Find Fall Faster with Connecticut's Top Fall Foliage Drives Last Updated 9/17

Ready for some leaf peeping? Head no farther than Connecticut, where you'll find New England’s longest fall foliage season. Running from north to south steadily over about 6 weeks, the foliage coverage varies, but there’s always somewhere to see the colors change. Thanks to our friends at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, here are a few suggested driving “loops” to get you out and about during prime leaf peeping season. Be sure to program your mapping app, or set your gps, for an amazing drive through the wonders of fall in Connecticut.

Loop #1: Scenic Fairfield County
Loop #2: Litchfield Hills Ramble
Loop #3: Hartford West
Loop #4: Exploring the Quiet Corner
Loop #5: Mystic Country & the Coast
Loop #6: Connecticut River Color
Loop #7: New Haven & Neighborhood

Loop #1: Scenic Fairfield County

Distance: Approximately 115 miles
Estimated peak viewing: October 16 - October 30

This route takes you through Fairfield County into the southern part of the Litchfield Hills region.

  • Begin in Norwalk at Route 15 (Merritt Parkway) exit 38.
  • Go north on Routes 123, 106, 33, 35 and 7 to I-84 exit 3 in Danbury.
  • Then head east on I-84 to exit 5.
  • Take left on Starr Ave.
  • Quick right onto Cowperthwaite St.
  • Quick right onto North Main Street
  • Quick left onto Golden Hill Road to Route 39
  • Go north on Routes 39 to 37 to Route 7.
  • Take Route 7 to New Milford.
  • Go south on Route 67 to Roxbury, then Route 317 to Woodbury.
  • From Woodbury take Route 6 south to I-84 exit 15.
  • Jog west on I-84 to exit 10, then southwest on Routes 6, 25 and 302 to Route 58.
  • Head south on 58 and 136 to Route 15 (Merritt Parkway) exit 42 and head for Norwalk to close the loop.

Places to Stop, Stay and Play Along the Way
Check out a few of the places you can relax, refresh and refuel on this loop.

Loop #2: Litchfield Hills Ramble

Distance: Approximately 100 miles
Estimated peak viewing: September 26 - October 15

This route is in the Litchfield Hills region, the first part of Connecticut to see color changes, so best to do it a little earlier in the season.

  • Begin in Torrington.
  • Go north on Route 8 to Winsted then northwest on Route 44 to Canaan, or Falls Village.
  • Turn south on Route 7 to Kent, then east on Route 341 to Warren and South on Route 45 through New Preston.
  • Go east on Route 202 for about a mile then turn south on Route 47 to Washington Depot.
  • Turn northeast on Route 109 to East Morris, then north on Route 63 to Litchfield.
  • Head east on Route 118 for a few miles then north on Route 8 to close the loop.

 

Places to Stop, Stay and Play Along the Way
Check out a few of the places you can relax, refresh and refuel on this loop.

Loop #3: Hartford West

Distance: Approximately 90 miles
Estimated peak viewing: October 3 - October 30

This route follows Route 20 up into the heart of northern Connecticut, and takes you on a ride through forests and along rivers.

  • Begin in Hartford.
  • Take 1-91 north to exit 45 (Bridge Street, East Windsor).
  • Head west on Route 140 to the airport, then south on Route 75 to Route 20.
  • Head west through Granby, the Hartlands and Riverton, picking up West River Road south through People's State Forest to Pleasant Valley.
  • Continue south on Route 181 to Route 44 and head east through New Hartford, Canton and Avon to Route 10 - south to Farmington.
  • Pick up Route 4 and head for Hartford to close the loop.

 

Places to Stop, Stay and Play Along the Way
Check out a few of the places you can relax, refresh and refuel on this loop.

Loop #4: Exploring the Quiet Corner

Distance: Approximately 100 miles
Estimated peak viewing: September 30 - October 23

This route takes you up into the “Quiet Corner” of Connecticut, with rolling hills, farmlands and scenic views throughout.

  • Begin on I-84 exit 67.
  • Go south on Route 31 to the junction of Route 44.
  • Take Route 44 east to Route 195.
  • Turn south on Route 195 to Route 6 and turn east to Brooklyn.
  • Pick up Route 169 north to North Woodstock, then go west on Routes 197 and 190 to I-84 exit 73.
  • Turn west to close the loop.

 

Places to Stop, Stay and Play Along the Way
Check out a few of the places you can relax, refresh and refuel on this loop.

Loop #5: Mystic Country & the Coast

Distance: Approximately 90 miles
Estimated peak viewing: October 9 - November 6

This eastern Connecticut drive takes you through the region known as Mystic Country, and gives you great views of the shoreline in fall.

  • Begin in New London.
  • Take I-95 north across the Thames River to left-hand exit 86.
  • Go east on Route 184 to Old Mystic.
  • Take Route 27 south to Mystic.
  • Go east on Route 1 to Route 2, then north on Route 2, 184 and 49 to Route 14A to Canterbury.
  • Head south on Routes 169 and 2 to Norwich then take Route 32 south to close the loop at New London.

 

Places to Stop, Stay and Play Along the Way
Check out a few of the places you can relax, refresh and refuel on this loop.

Loop #6: Connecticut River Color

Distance: Approximately 80 miles
Estimated peak viewing: October 16 - November 6

This route tracks along the scenic and historic Connecticut River, crossing it along the nation’s oldest swing bridge at East Haddam.

  • Begin at Middletown.
  • Go south on Route 9 to exit 10.
  • Take Route 154 south to Route 148, then head east to a ferryboat crossing. (Note: ferry season is April - November; alternate crossing is the I-95 bridge between Old Lyme and Old Saybrook.)
  • From the landing, continue east on Route 148 and 82 to Route 156, then turn south to I-95.
  • Cross the river on I-95 to exit 69.
  • Head north on Route 154 to Route 82 and recross the river at East Haddam.
  • Continue east to Route 151 and turn north to Cobalt.
  • Turn left on Route 66 and close the loop at Middletown.

 

Places to Stop, Stay and Play Along the Way
Check out a few of the places you can relax, refresh and refuel on this loop.

Loop #7: New Haven & Neighborhood

Distance: Approximately 70 miles
Estimated peak viewing: October 24 - November 14

A little later in the season, this easy drive takes you through areas around New Haven. In addition to the surrounding region, the elm city itself is a great place to visit in fall.

  • Begin in New Haven.
  • Take I-95 north to exit 51
  • Pick up Route 1, then 146 and continue east to Guilford.
  • Turn north on Route 77 to Durham, then north on 17 and west on Routes 147, 157, 68 and 70 to Cheshire.
  • Take Route 10 south to New Haven to close the loop.

 

Places to Stop, Stay and Play Along the Way
Check out a few of the places you can relax, refresh and refuel on this loop.