Rhode Island Fall Foliage: A MapQuest Guide
Rhode Island fall foliage features brilliant hues and spectacular scenery. The changing colors of leaves in autumn is one of nature’s most beloved rites of passage -- and makes for one of the most popular and inexpensive getaways for families. As part of LeafQuest -- a MapQuest series helping leaf peepers across North America find easy and rewarding destinations -- here are three recommended spots for viewing Rhode Island fall foliage. — Nick Romano
Little Compton, Rhode Island
The historic town of Little Compton's commons have barely changed in 300 years. This little square features the town hall, police station, fire station, church, post office, library, cemetery and the town's lone school. The rest of the town is as rural as you'll find, with a mix of farms, woodlands, pastures and million-dollar homes, all sweeping down to majestic views of the Atlantic Ocean. The quaint-factor kicks into high gear in autumn, as changing sugar maples and red maples dramatically frame stone walls and centuries-old cemeteries.
Commons, Little Compton, RI | Get Directions
The Glocester Loop, as it's called by Rhode Islanders, covers the northwest corner of Little Rhody. Visitors here pass through quaint New England towns such as Chepachet, Scituate and North Foster, seasonally ablaze with fall colors on beech, red maple and poplar trees. The square route traverses Route 44 east-west to the north, Route 94 north-south to the west, Route 14 east-west to the south, and 295 north-south to the east. North Scituate has an annual Columbus Day arts festival for which "autumn provides the backdrop." Start your quest further north in Chepachet at Brown & Hopkins Country Store, the nation's oldest country store in continuous operation.
Brown & Hopkins Country Store, 1179 Putnam Pike, Chepachet, RI 02814 | Get Directions
Newport's Ocean Drive
Newport, Rhode Island, is internationally known for its opulent mansions and beautiful harbor. In the fall season, however, residents and touring leaf lovers drive, bike, and stroll what is collectively known as Ocean Drive, the 10-mile waterfront route that runs through the heart of "Gilded Age" Newport. Note that only a portion of the loop is actually on Ocean Drive: your quest actually starts on Bellevue Avenue -- arguably Newport's most famous street -- at the Elms mansion, and ends at Newport Harbor downtown. On Bellevue Avenue, you'll see eye-popping colors on European beeches, American yellowwoods, horsechestnuts and dozens of other unique and impressive fall colors set against some of the most photogenic residences on the planet. One recommended must-see stop: The dramatic Cliff Walk, a 3.5-mile National Recreation Trail that has incredible views of the rocky surf below.
The Elms Mansion, 367 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI | Get Directions
Beautiful fall foliage in Lincoln Woods State Park, Rhode Island, just north of Providence.
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Want other great fall-foliage destinations? Check out more LeafQuest.
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