This year, we at Gadling have made a pledge to ban a certain phrase from our posts, one that refers to a particular activity that happens (often in New England) around October, when tourists drive around to photograph trees. Still, it’s hard to resist a good autumnal photo of flora. Today’s Photo of the Day does a great job of capturing the mood of the season without a single bit of foliage in sight. Taken by Flickr user Jason Rodman (his second POTD this week, nice!) in Basel, Switzerland, the image depicts a much-loved activity of the yearly fall fair. The people flying above him along with the flags even remind us of the annual shedding of organic material. Who’s ready for a hot gluhwein? This year’s Herbstmesse takes place October 27-November 12.
Autumn, when people travel to the Northeast and Northwest to view colorful fall foliage areas of the United States, peaks around Columbus Day weekend (October 5-8). In many areas, this year’s foliage is in looks to be better and more vibrant than last year. After a dry, hot summer trees will begin to turn color in the next few weeks.
“Hardwood foliage appears to be in better-than-average condition, overall,” says Bill Ostrofsky, a forest pathologist at the Maine Forest Service on Maine Foliage, the state of Maine’s official fall foliage website. “There have been no occurrences of serious or widespread insect defoliation, so to date the Maine forest has the potential to have a great season this year.”
If a road trip, tour or cruise for fall foliage season or just a nice hike in the woods is in your plans, here are some places not to miss.
Camden Hills State Park provides spectacular views of fall foliage available from a road that goes to the top of Mt. Battie, as well as from hiking trails on Mt. Megunticook and Bald Rock Mountain.
Grafton Notch State Park, in Maine’s western viewing area, has roadside turnouts, picnic areas and trails that offer excellent views of the Mahoosuc Mountains and the Presidential Range. Trails lead to popular lookouts, such as the Eyebrow and Table Rock, and trails and lookouts on the Bureau of Parks and Lands’ Mahoosuc Management Unit.The city of Kent, Connecticut was voted “Favorite Foliage Town” in a poll conducted by YankeeFoliage.com, Yankee Magazine’s fall foliage website. A drive to Lake Waramaug is one of several suggested fall foliage-driving tours.
Chatfield Hollow State Park (Killingworth), also in Connecticut, offers Indian caves, wooded trails and jagged rocky ledges fill the park. Oak, beech and hickory trees bring out the best colors of fall and are the perfect setting for a peaceful picnic.
Dinosaur State Park (Rocky Hill) is a good choice for some family action. Kids will love hiking along the wooded trails of the park and seeing Jurassic-period dinosaur tracks that date back 200 years.
Wadsworth Falls State Park (Middletown) offers reddish-brown rocks tinged with green that amplify the fall colors in this hideaway tucked between Middletown and Middlefield. Travelers can enjoy a hike through wooded trails with meandering streams, a covered bridge and waterfalls.
In the Northwest U.S., the state of Washington suggests the Washington Park Arboretum, Mount Baker and Mount Rainier as good choices for fall color. They have a toll-free hotline for more information (1-800-354-4595).
Flickr photo by ra_hurd
It’s no secret that New England is one of the world’s top fall foliage destinations, but I bet you didn’t know that there are several other places in the northern Hemisphere where you can see the trees in their autumn glory. An additional bonus? Fewer people travel in the fall, and prices tend to be cheaper too!
Here are a few of the world’s best places to check out fall foliage:
In the USA:
Arizona Highlands — Arizona might have deserts and canyons, but the higher elevations around Flagstaff and its White Mountains have really photo-worthy foliage.
The Great Lakes Region — The Lakes region is famous for its huge expanse of fresh water, but the trees in fall paired with the blue of the water makes fall a great time to travel north.
Maine — This whole state is ablaze with fall colors come October. Just ride the I-95 north and breathe in the New England air. It’s no wonder the state slogan is, “Maine: The Way Life Should Be.”
Vancouver Island — Canada’s western isle is teeming with fall colors — from the city of Victoria, British Columbia’s capital, to the wilderness of Strathcona Provincial Park.
Prince Edward Island — Leaf peepers can hike, bike or take a horseback ride through the uncrowded trails on Prince Edward Island. Additionally, Charlottetown rings in the fall with its Fall Flavours food and wine festival.
High Tatras, Poland — Poland’s eastern mountains are great for skiing in the winter, but the fall offers fantastic opportunities for hiking. Zakopane makes a good base for fall excursions.
Lot Valley, France — Walk, bike, or drive around Lot Valley’s orchards and vineyards, which glow with autumn colors. The region is great for active bird watching or just a quiet weekend retreat.
Bruges, Belgium — Take a stroll around Bruges’s canals or drink a Belgian beer while admiring the trees. This is one of the few places where the city offers just as many photo-worthy fall shots as the outskirts.
The Swiss Alps — While this mountain range is famous for its skiing, fall offers great opportunities for multi-day hiking or road tripping along winding mountain roads as you admire the warm colors of the hills.
Lake Bled, Slovenia — Take a boat onto Lake Bled and take in the perfect blend of the area’s clear waters and the trees’ fiery hues.
Fall is here – which means we can all trade in our swim gear for a windbreaker, and head out for some good clean family “fall fun”. One of the most entertaining ways to spend your afternoon is at a corn maze. This year, there are over 200 different mazes, and many of them have been meticulously designed with a specific theme.
If you have never had the joy of getting lost in a corn maze, picture yourself in the middle of a large field, surrounded by nothing but very tall corn stalks. Don’t worry though, a lot of effort went into designing the maze so you don’t get lost for more than
a couple of days half an hour.
Most mazes are at farms where a variety of activities are offered, including hay rides and of course a great assortment of fall foods.
The best way to find a local maze is through the inventor of the corn maze – the MAiZE company. This year, there are 200 maze locations, including several in Canada, one in the UK, Poland and Italy.
Every maze I have been to is was a ton of fun, and very family friendly. Admission is usually around $10, cheaper on week days.
These are the weekends of fall foliage train trips. Several states have them, and some more than one option. This Penn Rail video is a journey of the Reading and Northern. The sounds, sites and excitement of train travel are captured perfectly.
Along with showing up close footage of the train, even from the perspective of the track, the video highlights the towns through which the train passes. If you don’t have time to get to a fall foliage train, here’s one that’s coming to you. Here’s a link to other fall foliage trains in Pennsylvania.