Getting Lost in Fall’s Foliage

This past weekend, I found myself with some extra time on my hands. With Fall here, I decided to explore Dartmouth’s beautiful back roads. The South Coast’s Fall foliage provides plenty of great opportunities for leaf peeping anywhere. Being more familiar with the North Dartmouth area, I considered taking a drive toward Hixville Village to enjoy the terrific winding roads through the forest. On this day, however, I decided to make it a point to get lost!

The first step in getting lost was to simply start driving around South Dartmouth. Starting out in Padnaram, the first sight I enjoyed was Apponagansett Bay while driving over the bridge on Gulf Road. After driving through a densely populated stretch of housing on Gulf Road, I reached the famous Davoll’s General Store, and went down Slades Corner Road. I turned off my radio, silenced my phone, and enjoyed the ride!

At this time in the year, the leaves are only starting to change colors, but the combination of various landscapes along the road still made for a charming view. Living in the city, you almost forget that houses and other properties can add just as much to a sightseeing experience as nature. Developments with cookie-cutter houses every few feet can bore a spectator to tears, but the houses along the roads of South Dartmouth were amazing! Whether it was their rustic appeal or their distinctive characteristics, almost every house was its own work of art. Stone walls, farm houses, and even windmills were aplenty.


Once I reached Division Road, I decided to chicken out, so I turned around and headed back. I reached the Davoll’s General Store again, but instead of heading back home on Russells Mills Road, I took the right onto Horseneck Road. Immediately I saw a small park called the Russells Mills Landing. It had a nice little playground, some benches, and some picnic tables, but what drew me in was its location along the Pakamansett River. While I walked along the river, I noticed an egret splashing around in the water and a hawk gliding near the trees above. Being around wildlife and this pleasantly calm river almost made my trip worth it alone. However, I had to move on!

After leaving Russells Mills Landing, I continued down Horseneck Road, passing extensive farm lands with Pakamansett River winding behind them. These kinds of images would be picturesque in almost any season, as the backcountry of Dartmouth, and maybe Westport at this point, show off their beauty.

Finally deciding it was time to go home, and running out of gas, I pulled out my GPS and found my way back to the city. These spectacular views aren’t too far from the hustle and bustle of Route 6, so you can ditch the car for a nice bike ride around Dartmouth’s winding roads for an even greater experience!

About the Author

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Jonathan Faria
Living my entire life in New Bedford and Dartmouth, I'm now a senior Writing student at UMass Dartmouth. Having a few journalistic opportunities in school to write about the South Coast and everything it offers, I look forward to more chances to show how great this area really is. Hopefully I'll be going outside my comfort zone, while exploring and learning more!


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