The colors are already turning here in the southern Rockies, and pretty soon thousands will be jamming into minivans, SUVs and sedans to cruise the country and mountain roads to check out the fall foliage. But enjoying the seasonal scenery doesn’t necesarrily have to be at the adrenaline level of a picnic with the grandparents. Climb to the top of just about any of the 12, 13, or 14ers in the Rockies and you can have the surreal experience of looking down on a sea of gold. Here’s a few other adventurous ways to see the fall colors:
- The Continental Divide Trail through Colorado and the Colorado Trail – These quintessential routes through the high country provide some premium spots to watch the chlorophyll drain out of summer.
- Cycle Tennessee’s Natchez Trace Parkway. The good folks at REI are even offering a guided tour through the rural and urban sights along the way.
- In New England, an undisputed hub of arboreal voyeurism, the Appalachian Mountain Club is taking the lead in providing Lodge-to-hut hikes, bike trips and senior excursions.
- It’s pretty tough to compile any list involving experiencing the outdoors without mentioning the old standby, the Appalachian Trail.
- Tree watching in Iowa? Believe it. Check out the Loess Hills.
- And for you West Coast folks? Check out just about anywhere in the Cascades, maybe make your way up Mount Hood in Oregon. Hell, you could even windsurf up the Columbia River Gorge on your way there!