliage. The beauty of fall foliage is breathtaking, especially when you have certain Massachusetts destinations in mind.
The vivid colors of fall are best enjoyed when you visit the right places at the right times. Where are the best places to visit if you want to see fall foliage in Massachusetts? BostonCentral.com directs you to 20 of the best places to see fall foliage in the great state of Massachusetts. See where in MA your next fall foliage destination is!
Great Spots To View Fall Foliage – New England
Mohawk Trail – Western MA
The Mohawk Trail is a well-known foliage drive in Massachusetts. It starts on Route 2 heading west, and goes through small Western MA towns, such as Shelburne Falls – the home of the Bridge of Flowers – and continues through the mountainous region of the Berkshires. Because it is so well known, it can also be more crowded during weekends in the peak season.
Route 20 (Massachusetts)
Route 20 stretches through Massachusetts, starting near Boston and continuing through the old Wayside Inn area, Central MA, and all the way to New York, if you follow it that far. In Western MA, the road passes near the Norman Rockwell museum. It might be less crowded than Route 2.
Mount Auburn Cemetery
A city is not necessarily the first place you would first think of for finding the best foliage, but Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge has some of the most beautiful plant life in trees any time of the year. In the fall, a lot of the green turns a stunning vivid red or gold.
Walden Pond, (Concord, MA 978-369-3254)
Waldon Pond, the venue made famous by Henry David Thoreau — is surrounded by a serene wooded area that is used for hikes, cross-country skiing, and in the fall, beautiful foliage walks.
Maudslay State Park - (Newburyport, MA – 508-465-7223)
Once the estate of a wealthy family, this park features well-laid out grounds and breath-taking views of the Merrimac River. As you stroll through the former estate, note the wonderful color of the trees that line the stately walkways and the care that was taken in planning a burial ground for the family pets. Maudslay State Park is open daily from 8 AM to sunset. To reach the park from Boston, take Route 128N to Interstate 95N. Exit on Route 113W and continue about a quarter mile. Turn right onto Gypsy Lane/Hoyts Lane. Go to the end of the road and turn left. Parking will be available on your right shortly after you make this turn.
The mountain north of Worcester is the highest peak in Eastern Massachusetts. Wachusett in the winter it is a popular ski area, but in the summer and fall, it is a hiking spot. You either can drive or climb up to the top. When you get there you can see all the way out to the Boston skyline in one direction, the hills of New Hampshire in another, and the lakes and woods of Central and Western MA in other directions.
The mountainous region in Western Massachusetts offers the best views of foliage. You can hike a section of the Appalachian Trail, climb Mount Greylock (the highest peak in Massachusetts), or just drive to the top.
Arnold Arboretum - (Jamaica Plain – 617-524-1718)
It is hard to believe that the Arnold Arboretum is only six miles from downtown Boston. This 265-acre oasis is home to more than 14,000 varieties of trees and shrubs, guaranteeing that you will see plenty of brightly-colored fall leaves. The paths are well maintained and most trees are labeled by the diligent staff of Harvard University, which administers the arboretum. The grounds are open daily from dawn until dusk and are easily accessible via the ‘T’ (take the Orange Line to the Forest Hills stop) or bus (take the #39 from Copley Square to Centre Street).
BIRD PARK, Walpole – The park’s fields, wooded hillsides, and water courses explode in color. Beeches lining the allee at the Polley Lane entrance glow orange-red, while massive oaks and catalpa trees rise above the playground in clouds of yellow and orange.
WEIR HILL, North Andover – Ascend the Stevens Trail to a scenic overlook offering panoramic views across a colorful carpet of Merrimack Valley woodlands. On a clear day, you can see as far as New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock.
TURKEY HILL, Hingham and Cohasset – The hilltop’s broad field offers vistas of South Shore woodlands and Massachusetts Bay. Enjoy the field’s fading goldenrod, the reds and oranges of maple and oak in the middle distance, and beyond, the blue ocean.
ROCK HOUSE RESERVATION, West Brookfield – Carter Pond becomes a kaleidoscope when the trees lining its shores reflect their seasonal colors in its surface. Located only a short walk from the parking lot, this is an ideal family destination.
BRYANT HOMESTEAD, Cummington – The iconic estate boasts 150-foot evergreens, yellow-leaved birches, and a glen of old-growth trees. But the Homestead’s hallmark is its entrance allee of sugar maples blazing a brilliant red in the fall.
NOTCHVIEW, Windsor – The 3,000-acre reservation supports a substantial evergreen forest of spruce and fir. But Notchview also nurtures plenty of sugar maples, which in autumn turn the property’s Circuit and Minor trails into tunnels of orange and gold.
BARTHOLOMEW’S COBBLE, Sheffield – Boasting more forest types than anywhere else in Berkshire County, “Bart’s” foliage show is memorable. Climb the Tulip Tree trail to the top of Hurlburt’s Hill, settle onto a bench, and take in the Housatonic Valley vistas.
FIELD FARM, Williamstown – Amble along trails through broad fields, and enjoy memorable vistas of the Berkshires. Just across the valley, the state’s highest peak, Mount Greylock rises 3,491 feet. For a more intimate experience, visit the spring-fed pond where the surface reflects the changing hues of the surrounding landscape.
NOANET WOODLANDS, Dover – From the summit of modest Noanet Peak, enjoy an unexpected view of the Boston skyline – and of healthy suburban woodlands in full foliage color. You can also walk 17miles of leaf-covered cart paths and trails on loop routes that return you to your starting point in one hour or four, depending on your plans.
JACOBS HILL, Royalston – This quiet north-central Massachusetts reservation near the borders with New Hampshire and Vermont features Jacobs Hill, which offers singular views west to the Berkshire Hills. Follow two miles of trails past maples turning purple-red and yellow-leaved birch trees.
GREENWOOD FARM, Ipswich – From the long driveway, you’ll take in a coastal view of salt marsh, upland fields, and tree groves bright with color. Make your way to the Paine House and look for several large oak trees on the left, their leaves destined to create a crackly brown carpet on the grass – perfect for kicking through.
NORRIS RESERVATION, Norwell – Along the wide path leading from the parking lot, enjoy the green/gold contrast of evergreen and beech. At the mill pond, catch the reflection of water-side trees in the pond’s surface. Then watch for scarlet swamp maples in the wetlands, also home to winterberry, now sporting bright red berries.
The historic Beechwood Hotel is the perfect place to rest during your fall foliage adventures. Our elegant hotel beautifully reserves the spirit and rich heritage of Worcester, MA. You can visit nearby sites like Institute Park, Elm Park, and Old Sturbridge Village to view the colors of the fall foliage and all the magic that this season brings.
Ceres Bistro – located inside the hotel – sources its fresh, seasonal ingredients from local purveyors. Sitting down to a candlelit dinner, enjoying Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto, and perhaps Fall Sangria, is a wonderful way to relax after a day of fall foliage viewing.
Enjoy leaf peeping season!