Starting in early October is the best time each year to take a road trip and enjoy the legendary fall colors in Massachusetts. The fall colors tend to move from west to east each year.
The leaves start to change in the Berkshires around the first week in October, in central Massachusetts by the second week, and along the coast for the last two weeks. Times may vary, but these will generally give you the best chance to see the dazzling colors.
Here are 8 great places to check out the fall colors in Massachusetts.
The Mohawk Trail
The Mohawk Trail is a 60-mile road that stretches between Williamstown and Greenfield. The views on this scenic drive are unparalleled in the rest of Massachusetts, and it makes for a stunning road trip in October.
There’s also no shortage of activities along the route, including stopping to visit breweries, cideries and numerous scenic overlooks. Don’t forget to check out “The Elk on the Trail” statue at Whitcomb’s Summit.
Berkshire County is a beautiful place to see the fall colors on the western side of the state. “The Berkshires,” as the area and the rolling mountains are called, have many scenic drives and hikes you can take to soak in the views.
The Berkshires are well known as a spot for a cozy or romantic getaway. There is a wide selection of bed and breakfasts, cabins, and quaint inns to choose from.
Quabbin Reservoir is centrally located in Massachusetts, so it’s very accessible from other locations around the state. It is the largest body of water in inland Massachusetts, so it’s hard to miss.
The reservoir has more than 100 miles of hiking trails through the wooded hills surrounding it. There are also scenic overlooks that are perfect for enjoying the fall colors.
Concord is an iconic Massachusetts city known for its connections to the American Revolutionary War. It’s also the home of Walden’s Pond and Louisa May Alcott. The city is perfect for a fall getaway or road trip.
One of the best places to check out the fall colors is along the Battle Trail at the Minute Man National Historical Park, which is just east of the city. Walden’s Pond is another must-see location surrounded by trees and beautiful views.
Mount Greylock Summit
The Mount Greylock Summit in the Berkshires is the highest point of elevation in Massachusetts. Visitors can either hike or drive to the top.
On a clear day, you can see up to 90 miles in the distance. The town of Adams is at the base of the mountain, and there are various inns and campgrounds to stay in nearby.
The Bridge of Flowers
The Bridge of Flowers is one of the best-known attractions in the little town of Shelburne Falls, MA. The Bridge of Flowers is a footbridge that spans the Deerfield River in the downtown area of Shelburne Falls.
The footbridge has a gravel path running through the middle of it, and a row of beautiful flowers and plants on each side of the path. It’s obviously a very pretty walk during the summer months when the flowers are in full bloom.
However, there are still a few plants blooming in the fall when the leaves start to change. If you look to the west as you’re crossing the Bridge of Flowers, you can see the fall foliage on the hillside above town.
Located on the coast north of Boston, Newburyport is a pretty town with some great places to catch the fall colors. It has several scenic waterfront parks along the Merrimack River where you can catch the leaves turning.
Maudslay State Park, Mosely Woods, and City Forest are three other areas within the town limits with plenty of trees. Newburyport also has some fun community events in the fall, including an Oyster Fest.
Amherst is located to the west of the Quabbin Reservoir, mentioned above. The little city is famous for being the home of poet Emily Dickinson, and there is a museum dedicated to her in the town. It’s also home to Amherst University.
The town has several rail trails and hiking trails that are fun to explore during the fall. The Norwottuck Rail Trail is 11 miles long and offers tree-lined views most of the way.