We are almost a week into September, which means that the official start of fall isn’t too far away. With trees like maple and oak transforming into the perfect fall colors of orange and gold, it is time to plan trips to view the best fall foliage around the country.
1. Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Mount Hood and nearby regions like the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon offer fantastic views of fall colors and are perfect for hikers and nature lovers. The best time to visit is between October and November. Since the viewing window is short, plan ahead so that you don’t miss the colors.
2. Maple Pass Loop, Washington
The Maple Pass Loop attracts hikers during October and offers wonderful views that are enhanced by Lake Ann in the background.
3. Aspen, Colorado
Though Aspen is famous for its ski resorts, it is exotic during the fall months too. The viewing period is extremely short and may last during the last few weeks of September and the first couple weeks of October.
4. Taos, New Mexico
Desert regions sport fall colors too, and Taos offers one of the best fall landscapes in the southwestern deserts. Don’t miss the much talked about Enchanted Circle, an 83-mile drive that offers spectacular views between late September and early October.
5. Smoky Mountains, North Carolina and Tennessee
If you think the Smoky Mountains are beautiful only in the winter, you’re missing out on some fabulous fall colors. With numerous maples, hickory and other native species, this national park has panoramic views from October through early November.
6. Ozark National Forest, Arkansas
With over a million acres of land, the fall views in Ozark National Forest peak during October. The forest offers ample photo ops with its dazzling colors, rivers and overall natural beauty.
7. Catskill Mountains, New York
While the Big Apple may steal the show for people who love big cities and skyscrapers, the Catskills offer picture-perfect fall foliage views between the last few weeks of September and mid- to late-October. While you’re there, check out the fun Hunter Mountain Oktoberfest that runs through four weekends.
8. Huntington, New York
Away from the bustling big cities, Huntington is home to a Caumsett State Historic Park that offers acres of trails and abundant opportunities to capture the scenic views through your lenses.
9. Elk Neck State Park, Maryland
Visit the Elk Neck State Park in Maryland’s Eastern Shore area for delectable food and gorgeous fall colors.
10. Stowe, Vermont
Perfect for long hikes or scenic drives, Stowe is called the Fall’s Color Capital for a reason. Though it can get quite cold in the area, the best time to visit is from September through mid-October.
11. The Poconos, Pennsylvania
Plan a family road trip or a romantic getaway to soak in amazing fall colors around Lake Wallenpaupack near the Poconos mountains anytime between mid-September and October.
12. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Have you ever waded in a pool of fresh cranberries? Do it this fall at Cape Cod that offers interesting activities like cranberry bog tours and pumpkin patches to match the spectacular fall foliage.
13. The Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire
The White Mountain National Forest offers colors that are anything but white during early October. Stay at a local inn and indulge in adventurous activities, all while you enjoy the fall foliage.
14. Acadia National Park, Maine
Combine activities like bird watching and kayaking while at the Acadia National Park, especially in October when the fall colors are at their peak.
15. Fall Colors in California
California isn’t best known for its fall colors, but don’t underestimate the views it has to offer. From the Bishop Creek Canyon near the Sierra-Nevada mountains to the Shasta Cascade, Plumas County, June Lake Loop and Napa, California offers its share of fall foliage too.
Behrens, Z. (2018, June 04). The 7 Best Spots for Fall Color in California. Retrieved from https://www.kcet.org/shows/socal-wanderer/the-7-best-spots-for-fall-color-in-california
Moye, J. (2018, August 16). 10 Best Fall Foliage Trips in the U.S. Retrieved from https://www.fodors.com/news/trip-ideas/10-best-fall-foliage-trips-in-the-us
The Best Places to See Fall Foliage in the United States. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/fall-vacations/best-fall-foliage-spots#lake-ann-maple-pass