While thousands of leaf peepers gather in the mountains of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine during fall foliage season, few travelers have discovered the quiet, hidden gems of Western Massachusetts – the picturesque and lush landscapes are ideal for seeing the leaves change color. From the classic New England family farms to its farm-to-table food culture, and historical presence, the Pioneer Valley is hard to beat for a fall getaway.
Fall foliage is New England’s last celebration before the long winter, which is undeniably Instagram worthy. Whether you are into taking selfies, enjoying outdoor adventures, or creating everlasting memories, here are five of the best fall foliage activities and locations in the Pioneer Valley.
With several pick-your-own farms in the area, gathering fresh produce to create a fall recipe is easily accomplished. Atkins Farm’s orchard is a tradition for longtime Valley residents and students alike. While you are there, make sure to stop at their store and pick up some of the best cider donuts you will ever taste!
Rail Trail Biking
Bring your bikes or rent them at Laughing Dog Bicycles in downtown Amherst, and ride traffic-free along the paved routes of the Norwottuck Rail Trail.
The 63-mile trail follows a Native American trade route and runs through the northwest part of the state, weaving through the Berkshire Mountains between the Hudson and Connecticut River valleys.
Bridge of Flowers
Right in the heart of Shelburne Falls is the famous Bridge of Flowers, a former trolley bridge that is now planted with 500 varieties of flowers, vines, and shrubs (Open April 1 to October 30).
The trip to the top of Mount Greylock in the Berkshires is a worthwhile adventure accessible by either hiking or driving. The summit is 3,491 feet (highest natural point in Massachusetts) with the best fall foliage views of the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Taconic Range.