Posted: October 2, 2014

Best Places to See Fall Foliage
Now is the perfect time for a last-minute getaway to see fall foliage.

As the warm months of summer officially give way to autumn, forests across the country explode into a tapestry of orange, red and yellows. Paired with a refreshing breeze and cool weather, now is a prime time to get back to nature. Whether you're looking for a weekend getaway or week-long adventure, check out these best family travel places to witness the fall foliage:

Adirondacks, New York

The Adirondack Region offers one of the longest fall foliage seasons in the U.S. and the longest in the northeast, lasting from early September through the end of October. The 6-million-acre park features 14 scenic byways that are especially beautiful during this time of year, and visitors enjoy the 170-mile Olympic Trail that connects Lake Ontario to Lake Champlain, passing by Lake Placid. Hike to the one of the summits where gazing out across the forest canopy seems as if you're staring at an artist's mosaic. 

Take a hot air balloon ride to get a bird's eye view, or enjoy an afternoon drive through the mountains. There are also dozens of family-friendly fall festivals – like the Adirondack Harvest Festival (October) and Flaming Leaves Festival (October) – that make a great excuse for a last-minute getaway.

Aspen, Colorado

Golden aspen trees get no better than this. The iconic Maroon Bells are a top location to capture the gorgeousness of fall leaves on camera. Leisure lovers can take a shuttle from town to Maroon Bells to behold the mountain peaks streaked with purple and white reflecting into Maroon Lake. If you're looking for hiking opportunities, Cathedral Lake, American Lake, Hunter Creek and Crater Lake rank as crowd favorites. For those feeling a bit lazier, scenic driving roads including Maroon Creek Road, Castle Creek Road and Independence Pass are all available for those who prefer to enjoy the golden aspens from the comfort of their cars. 

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

The Blue Ridge Parkway weaves through Southern Virginia into North Carolina, winding up in Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains. In Virginia, the rolling landscapes that fall in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are breathtaking places to witness the shift of seasons. One of the best ways to catch some of the color is to drive along the Parkway, changing elevations and north-south orientation to spot the orange sassafras, yellow poplar and hickory trees and sourwoods that have turned a deep crimson. 

Multnomah Falls in Troutdale, Oregon

Besides being one of the grandest of the 77 waterfalls on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls is a treasure trove for fall foliage. The forest's fiery colors only complement the pounding cascades, and if you decide to make the 1.2-mile hike to the top of the falls, you can take Wahkeena Loop Trail or continue to the summit of Larch Mountain to extend your beautiful walk. Most years, trees in this region don't change colors until late October. 

Glacier National Park, Montana

Bright yellow tamaracks and red maples mix across the rugged terrain of Glacier National Park. The 1-million-acre park might be open year-round, but there's something special about fall as the Crown of the Continent's glacial-carved valleys and mountainsides become painted with shades of autumn. For an intimate viewing of the fall foliage, rent a bike from a local shop and cruise the park's Going-to-the-Sun Road. 

Other off-the-beaten path adventures include driving the Looking Glass Highway (Highway 49) for a beautiful view into the Two Medicine Valley traveling into the North Fork of the park. The best part about this little-known spot? There are fewer visitors than most leaves-spotting destinations. 

{This was beautifully written} :0)

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