The Frugal
Retiree
Fall has always been my favorite time of the year.

The temperature is cooler, and the humidity has dropped,
lending a crispness to the air that makes me feel more alive than
any other season of the year.  Spring and summer flowers may
be pretty, but it’s the fall colors that take my breath away.  With
summer over and the kids back in school, crowds have
significantly diminished.  Could there possibly be a better time of
the year to travel - - or so many ways to do it?  While a road trip
is the classic way to see the fall foliage, there is now an array of
other ways to see experience the beauty of fall.  Consider joining
a bus tour, or travel by train - - perhaps a riverboat is more your
style.

I wasn’t surprised to read that the New England states (and oddly
enough Japan) are renowned for the explosion of color that
autumn ushers in.  Just about any of the forests or national parks
with deciduous trees are good places to watch as the leaves turn,
but the truly spectacular can be found along any of the scenic
routes.  Where ever possible, we have provided websites which
offer additional information for your planning convenience.  Many
of the state websites offer timelines for the best viewing of fall
colors.


Arkansas – a brief season, but if you are closest to it, check out
any of the two and a half million acres of national forests.  A
network of volunteer “color spotters” provide weekly updates on
the best areas to view spectacular color.  Go to:  Arkansas

Connecticut:  A lesser known area is the Litchfield in hills of
northwest Connecticut.  In the northeast try Rte. 169 for a scenic
and quiet drive.
Connecticut

Maine:  Less popular and therefore a more quite area is Acadia
National Park –though it is a bit of a long drive, it is well worth it.
Also, try Scenic Route 1A.  This will offer the best of two great
joys coastline and fall colors!  
Maine

Massachusetts offers a fall foliage time table at:  Massachusetts
Travel Route 2 – The Mohawk Trail – (America’s first national
scenic route) or also along Route 2 from Ayer to the Berkshire
Mountains.  Apple picking at Carlson Orchards and Doe Orchards
in S. Berkshires would be a pleasurable addition to your fall
driving tour. Route 117 from Lancaster to Concord runs parallel
to Rte 2 is another great possibility. The Cape Cod area offers
more than just beaches along Rte 6A.


New Hampshire:  Franconia Notch State Park With 145 scenic
drives covering over 900 miles.  A classic fall drive – the 34 mile
Kancamagus Highway in the White Mountain National Forest – a
designated Scenic Byway by the National Forest Services. In the
SW area – the Hollis-to Keene sector - near Silver Lake State
Park.  Durham is considered an underrated the southeastern
area.  As a bonus, you could see the leaves and savor the
architecture at the University of New Hampshire.

New York:  Catskill Mountains highways 28 and 30 are great
options.  Check out:
New York

North Carolina fall color hotline- 800-847-4862, or visit North
Carolina  (Straddling North Caroline and Southwest Virginia are
the Blue Ridge Highlands).

Pennsylvania 30 scenic drives.  Check out Scenic Route 6 (voted
in the top ten driving tours), it crosses the Pocono Mountains in
northeast Pennsylvania.  SR 18 for 58 miles of beautiful rolling
hills beginning in Raccoon State Park.  
Pennsylvania

East Tennessee/Western N. Caroline.  The Great Smokey
Mountains along U.S. Highway 441 across the Appalachian
Mountains and thru the park.  An 800 mile route.  
Tennessee - 800-251-9100
On the Web -
Tennessee

Vermont:  a longer foliage season than many areas, usually from
September to late October.  Visit Stowe, near Jeffersonville
Notch or the northeast village of Waits River – reputed to be the
most photographed and beloved villages in the area.
Green Mountain National Forest region – Weston VT is another
area favorite. Consider, Route 9 – in southern Vermont from
Brattleboro to Wilmington.  From the top of Hogback Mountain
you will be able to view a 100 mile vista.  If you are up for a
drive north, use Route 100 which ends at the Canadian border.

The list of possibilities are really endless - - too many for an
exhaustive list.   You may want to check out the many other
ways to view the splendor of fall – perhaps a riverboat ride, or
fall train tour.   

If you did not see an area that you are interested in, call the
National Forest Service, at: 1- 800-354-4595 for an update on fall
colors near you.     You may also see the U.S. Dept of Agriculture
and Forest Service Fall Colors Report updated on Sept. 15, 2005
at:  
Fall Colors Report

Consider cranberries as another fall color travel option! Did you
know that the fall harvest of cranberries provides an exquisite
display of crimson juxtaposed against blue waters and autumn
colored leaves?  The Cranberry Harvest Festival is on Saturday
Oct. 8, 2005 in Frog Foot Bogs, Mass.  While it looks promising
and is in its second season, you may go to:
Cranberry festivals
for a full list of cranberry festivals and tours.

Enjoy!
Trip Into Fall
by Kerry           
              Hook