Connecticut is hands-down one of the most iconic and picturesque places in New England, especiallywhen you get out into the small towns and rolling farmlands. A fall foliage drive can be super-energized with help from the many self-guided and themed trails (wine, ice cream, historic barns) that may be found online. Examples of these are the Connecticut Wine Trail and the Connecticut Art Trail of museums and galleries. Did you know the Appalachian Trail passes through the western Litchfield? Consequently, there are many day hikes. [Map of Connecticut] Below is an overview a few of the best drive routes. Find more drives and details at our Connecticut foliage drives page.
Kent and Mount Tom State Park loop — This drive in the western part of The Nutmeg State passes the Housatonic River and through the charming town of Kent. The entire area is known for its many antique stores. This part of Connecticut has three of the state’s covered bridges. Mount Tom State Park is a great place for hikes and other outdoor play. Route map.
MYSTIC / NORTHEAST REGION
Last Green Valley Scenic Byway — The Last Green Valley is a national heritage corridor touching 35 small towns. It is one of the world’s dar sky areas, meaning there is little light pollution from cities, so views of the starry sky at night are excellent (with no cloud cover, of course). This route passes wildlife preserves, an alpaca farm, many hiking trails, and wonderful shopping, especially in the lovely town of Brooklyn (stop at the Brooklyn Green Historic District!) and Woodstock. Note that the Taylor Brook Winery is nearby this route! Route map.
NEW HAVEN REGION
Essex to Guilford shoreline loop — This shoreline loop drive moves through the shore towns of Essex, Old Saybrook, Guilford, and Deep River. On the waterfront is the popular Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison — where you will find lots of space for water play and sun bathing. If your drive takes you near the shoreline town of Guilford, stop at Bishop’s Orchards on Post Road to stock up on pumpkins, apples, and treats for the road. Route map.