With the end of summer fast approaching, it’s time to embrace the crisp weather and dazzling foliage the fall season brings.
Autumn foliage is a great reason to explore your surrounding areas. For me, there’s no better way to spend a lazy Sunday then to drive through the country side enjoying the refreshing fall air and admiring the glorious yellows and blazing oranges of fall.
If you enjoy the smell of burning leaves, and the vibrant colors of the autumn season as I do, here’s a list of special places to visit.
Duchess County in New York’s Hudson Valley has some of the most beautiful land you’ll ever set your eyes on. New York’s Hudson River Valley is a popular location for leaf peepers and once you visit, you’ll know why. With sinuous roads, sweeping vistas, elevation changes, and miles of farm lands, you’ll fall in love with the scenery. Late October and early November is the best time to visit.
Blessed with rolling forested terrain and quaint towns accentuate the leaf-peeping experience. The top places to visit for the best colors are Litchfield, and the eastern Mystic region. The Connecticut Wine Trail welcome guests to wineries and vineyards that host harvest season events and tastings. Hartford has a beautiful city park, Bushnell Park, and the rugged East Rock Park. Visit in October to view brilliant colors and join the festivities.
Yes, North Carolina has amazing fall foliage! Mt. Mitchell and the surrounding Pisgah National Forest has vast expanses of deciduous trees. Plan your trip for mid to late October and hike the trails in Pisgah National Forest to take in the wonderful view.
Just 20 minutes from downtown Cleveland is Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a 33,000-acre preserve. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad chugs past heron and bald eagle nests and offers ghost train rides in autumn. Ashtabula County, home of 17 historic bridges offers spectacular autumn colors and festivities. Plan your visit for mid-October and bring the whole family!
Visit the picturesque Marinette County’s Waterfall Tour and marvel at a series of 14 waterfalls and cataracts throughout this 125-mile loop tour. Adventurous foliage peepers can whitewater paddle on the Pike, Peshtigo and Pemebonwon Rivers. Lake Geneva boasts wonderful fall foliage you can take in ziplinning through the woods or a boat tour on the lake. Autumn colors peak in early to mid-October.
*See Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa from a viewing platform in the little town of White Cloud, 85 miles northwest of Kansas City, Missouri. The town, on the bluffs of the Missouri River, lies at the northern end of the 63-mile Glacial Hills Scenic Byway. Plan your trip for mid-October.
Washington is a wonderland of fall foliage! The Japanese Garden at Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle is a must visit and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness has spectacular mountain scenery with vibrant yellow Alpine larch trees in the central Cascades. Early October through early November is a great time for leave peepers to visit.
Leaf peeping is serious business in many states, so expect crowds on peak weekends. To by pass crowds, plan your trip in advance and go during the week.
Enjoy the fall season!
*John Briley Travel Channel article, Fall Foliage Road Trip
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