Best routes to see Fall foliage-Eastern U.S.?

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by margo, Sep 11, 2019 at 1:49 PM.

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  1. Sep 11, 2019 at 1:49 PM #1

    margo

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    Which are the best routes in October/November to see fall foliage? Cardinal, Capitol Ltd., Pennsylvanian, Crescent, Palmetto, or Silver Star/Meteor? We live in Louisiana. We have 1 week to travel. Thank you.
     
  2. Sep 11, 2019 at 1:54 PM #2

    railiner

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    I would say among those choices, it would be Pennsylvanian....although, by November, the Cardinal might be a better choice...depends on weather as to peak color....
     
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  3. Sep 11, 2019 at 3:26 PM #3

    margo

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    Would it be worth it to go farther North. If so, when? Thank you.
     
  4. Sep 11, 2019 at 4:19 PM #4

    margo

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    I am revising my earlier post to include all of the Eastern (including the Northeast) trains. Thank you.
     
  5. Sep 11, 2019 at 4:48 PM #5

    bratkinson

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    In general, the further north one goes, the earlier the peak color. Surprisingly, though, Sand Patch on the Capitol Ltd sees peak color about 2 weeks before I do in Western Massachusetts. I haven't done it, but I'd guess the Vermonter would be a good 'color' train, but finding a hotel during leaf-peeping season for this year will be difficult and/or expensive. Depending on how long you'd like to drive, Conway Scenic RR in northern New Hampshire would be a sure winner.

    The trick, however, is timing. Being there a week too early isn't too bad, but a week too late, you've wasted your time and money. Currently for western MA, the TV weather forecaster is saying peak season will be mid October rather than early October. We already have portions of a small percentage of maple trees turning, so I think the weather guy is dead wrong. I'm sure there's some websites that would show up on Google that can more accurately predict when and where the best color will be.
     
  6. Sep 11, 2019 at 5:05 PM #6

    Seaboard92

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    The Adirondack towards late Sept and early October is beautiful. The Vermonter I can imagine is about the same.

    The Lake Shore Limited Boston section is probably good as well. Then going further south aim for eastbound only the Pennsylvanian, and Capitol Limited would be good. Yet the Cardinal would be out of this world.
     
  7. Sep 11, 2019 at 6:15 PM #7

    lordsigma

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    Adirondack and Vermonter should be good late September/early October. Boston section of Lake Shore is good a little bit later than that. It should be noted for Vermonter and Im guessing Adirondack too you'd want to do the southbound trip - you may have limited daylight on the northbound trip. For Lake Shore I'd recommend 449 for the same reason.
     
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  8. Sep 11, 2019 at 8:23 PM #8

    Seaboard92

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    VIA’s Ocean while not in the USA going eastbound and waking up early for the Matapedia Valley.
     
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  9. Sep 11, 2019 at 10:12 PM #9

    margo

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    Thank you all for your advice.
     
  10. Sep 11, 2019 at 10:47 PM #10

    Maverickstation

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    The Downeaster is also a good choice. Foliage Season in Maine runs earlier, but not as early as it used to. The Downeaster route has multiple trips making planning a bit easier.
     
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  11. Sep 12, 2019 at 8:19 AM #11

    dogbert617

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    During November, which part of that month would be best to ride the Cardinal during, to catch the leaves changing? Early November, or mid-November? I would hope if I did the first or 2nd week, that I'd still see some prime tree colors starting to occur to trees, along the route.

    And though you'd have to ride west of Chicago to catch the leaves on this route, I suspect the Empire Builder between Red Wing, MN, and Wisconsin Dells would be great for seeing fall leaves changing. Would probably be best to overnight somewhere along the route(probably either in Red Wing or St. Paul), then ride the EB east to Chicago. Since when I rode the EB west in early July(very near THE longest days of the year), that I remember it got totally dark just before hitting Red Wing. But that going east, I remember starting to see daylight just east of St. Cloud, MN. Honestly it bummed me out a tiny bit that I woke up a tad late, and on train #8/28(going east) barely missed seeing St. Cloud in the daylight. :(
     
  12. Sep 14, 2019 at 5:22 AM #12

    Trollopian

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    Capitol Limited between Pittsburgh and Harper's Ferry is spectacular at any time of year and especially autumn. The long stretch where the tracks flirt with the Youghiogheny River is breathtakingly unspoiled. To get the best experience, travel eastbound from Pittsburgh. Westbound from DC, too much of the best scenery takes place in darkness, especially after the clocks shift to EST.

    My personal recommendation would be Pennsylvanian from NYC or Philly to Pittsburgh, which takes place entirely in daylight; overnight in Pittsburgh (there are several excellent hotels near the Amshack); better yet, two nights in Pittsburgh which is a really compact and vibrant city; depart at dawn on Capitol Limited to Washington DC.
     

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