Sep 19

Historic Route 6: a great fall itinerary of the Mid-Atlantic States



Fall foliage is just around the corner and it is one of the most captivating seasons in terms of a visual display. An excellent fall day with mild temperatures, a slight breeze, steady sun and forests bursting with color can be one of the best travel sceneries in the world. One of the best spots in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic portion of the United States to enjoy this is historic Route 6.


Known as one of the nation’s first cross country highways, this stretch of road goes from Provincetown, MA on the Atlantic seaboard to Bishop, CA on the West Coast. The portion most famed for its fall foliage is that which runs through Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania. The road mostly keeps away from congested areas and moves around small towns, which makes it scenic, pleasant and interesting.


The stretch of road starting out near Cape Cod will delight anyone with the network of dunes and hilly seascapes that dot the horizon. Once you begin to move inland and encounter some of the smaller mountain ranges of the Northeast, then the true colors of autumn appear. In Connecticut and Rhode Island the road has more traffic and encounters more built up areas just due to some of the towns and metropolitan areas it covers. The most recommended stretches of road are certainly between Sakonnet, RI and Westport, MA
; Between Westport Point, MA through Padanaram, MA to New Bedford; 
Marion and Mattapoisett, MA.


America’s Scenic byway is most famous for its Pennsylvania stretch. It starts out beautiful in the Endless Mountains of Northeast PA. Total it covers 400 miles of wilderness and open country driving across the Northern tier of Pennsylvania for a spectacular display of virgin forest and vibrant colors. Some recommend doing the trip in ten days to give adequate time to stop at all the towns along the way, explore historic buildings and sites and of course line up some stellar photos along the way.


Once you hit Bradford County PA you are deep in nature’s foliage. Many bridges and overpasses will reveal stunning backdrops. The road is called the Artisan way because of all the skilled crafts and one of a kind stores one can find out here. There are ample bed and breakfasts to stay at, lots of places like farm, lumber and tool museums too. Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon is on the way, an exceptional sight not many people get to visit.


Past this point one enters the Allegheny Mountain range which offers its own unique beauties, quaint countryside towns and timeless lakes, rivers and streams. There are good opportunities for camping too, but beware it gets quite chilly this time of year. Many visitors finish their trip with a stop off in Erie, a good-sized city with its own large lakefront attractions. A great time to view the best foliage is in early to mid-October as a general rule. There are also websites and groups that keep a live or updated track on the progress of the foliage each year and this can help one plan the best timing for one of nature’s most vivid displays.




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