86°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Fall Foliage Guide: A Fiesta of Local Color

Fall Foliage Guide: A Fiesta of Local Color

It’s time again for one of the things that makes New England what it is: Fall Foliage! Ours is spectacular, so all you transplants from warmer climes should take advantage of the season. Boston actually has quite a bit of urban greenery for those who require public transportation but if you can, you should take a road trip to see the local color. Our Fall Foliage Guide contains tips from two local foliage experts. Happy autumn!

Foliage Spots In and Around Greater BostonBoston has many urban parks for those quick foliage-viewing trips. For a complete listing and description of these parks, visit http://www.mass.gov/dcr/metroboston.htm. Here are some of our favorites.The FenwayThe heart of Boston is famous for its “Emerald Necklace, a series of parks that runs along the Charles and Muddy Rivers, ending in the gorgeous Fall plantings in the Boston Public Garden. It’s a wonderful place to go for a long afternoon stroll with a date or a dog. Best of all, it’s T accessible.The Fells/Mystic River PkwyJust across the river, to the north of Somerville, Medford and Winchester are home to the beautiful pine, oak, and maple forests of the Fells. Small hills, uncrowded hiking and mountain-biking trails, and small ponds are scattered throughout the park. If you’ve ever driven north on Rte 93 and seen the stone firetower that overlooks Medford Sq, take a trip up there. The view of the city is unmatched. Mt. Auburn & Forest Hills CemeteriesThe Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge is one of the most gorgeous in the NorthEast. Mt Auburn St is right off Memorial Drive outside of Harvard Square. With its Art Deco architecture, marble mausoleums, and delightful patches of woods scattered throughout, Mt. Auburn is perfect for some meditative alone time among the silent headstones and whispering trees.If you prefer to stick to graves on the south side of the city, there’s no place finer than Forest Hills in Jamaica Plain. Just across the street from the busy Orange T-line, the souls interred in the aptly named Forest Hills rest among barely tamed woods, still ponds, and outdoor sculpture gardens. The Forest Hills Cemetery also hosts poetry readings, guided tours, and cultural events. The Arnold ArboretumA hop, skip, and jump away from Forest Hills, you’ll find the peaceful glades and rolling hills of the Arnold Arboretum. As part of the Botannical program of Harvard University, it is impeccably care for.The Blue Hills ReservationMoving a little more South, to Milton, MA, the Blue Hills Reservation sit 15 -30 minutes by car from the UMass Boston campus. Sitting right next to one of the largest urban areas in New England, the Blue Hills offer hundreds of unspoiled acres for hiking, foliage touring, horseback riding, and mountain biking.The Charles River The Charles is a heartline that connects Boston and Cambridge in so many ways. First, there’s the Esplanade bicycle/pedestrian path, which runs from the Science Museum all the way out to Rte. 128. There are some gorgeous wooded parks to either side as you pass through Brighton, Watertown and Newton. Take a leisurely walk, or get a good workout! (If you veer off toward Cambridge following Rte 16, don’t forget to take a walk around Fresh Pond on the Cambridge/Belmont line.)Once you reach Rte 128, you can stop at the Charles River Kayak shop on Rte 30 (next to the Sheraton Hotel.) You can rent kayaks and canoes and float down the river through Wellesley and Needham.The Minuteman TrailThis is quite literarlly the best bike trail in Boston. Minuteman starts behind the Somerville Theater in Davis Square, Somerville and runs west through Arlington, historic Lexington, to Bedford. It’s shady and cool, and the foliage is spectular. If your bike or sneakers are equipped for it, there’s a woods trail that leads from the end of the Minuteman through the woods of Concord to the Concord Conservation Area, which is one of the most gorgeous parks around the city.

Tips For Foliage Roadtrips

Make hotel reservations as far in advance as possible; it’s a very busy time of year in rural areas and in Boston. Try to plan a mid-week trip; you’ll find fewer cars on the road. Be adventurous and explore the state’s back roads. You’ll treasure the vistas you find by chance. Don’t worry about the possibility of missing absolute “peak”; color; you’ll find glorious color throughout the fall season. In fact, many visitors enjoy seeing the full spectrum of colors from green to crimson that can be found prior to “peak.”; Plan plenty of time out of your car. There’s nothing like a gentle hike, a canoe ride, or a spin on a bicycle to experience the crisp, sunny days. Check out Outdoor Adventures. Greater BostonFrom Boston, take Rts. 2 and 4 to Lexington, then Rt. 2A to Concord’s famous North Bridge and Minute Man statue. From Concord Center, bear left at the fork on Sudbury Road. At the Sudbury line, the road becomes Concord Road and takes you through Sudbury Center and onto U.S. Rt. 20. Return via U.S. Rt. 20 through Waltham to Boston. North of Boston/Merrimack ValleyRoute 133 is a gorgeous route that winds along charming country back roads and the picture-perfect New England towns of Essex, Ipswich, Rowley, and Georgetown. Route 1A from Beverly to Newburyport travels through beautiful open spaces and farms via Ipswich which boasts more pre-1725 houses still standing than any other town in the USA. Route 127 winds along the coast through Beverly, Manchester By-the-Sea, Gloucester, and up to Rockport.Ipswich is also worth checking out while you’re up there, most notably the Crane Estate where The Witches of Eastwick was filmed and Wolf Hollow, the only facility in Massachusetts licensed to care for Northern Gray Wolves.Bristol CountyFrom the intersection of I-495 and I-95, head south on I-495, then take Rt. 140 South through Norton and past Wheaton College. Remain on Rt. 140 South to New Bedford. Then take Rt. 6 East or West. Rt. 6 East takes you to the charming seaside town of Fairhaven. From Rt. 6 West, take Rt. 177 to Westport, then Rt. 88 South to Horseneck Beach State Reservation. Plymouth CountyJust south of Boston, pick up Rt. 24 South, then take Rt. 104 to Bridgewater. Continue on Rt. 104, then Rt. 106 to Halifax. Rt. 58 South will take you to North Carver, where you’ll see cranberry bogs flooded with pools of crimson berries as the harvest gets underway. From North Carver, continue south on Rt. 58 to Rt. 28 East to Rt. 6 West and the towns of Wareham, Rochester, Marion, and Mattapoisett. Cape CodFrom the Sagamore Bridge, take Rt.6A, the “Old King’s Highway,” which winds through the historic villages of Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, and Brewster. Central MassachusettsEnjoy superb color at a relaxed pace when you drive along the less frequently traveled routes to the Quabbin Reservoir: From Rt. 128, follow Rt. 117 to Stow, in the heart of apple country, then Rt. 62 South and West to Princeton. Turn north on the unnumbered route to Wachusett Mountain Reservation. There you can drive, hike, or take a “skyride” to the summit for a sweeping view of the countryside. Return to Rt. 62 and head west to Barre, then south on Rt. 32 to Old Furnace Rd. Follow the unnumbered road west to Hardwick. Turn north on Rt. 32A, which runs along the Quabbin Reservoir to Petersham. At Petersham follow Rt. 101 East through Templeton, Gardner, and the Ashburnhams to the junction with Rt. 119. Head east on Rt. 119 through the Willard Brook State Forest in Ashby and Townsend. Greater Springfield/Franklin CountyThe secondary roads of Rt. 116 and Rt. 9 wind through rolling countryside and hill towns. Rt. 116 passes through the picturesque towns of Conway and Ashfield; Rt. 9 leads through the village centers of Cummington and Goshen and the college towns of Northampton and Amherst. Scenic routes 143 and 112 travel through rolling New England countryside in the towns of Goshen, Chesterfield, Worthington and Huntington. The BerkshiresFollow Rt. 7 North from Sheffield to Williamstown. Rt. 8 runs from Sandisfield to Dalton and is a superb route between two state forests. Rt. 183, from Great Barrington to Lenox, follows the Housatonic River and passes through small villages. Take Richmond Rd., off Rt. 183, just south of Tanglewood, and stop at the overlook for views of Stockbridge Bowl and the southern Berkshire Hills. Rt. 43 East, off Rt. 7, is the lower road to Williamstown, and passes through lovely farmland. Rt. 23, from Great Barrington to Monterey, and then right onto Tyringham Rd., takes you through the Tyringham Valley and eventually to Lee. Mohawk TrailThe Mohawk Trail, which runs 63 miles along Rt. 2 from Orange to North Adams, is one of the state’s most popular foliage routes. Excellent “up-country” viewing sites include: the Whitcomb Summit; the hairpin turn before North Adams; the 10-mile drive to the summit of Mt. Greylock; the French King Bridge, Millers Falls; the Bissell Covered Bridge, Charlemont; and the enchanting Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls.

Some routes supplied by Massachusetts AAA. Information provided by: www.governmentguide.com, www.mass.gov