The fall months are a great time of the year for hiking. One of the most beautiful things to see on hikes across the United States during the fall months is the foliage’s changing colors. Regardless of what part of the country you're in, you probably have a hiking option that's not too far away for enjoying the outdoors while taking in breathtaking views of fall foliage.
The following are some of the best hikes in the US to see fall colors.
Hike The Ocean Path Trail in Maine
If you're located as far to the north as Maine, you're going to have to get out early in the season to experience the peak of fall foliage. Probably the best time to hike the Ocean Path Trail at Acadia National Park to view fall foliage is in the first few weeks of October. The Ocean Path trail is only 4.5 miles long. It's also fairly close to Bar Harbor.
Mount Mansfield Hiking Trail in Vermont
Another great place in New England for viewing fall foliage is Mount Mansfield. Mount Mansfield is near Stowe, Vermont, in the Green Mountains. The Mount Mansfield Loop Trail is 7.3 miles long. Hikers need to know that this is a difficult hike with an elevation gain of 2,880 feet. You should therefore be in pretty decent shape before you attempt this hike.
Hike Breakneck Ridge in New York
Breakneck Ridge is a popular hike located near the Hudson Valley town of Cold Spring. This puts the trail about 60 miles to the north of New York City. Breakneck Ridge is a challenging hike, but those who brave it are rewarded with the Hudson River’s gorgeous views. These views are particularly stunning in the fall months. The peak time for fall foliage in the mid-Hudson Valley is mid-to-late October most years.
Mount LeConte Hiking Trail in Tennessee
Those who are located a bit further to the south can hike Mount LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains to view fall colors. If you're looking for a long, challenging, but rewarding hike, try the Mount LeConte and Rainbow Falls hike via the Bullhead Trail. This loop hike is almost 15 miles long and is close to the town of Gatlinburg in Tennessee.
Appalachian Trail through Shenandoah National Park
Just about the entire Appalachian Trail offers great fall foliage views at some point between September and November. One stretch of the Appalachian Trail, particularly that's great for viewing the fall colors, is the Little Stony Man hike in Shenandoah National Park. This is a relatively short loop trail with a length of only about 3.4 miles. You'll find this trail near the town of Syria in Virginia.
Hike The Crater Lake Trail in Colorado
Hikers out west can also enjoy impressive views of fall colors. For those located in Colorado, the Crater Lake Trail near Aspen in the White River National Forest is a good option. This trail is of moderate difficulty and has a length of 3.8 miles. Fall colors come early in this part of the country. It's best to hike in September to see fall colors around the Aspen area. It's important to remember that snow and ice can come early in this area in the fall. Packing hiking poles with you when you hike around Aspen in the fall is a good idea if you run into icy patches. Hiking poles help prevent falls and slips when you're hiking over icy areas.
Hike The Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park
The Mist Trail is a popular hiking trail located in Yosemite National Park. This trail offers more than just fall colors. The Mist Trail is 3 miles long and offers views of two waterfalls: Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. You'll be impressed with the fall foliage of Yosemite if you visit the park around the middle of October. Although many of the trees in Yosemite are evergreens that don't change color, there are also many black oaks, maples, and dogwoods in the park that change color in the autumn.
You might encounter inclement weather or rough terrain while hiking to view fall colors. That's why it's so important to invest in a good pair of hiking poles. Hiking poles help support you when you're hiking over areas that are slippery or uneven. At Crescent Moon, we sell a few hiking pole models which you can view on our website.