With more than 3 million acres of forested land, Massachusetts is the ideal destination for viewing the changing leaves of autumn. Mike Quinlin with the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism shares statewide stops for travelers to experience a quintessential New England fall.
“There’s spectacular fall foliage all over Western Massachusetts, but in Hampden County specifically, we suggest viewing the leaves from Mt. Tom, a scenic mountain range with great hiking trails and breathtaking views of our valley below,” Quinlin says. “A great place to stay (around Mt. Tom) is The D. Hotel, an independent hotel that sits right near its sister restaurant, The Delaney House.” Mount Greylock State Reservation in Berkshires is the highest point in Massachusetts at 3,481 feet, and on a clear day, Quinlin says, you can see as far as 90 miles away with views of most of the surrounding states.
The rural routes through North Central Massachusetts wind around 800 farms and orchards. One particularly scenic stop is Mount Wachusett State Reservation, where visitors can take the skyride at the Mount Wachusett Ski Area and enjoy 3,000 acres of historical sites and trails for hiking and biking. Quinlin says another great place for leaf peeping is Sturbridge. In the Old Sturbridge Village, groups can experience an after-dark musical theater-inspired telling of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” during Halloween season, and at Thanksgiving visitors can harvest vegetables from the garden, watch the preparation of roasts and pies, and partake in a holiday feast. A unique nearby accommodation is the Publick House Historic Inn.
“The Emerald Necklace, a ring of open green space created in the 19th century, is a great way to enjoy foliage in Boston. Highlights include Franklin Park in Dorchester, Olmsted Park, and The Riverway. You complete the Necklace by taking the Commonwealth Avenue Mall into the Public Garden and then to Boston Common,” Quinlin says. Southeastern Massachusetts harbors some of the largest cranberry bogs in the U.S. “It’s a neat place to see foliage alongside the cranberry bogs flooded with crimson berries,” Quinlin says. The A.D. Makepeace Company in Wareham is the world’s largest cranberry grower, and groups can tour the bog and view a wet harvest in the fall.
Top photo: Foliage in the Berkshires
Photo by Photo by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism