Readers Say

We asked for the best fall hiking trails in New England. Here are your favorites.

"Sometimes I'll drive up there with no destination and stop at a random trailhead. I haven't had a bad time yet."

A view from Artist's Bluff in New Hampshire's White Mountains at sunrise. Greg DuBois

There’s no better place to experience fall than in New England and hiking is one of the best ways to take advantage of all the season has to offer.

Given that the region is blessed with options of beautiful hiking, we asked readers which New England state they felt was the best place to hit the trails, and they delivered with their favorite locations and recommendations for the best loops to take. 

The clear favorite for fall hiking was New Hampshire, which got 61% of the vote for best New England state for fall hiking, followed by Vermont at 18% and Maine at 8.5%.


The most commonly endorsed fall hiking destinations were the White Mountains in New Hampshire, where dozens of readers suggested the Presidential Range, and Acadia National Park in Maine. 

“[The] White Mountains in New Hampshire offer unmatched sights in the East,” said Jim W. from Bar Harbor, Maine. “But nothing beats the beauty of the coast and the mountains of Acadia.”

Thankfully there’s no reason to limit yourself to just one state if you plan to make hiking part of your fall activities. There are 16 national parks and over 100 state parks in Massachusetts alone, and hundreds of hiking trails across the region — so many that some readers found it hard to narrow down on any one favorite.

“Most of New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts are beautiful options for fall hiking,” said one reader. “Vermont is obviously stunning too.”

If you’re looking to get some hikes in this fall before the trails frost over, here are some recommendations in each New England state from readers. 

Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity. 

New Hampshire

White Mountain National Forest. By far the best place for a wide variety of hiking in New England, especially if climbing peaks is your thing.” — Elliot, Framingham


“Any route up Mount Washington or the Falling Waters Trail to Little Haystack. And the ridge walk up to Mount Lafayette and then back down.” — Anonymous

“I love going hiking on the 4,000-foot mountains in New Hampshire and walking the Appalachian trail there. The Baldface North and South Mountains loop trail is another single-day hike with beautiful scenery and few crowds.” — Chris, Hopkinton  

“I love hiking the Franconia Ridge loop trail in the White Mountain’s Franconia Range where you can achieve three peaks of Mount Haystack, Mount Lincoln, and Mount Lafayette on the same hike and while enjoying the fabulous views on the iconic ridge.” — YT, Newton

“Literally anywhere in the White Mountains. Sometimes I’ll drive up there with no destination and stop at a random trailhead. I haven’t had a bad time yet.” — Eric, Methuen


“Anywhere around Jamaica, Vt. Whether it’s a hike up Stratton Mountain or through the bucolic countryside, the landscape in this area is both beautiful and diverse.” — Anonymous

“Anywhere on the Long Trail in Vermont will guarantee you beautiful, unsullied vistas in a gorgeous blanket of colorful foliage.”  — Anonymous


“Hiking in the Green Mountains around Stowe is amazing. There are hikes for all abilities, and they are easy to get to. Stowe offers so much in the way of lodging, both economy and luxury, and in food and other activities. I love the Pinnacle, Sterling Pond, and Haselton, which climbs up Mount Mansfield with amazing views of the valley below.” — Anonymous

Camel’s Hump, Mount Mansfield, and Mount Equinox all offer stunning views that capture the essence of fall in New England.” — Dan McManus, Manchester Center, Vt.


“Bigelow Mountains in Western Maine.” — V.V., Amesbury

Acadia has the most beautiful and challenging hikes I have seen in the area.” — Anonymous

“[Hike] to Chimney Pond at the base of Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park.” — Andy, Shrewsbury


“The best hiking in Massachusetts is on the Holliston Rail Trail and Wenakeening Woods in Holliston, Mass. It’s a mostly level grounded hike good for all age groups and skillsets. The scenery and wildlife are endless with the Bogastow Viaduct and Cross Street beaver reservoir.” — Tommy Zazulak, Holliston   

“We like to go hiking in Blue Hills Reservation.” — John J., Boston

Rhode Island

Maxwell Mays Audubon Society trail in Coventry, RI.” — Anonymous


Lower Berkshires and Taconics in the northwest corner of Connecticut are the best around hands down. Peak to peak is easy, views east and west are open and clear, and it’s manageable for most. Easy parking and low traffic don’t hurt either. Great Barrington and Stockbridge nearby make them the perfect weekend fall getaway. Hidden gems!!!” — Gary, Canton, Conn.

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