By Ken Mink and Internet Sources
It’s time for Americans to pack up their binoculars and cameras and hit the road, drinking in the nation’s best fall foliage colors.
With cool, crisp mornings turning into warm afternoons, just make sure you dress in layers bring a small first-aid kit, along with plenty of snacks, fruit juice or water for fall foliage hiking.
In New England, the state of Maine provides the earliest viewing of the season. hitting its best beginning in early October.
In the South, be sure to explore the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia following Skyline Drive through the park for a spectacular fall overview.
The Mountain Parkway off U. S. 321 between Townsend and Maryville, Tennessee, offers about a two hours of spectacular fall mountain foliage views, with lots of pullover photo locations. The first 3 weeks of October are prime times.
Further south, the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina is a 105-mile drive filled with color. In Tennessee, the Cades Cove Loop Road and Newfound Gap Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park also inspires family outings by the carload each year.
Note: leave early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Then again, New York also boasts Autumn scenery that’s second-to-none…and then there’s New Jersey and its Garden State reputation for some of the best scenic drives on the East coast – followed closely by the Pennsylvania Pocono Region and Maryland with its scenic fall wonders.
By the way, if you’re in the area don’t overlook the big fall spectacular in little Delaware.
In the Midwest, some of the best fall foliage can be viewed in Minnesota by traveling the “Rainbow Routes” along Lake Superior north of Duluth, and along the Mississippi River from Red Wing to LaCrescent. Door County is also a popular destination in Wisconsin. Otherwise, in Missouri you can’t beat the Ozarks for a blaze of color in mid-October.
Out West, sunny California blazes golden yellow in October along scenic routes in Yosemite National Park. Or trip lightly through Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and – if you have a few days – seriously consider not missing Maroon Bells in Aspen…
And the Pacific Northwest? Seattle is a good home base for exploring the fall foliage spectacular in Washington State, with Wenatchee a popular favorite for weekend drives, and don’t miss an opportunity to cruise the Loop in the Northern Cascades. Heading south to Oregon, take the drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway for more breathtaking Autumn color