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Best Places to See Fall Foliage
It’s getting close to that time of year where the weather will cool down in much of the country and the green trees will start to take on the colorful hues of Autumn. There are several places in the US that you can go to enjoy the splendor and beauty that this time of year offers up. Get in the car and take a ride to some the most spectacular views of the season
Mount Mitchell State Park
Boasting the highest peak in the Eastern US, Mount Mitchell State Park is located in the beautiful mountainous region of North Carolina. Here you can travel down the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy the splendor of the rolling mountains as they change into blazing hills. The optimum time to enjoy the change of the leaves in mid-October. This is when the trees have fully turned and the colors will be the most vibrant.
We traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway a couple of months back and saw Mt Mitchell – rather, we would have seen it if there wasn’t so much fog!
Michigan’s Gold Coast
We all know that New England touts itself as being the most beautiful spot to enjoy autumn in the US. Lake Michigan won’t let you down when it comes to beautiful foliage and colors of fall. The trees change a bit earlier in this region because it becomes cold sooner in the fall then in states down south. Here you will take in the beautiful colors of the fall leaves that stand out against the amazing evergreen trees. Not only will you enjoy the beautiful forest, full of color, but you will also be driving close to the northeast shores of Lake Michigan. The contrast of the beautiful sand dunes against the colorful trees is a sight to behold. This is a drive that is worth the time.
Continuing the drive from New England we head north to the coast of the beautiful state of Maine. The drive takes you up the route to where the trees are a striking variety of colors. On this jaunt, you will enjoy the palatial seaside mansions and also experience some of our nation’s most beautiful lighthouses. You can stop off in Cape Elizabeth to take a break from driving to do some hiking in the beautiful foliage. It’s a great way to enjoy the cool fall air and see all the colors up close. This is destined to be a favorite fall drive.
Skipping across the country to the western coast, we find Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Most of it is still as wild as it was when the country was discovered.Over here, you will find a 350-mile route that takes you down the northern coast and over the scenic and famous hurricane ridge. The massive ranges are lined with amazing fall foliage that is striking to behold. The snow-capped mountain ranges are a beautiful contrast against the color. Along the way you can choose to hike on foot and experience the vast terrain and hidden waterfalls. In town you will be able to experience the Victorian way of life as many of the buildings still echo the history of old.The experience is as historical as it is beautiful.
The Ozarks in Arkansas are a fun and beautiful place to go to enjoy autumn weather. There is a 197-mile route that takes you through Eureka Springs, one of the “must stop” places along the way. This little town is made of beautiful gingerbread-like houses and is full of art galleries that you can enjoy. You can take US Highway 62 and also Highway 21 through beautiful hardwood forests and enjoy all of the fall foliage that Arkansas has to offer. You can stop for a boat ride along the way if you’re feeling adventurous.It is a 10-mile trek through the upper Buffalo National River where you can experience amazing 500 foot cliffs that back up against the beautiful forest.Stop in the Ozark Café which is famous for its pecan pie in the town of Jasper or visit the 86 acre Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks.
In the northern region of New York State, you will find the majestic Adirondack Mountain chain. This is one of the largest natural wilderness areas in the eastern US. The Adirondack Park itself boasts 6,000,000 acres that are impenetrable to the construction of any kind. You can follow Route 86 to Lake Placid where you will be able to see high cliffs, topped by beautiful maple trees, beech trees, and yellow birch trees that display vivid and dazzling colors in the fall. It only happens once a year and the color change window is very narrow.It is a drive you will not soon forget.
Have you ever seen any of these places while the leaves are changing? What other places would you add to the list?
Ashley Hubbard is a blogger and freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee focusing on sustainability, travel, veganism, mental health, and more. Passionate about animal rights, sustainable travel, and social impact, she seeks out ethical experiences whether at home or on the road. She shares these experiences on her website, wild-hearted.com.
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