back to articles | August 31, 2023 | Moses Mwangi

Categories: Useful Automotive Information

The Top 13 Best Foliage Drives in Massachusetts

As summer fades and the brisk air of autumn takes over Massachusetts, the landscape transforms into an exceptional palette of vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. The fall foliage season in Massachusetts is a must-see for everyone that gets to see it.


The season attracts locals and visitors who enjoy witnessing the breathtaking beauty of nature's annual masterwork. From charismatic coastal lines to charming mountain drives, Massachusetts offers an array of scenic drives that immerse you in the glory of the autumn season. Here are Massachusetts's 13 best foliage drives that promise a remarkable autumn experience.

1. Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway

Mohawk Trail boasts over 100 attractions, and you will want to get the best of nature along this route while enjoying taking pictures. This historic trail winds through the Berkshire Mountains and thus offers a good view of Shelburne Falls, especially from the Bridge of Flowers.

The Mohawk Trail takes you past idyllic villages, rolling hills, and dense forests ablaze with fall colors. Make sure to stop at the many overlooks for panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

2. Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway

Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway is a scenic route that will take you to the heart of Berkshire foothills and offers one of the best foliage in Massachusetts. The drive offers attractive vistas of the woodland groves, beautiful architecture sites from the 19th century and the cascading foliage below.

3. Cape Ann Loop

Cape Ann Loop is a driving tour that takes you for a coastal foliage experience. This drive takes you through charming coastal towns, rocky shores, and tranquil beaches. The combination of ocean views and vibrant foliage creates a unique autumn ambiance. You can experience the drive by taking the Newburyport, ideal for beach walks, or by driving from Castle Hill, based in Crane Estate, to Rockport.

4. Connecticut River Scenic Byway

This 50 miles byway is found in the north-south of Massachusetts and gives a full view of the fall foliage along the river valley. The route passes through rolling hills and farmlands, museums such as the renowned Deerfield, botanic gardens and small colleges.

Several art museums are open to the public at affordable rates. With the river passing through this route, you can enjoy the fall foliage while rafting or Kayaking.

5. Mount Greylock Scenic Byway

One of the most adventurous and best ways to enjoy the fall foliage in Massachusetts is by driving to Mount Greylock. This is the ideal place for you to view the foliage from 3500 feet above. The road ascends to the top of the mountain and is easily accessible, so you do not have to leave your car behind. The route covers around 16 miles and takes about two hours to complete.

6. Essex Coastal Scenic Byway

The Essex Coastal scenic byway runs through Massachusetts’s amazing coast and the largest salt marsh in New England. It also gives a view of the Essex town and shipbuilding museum. The byway covers about 90 miles; a full drive takes about three hours.

The route gives panoramic coastal foliage views. You can also stop at the shipbuilding museum while using this route.

7. Appleton Farms Grass Rides

Based in Ipswich, the Appleton Farms Grass Rides is becoming a popular place for fall foliage experiences for both locals and visitors in Massachusetts. The area has an amazing landscape ranging from open fields, wetlands and a forest. This farm offers a breathtaking view of fall foliage. The Grass Rides, a series of well-kept pathways, create a thrilling tunnel of autumn colors.

This drive is a hidden gem that offers a different perspective on fall foliage. You can check their website for information regarding admissions.

8. Charles River scenic drive

In Massachusetts, fall foliage is not limited to the mountains and the coastal towns. Another exceptional way of experiencing fall foliage is by taking a drive to the Charles River.

The views are best from the famous Charles Riverboat cruise that gives you an amazing view for 90 minutes. There are both private and group tours for this perfect sightseeing. You can book your ticket from the Charles Riverboat Company, well-known for its good cruise services.

9. Memorial Drive

The Memorial Drive offers unique foliage views during autumn. Memorial Drive in Massachusetts is renowned for its spectacular showcase of fall foliage, attracting visitors worldwide who enjoy the vibrant transformation of nature. As the leaves transition from their lush green to a vibrant array of reds, oranges, and yellows, Memorial Drive gives a picturesque drive tour that perfectly captures the essence of autumn in Massachusetts.

Memorial Drive also offers opportunities for afternoon and evening walks and bike rides along its tree-lined path. You can also explore the area on foot or by bicycle, taking advantage of the friendly fall weather and the beauty surrounding them.

The drive is also ideal for picnics and photography. The locals also commemorate the fall foliage season through festivals and outdoor drawing fairs that give you a chance to immerse yourself fully in this experience.

10. Blue Hills Reservation

The Blue Hills Reservation offers several trails and viewpoints that allow visitors to enjoy the charming foliage fully. Driving through this beautiful woodland gives you a breathtaking view of the fall colors.

The reservation occupies over 7000 acres of land hosting meadows, hills and extensive woodlands. These allow you to experience this place by hiking along scenic trails and climbing the overlooks for amazing sceneries.

11. Old King’s Highway

Old King’s Highway is a delight to explore year-round. It truly comes to life during the fall foliage season, as the leaves of the trees lining the stunning highway change into a breathtaking array of vibrant colors. The lush green landscape gradually becomes a mesmerizing canvas of reds, oranges, yellows, and browns.

Driving along the highway during fall gives you a remarkable experience of the vibrant foliage. You will also get an amazing opportunity to explore the villages and immerse yourself in the cultural activities.

12. Battle Road Scenic Byway

During fall in Massachusetts, the trees along the Battle Road Scenic Byway undergo a vibrant transformation. The lush green leaves that adorned the trees throughout summer give way to a breathtaking mix of red, orange, yellow, and deep gold. This route's historic sites and landscapes give autumn's warm, soft light, creating friendly, serene and relaxing weather.

13. Route 112 Scenic Byway

Route 112 is one of Massachusetts's most celebrated driving routes for foliage sightseeing. This route passes through the dense D.A.R. and Chester Blandford Forest, thus offering one of the best foliage views. Route 112 is also rich in farmlands, where you can shop for fresh farm produce and orchards that allow you to pick your apples. You can also enjoy the foliage by riding a motorcycle on this route.

Are you looking for a new or used motorcycle to enjoy the foliage at Route 112? Get up to 4 offers to finance the purchase of a Suzuki or Honda GL.

Wrapping it up

Massachusetts gets glorious during the fall season, with its charming landscapes transforming into a breathtaking pallet of colors. From mountainous landscapes to coastal routes, these foliage drives offer a unique experience of autumn's beauty. So, get your camera, hit the road, and get yourself absorbed in the vibrant colors and amazing ambiance only Massachusetts can offer during its splendid fall foliage season.