Best Time To See Fall Colors In New England

New England is famous for its vivid oranges, yellows, reds and greens during the fall. The picturesque foliage is one of the most quintessentially autumnal sights in the US and it is a must see.

Take along your camera or iPhone to capture some snaps of the beautiful scenery.

The best months to see the fall colors in New England are September and October, however, the trees have been known to transition in as little as a few days in certain areas.

When you are planning your visit, be sure to make sure you time it right so that you can see as much of the beauty as possible.

When To Visit New England For Fall Foliage


The timing of your trip is essential to ensure that you are seeing as many of the beautiful colors as possible and you can’t just presume that it will be on the same date each year.

While it is possible to predict when the leaves will change, they are influenced by lots of unpredictable factors so it is hard to know when the colors will be most beautiful.

The factors that influence this are the number of daylight hours, the temperature and the rain.

In New England, the fall foliage begins in the north and works its way down to the south. In the north, the peak of fall will be earlier, beginning at some time during the middle of September.

Usually Vermont will peak during the last week of September of the first week of October. Rhode Island, which is in the south of New England, won’t reach the peak foliage until the middle of October.

This will differ again if you are heading up to the mountains because the leaves will change color earlier when they are up in the mountains due to the altitude.

This is a really important thing to check when you are planning your trip to ensure you don’t miss the peak in the mountains.

If you are heading to the coastal areas then they will peak later than all other areas and so work as a great end to your trip! This is because they are at sea level. 

While it can be hard to plan the trip perfectly, the colors are beautiful for longer periods of time so if you miss the peak don’t fret, you will still have plenty of beauty to behold!

What States Are In New England? 

Best Time To See Fall Colors In New England
Beautiful Fall Foliage Colors in New Hampshire

There are six states in New England and they all have something original to offer. Connecticut is famous for its vineyards and rolling hills.

Maine contains huge forests and beautiful small towns. Massachusetts is on the coast and is also home to the Berkshire Mountains.

New Hampshire is home to the White Mountains and some magnificent lakes. Rhode Island also has beautiful coastal towns. Vermont is home to river valleys containing stunning towns.


When you are planning your trip, it is tempting to set off on the road and find somewhere to stay on the way.

While this sounds appealing, during the fall it is difficult to find spaces in the motels, hotels, inns or even NH campgrounds at the last minute.

Instead, it is much better to make reservations before you leave to make sure that you have a place to stay. You should plan your trip in July if you want your first choice of accommodation and to ensure you don’t miss out.

Best Places To See The Fall Colors 

When you are visiting to see the fall foliage, every state has so much to offer. I am of course partial to seeing the Fall Foliage in New Hampshire but I will cover other New England states too.

Baxter State Park

Best Time To See Fall Colors In New England

Baxter state park in Maine is a beautiful place to view the stunning colors of New England’s fall.

This park is located in Millinocket and you will catch the best views between the middle of September to the beginning of October.

This park is 200,000 acres of wilderness and there is a trail that you can follow that takes you on a tour of the vivid fall foliage.

This train contains the highest peak in Maine, Mount Katahdin and so is quite a challenge. As Maine is in the north of New England, it is a great place to start your tour.

It is an amazing experience and the views when you reach the top are one of a kind. As you are climbing quite high, the weather can change quite rapidly.

Remember to pack smart and ensure you have some layers and a raincoat!

Acadia National Park

Best Time To See Fall Colors In New England

This national park is located in Maine in Bar Harbor and is looked after and preserved due to its beauty. This is a great place to visit towards the end of the fall, in mid October.

This park is located on the coast on cliff tops and along the sea. It is a very atmospheric place and the colors of fall that you get to see here will not disappoint! 

The Great North Woods of New Hampshire


These woods are the home to plenty of big moose and glorious fall colors.

It is located in Pittsburgh and Columbia and the best time to visit to see the fall colors is between the last week of September and the first week of October.

These woods are filled with foliage and wildlife which is encouraged due to the remote location of the woods. It is a very impressive woods spanning hundreds of thousands of acres of trees and wetlands.

It is too big to ever be able to explore it all so you’ll have to choose one trail to follow. Moose Alley in Pittsburg NH along Route 3 towards the Canadian border is a great route!

Final Thoughts 

The best time to plan a trip to New England to see the beautiful fall colors is during September and October. The trip will take some planning if you’re hoping to follow the vivid leaves as they change during fall.

The planning will be worth it as the result is fantastic. You won’t find these stunning scenes during the fall anywhere else in the world as the New England fall is one of a kind!

Other NH Guides of Interest:

Best donuts in NH

Best Pick Your Own Apples in NH

Where to retire in NH


Kyle Battis is a life-long NH resident that enjoys making his way around the state, sampling delicious food and drinks, and sharing his experiences. Follow us at