Looking for some great travel ideas for the fall? Fall is the best time of year to get outside and discover new places. One of the greatest spots to visit during the fall months is the Northeast. Bursting with fall foliage, the Northeast offers fantastic outdoor hiking opportunities for those eager for a new adventure.
Check out some of the top spots in Northeast where you can enjoy the radiant colors of fall and a challenging hike:
Acadia National Park offers hiking in a place that offers the very best of the northeast—stunning autumn foliage, off-shore islands, and steep ocean bluffs. The parks numerous hiking trails range from very easy (flat ground) to strenuous (very steep, steady climbs). The park is also home to quite a bit of wildlife—hike quietly and keep your eyes open to catch a glimpse of moose, foxes, deer, coyotes, or beavers. Looking for a rugged spot to camp? Check out Duck Harbor campground on Isle au Haut—this remote area is inaccessible by car and only linked to the mainland by mailboat.
With seven separate geographical regions, it’s hard not to find something you like in Adirondack Park. The park covers more than six million acres, including the Adirondack Wild, Lake George Region, Adirondack Coast, Adirondack Lakes Region, Lake Placid Region, Adirondacks-Tughill, and the Adirondack Seaway. Waterways include 3,000 lakes and ponds and 30,000 miles of rivers and streams. So once you’ve had enough of the 2,000 miles of hiking trails, you can grab a canoe or kayak and enjoy the plentiful waterways.
Connecticut offers brave hikers a challenging adventure at Sleeping Giant. One of the most popular hiking spots in the tiny state, the “sleeping giant” mountain is breathtaking when covered in the bright colors of fall (the mountain actually resembles a giant sleeping on its back). According to Native American legend, this “giant” was an evil spirit who became angry and was put to sleep forever by the spell of a good spirit. In addition to the unusual folklore, this stretch of land is incredibly unique in that the 6 miles of trap rock (hard rock that fractures at 90 degree angles like stairs) run from east-west when most run north-south. The CFPA’s Blue-Blazed Quinnipiac Trail is quite strenuous and loaded with ups, downs, and some awesome views.
The Berkshires are the quintessential Northeast fall hiking spot. Aside from amazing foliage, the Berkshires is home to the tallest mountain in Massachussetts, Mount Greylock. In the autumn months, this brightly colored mountain is fascinating as its steep slope seemingly shoots straight up into the sky. Mount Greylock is a “monadnock”—an isolated mountain that rises sharply out of the surrounding area. Plan to spend the whole day on Mount Greylock as the strenuous trails take between five and eight hours to complete. The mountain offers many scenic views including waterfalls and forest streams.
New Hampshire might not often be on the top of your list of places to visit, but if you are looking to submerge yourself in autumn adventure, the White Mountains are a must. Millions of visitors flock to the White Mountains each autumn to admire the colors and enjoy the outdoors. A variety of trails are available for hikers of every skill level, and even the most simple hikes take you past amazing sights. Longer, more challenging hikes end at thrilling mountain summits. The Falling Waters Trail at Franconia Notch State Park offers hikers a 6-12 mile round trip adventure filled with majestic waterfalls and culminating at the peak of Little Haystack Mountain (elevation 4840 feet). From here you can continue along the Franconia Ridge Trail to even higher summits at Mount Lincoln and Mount Lafayette.
The Northeast has a lot to offer adventure-seeking hikers this fall. Many states boast fantastic trails of varying skill levels—the casual hiker can enjoy a leisurely stroll down a simple path while the more skilled hiker can climb rocky cliffs for a glimpse of the world from a mountain summit. No matter what your skill level, the Northeast offers some of the most colorful mountain hikes in the entire country.