Three million acres of Massachusetts forest make “for beautiful outdoor experiences,” according to Keiko Matsudo Orrall, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.
“We are renowned for beautiful views and vistas, especially this time of year, from late September to early November,” she said.
Some of the spots worth checking out this season, she said, are Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, where you can canoe alongside the colors on the Charles River, Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown, always a popular area for foliage, and Skinner State Park in Hadley, with its “breathtaking views of the Connecticut River.”
And when in North Adams, swing by the historic Wigwam Western Summit, said Orrall, who visited this summer.
“It’s phenomenal on a green day, so I can only imagine it during peak foliage,” she said.
At the summit, visitors can take in spectacular panoramic views of Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York while enjoying drinks, food, and other items from the spot’s sky bar, coffee house, bakery, and gift shop. There are also rental cabins for those who want to stay overnight.
Jim Salge, fall foliage expert for Yankee magazine, said you’ll find great color this season, as well as plenty of history, at Walden Pond in Concord.
“The pond is beautiful,” he said about the historic spot made famous by Henry David Thoreau. “Walking around the lake takes an hour, and you can just feel the history there.”
More state parks worth visiting for their foliage this fall include Borderland State Park in Easton, which offers gorgeous colors and the historic Ames Mansion to boot, said Amy Wilmot, regional interpretive coordinator for the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR).
“The grounds are beautiful,” Wilmot said. “The mansion is surrounded by woods, so during peak foliage it’s really just beautiful.”
Wompatuck State Park in Hingham is also a gem, Wilmot said.
“During peak foliage, it’s a wonderful place not too far from the city to go and see the fall colors,” she said.
Over in Foxborough, F. Gilbert Hills State Forest, a 1,000-acre state forest with 23 miles of trails, offers great views, especially from its Acorn Trail, she said, where high spots offer an excellent foliage vantage point.
“Mother Nature is putting on her grandest art show,” said Wilmot. “The fall really is a special time.”