North Conway is a village in eastern Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States.

7 Best Places to Experience Fall in New England

New England is made up of six states: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. Each state is a beautiful fall destination, chock full of forests, state parks, cozy small towns, and autumn-focused events. From Massachusetts to Maine, there are a plethora of witch-storied towns, ideal for a Halloween getaway, as well as forests and mountains that explode with color, perfect for camping trips and hiking excursions.

Though the weather cools, the skyline ignites with hues of red, orange, and yellow as the foliage shifts in color and falls delicately to the ground of beautiful New England and its best destinations.

Salem, Massachusetts

People dressed in costumes at the annual Haunted Happenings event held during the month of October in Salem, Massachusetts, via Heidi Besen /
People dressed in costumes at the annual Haunted Happenings event held during the month of October in Salem, Massachusetts, via Heidi Besen /

It is no secret why Salem, Massachusetts, is one of the best spots to explore in New England in the fall: it is well known for the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Landmarks from the time period still stand today, such as the Witch House, but the town also boasts plenty of outdoor beauty. Wander below the enchanting Salem Willows, explore the views of the Salem Harbor, or visit the depths of the Salem Woods.

Enjoy a taste of freshly harvested pumpkins, apples, and more at the Salem Farmers' Market, or check out Hollowed Harvest, which is Salem's Jack-O-Lantern Festival. There are also Spiritualism Tours of Hammond Castle for those interested in the supernatural, as well as Lore By Candlelight for those looking to delve into the town's history.

Mad River Valley, Vermont

Colorful forest along the Mad River banks in autumn
Colorful forest along the Mad River banks in autumn

Vermont's Mad River Valley offers a unique landscape of mountain vistas, rolling hillsides, and flowing rivers, all with plenty of room for fall foliage viewing. There are plenty of trails for exploring the area, including the Blueberry Lake Trail Network, the Long Trail: Mt. Abe from Battell Trail, and Waitsfield Country Roads Loop. Mountain biking is another great way to traverse along the hillside and view the valley, as is the soaring experience of Sugarbush Soaring. On the way out of the valley, enjoy a scenic road trip along the Mad River Scenic Byway. There are also several nearby breweries for those in search of refreshments after a hike through the woods, such as Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Cousins Brewing Company, and Mad River Distillers.

North Conway, New Hampshire

Beautiful street view in North Conway, New Hampshire, during fall
Beautiful street view in North Conway, New Hampshire, during fall, via Nick Beer /

North Conway is one of New Hampshire's most charming towns, situated along the edge of the White Mountains. Though it is often considered a ski town as it is home to an abundance of ski resorts, North Conway is chock full of autumnal delights. Travelers may enjoy scenic tours of the area via the 56-kilometer Kancamagus Scenic Byway, the 13-kilometer Mount Washington Auto Road, or the historic Conway Scenic Railroad. Anglers may enjoy a trip to Conway Lake, while Echo Lake State Park is a delightful destination for hiking trips, with a lengthy hike to Cathedral Ledge, which boasts beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Baxter State Park, Maine

Log Cabin at Kidney Pond Campground at Baxter State Park in Maine in Fall
Log Cabin at Kidney Pond Campground at Baxter State Park in Maine in fall

Baxter State Park is one of the best fall hiking destinations in Maine, covering 209,644 acres of land with 215 miles of trails. There are several spots for day hikes, such as Cranberry Pond, Abol Pond Picnic Area, and Tongue Pond, as well as longer treks, such as Helon Taylor, Hamlin Ridge, and Chimney Pond. Travelers may extend their stay with a camping trip, indulging in all of fall's beauty beneath the sparkling night skies and falling foliage. Plus, canoes and kayaks are available for rent, ideal for paddling along the rivers and ponds in the area, taking in the fall colors as they reflect off the glistening waters. Be sure to pack a pair of binoculars for wildlife viewing as there are several bird species that call the park home. 

Simsbury, Connecticut

Bridge in Simsbury, Connecticut, in fall
Bridge in Simsbury, Connecticut, in fall

A charming little underrated town in Hartford County of Connecticut, Simsbury comes alive in the fall, overflowing with beautiful historic homes, hiking trails, and the sparkling Farmington River. The Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge is a popular spot in the town, exemplifying 19th century metal-truss bridge construction, and also offering a view of the flowing river. Visitors also enjoy a trip to the Pinchot Sycamore, which is Connecticut's largest tree. Rosedale Farms & Vineyards offer plenty of local wines and ciders, as well as scenic views of the surrounding area. Fall events in the area include the Farmers' Market, West Hartford Hauntings, and "What Lurks Beneath - A Halloween Experience."

Roger Williams Park, Rhode Island

Roger Williams Park, Providence, Rhode Island in autumn
Roger Williams Park, Providence, Rhode Island in autumn

Roger Williams Park is in Providence, Rhode Island, and is chock full of walking paths and trails, a bike park, and boating opportunities. Visitors may hop on swan boats across from Carousel Village, which is a family-friendly destination, and explore the lovely waters, marveling at the reflection of the fall foliage and surrounding scenery. There are also several fall events in the park, such as Urban Legends Tours and a Flea Market. The Roger Williams Park Zoo is home to 100 animals from all over the world, such as armadillos and Komodo dragons. Plus, visitors may enjoy a zipline through the area or check out the Jack-o-lantern Spectacular show for a fall-focused visit.

Harold Parker State Forest, Massachusetts

Autumn in Massachusetts, Harold Parker State Park

Harold Parker State Forest is a recreational forest, covering 3,300 acres in Andover, North Andover, North Reading, and Middleton, Massachusetts. There are 11 ponds, enjoyed by anglers, and 56 miles of trails within the area, ideal for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The forest's foliage turns golden hues throughout the fall, painting the ponds in warm shades and covering the ground in freshly fallen leaves. An up close and personal exploration promises the discovery of salamanders, turtles, fairy shrimp, and more. Some of the most popular hiking trails, perfect for exploring the forest's beauty in fall, include Weir Hill, Shawsheen River Trail, and Rolling Ridge.

Fall in Love With New England!

Touring through New England is an essential fall activity, with six states that boast some of the best fall colors and activities in the US. Travelers may indulge in scenic drives along the treeline, hikes through colorful wooded areas, camping trips to revel in the beauty of fall, as well as plenty of cozy activities and festivals unique to each destination. Whether the storied and spooky history of Salem piques your interest or the Mad River Valley of Vermont invites you in, fall in New England is sure to be an adventure.


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