Massachusetts has part of the Connecticut River Scenic Byway of the America’s Byways Program as well as many state designated scenic byways that can make the basis for wonderful fall foliage drives. Many of these drives are easily accessible from Boston.
National Scenic Byways in Massachusetts
Connecticut River Byway
Massachusetts shares the Connecticut River Byway with New Hampshire and Vermont. The byway travels south nearly forty miles from the New Hampshire border along Route 63 and Route 47 ending at the junction of Route 47 and Route 116 in South Hadley. Attractions along the way include:
- Great Falls Discovery Center, Turners Falls, MA
- Hadley Farm Museum, Hadley, Ma
- Historic Deerfield, MA
- Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation, S. Deerfield MA
- Northfield Drive-in Movie Theatre (open weekends April through October)
- Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center
- Skinner State Park, Hadley, MA
- Sunderland & Hadley Farm Stands
Other Massachusetts Scenic Byways
Other scenic byways found in Massachusetts include:
- Battle Road Scenic Byway – The Battle Road Scenic Byway (PDF) approximately follows the path used by the British through Arlington, Lexington, Lincoln, and Concord at the beginning of the American Revolution. Along the way it passes through Minuteman National Historical Park.
- Essex Coastal Scenic Byway – Experience coastal New England on the 85 mile Essex Coastal Scenic Byway (PDF) as it runs through the towns of Lynn, Swampscott, Marblehead, Salem, Beverly, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury, and Newburyport (south to north).
- Jacob’s Ladder Trail (Route 20) – The Jacob’s Ladder Trail runs 33 miles along Route 20 from Russell to Lee (east to west) in the foothills of the Berkshires. This is a wonderful area to view foliage as well as other attractions including the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Chester Theatre Company, Vincent Dowling Theater Company, The Mount (Lenox home of novelist Edith Wharton), and more.
- Mohawk Trail (Route 2) – The Mohawk Trail travels 65 miles from Greeenfield to Williamstown (east to west) and is one of the oldest roads in the United States. Along the way be sure to check out the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, and the “Hail to the Sunrise” Monument in Charlemont – a monument to the Five Indian Nations of the Mohawk Trail.
- Mount Greylock Scenic Byway – The Mount Greylock Scenic Byway travels 16.3 miles through the Mount Greylock State Reservation. The Appalachian Trail passes by the byway. Make sure to take in Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts, and check out the Western Gateway Heritage State Park.
- Old King’s Highway (Route 6A) – The Old King’s Highway travels 34 miles of Route 6A from Sandwich to Orleans on Cape Cod. The byway gives you easy access to all that Cape Code has to offer and a wonderful fall by the seashore experience.
- Route 112 Scenic Byway – The 53-mile Route 112 Scenic Byway travels north to south from the Vermont border through the towns of Colrain, Shelburne, Buckland and Ashfield, Goshen, Cummington, Worthington, and Huntington. Along the way you will see New England town centers, farms, rivers, forests and mountains. This byway is a great route for fall foliage viewing. The Route 112 Scenic Byway also intersects with the Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway, and the Jacob’s Ladder Trail.
Good Roads to Drive
- Route 2 – Route 2, already mentioned as part of the Mohawk Trail, will richly reward the foliage seeker once one gets west of the urban areas leading into Boston. Many side trips can also be planned off of Route 2.
- Route 20 – Already mentioned above as part of the Jacob’s Ladder Trail, Route 20 as it travels west through rural Massachusetts offers numerous opportunities for great fall foliage viewing. The stretch through Wayland and Sudbury with side trips to Walden Pond and Longfellow’s Wayside Inn makes for a great drive. In Sudbury, make sure you also see the Martha-Mary Chapel and the Grist Mill just down the road from the Wayside Inn. Both are great for fall foliage picture taking.