Top Fall Hikes in the U.S. from Top Fall Hikes in the U.S.
Top Fall Hikes in the U.S.
Thanks to more reasonable temperatures, the lack of heat related issues, and an abundance of easy trails that are usually less crowded because the kids are back in school and people are back at work, hiking in the fall is a thrilling experience. The stunning yellows, oranges and reds that dot the tips of trees make it unique.
Wildwood Trail, Oregon
You’ll be surrounded by breathtaking and lush fall foliage for about 30 miles. Hiking along the trail feels like you are in your own serene and quite diverse world. Hike through the arboretum where twists and turns run through the trees. Eventually you will climb gradually to Pittock Mansion, where there is a great view of Portland, according to The Outbound.
The Stowe Pinnacle Trail, Vermont
October is the best time to do this moderate hike in northwestern Vermont. The steep, 2.8-mile-long trail will deliver you to a bald summit with views of the Green Mountains – including the famed Camel's Hump and Mt. Mansfield – and the Worchester Range to the west, as well as Hogback Mountain to the southeast.
Golden Eagle Trail, Tiadaghton State Forest, Pennsylvania
Mount Greylock, Massachussetts
The legend of the mountain is that Mount Greylock’s long, saddle-like shape inspired Herman Melville to write "Moby Dick.” Mount Greylock, located in the Berkshire Mountains, is the highest point in the state at 3,491 feet. You can see as far as 90 miles away from its peak on a clear day. The trails at Mount Greylock Reservation vary in difficulty from casual to extremely difficult.
Maroon Bells, Colorado
Explore the Rockies' most gorgeous wildernesses in the Maroon Bells. This is Colorado’s most photographed mountain landscape, but the hike is not to be overshadowed. Standing at more than 14,000 feet each, the six peaks draw scores of experienced hikers. With the popularity of the area, you won’t be alone in your adventure, but it’s still worth the trip.
Old Rag Mountain, Virginia
The Old Rag route is widely considered a classic hike and is known for attracting crowds of climbers, especially in the summer. Aptly named for its rugged terrain strewn with boulder fields and bare rocks, the trail is 8 miles round-trip that has it all – panoramic views of dramatic fall colors and a tough rock scramble, making it one of the most popular routes in the mid-Atlantic.
Appalachian Trail, Tennessee and North Carolina
Drive to the parking area at Newfound Gap and take the Appalachian Trail to Indian Gap. The 3.4-mile roundtrip will give you a taste of this historic route and allow you to see beautiful fall foliage. The best time to see the changing leaves is typically from mid-October to early November.
May Lake, Yosemite National Park, California
The view of the beautiful subalpine May Lake below the 10,000-foot Mount Hoffman makes this popular hike worth the trek. It features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels, according to All Trails. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.
North Ridge Trail, Acadia National Park, Maine
The most popular hike in Acadia is well liked for good reason. A short 2.2 miles on the North Ridge Trail puts hikers at the top of Cadillac Mountain. Take in views of Bar Harbor and Frenchman Bay from the 1,530-foot-high peak and be among the first to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic. On a clear day, it’s possible to see more than 100 miles.
Beaver Lake Loop, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
The Beaver Lake and Beaver Creek areas are home to some of the most picturesque treks around. From the campground, a loop around Beaver Lake and along the Beaver Creek area will cover three-and-a-half miles of beautiful terrain and changing leaves. The 73,000-acre Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore stretches out along 42 miles of coastline on Lake Superior and features 90 miles of trails.
Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Wisconsin
Devil's Lake State Park is one of nine Ice Age National Scientific Reserve units. On the scenic trail, you can find incredible glacial features and breathtaking views that highlight some the best fall colors in the Midwest. While the entire loop is 13.7 miles, you can also take the 4.5-mile Sauk Point Trail or 1.8-mile Roznos Meadow Trail.
Blackwater Canyon Trail, West Virginia
While the total length of this path is 10.2 miles, four parking lots along the trail let you choose the distance you'll hike and the scenery you'll see. Depending on the section you choose, you might pass under the Big Run Archway—a landmark built by Italian stonemasons in the 1880s—or the 35-foot Douglas Falls.
Teton Crest Trail, Wyoming
Explore the glorious Teton Range, witness the high divides and passes, majestic alpine lakes, and stunning views at the legendary rocky peaks. September is still a great time to visit in order to see all kinds of colors, flowers and wildlife. There are plenty of campsites in case you decide to take a break along the 37-mile trail.
Marcy Dam, Adirondacks, New York
This popular hiking and camping destination sits at 2,362 feet, just 3.5 miles from the highest point in New York—Mount Marcy. Though the actual dam was badly damaged during Hurricane Irene, it remains a popular point with a gorgeous view.
Long Trail, Vermont
This gnarly trail is quintessentially New England. It covers 270 miles and is known as Vermont’s “footpath in the wilderness.” Built between 1910 and 1930, the Long Trail is the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the country, according to Green Mountain Club. The trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts-Vermont line to the Canadian border as it crosses Vermont’s highest peaks.