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Tips for Viewing the Incredible New England Fall Foliage…

Fall Foliage

New England Fall colors

For anyone considering a trip to the Northeast this Fall to engage in ‘leaf peeping’, this is a year anyone would want to miss for sure! With Mother Nature blessing us with so much rain this summer, it will actually pay off in the way of gorgeous vibrant colors for the fall foliage, not only in the Adirondacks but as far as New Hampshire and Maine. Just keep in mind that the northern states pop their bright colors first, following the ‘trickle down theory’ as we then head south throughout the Northeast. If we don’t want to go as far up into New England as Maine and New Hampshire, a popular route to follow is from the Albany / Saratoga areas of New York, up through Rutland VT, passing through Woodstock (one of the best little New England towns anyone will ever experience in my opinion) and on up to Burlington. While the fall foliage drive will take approximately two and a half hours, depending on where you start from, it is well worth it.

Once in Burlington, be sure to check out downtown Church Street; this main strip is off limits to cars and is a great way to spend the day window shopping against the backdrop of gorgeous mountains and their fall foliage, and views of Lake Champlain. Church Street has something for everyone; upscale shopping as well as mainstream stores like Old Navy, and of course, a Ben & Jerry’s on the corner! For those that haven’t had a chance to really explore the Lake Champlain area, a visit to Echo, an interpretive, child-friendly hands-on museum is a great place to spend the day. It not only highlights animals, fish and trees/plants native to the area, but there is even a fun ‘playroom’ for the kids to climb a tree house, explore a replica of the infamous ‘Champ’ (our local equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster), and much much more. A family can easily spend a good chunk of the day there in addition to the fall foliage tour.

Fall Foliage hikes

Fall Hikes are a great experiance

Along the fall foliage route between New York and Burlington, a stop in Charlotte (pronounced Shar-lot) is always required by my family; the downtown area is quaint and typical of small Vermont towns and there are plenty of places in the area for apple picking, exploring a pumpkin patch for the perfect pick, and the area is abundant with coffeehouses (don’t forget some Green Mountain Coffee!), cafes with homemade breads and pastries, and plenty of farmer’s markets.
Back here in the Adirondacks, if your plan is to hike and get a birds’ eye view of the fall foliage, you’ll want to be sure to get out there and do it prior to mid-October, when the leaves are falling at a steadier rate and the peak colors are over. Searching your destination online should provide you with some dates as to when to expect peak colors; don’t blink or you will miss them! It seems to always be about a two week window of really spectacular bright reds, oranges, yellows and greens before you’ll have to be looking down on the ground to see them versus up on the trees! Hiking in the fall is personally my favorite time of the year; not only is the temperature ideal but there are fewer people on the trails (depending where you go of course), and the fall foliage colors are overwhelming.

Fall Colors

New England’s Fall Foliage

If hiking isn’t your thing, check out the various gondolas you can take up to the top of many area mountains, or plan a drive to the top of Killington (Vermont) or Prospect Mountain (Lake George), where there are picnic areas and places to just take in the views and enjoy the fall foliage colors. Should you want to drive as far as New Hampshire, passing through the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont (prime moose country! I see one every time) Franconia Notch should be high on your list of destinations. There is a tram that will take you to the top of a gorgeous peak to enjoy the views for miles and miles. Franconia Notch is a fantastic, totally unique park, unlike anything you’ll ever see with a multitude of water-formed carvings in the rock and plenty of trails to explore.
So whether you’re into hiking, biking or taking a leisurely drive, you won’t want to miss out on the fall foliage colors of the Northeast this year… so take the Outdoors Guy advice and ‘get out there’!

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