Every fall, while the rest of the country is lamenting the end of summer and dreading the coming of winter, New England is experiencing a uniquely beautiful experience – the gradual shift from summer to fall foliage throughout the region’s forests. This seasonal event brings vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow to the leaves of trees throughout the state of Connecticut, and because of their widespread nature, the best way to enjoy them is by car. Thankfully, the state is full of scenic routes, all of which become even more beautiful in fall when the leaves change color. This fall, head out for a drive along these top five scenic routes:
1. Connecticut River Loop
This scenic drive takes a combined four state routes into one loop that circles the Connecticut River, crossing the water twice and winding along its banks from Old Lyme to East Haddam. Along the way, it passes through the picturesque towns of Essex, Centerbrook, Deep River, Chester, Haddam and East Haddam; all of which display the fall foliage to its greatest extent, combined with charming shops and a small-town atmosphere. The drive between towns is spectacular as well, with the forested banks of the river providing a perfect backdrop for the fall colors.
2. State Route 169
This federally designated National Scenic Byway takes you from the Massachusetts border to Jewett City, passing through numerous historic towns and sites along the way. The highlight of this drive is the abundance of maple and pine trees, which provide a spectacular color-changing show in the fall.
3. Colchester and Salmon River
A large part of this loop follows state routes 16 and 149, looping around Salmon River State Forest in the process. This drive takes you from quiet, wooded lanes to scenic towns to the undisturbed woodlands of the state forest, which is the perfect place to view fall foliage due to its abundance of spectacular trees.
4. Merritt Parkway
Merritt Parkway, a 37-mile National Scenic Byway, passes not only through prime fall foliage areas but also crosses over numerous historic and beautiful Art Deco bridges in the process. Get ready for an explosion of color when you take on this short but scenic drive.
5. Litchfield Hills
There is nothing quite like the sight of rolling hills colored in all shades of red, orange, yellow, green, and everything in between. That is exactly what you will experience in the Litchfield Hills, in northwestern Connecticut. You can craft your own drive through this region, or follow a general route along Route 7 from Norfolk to Litchfield.
As we are all looking forward to the breath-taking landscapes that Connecticut provides in the fall, it’s important to remember proper maintenance for your vehicle or motorcycle before embarking on your scenic journey. This would, of course, include having adequate auto insurance. To review your current automobile or motorcycle policy, contact Waitte’s Insurance Agency, Inc.