- Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Fall is here and the leaves are already starting to turn, so where are the best places to go to see nature’s color palate?
The Blue Ridge Parkway stretches 469 miles through two states, all the way from the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.
There are exhibits, hiking trails, picnic areas and campsites for those who want to reconnect to the great outdoors.
Colors will peak in October, usually mid to late in the month, but it all depends on the elevation, with highest elevations seeing the colors first. The Blue Ridge Parkway, at its lowest point is under 650 feet along the James River in Virginia, and at its highest at over 6,000 feet south of Mt. Pisgah in North Carolina.
Olympic National Park in the north west is almost a million of acres of untouched ecosystems that contain not only glacier-topped mountains, but also temperate rain forests. With 70 miles of coastline, Olympic National Park is sure to have an opportunity to see all of fall’s colors, but officials warn it isn’t like same as seeing them on the East Coast. Peak colors start in the highest elevations in mid-September with the rain forest and coast lines seeing the most color in mid-October.
New England is one of the most popular areas to go see the fall color change. It is not limited to only one area, the entire region will erupt with color. Peak views in the northern part of New England, in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire, will be in late September. Late October will see the most color in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Route 6 has been named by National Geographic as “one of America’s most scenic drives.” It is more than 400 miles of quiet highway across the northern part of Pennsylvania. The peak leaf viewing for the area is Sept. 26 through Oct. 12.
If driving isn’t your thing
Finally, driving isn’t your idea of a fun family outing, Amtrak is offering an alternative in its Great Dome Car. For only $53 one-way per person, you can ride the train through upstate New York to Montreal, Canada, according to Good Housekeeping. It is only available along the Adirondack route from late September and only for six weeks. For more information, click here.