Meriden blogger recommends local spots to view fall foliage

Almost every year, autumn sneaks up on me. This year, it happened when I pulled through Dunkin’ and the worker told me matter-of-factly that the butter pecan flavor option was no longer available for iced coffees, but she could give me pumpkin instead if I wanted.

As pumpkin-flavored beverages and apple-scented candles start making their way into our lives, it’s important to not let this incredible season pass by without taking some time to enjoy some of the best aspects of living  in New England. Each year, travelers come from far and wide to take in the incredible autumn foliage that we New Englanders often overlook. When planning your day trips this fall, consider an eye-candy stay-cation right here in the Northeast!

Here are a few places to consider exploring this fall:

Quinnipiac River Gorge Trail (Red Bridge) (Quinnipiac Trail, Meriden  

While the Quinnipiac River Gorge Trail is open to the public year-round, the area is especially enchanting when the leaves are melting into their reds and golds. This is the perfect spot to enjoy foliage. The trail runs adjacent to the Quinnipiac River and is part of a collection of trails in the state that feature incredible foliage views.

Route 154 South

For a nearby day trip that’s roughly a half-hour from central Connecticut, take Route 154 via Middletown down to towns like Old Saybrook, Chester, and Deep River. This route runs alongside the Connecticut River, and is a highly wooded area, providing some of the best foliage views Connecticut has to offer!

Saville Dam Tower, Saville Dam Road, Barkhamsted

While a car ride up to the northern park of the state is gorgeous on its own, having a picture-perfect destination like the Saville Dam Tower can give a spontaneous day trip an added layer of awesomeness! This picturesque landmark overlooks the Barkhamsted Reservoir and part of People’s State Forest.  

Nearby is the charming Washington. This off-the-beaten-path area is great for families or day trippers of all ages.

Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves, 1712 Lost River Road, North Woodstock, N.H.

For an all-day affair or even a leaf-peeping weekend getaway, head way up north to New Hampshire. For a one-day adventure, Derry, Franconia, or Nashua are excellent places to go for both views and things to do. For the weekend leaf-peepers, a longer trek to Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves in North Woodstock is completely worth the mileage and provides an amazing day of breathtaking sights!

The location itself is an incredible natural wonder, complete with a mile-long wooden boardwalk trail that winds along the Lost River. From crawling through glacial boulder caves to watching tremendous waterfalls to overlooking an incredible view via Giant Bird Nest, this location is completely unforgettable.

Francesca Fontánez is a Meriden-based journalist, educator, and creative. A graduate of both the University of New Haven and the University of Bridgeport, she is happy to be back in Meriden writing about the city she loves. When she's not helping out in the English department at Maloney High School, she's either exploring the Eastern seaboard for her lifestyle blog (@ eastsidevibes on Instagram) or working on music for her band, Cessa and The Zach. Email Francesca at with tips on what you want to read about next, or just to say hi!


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