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10 Great Places to See the Foliage

 

Autumn - the most colorful time of the year -- is kicking into full swing and leaf-peepers are coming out in full force. As the days shorten and the air turns crisp, nature takes its cue to bring the beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and red to the country side. From Vermont to Colorado to Michigan and New York, deciduous trees and lush greenery put on their dazzling display of colorful splendor.

If you want to take in the foliage phenomenon in all of its glory, check out these 10 great fall foliage destinations in the U.S.

Colorado

Colorado becomes an arena of shimmering colors in the fall. One of the most visited places in the state during fall foliage season in Aspen. The world’s famous town is named after an extraordinary tree specimen. It is a tree with golden leaves that shimmer when sunlight hits them, making a picture-perfect contrast against the evergreens and mountain tops.

The Snowmass Village, also named after the state’s most ubiquitous tree, has outstanding foliage sights and landscapes that can be enjoyed while biking or hiking along the Smuggler’s Loop at Hunter’s Creek or the Crater Lake Trail near Maroon Bells.

The best time to experience the fall foliage in Colorado is between mid-September and early October.

Vermont

The autumn season puts on the best show of color in central and southern Vermont. Watch the trees come alive with intense shades of scarlet, gold, and orange as you drive from Waterbury to Stowe and pass through three state parks and two state forests.

Burlington and LudLow also offer a brilliant display of autumn color during from mid-September to the peak in mid-October.

New York

If you prefer to stay near the city, New York presents plenty of options.

The prime time for fall foliage within the New York state differs from place to place. If you’re heading to the Catskills, foliage kicks in during mid-September and peaks until mid- or late-October. Farther north, the foliage season peaks earlier.

With the Catskills 35 lofty mountain peaks and six major river systems, this 6, 000 square mile area in southeastern New York is transformed into a vibrant electrifying landscape during the fall season.

New York’s Hudson Valley, Adirondacks, and Harriman State Park are some ideal locations for viewing fall foliage, as well.

Massachusetts

Berkshires and Western Massachusetts are ideal for antique shopping, gallery hopping and world-class fall foliage. The area’s narrow winding road are surrounded by forested backdrops of yellow, crimson, and every color in between.

Also, visit the Mohawk Trail in Central Massachusetts or the coastal towns of New England to enjoy fantastic scenic views during the fall foliage season.

Arkansas

Driving Arkansas’ Highway 7 is a must this time of year. You will see the state’s spectacular mountains and valleys dripping in color. The autumn colors in Harrison are brilliant shades of green, red, yellow, purple, and orange.

Scenic drives along Arkansas’ Great River Road, Route 88, and Forest Road provide postcard-worthy fall scenery.

Michigan

Foliage seekers can drive from Detroit to Port Huron to witness some of the best foliage sights in the Mitten State.

Spend a weekend is the state by taking in the sweeping autumn sights as you drive from town to town.

You can also Traverse City’s crisp fall air while reveling in the picturesque view of the foliage or experience total tranquility as you venture down the Upper Peninsula’s scenic route to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

If you want to see the foliage at its peak, Mid-September through October is the best time to go.

Maine

Portland has exceptional fall foliage, particularly in the Old Port District. Foliage in Maine is exquisite and it is spectacular to see as the vibrant colors surround the many freshwater rivers and lakes in the state.

Head over to the state’s treasured landmark, the Portland Head Light, for a truly remarkable sight or the changing leaves. Bar Harbor also offers dazzling hues if autumn along the Acadia Byway.

Apart from the spectrum of colors, harvest festivals abound in Maine during September and October.

New Hampshire

Witness the brilliant golds and crimsons of fall in New Hampshire’s White Mountains National Forest. As you drive along the Kancamagus highway, expect to see a stunning blaze of color and magnificent mountain views at every turn. The fog often cloaks the peaks in early mornings. So, if you want a clear pristine view, it’s best to make the drive midday.

October is when the foliage starts to peak in the White Mountain region.

New Mexico

New Mexico’s Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway is covered in gorgeous foliage during the end of September through early October.

For aspen aficionados, the 83-mile loop is a foliage pilgrimage is a must as the aspen trees turn yellow and deep shades of orange.

In addition to the dazzling aspens, fiery cottonwoods and purples cinquefoil also steal the show along the route encircling Wheeler Peak.

In Taos Ski Valley, you can either go biking or hiking to see the stunning white fir, blue, spruce, and colorful aspens and you may even spot mule deer, mountain elk and bighorn sheep.

North Carolina

North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains are a spectacular place for leaf-peeping.

With more than a hundred native tree species in the area including sweet gums, maples, hickories, and scarlet oaks, this renowned U.S. national park puts on an impressive fall display of crimson, gold, purple and orange.

Drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to find the best spots for color.

The 800 miles of hiking trails and scenic roads are ablaze in autumn color form the beginning of October though early November.

Have you been to any of these places? How was your fall foliage experience?

References:
  • http://foliage.org/tours/new-york-fall-foliage-tours
  • http://www.visit-massachusetts.com/state/foliage/
  • http://www.foliage-vermont.com/
  • https://www.aspenchamber.org/explore-aspen/trip-highlights/fall-foliage
  • http://traveltips.usatoday.com/fall-foliage-tours-arkansas-16798.html
  • http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/travel/michigan/
  • http://traveltips.usatoday.com/fall-foliage-tours-arkansas-15798.html
  • http://www.yankeefoliage.com/drives/newhampshire/all
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