2016 New England Fall Color Drive Planning

Old Dec 2nd, 2015, 04:34 PM
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2016 New England Fall Color Drive Planning

I'm in the beginning stages of plans for a 2016 Fall color drive. We will begin our trip with 2 full days in NYC and finish with 2 full days in Montreal, cities we have previously visited. In between we would like to take 3 days to drive from NYC to Montreal. This will be a first time for us so we're looking for some help. Hoping to see some great foliage and charming villages along the way

Initially thinking of leaving NYC to the Hudson River Valley with a stop somewhere, perhaps Hyde Park. From there to Stockbridge or Williamstown for a night. Then driving up VT 100 to Woodstock for another night before traveling on to Montreal via Montpelier and Burlington. These drives look to take 2 to 3+ hours leaving plenty of time to stop along the way.

Would this be a good plan? Besides Hyde Park are there any other villages in the Hudson River Valley we should consider for a one night stay? We're open to any suggestions and advice you may have for us. Thanks.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2015, 05:27 PM
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When are you planning on coming?

The Hudson valley leaves usually turn a couple of weeks later than those in Canada - so you won;t have the best color in both places.

For the Hudson valley you might look at Rhinebeck. And consider visiting West Point.

If you want to spend a couple of days there search posts here - there were a couple with a ton of info on the Hudson Valley from Tarrytown on up.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2015, 06:23 PM
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Thanks nytraveler. We're looking at the first week in October with weekends in NYC and Montreal and 3 midweek days for the drive.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2015, 03:48 AM
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First week in October (10/3 - 10/7) will be too early for good fall color in New York / Hudson Valley. Further north in NY, around Lake Placid it would be ok. Same for New England. Western MA will also likely be a bit early, but Vermont better.

You will still have some early color which is the more brilliant reds and oranges so no reason to avoid those dates.

So if you objective is best color, spend more time north, Lake Placid/Burlington area. If it is to enjoy the Hudson Valley & Berkshires then your 3d trip sounds fine.

Hyde Park and Rhinebeck are adjacent small towns. If you are in one your are in both. Hyde Park is no more than a whistle stop, with historic mansions and CIA.

Other recommendations are the Walkway over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie and Storm King art center near West Point.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2015, 04:33 AM
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Check with the rental car company to make sure it is ok to take the car into Canada, and that you can return the car to Canada.

I think that Hyde Park would be worth a stop at least for FDR's home/library and Eleanor's house as well as the CIA. If you like US history, a bit farther is Saratoga and the National Battlefield there (as well as the race track if they are running when you go)
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Old Dec 3rd, 2015, 04:52 AM
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I agree that Saratoga (my fair city) is a great place and a popular stop for leaf peepers. It's directly on the interstate route between Montreal and NYC. Horse racing season ends Labor Day.

Sara
Can you give more info about the NY & New England routes between NYC and Montreal that the ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) recommends?
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Old Dec 3rd, 2015, 05:06 AM
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I live north of Montpelier and color usually peaks for us the last week in Sept/first week in October. Burlington would have less color then (warmer because of the lake)
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Old Dec 3rd, 2015, 08:35 AM
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If you plan to use a rental car I would definitely check to see if you can return it in a different country than you pick it up in.

Other suggestion is to reverse your trip. Start in Montreal and end in NY.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2015, 09:10 AM
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Saratoga is a pretty town but the only racing is in late July/August (this is where the wealthy spent the summer starting in the 1870s - watching their horses run). There is a semi-interesting racing museum open all year.

You will probably have a problem either way renting a car in one country and leaving it in the other - will probably have to return to original country - although you may find a company that will allow it.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2015, 10:35 AM
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Thank you everyone for your great advice. Checking on the car rental was one of the first things I looked into and did find a company that allowed it, a bit pricey but possible. We were aware with the timing of the colors, so we are ok with missing the peak as our dates in NYC are fixed. We still hope to see some good changes along our route.

Appreciate the feedback for the Hudson River. We were thinking of Hyde Park so we could enjoy dinner at the CIA, but are also looking at Rhinebeck so good to know they are close to each other. West Point and the Walkway sound like great stops as well.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2015, 10:40 AM
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Also any preferences between Stockbridge and Williamstown? Both sound like great places to do an overnight. Thanks.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2015, 02:24 PM
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In the Hudson Valley I highly recommend Storm King Art Center (sculpture garden)
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Old Dec 4th, 2015, 04:01 AM
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Re your Montreal segment, in addition to checking your car insurance coverage, don't forget your passport! You cannot enter Canada without it.
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Old Dec 5th, 2015, 11:31 AM
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Ok, slight change of plans. We are thinking of adding one day in NYC to allow me to attend an as yet unspecified game, Giants, Jets, Yankees or Mets (the kid in me is doing a happy dance right now). So that would leave us one less day for the drive.

Rethinking plans to now leave NYC in the morning and drive Tarrytown to Hyde Park for lunch at the CIA. Then on to Rhinebeck and Stockbridge where we will stay the night. Next morning drive to Williamstown then up VT 100 to Woodstock for another night before continuing on to Montreal.

These drives are a bit longer, I'm guessing each would be 3+ hours which would hopefully still leave us time to stop along the way. Does this plan sound reasonable or is it pushing too much?
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Old Dec 6th, 2015, 03:05 AM
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Instead of Woodstock, go a little further north to the Norwich Inn. It's a lovely small town without all the Woodstock traffic. Food is very good plus across the street is another excellent restaurant.
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Old Dec 6th, 2015, 07:24 AM
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You might want to consider stopping at the North Hero House in VT rather than all the way to MOntreal from Woodstock. It is a quick drive from there on to Montreal. It has a good restaurant
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