The Best Fall Hiking Destination in Your State
Sep 28, 2023
Hiking is a great way to soak in the beauty of nature—and in autumn, it’s also one of the best ways you can take in the beauty of the fall foliage. Luckily, you might not need to travel too far from home to find some incredible fall views. Need some inspiration on where to go? Check out the best fall hiking destination in your state:
Lums Pond State Park in Bear, New Castle County, features multiple trails that surround the largest freshwater pond in the state. These trails, such as the Little Jersey and Swamp Forest trails, offer beautiful views of the fall foliage, as the fall colors reflect off the pond. You can also see the foliage from different vantage points, by renting a kayak or even ziplining!
Garden of the Gods is an area located within Shawnee National Forest in Herod, Pope County. This southern Illinois gem features 320-million-year-old sandstone rock formations and cliffs. The Observation Trail is a short but steep quarter-mile hike to get to the breathtaking views, and there are other longer trails throughout the park as well. Download a Garden of the Gods map here.
Garden of the Gods (via Enjoy Illinois)
Sugarloaf Mountain in Dickerson, Frederick County, offers stunning views of the surrounding area, which lies more than 1,000 feet below. The hike to the peak is a steep, rocky 6-mile hike. Sugarloaf Mountain is located about an hour north of D.C. and 30 minutes south of Frederick—and just minutes from the Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard! Download a Sugarloaf Mountain trail map here.
Peaked Mountain is located in central Massachusetts in Monson, Hampden County. Once you tackle a strenuous hike to its 1,227-foot summit, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the forest and countryside below—making it the perfect vantage point for taking in the Commonwealth’s beautiful fall foliage. Download a trail map here.
Maplewood State Park is a 9,250-acre park in west-central Minnesota, located in Otter Tail County near Pelican Rapids. It is Minnesota’s sixth-largest park and features 25 miles of trails, as well as 8 major lakes and several smaller lakes and ponds. The park’s many trails offer beautiful looks at the fall foliage, from the tops of hills as high as 1,600 feet and from the reflection of the fall colors across the lakes. Download a map of the park and its trails here.
Maplewood State Park (via Minnesota DNR)
Mount Tammany is a 1,526-foot mountain in Knowlton Township, Warren County. It lies along the Appalachian Trail in Worthington State Forest and forms the eastern side of the Delaware Water Gap. The summit can be reached by hiking the steep 3.5-mile Mount Tammany Trail. Mount Tammany’s peak offers spectacular views of the Delaware Water Gap and Mount Minsi, which lies on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware Water Gap.
The Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York offer a wide variety of trails and peaks that showcase some of the most breathtaking fall views in the country. This guide provides several options for fall hikes, including Baker Mountain near Saranac Lake, Whiteface Mountain near Lake Placid, and Sleeping Beauty Mountain near Lake George. If you’re looking for more ways to take in the beautiful autumn scenery, check out this guide to fall foliage in the Adirondacks!
The Adirondack Mountains (via Visit Adirondacks)
Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve is located in Hocking Hills State Park in Hocking County, about an hour south of Columbus. Conkle’s Hollow is one of the most popular state nature preserves in Ohio and features the Gorge Trail and the Rim Trail, both with beautiful views of the fall foliage, numerous waterfalls, and breathtaking vistas. Download a map here.
Pine Creek Rail Trail lies in north-central Pennsylvania and travels through Pine Creek Gorge—a gorge often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. The trail is more than 60 miles long and is one of the best destinations in the state for viewing fall foliage. Find a map of the Pine Creek Rail Trail here.
Rock Creek Park in Northwest D.C. offers beautiful views of the fall foliage right in the heart of the District. The Western Ridge Trail and the more rugged Valley Trail stretch north from Cleveland Park all the way to the Maryland border. Find a hiking guide and maps of Rock Creek Park here.
To find more hiking destinations near you, check out this online guide from the Hiking Project.
Looking for ways you can do your part to help protect our beautiful natural lands? One of the easiest and most impactful ways you can help protect our planet is by choosing 100% clean, renewable energy from wind and solar sources for your home. Learn more about how you can help create a better environment for future generations.
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