Welcome to American Backcountry’s Notes from the Trail. Here we share stories and thoughts from some of our favorite contributors. Each mountain is different and each trip has a different story – these are notes collected along the trail.
5 Must See Fall Hikes
September 19, 2018
Remember those large piles of leaves your parents would rake together so neatly only to be destroyed by mini you? That’s right, it’s Fall! Fall can be that tricky time of year where the trip to see the changing of the leaves should be planned at just the right time. Different trees in different parts of the nation display a variety of blended colors and smells. Pack up the minivan or load up that motorcycle for some of our fall favorites.
At 3,491 feet, Mount Greylock is Massachusetts’s tallest peak. In fact, you can see as far as 90 miles away from its peak on a clear day. Mount Greylock State Reservation is open year-round from sunrise until dusk for day-use recreation. Overnight camping is permitted only at the Mount Greylock Campground, the five designated backpacker shelter areas, and on the summit at Bascom Lodge, May-October.
Mount Greylock is located between two forest types; Central Hardwoods from the south, dominated by oak, and Northern Hardwoods represented by sugar maple. This, combined with significant changes in elevation and temperatures, provides for a stunning variety of color displays of reds, oranges, yellows, browns, tans and occasional deep purple.
Portsmouth, N.H. – a city of roughly 21,000 people – sits near the mouth of the Piscataqua River, dividing New Hampshire and Maine. Stop by the Urban Forestry Center Brooks Trail, a 2.1 mile lightly trafficked loop featuring pines, marshes and a wide trail for all skill levels.
While there, check out some of these attractions: Strawbery Banke, Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, Beaches – The nation’s shortest coastline offers more than a dozen noteworthy beaches and the Music Hall of Portsmouth.
June Lake, CA
Resting outside of Yosemite National Park, opt for a more secluded vaca away from the crowds. Cooler temperatures in the fall make hiking and rock-climbing more comfortable than the summer months. Take advantage of the dropping hotel rates and decreased crowds as summer ends and families are back to the routine with school and work. Enjoy the friendly small-town vibes and don’t miss out on a trip around the lake in either a boat or kayak to see all the views! The best time to go is early October when a blaze of aspen gold sweeps over the area.
Head south on your road trip to the town of Gatlinburg, TN in Smoky Mountain National Park! World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America’s most visited national park. Sourwood, dogwood, maple, sassafras and birch trees are the first to make the change into fall, turning red, orange and yellow. You can catch the sight in September and October but of course differing by year so check their webcams for some exact times. After taking in the beauty head into town for some craft beer, take a ride on the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, or head over to Space Needle – observation deck with free view finders and a 360-degree view.
Whichever trail you pick, don’t forget to pack your Smoky Mountain National Park destination tee to match!
Lake of the Ozarks, MO
Whatever your niche may be the Ozarks most likely has it! From mountain biking, hiking, camping, fishing, and horseback riding there is something for the whole family. Contrary to the new show on Netflix – Ozark with Jason Bateman – this area is pristine and full of adventure for your outdoor enthusiast. Plus, it has beautiful fall colors for the leaf chasers out there!
Enjoy the diverse areas and get into a little tree-hugging fun!