Autumn is officially here and with the departure of summer comes shorter days and a crispness in the air. For many, road trips are reserved for summer but fall is a perfect time to hit the road. For many, all it takes is a short drive to experience the changing fall foliage, especially when you time it with peak times. There are hundreds of state parks and forests around the country so now is the time to plan your autumn road trip.
Lake Placid, NY
Smack dab in the middle of the Adirondacks, Lake Placid dazzles with six million acres of designated “forever wild” of sugar maples, American beech, and yellow birch trees. Time it right and you can attend the annual Flaming Leaves Festival in October for an even more special trip.
Blue Ridge Parkway, VA & NC
If you love bluegrass and mountain towns, this is the stop for you. Enjoy Virginia’s laid back farmsteads and North Carolina’s Appalachian hardwood forests and scenic Price Lake.
Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, VA
For southeast travelers, the Blue Ridge Mountain is one of the top fall foliage destinations. Catch a glimpse of bright red Virginia creeper vines as well as yellow and orange hickories, and deep purple dogwoods. Keep a lookout for deer, black bears, wild turkey, and many other creatures who call this area home.
Hocking Hills of southeast Ohio
Autumn in Hocking Hills is filled with bright yellows, pumpkin oranges, and brilliant maroons. Immerse yourself in the foliage with the 25 miles of Midwest trails.
Michigan’s Gold Coast
To add to the magic of the tiny fishing towns and towering sand dunes, in the fall, Grand Travers Bay is lit up with fiery maple and oak leaves are contrasted with the green pine, spruce, and fir trees. The pick-your-own apple orchard in Northport is the cherry on top.
The Driftless Region, WI
This loop gives visitors spectacular views of blazing orange and yellow of the sumac, maple, and twisted oak trees that cover the hills dotted with historic homes of miners and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Cades Cove, The Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, TN
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not only the most visited national park in the US, but it also has optimal viewing for the vibrant yellows of American beech and birch and the fiery reds of mountain ash, cherry, and mountain maple. This 11-mile loop also boasts such sights as waterfalls and streams.
West Virginia Midland Trail
One of the oldest and most scenic routes in the US, the Midland Trail, is beautiful all year round but especially so in the autumn. The 180 miles highway includes the opportunity to see beautiful fall foliage mixed in with great road stops along the way, including a vista near the New River Gorge in Hawk’s Nest State Park.
South Carolina Cherokee Foothills
Year round, the 50 waterfalls, some of the tallest in the east, are enough to visit the Cherokee Foothills. In the autumn, the winding Indian path is stocked with the vibrant foliage of oaks, hickories, and maples. Visit Raven Cliff for the most vibrant yellow, red, and orange hues of fall.
Autumn in Arkansas is one of the best times to visit. The northern end of the state, especially in the Ozarks, is painted with gorgeous hues of gold, red, orange, and purple throughout the mountains and valleys. The various black gums, maples, hickories, and oaks peak early in the season.
West Elk Loop Scenic & Historic Byway, Gunnison-Crested Butte, CO
Head west for the country’s largest aspen grove, which serves up beautiful orange, gold, and crimson foliage. Head to the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park for camping and hiking to truly take advantage of the beauty of the area.
The Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, Taos, NM
Not only will you get to experience some of the best southwestern fall foliage, but you can also spot native wildlife like elk, black bears, and eagles. The golden aspen trees and red cottonwoods are visible all up and down the mountains.
This list is only the beginning of the beauty of autumn in the US, but no matter where you go to catch the fall foliage this autumn, make sure you are insured. Get a free quote in as little as 3 minutes at www.safeauto.com.