Fall Foliage Season in the Parks

Leaf Peeping season starts around October 1st and peak color often coincides with Columbus/Indigenous Peoples' Day

See the parks come alive with color

Whether you prefer scenic drives to view summit vistas, peaceful walks against colorful foliage backdrops, or bike rides amongst falling leaves, find it all in Massachusetts state parks. Visit the Massachusetts Fall Foliage webpage​ for more information.

View the fall foliage descriptions and some colorful images of our parks below.

DCR Fall Foliage Descriptions & Map (PDF) 

Table of Contents

fall foliage map

West (Mid-October)

1. Savoy State Forest, 260 Central Shaft Road, Florida, MA

Accessible viewing spot: The North Pond Day Use Area is a great spot for picnicking and viewing foliage.

Challenging hike for peak viewing: The Busby Trail to Spruce Hill is one of the most popular trails in the state forest, offering a great panoramic view for prime foliage viewing. The hike begins gradually, following an old farm road, but becomes more strenuous near the top.

2Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, Cheshire, MA

Ashuwillticook is marked by 12.7 miles of beautiful accessible biking and walking trail to explore in the fall with red maples lining the edges of the Cheshire Lake and the many wetlands flanking the trail. The trail runs through the towns of Cheshire, Lanesborough, and Adams and its spots along the Cheshire Reservoir and the Hoosic River offer outstanding views of the scenery.

3Pittsfield State Forest, 1041 Cascade St., Pittsfield, MA

The forest offers an extensive trail network for hikers of all abilities, including the Taconic Crest Trail offering long wooded stretches and views into New York State.

Accessible viewing spot: The Berry Pond Circuit driving route to the vista point offers an option for visitors of all abilities.

4Benedict Pond at Beartown State Forest, 69 Blue Hill Road, Monterey, MA

Benedict Pond has an accessible boardwalk, picnic, and viewing area at its day use area. The 1.7-mile Benedict Pond Loop Trail is an easy to moderate trail marked by American beech, white ash, birches, black cherry and maples mixed in with evergreen softwoods, eastern hemlock, and white pine that produce beautiful changing leaves.

5Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) State Forest, 78 Cape St., Goshen, MA

DAR, located in the eastern foothills of the Berkshires, has an extensive trail network for hikers of all abilities.

Suggested hike for the more adventurous visitors: Fisher Trail to Darling Trail to the Goshen Fire Tower and return to the day-use area via Moore Hill Road. There’s an accessible trail along the lake’s edge for visitors of all abilities.

6Mount Tom State Reservation, 125 Reservation Road, Holyoke, MA

Mount Tom offers extensive trail options for all visitors of all ability levels, including vista pull-offs that can be driven to. 

Hike suggestions: Climb up to the Goats Peak observation tower, which offers the best view of the Mount Tom range and sweeping views of the Connecticut River valley

Central (Late October)

7. Dunn State Park, 289 Pearl St., Gardner, MA

Suggested hike: Hike around Dunn Pond for beautiful views of the pond and surrounding foliage.     

The park has a range of accessible activities including fishing and hiking.

8. Wachusett Mountain State Reservation, 345 Mountain Road, Princeton, MA

Enjoy the scenic views from this 2,006-foot peak. Make sure to check the DCR Park Alerts app or website for any road closures due to capacity.

Accessible viewing spot: Take your car straight to the summit of Wachusett Mountain, for a breathtaking 360-degree view. Bring some lunch for the two picnic areas on the summit road with charcoal grills.     

9. Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, 287 Oak St., Uxbridge, MA

Activities include biking, horseback riding, canoeing, fishing, picnicking and more. The Blackstone River Greenway, a paved multi-use path to connect Providence, RI to Worcester, MA, is just a short drive away.

North (End of October)

10. Harold Parker State Forest, Park Headquarters, 305 Middleton Road, North Andover, MA

Suggested hike: Explore a world of crimson and gold as you wander through the challenging 17-mile trail that is popular for hiking, biking and bird watching.  There is also a moderate 3 mile hike called the Yellow Diamond Trail.  Park at the headquarters building. This lollipop route provides a nice loop through mixed woodlands. It encircles Salem Pond offering scenic water views. 

11. Bradley Palmer State Park, 40 Asbury St, Topsfield, MA
Suggested hike: Immerse yourself in an autumn tapestry of colors on this moderate 3-mile-long hike with limited elevation. There is also a 1 mile accessible trail along the Ipswich River that is an easy hike.  This trail has a level stone dust surface that is a flat grade. It is great for persons with mobility issues.

12. Middlesex Fells Reservation, 4 Woodland Road, Stoneham, MA
Suggested hike: Climb to new heights on this 7-mile loop with views of the Boston skyline at Middlesex Fells Reservation.

13. Breakheart Reservation, 177 Forest St., Saugus, MA
Challenging suggested hike: Ridge Trail - trek along this 3-mile trail over rocky terrain, with views of the Atlantic Ocean and witness a kaleidoscope of autumn hues.

South (End of October)

14. Blue Hills Reservation, 725 Hillside St., Milton, MA

Suggested easy hike: Houghton’s Pond Loop, a short and easy hike, is a wonderful way to take in the beauty of fall foliage in Massachusetts. It’s perfect for families with young children looking to take in the changing leaves.

Suggested moderate hike: A 1-mile hike up the Great Blue Hill, at a height of 635 ft., it's the highest of the 22 hills in the Blue Hills chain. From the rocky summit, visitors can see over the entire metropolitan area.

15. Wompatuck State Park, 204 Union St., Hingham, MA

Suggested hike: Health Heart Loop, this 1-mile loop hike will make you feel like you are deep in the woods, with the luxury of being on pavement. It’s perfect for beginners and families, especially with strollers.

16. Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Ave., North Easton, MA

Suggested hike: Pond Walk Loop is an easy 3-mile hike on the carriage road leading around Lower Leach Pond. On this beautiful mostly wooded trail, you will pass the picturesque stone lodge, foundations, dam and bridge, open fields, the 1910 Ames Mansion and the picnic grounds. 
Stop by the historic Ames Mansion for a tour!  

17. Nickerson State Park, 3488 Main St., Brewster, MA

Suggested hike: Little Cliff Pond - you may forget you’re on Cape Cod while hiking miles of trails through the woods and around ponds. Enjoy an easy 1.7-mile hike on the loop around this long and narrow 33-acre natural kettlehole pond, where the shoreline is largely wooded with pitch pines and scrub oaks, with occasional sandy beaches.

A peek at a few locations

Mt. Sugarloaf offers a commanding view of the Connecticut River, the Pioneer Valley, and the Pelham and Berkshire Hills

Mt. Sugarloaf offers a commanding view of the Connecticut River, the Pioneer Valley, and the Pelham and Berkshire Hills.

The New Salem and Enfield lookouts offer magnificent views of the Quabbin reservoir

The New Salem and Enfield lookouts offer magnificent views of the Quabbin reservoir.

hiker in fall

The Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts provides a broad array of hiking opportunities for both the long-distance or day hiker.

beautiful foilage reflects off pond

The name of "October Mountain" is attributed to writer Herman Melville, whose view from his home in Pittsfield of these hills in fall impressed him so.

The Norwottock Rail Trail is an 11 mile path linking Northampton, Hadley, and Amherst along the former Boston & Main Railroad right-of-way

The Norwottock Rail Trail is an 11 mile path linking Northampton, Hadley, and Amherst along the former Boston & Main Railroad right-of-way

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