By Yona Williams
From early September to as late as November, an explosion of brilliant reds, yellows and oranges mark the autumn season and decorate landscapes across the United States. With a backdrop of energizing colors and glistening bodies of water, fall often sees hikers, bikers, canoeists and road trippers exploring wooded areas, enjoying scenic trail, and seeking regional nooks and crannies.
Travel down the highways and country roads of Michigan to enter Great Lakes territory, where autumn days turn leaves into inviting shades of red, orange and gold. In between picking fresh apples and sipping cider, tourists may see fall colors surrounding more than 11,000 bodies of water in the state, including Lakes Huron and Superior. In the Upper Peninsula, Brockway Mountain Drive offers pleasant views. A trip to the Lower Peninsula pairs hiking in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. See fall colors from above on a biplane ride with Skydance Air Tours or jeep across the Huron-Manistee National Forest with Sandy Korners Fall Color Tours.
The best times to see fall colors in Wisconsin is between mid-September to mid-October, where autumn brings the landscape to life along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Resort locations in the region are popular during the season, attracting tourists to Cedarburg, Bayfield, Prairie du Chien, Lake Geneva and Door County, where golden colors blossom. Other places to admire the fall colors of Wisconsin include Kettle Moraine State Forest, Great River Road and Peninsula State Park with surrounding forests, meadows and wetlands.
Hiking, biking and canoeing are popular pursuits for travelers exploring fall colors in Massachusetts. Fall foliage bursts with impressive hues alongside the roads leading to Cape Cod, the Berkshires and on the popular Mohawk Trail. Head for Jacob's Ladder Trail (U.S. Route 20), a National Scenic Byway providing hilly scenes with charm. Seaside towns, countryside treasures and small historic villages offer vacation getaways for the traveling romantic. Check with the state tourist office and local foresters for morning reports indicating the best places to see fall colors in Massachusetts.
3. New York
The fall colors of maple, oak, beech and birch trees decorate the roadsides and rolling landscapes of New York. For the Finger Lakes region, Adirondack Mountains and Catskills, take advantage of spectacular regional views during the last two weeks of September or early to mid-October. Passing through the historic towns of Upstate New York offers family-friendly enjoyment with harvest festivals, craft fairs and orchards with pick-your-own fruit events. For last minute fall colors, visit the Southern Hudson Valley during the last 2 weeks of October and the New York City region between the last weeks of October to first week in November.
2. New Hampshire
Fall colors in New Hampshire generally flourish from mid-September to mid-October, offering 14 officially designated scenic drives stretching across more than 900 miles. During a visit to New Hampshire, enjoy a multitude of outdoor activities with splashes of multicolored trees. Experience the Sugar River Recreational Trail while on bicycle. Hike the Appalachian Trail or plan a canoe trip for the Connecticut River Valley. Popular towns to sightsee fall foliage in New Hampshire include Cornish, Bath, Columbia, Langdon and Newport.
In Vermont, enjoy one of the longest fall foliage seasons in the United States-generally starting in early September and ending in late October. The first taste of changing scenery takes place at higher elevations in northern Vermont. While touring the landscapes of the state, take the time to sample maple products, fish the local waters or test the greens at scenic New England golf courses. Regional pleasures also include fall festivals, such as the Plymouth Cheese & Harvest Festival and Shelbourne Fine Wine & Food Festival.
Places to See Fall Colors originally published on Travels.com
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By Yona Williams