This is it! This is peak season for our area – it’s time to break away from your daily habits and take a little time to drive around in your own backyard. And if you are lucky enough to be a visitor at this time – get around the area.
Route 1A Foliage Tour, Newburyport to Ipswich, 20 minute Drive
Start at Atkinson Common and drive along the full length of Newburyport’s High Street, Newbury’s High Road and through Rowley down to the center of Ipswich. The historic trees of the city coupled with the mansions along the route will feed into the countryside, Great Marsh views and small country-town sites. Great places to stop are the Little Farm run by Historic New England, Tendercrop Farm & Iron Moon Farm in Newbury. To celebrate the drive, be sure to stop at Marty’s donut shop in downtown Ipswich for super doughnuts. Marty’s closes by 1:00 so drive in the morning. It is worth it!
Route 113 Foliage Tour
Newburyport to Groveland, 20 minute drive. Start at the junction of Interstate 95 and Route 113 in Newburyport heading west. West Newbury’s main road is the quintessential New England road – stone walls, farmed fields, pleasant old homesteads and rolling hills dominate the view. Along the way are farm stands, Garden shops and Long Hill Farm’s ice cream stand as well as historic sites. The route ends up at the bridge in downtown Groveland. A special treat if you would like some walking is to take Hoyt’s Lane while still in Newburyport and travel down to Maudslay State Park where there are lovely walks along the river and strolls amongst formal gardens.
And the most magnificent of all, Main Street (Amesbury), Merrimac Street, Pleasant Valley & River Road Foliage Tour
Amesbury to Haverhill, 20 minute drive. Start at the Newburyport side of the chain bridge. Once across, take the first left and follow along the water. This is one of the best river foliage views in the region. The road hugs the shoreline of the Merrimack River, presenting fabulous water and foliage views. Simply follow any road that takes you closest to the river. There is one short detour. You are forced onto Skunk Rod in Merrimac at a point where River Road washed out a few years ago. Take Skunk to Middle, turn left and you’re back on the route. You can walk this section of the road if you park your car on either end. The road continues to Rocks Village in Haverhill near the bridge. You can cross it into West Newbury and head back for more foliage views along the river or take the road north until you connect with Route 110. Notable stops is the Lowell Boat Shop, Bartlett Museum and further along stroll around Rocks Village local historic district or work your way up to the Whittier House. A small detour can be made up to Hodgie’s Ice Cream up on Route 110.
Fall Foliage Guide
Dominant Colors: Orange, yellow, and green.
Peak Time: During the first week of October, plan a visit to the western and southeastern regions for foliage. Peak foliage occurs mid-October for the central area of the state while the eastern regions pop with colors during the end of the month.
Estimated Newburyport Peak Foliage: October 24 to November 8
Fall Foliage Hotline: 800-227-MASS (http://www.massvacation.com/fallfoliage/#/driving-routes)