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Autumn Colours of New England

Tour Code: USA05

A 13-day holiday to the eastern seaboard of the United States to enjoy the spectacular autumn colours as well as the birds, mammals and sea-life of the region.

13 days from £3195(inc flights) Land Only Price: £2795 SRS: £495

This holiday begins with a flight to Boston from where we will go out to search for Humpback Whales and other cetaceans as well as seabirds such as shearwaters, petrels and skuas. We then drive north, birding en route, along the coast of Maine to New Harbour, our base for two nights. We’ll spend a day on the tiny island of Monhegan, an important stopover for migrant birds, before continuing our journey north to Mount Desert Island, the ideal base for exploring Acadia National Park which is home to White-tailed Deer, Racoons and other mammals as well as a wide variety of birdlife including Spruce Grouse and Common Loon. Next we head inland to the Moosehead Lake region where we will spend three days exploring the boreal forests by canoe, minibus and on foot before driving south into New Hampshire to the White Mountains where we will be based for two nights. Finally we will visit Walden Pond, made famous by the author Henry David Thoreau, as we make our leisurely way back to Boston for our flights home, having enjoyed the colours, scenery, wildlife, and pancakes and muffins of New England at this special time of year.

  • Enjoy world-famous colours of the New England ‘fall’
  • Look for Humpback, Fin & Minke Whales, Stellwagen Bank
  • Blackburnian, Cape May & Chestnut-sided Warblers among migrants, Monhegan Island
  • Eastern Chipmunk, Eastern Coyote & visit to Beaver Pond, Acadia NP
  • Boreal Chickadee, Gray Jay & Bald Eagle possible, Acadia NP
  • Evening visit to Beaver Pond, Mount Desert Island
  • Look for American Mink, Striped Skunk & Canadian Lynx, Moosehead Lakes
  • American Pipit, White-throated Sparrow, Purple Finch & Northern Flicker among birdlife
  • Drive along the Kancamagus Highway & visit Walden Pond
  • Led by expert naturalist guide


All breakfasts are included. Lunches and dinners are not included, in order to give you the freedom to sample New England's excellent seafood and other specialities.


Comfortable tourist lodges and hotels, all rooms with private facilities.

Northern Maine

Northern Maine

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Fly Boston.

Day 2 Whale-watching trip from Boston. Drive to New Harbour.

Day 3 Boat trip to Monhegan Island. Overnight New Harbour.

Day 4/5 Acadia National Park.

Day 6/8 Lake Umbagog.

Day 9/11 White Mountains, New Hampshire.

Day 12 Walden Pond; then transfer Boston and fly London.

Day 13 Arrive London.

New England, on the east coast of the United States, is justifiably famous for its wonderful display of autumn colours that occur with the onset of each autumn (or ‘fall’). From vivid reds and oranges through to bright yellows and darker shades of purple, the forests present a kaleidoscope of colours as the air turns crisp with the change of season. As the populations of many species of birds, and mammals especially, have recovered in recent decades to levels not seen for centuries, we also have a great chance of encountering some of the forest’s most famed inhabitants, amongst them Beaver, Moose, White-tailed Deer and, with a little luck, Black Bear. With the autumn passage of migrant passerine birds well under way, we may also enjoy the challenge of identifying a confusing array of warblers, vireos and sparrows, as well as typical common residents such as Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal and Blue Jay.

We begin our holiday with a direct flight to Boston where we will spend the night. On our first morning we will head out to sea on a whale-watching trip to Stellwagen Bank, hoping in particular to see Humpback, Minke and Fin Whales as they feast in these waters before their migration south. We will also look out for seabirds such as shearwaters, petrels and skuas. Next we will drive north along the coast of Maine to New Harbour. En route we will stop at Scarborough Marsh, its tidal saltwater creeks and freshwater marshes attracting a wealth of wildfowl and wading birds, amongst them Baird’s, Whiterumped and Stilt Sandpipers.

From our base in New Harbour we will spend a day exploring Monhegan Island, lying 11 miles off the coast of Maine. Covering barely a square mile, this diminutive island provides an important stopover for migrant birds and, with our visit coinciding with the autumn migration, we can hope to see a variety of small migratory passerines such as Blackburnian, Cape May, Tennessee and Chestnut-sided Warblers, as well as various raptors as they journey south. In addition to the birds, we should also see migrant Monarch butterflies in good numbers, as they begin to make their way south to the mountains of central Mexico.

Continuing our journey north, we next travel to the stunning Acadia National Park, on Mount Desert Island, where we will be based for the next two nights. The park is home to a rich assemblage of mammals and birds and, by exploring its trails by day, can hope to see White-tailed Deer, Eastern Chipmunks, Raccoons and Eastern Coyotes, as well as such birds as Gray Jays, Boreal Chickadees and Spruce Grouse. We will also make an evening visit to Beaver Pond, and look in adjacent coastal bays for Common Loons and sea duck … and perhaps a Bald Eagle passing overhead.

After spending our first five nights on the coast, we next head inland, travelling north-west to the Moosehead Lake region, explored by Henry David Thoreau, author of the classic book ‘Walden’ published in 1854. This area marks the transition from deciduous to evergreen boreal forest and, during our three days here, we will search for Moose by canoe, as well as look for other mammals such as American Mink, Striped Skunk, Raccoon, Eastern Coyote and even Canadian Lynx. For the final part of our holiday we will drive south-west to New Hampshire where we will be based for three nights in the White Mountains, part of the northern Appalachians. We will travel to the top of the range’s highest summit, Mount Washington (1,917 metres) to enjoy the colourful views and look for American Pipit and White-throated Sparrow; we will also drive along the Kancamagus Highway, famous for spectacular vistas and superb autumn colours. We will stop at vantage points to take photographs, and seek out forest birds such as Red-breasted Nuthatch, Purple Finch and Northern Flicker.

Lastly, we will visit Walden Pond, made famous by Thoreau, who travelled there along quiet back-roads in the mid-19th century. The tranquillity of the Pond offers a last chance to reflect on the excellent New England hospitality (muffins and pancakes galore!), the superb fall colours of the Sugar and Red Maples, Red Oaks and Yellow Birches and, perhaps, as Thoreau did 160 years before us, reflect on a ‘simple life in the woods’ before it is time to return to Boston for our journey home.

Northern CardinalNew EnglandMooseNew HampshireRaccoonNorthern CardinalMooseFulmarDiving GannetsHumpback WhalesHarbour PorpoiseFin whalesFin whalesFin whalesAmerican PipitBoreal ChickadeeGrey JayHorned LarkRed-breasted NuthatchRed-eyed VireoScarlet TanagerSpruce GrouseSwainson's ThrushTurkey VultureTurkey Vulture
West Sussex
The week chosen was just right for the colours. Sharon and Phil were an excellent couple to take us. The accommodation was all very nice.
West Sussex
We had a particularly good year for the fall colours. Excellent accommodation with welcoming and friendly hosts.
It was a nice size group all fitting in one vehicle and we got on well. Loved the whale watching, seeing Beaver and Moose. The autumn colours were amazing and think we were lucky to have caught them at their peak.
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Fri 28th September 2018 - Wed 10th October 2018



more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are limited. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £2795 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Fri 27th September 2019 - Wed 9th October 2019



more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are limited. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £2895 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: United States

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Kerrie Porteous
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The week chosen was just right for the colours. Sharon and Phil were an excellent couple to take us. The accommodation was all very nice.
A.R., West Sussex