Fall in New England is absolutely the best time of year to get outdoors. Picturesque landscapes covered in a sea of red, orange and yellow leaves coupled with the crisp autumn air make for ideal hiking conditions. There are endless options throughout New England that provide hikers of all abilities with the scenic views and challenging trails that are sought after by locals and visitors alike.
Here are some of the best hikes that will have you falling in love with the spectacle that is Autumn in New England.
Acadia National Park, ME
First on our list is Acadia National Park. With it’s nearly 50,000 acres of rocky beaches, panoramic views, and 120 miles of trails, there is something here for everyone. For those looking for a less strenuous hike, start out on the 1.3-mile Ship Harbor Nature Trail. Located on Mount Desert Island, this ocean front trail allows you to take in all the natural beauty that Acadia has to offer but without the crowds. Those looking for a more challenging hike can put their skills to the test on the 4.4 mile Cadillac Mountain North Ridge Trail. Cadillac Mountain is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and the steep inclines on this trail eventually give way to spectacular views of Bar Harbor and Frenchman Bay. After you have worked up a sweat be sure to drop into the quaint downtown area of Bar Harbor. Here you will find endless restaurants, bars, and shops that pay homage to the city’s distinguished past.
Mount Monadnock, NH
Mount Monadnock has made a name for itself in New England as one of the most popular hiking spots. There are numerous trails of varying difficulty to accommodate families, beginners and experienced hikers, all of which get to experience the quintessential fall foliage and awe-inspiring views that this mountain has to offer. Start out on the 2.2-mile White Dot Trail which leads hikers through leaf lined stretches of trail and rock steps. Once you reach the bare summit you are rewarded with unobstructed views that stretch from Boston to Mount Washington. Make your way down the mountain on the 2.2-mile White Cross Trail or follow one of the other trails which can end up reaching a round-trip total of roughly 9 miles.
Mount Greylock, MA
Mount Greylock, standing at 3,491 feet, is the tallest peak in the state of Massachusetts. Although Mount Greylock is home to many different trails, including part of the Appalachian Trail, a scenic hike to try is the Bellows Pipe Trail to Rugged Mountain Trail. Overall this is a 5-mile hike that at times takes you up old ski runs, including the famed Thunderbolt Ski Run. The 4-5 hour round trip hike features stunning views of the Berkshires.
Mount Hunger Waterbury Trail, VT
Winding through the C.C. Putnam State Forest is the 3.6-mile Mount Hunger Waterbury Trail. This trail is filled with stunning visual landmarks such as meadows, streams, makeshift bridges and even a waterfall. Steep and rugged terrain throughout the duration of the trail culminates with one final obstacle- a 5-foot sheer rock face- before reaching the open rock summit. Once you have reached the summit take a lunch break while overlooking two of Vermont’s most notorious mountain faces, Mansfield and Camel’s Hump. After you have taken in the views continue your hike on the Middlesex or Skyline Trails or make your way back down the mountain and head into one of the nearby towns for some food.
Mount Willard Trail, NH
Nestled away in the White Mountains is the 3.2 mile Mount Willard Trail. This hike follows an abandoned carriage road up the mountain, passing streams and a waterfall along the way. Although Mount Willard is not one of the highest peaks in the White Mountains, it provides hikers with spectacular views of Mount Willey, Mount Webster and Crawford Notch. For those who are planning to spend a few days in the area, there are plenty of other activities to keep you entertained. Hike one of the countless other trails that wind through the White Mountains, drive up the famed Mount Washington Auto Road, or explore the 2 mile trail around Flume Gorge, a natural chasm in Lincoln, NH.