If you’re looking for some of the best fall foliage in the Northeast, you don’t have to go very far. Rhode Island is beautiful this time of year, so save the gas and instead of driving further up north, check out some of our state’s gorgeous parks, walking trails, farms, and historical sites to enjoy the changing autumn scenery!
Seaside Bristol is beautiful year round, and Colt State Park is no exception. With 464 acres of beautifully manicured lawns, four miles of biking trails, groomed fruit trees, and gorgeous plantings, this park is perfect for viewing the fall foliage.
Just three miles down the road from Colt State, the historic Blithewold Estate is 33 rolling acres featuring a mansion and breathtaking gardening. Visitors are welcomed to enjoy the several gardens, plantings, pathways, lawns, and stone structures of the Estate. Read more about the Blithewold Gardens and grounds by visiting their website.
There are several picturesque spots on Providence’s East Side to enjoy the fall foliage, however two worth highlighting are the Brown University campus on College Hill, and historic Benefit Street which actually has walking tours during the fall by the Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS). Check out the schedule for Benefit Street walking tours on the RIHS website.
One of the (many) great things about the Creative Capital is its mix of city and nature. On the outskirts of the city is Roger Williams Park, with 435 acres of land including over 100 acres of ponds and miles of trails weaving through both open and wooded areas. The Roger Williams Park Conservancy also conducts Fall Tours, where visitors can learn a bit of the history, environment, and infrastructure that makes the park unique.
The northern part of the state has many lush, wooded areas – but one that sticks out is hidden within the 4,000 acres of the George Washington Management Area. The 100 acre Pulaski Memorial Recreation Area has a little over a mile of hiking trails and is great for a leisurely stroll, or a little educational outing for the kids.
Jaswell’s Farm in Smithfield is your one-stop-shop for everything fall. Pick apples and pumpkins, and take a fall tour through the farm. The tours are geared more towards the kids, but visitors without kids can request a tour for the adults, or explore the grounds on their own.
We couldn’t leave out Arcadia Management Area, which spans through Richmond, Exeter, Hopkinton, and West Greenwich, making it the state’s largest recreational area. According to the DEM, Arcadia’s forest cover is its dominating feature, with 64 percent deciduous forest and 36 percent evergreen cover, principally white pine. With over 14,000 of mostly forested acres, Arcadia has countless trails to explore – each with a more wonderful view.
The mix of the ocean and foliage views in the City by the Sea is something arguably unique to Rhode Island. A notable spot is the 300 acres and seven miles of hiking trails of the Norman Bird Sanctuary. Walk through a variety of habitats such as forest, fields, ridges, and beaches all in one place – which is sure to offer diverse, albeit fabulous views.
Newport’s Fort Adams State Park is also known for its fall foliage, spanning over 80 acres with panoramic views of the Narragansett Bay and Newport Harbor peeking through the trees.