Where to See Stunning New England Foliage Right Now

(Bonus: There’s red barns, animals and stone walls too)

I was just back in my New England hometown, and yes, after living in California for a decade, I forgot just how gorgeous the leaves are in autumn. I could barely stay on the jogging path because my eyes were looking skyward to the trees, like a newcomer to New York City agog over the skyscrapers. I am back in California, but lucky you, if you are anywhere near Connecticut, here are two can’t miss spots I recommend for a walk, run, or picnic. But you better get out there now, those cold winds will arrive before you know it.

Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, CT is best known for being the home designed by one of America’s first female architects, Theodate Pope Riddle, but its 150-plus acres of rolling hills, and walking paths provides one of the most scenic locations in Central Connecticut. Plus, it’s free to walk the grounds, where there are also sheep hanging out. I like to jog there.

Jog along the paths at Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, and you enter quintessential New England: Barns, stonewalls, sheep, and Colonial Revival architecture.

If you have time after leaf-peeping, tour the house at Hill-Stead Museum if only to see the impressionist art decorating the walls. The gift shop sells gloves made with the wool of the sheep grazing there.

Northwest Park, Windsor, CT: If you want to multi task and walk your dog while taking in the foliage, try Northwest Park, just a few minutes off I-91 in Windsor. There’s acres and acres of trails, soccer fields, and an animal barn filled with chickens, pigs and the like. History pro tip: This region was once a center of tobacco-growing, and you can read all about it in the museum.

The former tobacco barns add to the history of Northwest Park
Happy doggy walking in Northwest Park