Colorful leaves on Elmwood Road, Marblehead
With three million acres of forested land, Massachusetts is a favorite destination for leaf-spotting. Tourists often head west to the mountains, but residents and visitors to the North Shore area will find plenty of fall color close by. Historic towns like Salem and Marblehead offer a combination of manicured parks, scenic vistas and nearby nature reserves. Short day trips will take you past quiet ponds, historic farms, taverns, and churches surrounded by trees dressed in magnificent yellow, gold and red.
Leaf season begins here in early October as the weather cools, telling the trees it’s time for fall colors. Avid leaf-watchers know the schedule changes each year according to the weather; peak colors on the North Shore usually occur in the last two weeks of October.
With our late-changing oaks here in the coastal plain, peak leaf colors come later in the season. The show may be over to the North, but late October brings swathes of yellow, rusty-orange and red to our coastline. From Boston up to Scarborough, the North Shore is renowned for its colorful fall vistas.
Photographing the colorful scenery is a favorite fall activity for tourists and locals alike. Those perfect combinations of location, light, and color are fleeting. So grab your camera or phone, and check out some landscape photography tips.
Colorful Trees In The Heart Of Salem
Salem Common is the perfect starting point for an afternoon of vibrant color. This beautiful park serves as a town square, right in the heart of Salem. Explore the Salem Witch Museum and browse the town’s unique shops surrounded by autumn’s glory.
Autumn Views In Marblehead
Marblehead's hills provide views for miles. Walk up Old Burial Hill to visit one of the most picturesque graveyards in New England. From the top you can see a panoramic view of the harbor, splashed with fall colors in red and gold.
Nearby Redd's Pond turns on the charm with colorful trees reflected in the calm waters. Famous for its model sailboat regattas, in autumn the pond is the ideal spot to snap a photo.
Image Courtesy of Jeff Kane
Fountain Park was the site of a fort during both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. These days, it has a large gazebo with benches to relax and take in the town’s best views of Marblehead Harbor. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic and a great place to view fall foliage.
Stroll through flaming orange trees at Chandler Hovey Park on your way to the Marblehead Lighthouse, which was originally built in 1835. Park grounds are open year-round, but the lighthouse hours vary by the season.
Fall Color Hikes: Marblehead, Lynn and Salem, MA
Whether you're an avid hiker or just take occasional walks, getting out in nature is the best way to enjoy the fall color. Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary is on the peninsula near Marblehead Light, and provides 18 acres of unspoiled woodlands and swamps close by. Walking trails for all ages are popular with leaf-peepers and birders. Its 3.5 mile circular drive is perfect for taking in views of the harbor.
Lynn Woods is a forest park near Lynn, with a formal garden and a cave to explore. Climb the stone tower and you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of foliage and the Boston skyline in the distance.
Salem Woods is a wooded park with beautiful scenery. Easy trails make it the perfect spot for a family afternoon of leafy color.
Scenic Drives: Autumn On The North Shore
For a scenic drive through farmland, take Route 1A from Beverly inland to Newburyport and stop in historic Ipswich, which has more pre-1725 houses than any American town.
Along the coast, take in the color on Route 127 through Beverly and Manchester By-the-Sea, ending at Gloucester’s Ravenswood Park. Here you’ll find 600 quiet acres and ten miles of carriage paths and trails to explore.
Andover’s Fall Splendor
Spend an afternoon in Andover, famous for its autumn scenery and the magnificent garden at Stevens-Coolidge Place right in the center of town. It’s a favorite spot for plein air artists, so bring your paints and your camera.
Leaf-Peeping In Boston and Cambridge
A day trip to Boston will reward you with a rich palette of yellows and reds, displayed against the city’s architecture. The Boston Public Garden has a variety of trees from all over the world, so the colorful display starts earlier in the season and lasts longer. Close by, you can explore the Beacon Hill neighborhood’s historic streets.
One of the best displays of Boston-area foliage is in the city of Cambridge. Colorful trees line the bike path along the Charles River and Cambridge Common. Mount Auburn Cemetery is a magnificent garden cemetery and arboretum. Stroll through Mount Auburn for fall color, and a collection of plants and trees from around the world. Climb a hill for a view of the Boston skyline.
If you'd like to make autumn color part of your lifestyle, our professional Realtors here at Sagan Harborside Realty have the expertise to find you the perfect location. Just give us a call at 781-593-6111.