Ready to go leaf-peeping? Where to spot the best fall foliage in the Northeast

All aboard! The Mount Washington Cog Railway was the world's first mountain-climbing train. Credit: Mount Washington Cog Railway
All aboard! The Mount Washington Cog Railway was the world’s first mountain-climbing train.
Credit: Mount Washington Cog Railway

The northeast is known as a destination for leaf peepers and this year’s temperate weather should lead to a spectacular 2013 fall foliage season. Still, when Mother Nature’s at work nothing is certain, and timing is crucial. By Halloween’s end, it’s all but a beautifully colorful memory. Check out these seasonal offerings to see the foliage at its finest.

Maine

There are many ways to leaf peep, but the folks at Kennebunkport’s Hidden Pond recommend lying down. The resort’s unique spa features individual tree houses as treatment rooms. Hidden Pond is part of the Kennebunkport Resort Collection, which includes several inns and resorts, all offering a “three for two” deal this fall with a three-night stay for the price of two. Rates: From $169 at the Kennebunkport Inn, to $564 at Hidden Pond. 800-573-7186.

Vermont

After a day of hiking or biking, get a taste of fall at the recently opened Hotel Vermont in Burlington, whose seasonal cocktails blend local Vermont Gold vodka, maple syrup and apple cider. Sip and take it easy on the expansive outdoor terrace, which has a cozy firepit, and take in the colorful scenery of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. By day, this eco-friendly, locavore hotel offers complimentary bike rentals. Rates: From $229. 802-881-0173.

Massachusetts

Enjoy the Berkshires from Mount Greylock — the state’s highest peak — in the north, to Colonial Stockbridge further south. The “Berkshires from Top to Bottom” package begins in North Adams at Porches Inn and ends at the quaint Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge. The package includes overnight accommodations at each inn and breakfast each morning. The rest is up to you as you hike peaks or drive through leafy lanes. Don’t miss dinner at the Red Lion’s acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant. Rates: From $530. 413-664-0400.

New York

There’s more to Cooperstown than baseball. There’s wonderful fall hiking at Glimmerglass State Park, apple picking at local orchards and beer sampling at the Belgian-style Ommegang Brewery. Situated between the Catskills and the Central Leatherstocking region, the 104-year-old lakefront Otesaga Resort Hotel’s Fall Getaway package includes breakfast, resort amenities like access to the pool and tennis court, plus museum tickets. Rates: From $239. 800-348-6222.

Connecticut

 Trek from leafy New Haven Green to the intense foliage of Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, a half hour’s drive away. The Sleeping Giant, or Mount Carmel, thus named because of its resemblance to a person sleeping, has a variety of trails, including the Tower Trail, which leads to the observation tower. Take in southern New England fall foliage and take in the town with The Study at Yale’s Repertory Package. Rates: From $269. 203-503-3900.

New Hampshire

The Omni Mount Washington’s Bretton Woods Canopy Tour offers a bird’s (or squirrel’s) eye view of fall foliage. Zip-line through a maze of gigantic hemlocks, spruces and pines ablaze with color. Nearby, during a three-hour ride, Mount Washington’s 150-year-old Cog Railway climbs 6,288-feet to the summit of Mount Washington for panoramic views of New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. A little further south, the Conway Scenic Railroad’s Notch Train — which serves dinner, too — takes a five-hour trip through the White Mountains’ often-rugged beauty. Omni Mount Washington rates: From $229. 603-278-1000. Cog Railway: $39. 603-278-5404. Notch Train: $52. 800-232-5251.


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