With roughly one month of the summer left to go, I find myself already thinking about the Fall. I've already stacked all my wood for the colder weather, in piles taller than me in my shed. I'm anxious for the cooler weather, lighting the fire in my wood stove, and of course, the autumn foliage. There's just nothing like the myriad of color on the trees when Fall hits its peak. So, with all things pumpkin in the offing- from Pumpkin Spice lattes, to pumpkin beer served in pine glasses with cinnamon on the rims, to pumpkin pie and bread- I thought I'd share some of my favorite Autumn locations.
Autumn, The Golden Time
Katterskill Falls, Hunter, NY
Nestled in The Catskills, Kaaterskill Falls has long been a popular subject for photographers and painters. I've visited several times over the years, trying to time my visits just right with the peak color. The hike up the falls from Route 23A isn't overly difficult, and on a crisp fall day is just beautiful. I like to start early in the morning before the sunlight makes its way into the gorge, providing soft color and a peaceful setting to take photos, or just enjoy the peace.
Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The 11-mile loop through Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides a wide variety of views, with plenty of opportunity to see some beautiful foliage, often with historic old cabins and buildings nestled beneath the boughs of majestic trees. Catch it early in the morning when the mist is often hanging in the valley. The loop road is open from sunrise to sunset year round. There is plenty of opportunity to see wildlife as well.
Way up in the northwestern corner of Maine lies an area of quiet beauty. Here lies Rangeley and the Carrabassett Valley. There are old barns, covered bridges, waterfalls, and lakes, all of which make beautiful subjects during the fall foliage season. There's Smalls Falls, Bennett Bean Bridge, Flagstaff Lake, Rangeley Lake, and Mooselookmeguntick Lake, among others. Worth a few days of exploration for sure.
Yes, I know that's a bit vague, but the fact is, there's just so much in Vermont that's beautiful in the Fall. Hillside Acres Farm in Barnet, offers a stunning view of a New England farm with the valley spread out below. The owners, at least when I was last there, offered a hay bale and blanket, inviting visitors to sit and enjoy the view. A short ride away is the village of Peacham, offering a quintessential New England village to stroll through. Jenne Farm, in Reading, Vermont has often been seen in movies and TV commercials, and is simply stunning when the foliage goes from green to reds, yellows, and oranges.
Babcock State Park, West Virginia
Babcock State Park is home to the Glade Creek Grist Mill, a recreation of the original grist mills that once dotted this area of Appalachia. The mill was made from the remnants of existing mills and built in its current location in 1976. In the Fall, the surrounding trees turn a riot of red, orange, and yellow. Be prepared, this is a popular spot with photographers, but its well worth fighting for the elbow room to get a view of this rustic setting.
The San Juan Mountains, Colorado
It's hard to find anyplace more beautiful. Wherever you go, in the Fall, the aspens are a beautiful canopy of gold, filtering the sunlight. It's amazing to see. There are several scenic drives worth taking to take in the views, including Last Dollar Road, Kebler Pass, and the Million Dollar Highway. Be aware, not all of these are paved, and some may at the very least recommend a vehicle capable of off-roading. The town of Ouray is a great stop for food, or just to walk around and see an old Colorado mining town.
Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine
Acadia has long been a favorite of mine, which you probably know if you've followed my work at all. In October, it turns just a bit more magical. The coastal pines remain vibrant and green, but the overall feeling changes. The deciduous trees sport their best reds and oranges, and the many carriage trails become wonderlands of color. The nor'easters that can be more likely at that time of year can also churn the Atlantic, making for a fireworks show along the Park Loop Road.
Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY
Letchworth offers stunning views of three large waterfalls, as well as the Genesee River Gorge. In the Fall, the colors lining the gorge and framing the falls are stunning. Check out the view of the Upper and Middle Falls from Inspiration Point, or the Upper Falls from the viewing area. The Lower Falls requires a hike, but it's not a difficult one and worth seeing.
A Few More Of My Favorite Autumn Images