Fall foliage season is always a special time of year for anyone who appreciates the bounty of nature at its finest. A leisurely leaf peeping drive throughout a scenic countryside is a very enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon with stops along the way at roadside stands for delicious apple cider or homemade pies. However, fall foliage can also be experienced without the drive. From biking to hiking along with train excursions and hot air balloon rides, there are many ways to get up close and personal with fall foliage. Here are some of the best fall foliage experiences without having to hop in the car.
Among the 11 pristine crystal blue lakes, visitors can take in the season’s beauty by chartering a private boat with Cayuga Lake’s Water to Wine Tour. Or they can opt for some up-close leaf peeping at the Finger Lakes National Forest with a horseback ride through trails. For spectacular aerial views of the vibrant leaves, visitors can embark on a glider ride at Harris Hill Soaring or float over the rolling hills of Canandaigua by hot air balloon. Be sure to check out Wayne County’s Annual Apple Tasting Tour where an apple passport guides guests to apple touring stops and a handful of colorful parks. The Inns of Aurora, a luxury lakeside boutique resort, overlooks intensely colorful foliage reflected in the calm waters of Cayuga Lake.
The Erie Canal, New York
Soak in the splendor of upstate New York’s fall foliage by bike, canoe, kayak or houseboat. The Erie CanalwayTrail, part of the now-completed 750-mile Empire State Trail, is fully open for bikers. Although the scenic trail is friendly to all levels of cyclists, experienced biking enthusiasts have the unique option of cycling from Rochester to Syracuse along the most picturesque section of the Erie Canal’s 360-mile route, where you can find bike-friendly businesses scattered throughout along the way. If cycling isn’t your cup of tea, consider renting kayak or canoe to navigate along the canal with Genesee Waterways Center in Rochester. Nearby in the town of Macedon in Wayne County, you can experience the famous waterway via houseboat with Erie Canal Adventures.
Each fall Connecticut unveils an eye-popping montage of fall foliage scenery that lights up the landscape. Outdoor fall fun along with foliage throughout the Nutmeg state includes scenic train rides, rail bikes, e-bike rentals, UTV tours, foliage paddles and cruises, zip lines, and more. Locations include: Essex Steam Train & Riverboat, Essex; Covered Bridge Electric Bike, West Cornwall; Black Hall Outfitters, Old Lyme; Backyard Adventure UTV Tours, Canaan.
Terramor Outdoor Resort, Bar Harbor, Maine
Maine in the fall is simply spectacular. With mild temperatures, vibrant colors and less visitors than in the busy summer months, Maine continues to be one of the top destinations for leaf peepers and adventurers alike. At Terramor, guests can spend the day exploring the beauty of Mount Desert Island and then come back in the evenings to a warm fire and craft cocktails. The seaside town of Bar Harbor is one of the most desirable destinations for visitors seeking scenic views of mountaintops paired with the beautiful coastlines of Maine. Known as the gateway to Acadia National Park, the city resides on the gorgeous Frenchman’s Bay, offering spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.
New Hampshire is gearing up for another epic fall foliage season. Known for its picturesque landscape that becomes increasingly beautiful with the arrival of autumn, the Granite State has plenty to offer visitors of all ages. In addition to numerous hiking and biking trails, New Hampshire offers a myriad of more distinct fall foliage experiences such as zip-lining above the changing tree line in the White Mountains, to canoeing among the reflections of vibrant foliage in the Lakes Region, or taking a sky gondola ride in Bretton Woods.
Huttopia Glamping, White Mountains and Adirondacks
For those that want to experience the best of fall and the great outdoors without truly roughing it, Huttopia’s glamping campsites have two prime locations for fall foliage: New Hampshire’s White Mountains and New York’s Adirondacks. Huttopia offers a French woodland “glamping” retreat tucked away on the banks of Iona Lake in New Hampshire, near North Conway. The retreat is situated in an untouched forest offering a quiet escape for those hoping to immerse themselves in the slow rhythm of nature. Huttopia White Mountains is set in the perfect location to serve as a base camp for outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing, paddle boarding and lake fishing.
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