Starting in New York, if you’re not already on the east side of the Hudson, cross the river and take the U.S. 9 into the quaint village of Sleepy Hollow, which was given its name by residents to honor the well-known Washington Irving story.
Once you’ve taken in the unblemished beauty, stop off at the cemetery, the final resting place or Irving and a number of other notable American figures. The church next door was said to be the haunt of a headless Hessian ghost – which inspired the original story.
Taking the Interstate 287 E, merge onto I-95 N and make a stop in the lovely coastal town of Westport, which is perched on the shores of Lake Champlain. The main street offers some stunning views of the vast expanse of water – and if you look for long enough you may even make a sighting of Lake Champlain’s very own Loch Ness Monster, Chance, a serpent-like creature with a horse’s head.
If you fancy stretching your legs, take a walk around Sherwood Island State Park; on a clear day you can remind yourself of what you are leaving behind by glancing back at the New York City skyline.
For this leg of your journey, head for the I-91 N, taking a detour at Brattleboro along the Route 9 to get you to the Route 100. As you head north along this photographer’s dream of a road, much of which hugs the slopes of the Green Mountain National Forest, look out for an abundance of one of Vermont’s best known landmarks, the covered bridge, many of which date back to the early 1800s.
A few minutes after passing through the village of Granville, the breath-taking Moss Glen Falls will become visible to the west. While not the biggest waterfall in the state by any means, it is easily the most photogenic and you’d be silly not to stop off to witness its awe close up.
If you’re not planning an overnight stop-off and want to get the journey completed in a day, you can come off the Route 100 at Waterbury and merge onto the Interstate 89 N to Burlington, which will take you up towards the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge in under two hours.
Having taken in all the autumnal flora Vermont has to offer, why not take some time to enjoy the fauna too? Over 6,642 acres you can witness everything from the migratory waterfowl that stop here in autumn, to the white-tailed deer that inhabit the refuge’s wooded uplands.
Heading west back into Upstate New York, get onto the Interstate 87 S, taking exit 35 for New York 442 before coming onto U.S. 9 S, which will take you to Ausable Chasm near Keeseville. This deep sandstone gorge, with its beautifully textured textured vertical walls, is one of the oldest natural wonders in the US.
Carved out by the Ausable River over the past 15,000 years, the canyon shines brightest in early autumn when the emerging orange hues of the surrounding foliage add exciting dapples of color to the already breath-taking view.