“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
Here’s a question, what in nature looks more beautiful as it dies?
Autumn’s gorgeous and wildly, technicolor foliage, of course.
Deciduous trees from oaks, maples, aspens, poplars, birches, and dogwoods transform from monochromatic green to fiery gold, orange, red, pink, and purple as the life fades from their leaves and prepare to drop. Some displays are so mind-blowingly beautiful that they can literally take your breath away.
In almost every state of this great union, October is the best month to see the annual colors change, and it’s worth a day trip to take in this remarkable yearly phenomenon up close. But keep in mind, the clock is ticking. By mid-November, most leaves will be on the ground, and you’ll have missed out on Fall’s dazzling color show.
Here are our top picks to see fall foliage in the US this October.
1. Mount Greylock, Massachusetts
Massachusetts’ highest peak, Mount Greylock, is the stuff of legends, with both J.K. Rowling and Herman Melville noting its magical qualities. Fortunately, it’s an easy and beautiful summit drive through New England’s Berkshires. The drive we suggest passes through Great Barrington, Stockbridge, and Pittsfield on your way to North Adams.
This route takes you past rolling hills and through small New England towns clustered around white-steepled churches. This time of year, enjoy the warm oranges, golds, pinks, and reds of autumn’s glory.
Best time to go: Mid-September to end of October
2. The Catskills, New York
The Catskills, in upstate New York, is one of the best places to see autumn colors.
Located less than two hours from NYC, is the Catskills Mountain Scenic Byway stretches 52 miles through rolling hills, pristine waterways, and the charming towns of Olive, Shandaken, Middletown, and Andes.
If you’re the adventurous type, get a bird’s eye view of the Catskill’s spectacular color from zipline on from Hunter Mountain. The Summit Sky Rider Tour runs 4.6 miles through the Catskills and is the second-longest zip line in North America.
Best time to go: Mid-September to end of October
3. Roanoke Valley, Virginia
While there are spectacular views of autumn foliage all around the Blue Ridge Mountain region, there are a few prime spots that offer panoramas that will leave you breathless.
Roanoke Valley is one of them. (I had the pleasure of attending a dear niece’s wedding there a few October’s ago.) It indeed boasts colors that you would expect to find on a postcard.
Make your way to the Roanoke Star & Overlook, just 15 minutes from downtown Roanoke, directly off the Blue Ridge Parkway, at milepost 120.
There you’ll find spectacular views of the Roanoke Valley, including the downtown skyline and the surrounding mountains. You’ll also find multiple hiking and mountain bike trails and picnic areas.
Best time to go: Early October to mid-November
4. Silver City, Michigan
Michigan’s upper peninsula is famous for its colorful coastal scenery.
The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park near Silver City features plenty of hiking trails and lookout points to take in the scenery. The scenic drive along the M-26 that ends at Copper Harbor is ninety minutes of glorious fall colors to the east and gorgeous views of Lake Superior to the west.
Best time to go: Mid-September to mid-October
5. Telluride, Colorado
The aspen groves of the San Juan Mountains provide a spectacular fall color show. They morph from lush green to a kaleidoscope of brilliant golds, orange, and yellows. Take a day or two to drive the scenic San Juan Skyway through the mountain towns of Cortez, Durango, Silverton, ending in Telluride.
In Telluride, take a guided 4×4 tour to Tomboy Basin and Imogene Pass to get a stunning view of the valley below.
Best time to go: Late September to mid-October
6. Mammoth, California
Mammoth Lakes, California, on the Eastern Sierra mountain range, is memorable in all seasons, but the autumn foliage is simply unforgettable. Imagine golden and red aspens nestled against snow-dusted mountain peaks reflected in still alpine pools. The fall spectacle begins at the highest elevations by the end of September and descends and ends at the base by early November.
A few fun ways to experience the most brilliant color displays are canoeing in the Mammoth Lakes Basin, driving or biking the June Lake Loop, or hiking around Rock Creek.
Best time to go: Early October to early-November
7. Leavenworth, Washington
Leavenworth sits on the eastern slopes of Washington’s Cascade Mountains and is one of the most glorious places to see the autumn color up close. There are trails for every level, from the more accessible Hidden Lake trail to the more challenging Spider Meadows.
As a Bavarian town, Leavenworth is known for its lively Oktoberfest celebrations. If drinking beer and eating bratwurst while being surrounded by vibrant fall colors sounds like the perfect way to spend a weekend, Leavenworth is your place.
Best time to go: Late September to late October
Regardless of which part of the US you visit this Fall, getting outside and seeing and being in nature is crucial to your happiness, stress reduction, and mental health.
Never forget your colorful Fall memories…
Brain-health supplements can have a positive impact on your memory. Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Brain provides essential vitamins and minerals, plus brain-boosting ingredients like Choline, Bacopa Monnieri, and Huperzine A. Two once-daily capsules of Dynamic Brain can help you hold onto your favorite memories while giving you more focus and clarity. Staying sharp at any age is the key to a happy and rewarding life.