Camping Destinations

The 11 Best New England Leaf Peeping Camping Destinations

by Elon JonesJun 10, 2022

Leaf peeping in New England is an event that everyone should experience once in their lifetime. 

In general, the leaf peeping season starts at the end of September and goes until the beginning of November. But it always depends on the weather that year, so be sure to check a leaf peeping calendar before you go.

Check New England leaf peeping off your bucket list with these prime leaf peeping locations on Campspot Marketplace.

Did Someone Say Moose? Leaf Peeping in Maine 

Maine’s rugged backcountry is the perfect setting for leaf peeping in Maine. 

Hiking through Acadia National Park lets you experience the foliage from the high mountains down to the coastline. And Maine’s pristine Moosehead Lake is perfect for catching salmon and trout. 

Speaking of Moose…Moosehead Lake is also known as the best place for Moose sightings. So while you’re enjoying the changing leaves, you might also see a Moose peeping out of the foliage.

The Run-Down:

  • Peak leaf peeping season in Maine: Late September to Late October
  • Where to go: Acadia National Forest, Moosehead Lake, Stephen King Residence
  • What to do: Salmon and Trout fishing, boat camping on Junior Lake
  • Nearest Airport: Bangor International Airport

Are you ready to relax among Maine’s charming backcountry? Here are a couple places you can stay.

1. Pleasant Hill Campground

A lake surrounded by mountains with changing leaves in the fall in Maine.

Close to I-95 and Bangor International Airport, Pleasant Hill Campground is a convenient place for you to use as a base. 

From here, it’s an easy drive to the grandeur of Acadia National Park and Moosehead Lake. 

Or just relax at Pleasant Hill with a round of mini golf and horse shoes.

Book This Maine Adventure

2. Wild Fox Cabins and Campground

The front of a yellow kayak from the perspective of the kayaker on a body of water surrounded by trees in Maine.

Tucked into the backcountry of Maine and surrounded by forests, Wild Fox Campground starts your New England leaf peeping tour off right. Sit on the porch of your gorgeous cabin or take your leaf peeping to the waterfront of Junior Lake. You can even take a boat and camp on one the many islands of Junior Lake. Just be sure to talk to Joe first. He’s a registered Maine guide, so he can point you in the right direction. 

Book Your Maine Leaf Peeping Base Camp

You’re Waiting for a Train…Leaf Peeping in New Hampshire

The White Mountains of New Hampshire offer many ways to enjoy leaf peeping in New Hampshire. 

You can enjoy the crisp autumn air and the changing leaves as you bike down a well-traveled bike trail between historic towns. 

Or if you prefer to sit back and watch the leaves go by, then book a Fall foliage train ride with the Hobo Railroad. You can choose between an old fashion train ride or a rail bike adventure around Lake Winnipesaukee.  

The Run-Down

  • Peak Leaf Peeping Season in New Hampshire: End of Sept-Early October 
  • Where to go: West Rattlesnake Mountain, Ashland Railroad Museum, Presidential Rail trail
  • What to do: Fall Foliage Train Ride
  • Nearest Airport: Plymouth Municipal Airport, Lebanon Municipal Airport

And when you’re done enjoying leaf peeping in New Hampshire, you can park your camper at one of these lovely campgrounds.

3. Ames Brook Campground 

Turning leaves surround an RV at an RV park in New Hampshire.

Rent a cabin or bring your big rig to Ames Brook Campground where you can enjoy fishing, volleyball, basketball, a pool and even the arcade surrounded by the beauty of a New Hampshire Fall.

Experience Fall in New Hampshire

4. Lost River Valley Campground

Twinkle lights hang from an RV awning with a picnic table and hammock in view.

Lost River Valley Campground is a 2022 Campspot Award Winner, and it’s easy to see why. The campground itself is a piece of living history with a turn of the century lumber mill and waterwheel for vacationers to explore.

National forests surround the waterfront making the location a tranquil slice of paradise for those wanting to breathe in the New England Fall. 

Book This Slice of New England Paradise

Smuggled Cider Anyone? Leaf Peeping in Vermont

One of the best ways to experience leaf peeping in Vermont is to get in your car—leave the RV behind for this one—and take Route 108 through Smuggler’s Gap. 

True to its name, smugglers used this route since the early 1800s during the War of 1812 and to get alcohol from Canada during the Prohibition Era. 

You can choose to stop and hike up to the Gap itself or make a loop for about a two-hour road trip. 

But if that’s a little too tame for you, Kingdom Trails has world class mountain biking right around the corner. Then, stop at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill for the best cider donuts and soft cider in Vermont.

The Run-Down:

  • Peak season for leaf peeping in Vermont: Mid September to Late October
  • Where to go: Route 108, Smuggler’s Gap State Park, Cold Hollow Cider Mill
  • What to do: Kingdom Trails Mountain Biking
  • Nearest Airport: Burlington International Airport (BVT)

5. White Caps Campground 

A view at White Caps campground of the surrounding water and mountainside.

White Caps Campground is right on Lake Willoughby—one of the most beautiful lakes in New England—in Willoughby State Forest. 

From paddleboarding to sailing, they provide everything you need for a relaxing day on the water. There’s even onsite access to alcohol and ice cream.

Relax at This Vermont Escape

6. Apple Island Resort 

A body of water surrounded by changing fall leaves in New England.

Apple Island gives you the resort experience with an outdoor theater, club house, and live music. The property fronts onto beautiful Lake Champlain and is excellent for fishing or a day on the water.

Book This Charming Vermont Retreat

Level Up Your Leaf Peeping in Massachusetts

You’ve been leaf peeping in the mountains and in your car and on your bike, but now it’s time to take leaf peeping to the next level…literally.

Have you ever been leaf peeping…in the trees?

Well, when you go leaf peeping in Massachusetts, you can—with a Zip Line Tour. 

Imagine being in the very canopy of the trees and seeing all of their unique colors up close and personal. 

The Run-Down

  • Peak season for leaf peeping in Massachusetts: Late September to Late October 
  • Where to go: Historic Plymouth, Boston Harbor
  • What to do: Fall Foliage Zip Line Tour 
  • Nearest airport: Logan International Airport

Now unfortunately, you can’t stay up in the trees. You do have to come down. So here are a few options for accommodations. 

7. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Cranberry Acres

Two red Adirondack chairs overlook a body of water through the trees at a New England campground, offering the ideal spot for New England leaf peeping.

An exciting place to stay on a beautiful piece of property, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort at Cranberry Acres has everything your family needs. 

Waterfront with paddle boats and fishing? Check. 

Sports fields? Everything from Volleyball to GaGa Ball!

But how about stuff to do with the grandkids? Sure! Mini golf, playground, arcade. 

Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the Twisty Treat that’s onsite. How can you say, “no” to that?

Book This Massachusetts Camp Resort

8. Spacious Skies Minute Man Campground  

A cabin in the woods at Spacious Skies Minute Man Campground.

Just a short jaunt from the Walden Pond, Spacious Skies Minute Man Campground is set in the woods that must have enchanted Ralph Waldo Emerson himself.

This campground has a dog park and child park for any family members who need to release their excess energy. There are also hiking trails, a pool, and volleyball and basketball courts.

Book This Enchanted New England Campground

Cruising through, Leaf Peeping in Rhode Island

Time to take a break from the mountains and visit the sea shore for some leaf peeping in Rhode Island. Rhode Island offers a unique flavor of Fall. Can’t you just smell the salty sea air as it blends with the smell of the leaves? Do you hear the wind whirling the fallen leaves as the waves crash on the shore? Now tell me, what better way is there to enjoy Rhode Island’s Fall flavor than on a Foliage Cruise? 

That’s right! You can be leaf peeping in Narragansett Bay as you enjoy a sunset cruise. Can you imagine the colors? Simply gorgeous!

The Run-Down

  • Peak Season for Leaf Peeping in Rhode Island: Late Sept to Early November
  • Where to go: Newport Cliff Walk, Rough Point
  • What to do: Fall Foliage Cruise
  • Nearest airports: T.F. Green International Airport

9. Meadowlark RV Park 

RVs parked in the trees at Meadowlark RV park.

Right on the bay, awaiting your arrival, is Meadowlark RV Park. Meadowlark is a dog-friendly base camp for exploring the history and sea coasts of Rhode Island.

Book This Rhode Island Camping Destination

Time to Fly! Leaf Peeping in Connecticut

Are you ready to end your New England tour with leaf peeping in Connecticut? 

You’ve seen the trees and leaves from so many angles, but now it’s time to take your adventure to new heights with—a Foliage Flight. 

Connecticut is known for their hot air balloon rides, and that’s the perfect way to do some leaf peeping from above. 

But if heights aren’t really your thing, then drive the backroads to discover New England’s wineries on the Connecticut Wine Trail. Soak in all the sights, sounds, and tastes of Fall.

The Run-Down:

  • Peak fall foliage timeframe: October
  • Where to go: Connecticut Wine Tour, Mystic Seaport: Museum of America and the Sea, Mark Twain’s Residence
  • What to do: Hot Air Balloon Ride 
  • Nearby Airports: Bradley International Airport

10. Brialee Family Campground 

A body of water surrounded by changing leaves in New England.

Brialee is an all inclusive family campground. There are activities and even classes for all ages—many of which are free! 

There are playgrounds and a pool, sports fields and watersports, arcade and arts and crafts, live music and outdoor theater, a snack stand, ice cream, and, of course, a dog park. 

It’s clear from the way they treat their customers that you’ll want to stay at Brialee Family Campground again and again.

Book This Family-Friendly Fall Retreat

11. Sun Outdoors Mystic 

An aerial shot of the campground sites at Sun Outdoors Mystic, a great location for New England leaf peeping.

On the coast of Connecticut is Sun Outdoors Mystic. It has several activities for the family to enjoy onsite including mini golf, a splash pad, and an arcade, but close by is something more hands-on. 

In the town of Mystic, you can visit the Museum of America and the Sea. Here, it’s all hands on deck because you actually hoist the sails on a tall ship and sing the shanties of the sailors. 

Book This Sea-Side Escape

Ready to Make Some New England Leaf Peeping Memories?

New England leaf peeping can be a peaceful change of scenery. You can just relax for a few days and enjoy being with your loved ones. But it can also be more. Much more. Don’t just look at the trees from the ground. Climb them. Fly above them! You can turn leaf peeping into a real adventure with the ones you love. IF you decide to take the time and make the memories.

Elon Jones believes the world would be a better place if we all got outside more. Native to Tampa, FL, she enjoys sailing—preferably to Cayo Costa—and exploring new trails with her three daughters.

Photo credit in order of appearance: Tyler Way, Tyler Way, Tyler Way, Ames Brook Campground, Tyler Way, White Caps Campground, Apple Island Resort, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Cranberry Acres, Spacious Skies Minute Man Campground, Meadowlark RV Park, Brialee Family Campground, Sun Outdoors Mystic