The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler. You know what that means? It’s almost the fall season!! I absolutely love fall and the weather that comes with it. Fall brings out some of the best hiking weather that there is and it also brings out some of the most beautiful landscape because of the fall foliage!
I want everyone to have the most awesome and safe hiking experience as possible in the fall. I want everyone to enjoy being in nature and seeing what fall has to offer. That’s why I want to help you plan your perfect fall hike, so that you can get the best out of the fall hiking season!
Where to go?
It’s fall time, so you are going to want to see some amazing fall foliage!! In order to do that you will need to go to a place that can offer the fall foliage that you desire. I have assembled a list of some of the most amazing places to hike on the east coast in the fall!
Wondering when fall foliage will be at its peak? Check out this amazing fall foliage predictor by smokymountains.com by clicking below!
Shenandoah National Park
Located in Virginia, Shenandoah National Park is a national park that I have been to multiple times and is a place my family loves going to on vacation. Shenandoah is where I fell in love with hiking, so it always holds a special place in my heart. Shenandoah in my humble opinion provides some of the most gorgeous fall foliage out there to see!
Why pick Shenandoah National Park?
Shenandoah includes 200 square miles of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are home to large amounts of different animal species. These mountains provide for lots of amazing mountain overlooks and trails. Shenandoah also has a beautiful scenic skyline drive through the mountains. If you are looking to see bears, then this is the scenic drive for you. I have personally seen the most bears ever at one time on this road. It was certainly a drive I will not forget! And oh I forgot to mention that the famous Appalachian trial runs right though the park!
- Old Rage Mountain Loop Trail (Which the hike that really got me into hiking!)
- Dark Hallow Falls Trail
- Hawksbill Gap Loop Trail
- Rose River Trail
- Skyline Drive (I have seen lots of bear on this drive!)
- Byrd Visitor Center
Want to keep an eye on the fall foliage at Shenandoah? Click below to check out the foliage for yourself, so you can plan your visit at the perfect time!
Acadia National Park
Located alone the Atlantic coastline in Maine, Acadia National Park is home to 158 miles of hiking trails. This is one place on this list that I have not been to, but I have heard the weather in the fall is absolutely gorgeous! Acadia is also a great place to take your dog! (I’m sure your dog will love a fall hike!)
Why Pick Acadia National Park?
Besides Acadia’s 27 miles of historic motor roads, 158 miles of hiking trails, and 45 miles of carriage roads, Acadia has stunning views of the Atlantic coastline! Acadia offers some of the best sunrises and sunsets! Not only that, you can kayak the coastline! (Which to me sounds like a lot of fun!)
- The Beehive Loop Trail
- Precipice, Orange and Black and Champlain North Ridge Trail Loop
- Cadillac North Ridge Trail
- Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse
- Carriage Roads (57 miles of paved paths!)
- Wild Gardens of Acadia
Want to monitor Maine’s fall foliage, so you can best plan your trip. Click the button below! 🙂
Franconia Notch State Park
Franconia Notch State Park located in Lincoln, New Hampshire is another great place to go for a hike in the fall season. Franconia is probably one of the best state parks I have visited. I will never forget the hikes I have had with my family. I’m sure if you decide to go hiking at Franconia you will love it too!
Why Pick Franconia Notch State Park?
Franconia Notch State Park is at the heart of the White Mountains between the peaks of the Kinsman and Franconia mountain ranges! That is all I should really have to say to convince you that Franconia Notch is a great place to go hiking, but I guess I’ll tell you more. Franconia is also home to the Flume Gorge and the summit of Mount Lafayette, which is a 5,249 foot summit! (I have personally been to the top)
- Flume Gorge
- Mount Lafayette (Views from the top are Beautiful)
- Cannon Mountain
- Lonesome Lake Trail
- Artist Bluff Trail
- Basin Cascade Trail
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Another national park that I have been to multiple time is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This park is another favorite vacation spot for my family and we see something new every time we are there! From bears on the trail, waterfalls you can walk behind, beautiful views from Clingmans Dome, and many more! I believe the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great place for a fall hike.
Why Pick the Great Smoky Mountains?
According to the national park service Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the united states. Which is one of the reason that this park will be a great place for a fall hike. But, if that isn’t good enough for you, this park has over 800 miles of hiking trails and is considered to be the salamander capital of the world (So, if you like salamanders this must be the place to go)!!
- Cades Cove
- Clingmans Dome
- Abrams Falls Trail
- Grotto Falls Trail
- Chimney Tops
- Alum Bluff Trail to Mount LeConte
- Laurel Falls Trail
Want a fall foliage report on the Great Smoky Mountains? Click below to see the report!
Leonard Harrison State Park
Leonard Harrison State Park if you haven’t heard of it is located in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania (I may be a little biased towards this park because I am a Pennsylvania native!). So, me being a Pennsylvania (PA) native means I have been to this park several times. Let me tell you what, it has some of the most beautiful landscape that PA has to offer. In my opinion, if you are in PA and want to see some beautiful fall foliage, look no further than Leonard Harrison State Park.
Why Pick Leonard Harrison State Park?
Ever hear of the Grand Canyon? Yeah, you probably have…But have you ever heard of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon? Well, you might not have! The PA grand canyon might not be as deep or as well know, but it is still very beautiful and perfect for fall foliage! Not only that, Leonard Harrison State Park is home to many hiking trails and the 62 mile Pine Creek Rail Trail!
After you are done at Leonard Harrison State Park head right over to Colton Point State Park to see more views of the Canyon! Click the button below to see when fall foliage is going to hit its peak in PA!
Fall is a perfect time to going hiking, whether you want to go solo or with your family. There are tons of places to see fall foliage on the east coast, so it was very hard to narrow it down to just five! But before you go out to any of these parks, make sure the trails and sites you want to see are open. 2020 has brought us a lot of unknown, so you just want to make sure you plan your trip knowing that certain trails are open! Also, make sure you have the proper gear to provide you the safest experience possible because whether you are a beginner or a super experienced hiker safety should be a main priority!
If there are any places I missed or any places you want to share with me where the fall foliage is awesome, please comment below 🙂