7 Gorgeous Spots to Enjoy Fall Foliage

“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.”
-George Eliot

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.

All the Ways Exercise Boosts Your Brain Power

One thing we all know, exercise is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle. But did you also know that regular exercise has massive benefits for your brain health and, by extension, your cognitive ability? Exercise positively impacts your mood, focus, memory and even improves your ability to sleep soundly.

Elevated GABA and Glutamate

You’ve most likely noticed that people who exercise regularly tend to be in better shape mentally. A study done at the UC Davis Health System and published in The Journal of Neuroscience measuring two specific neurotransmitters in charge of brain messaging demonstrated one of the ways that exercise boosts your brain’s health. 

The study set out to measure glutamate and GABA produced by the brain during exercise. These two neurotransmitters are responsible for cell-to-cell communication, and they help regulate your emotions.

Study test subjects rode stationary bikes, hitting about 85% of their maximum heart rate for three sessions, lasting between eight and 20 minutes each. While doing these exercises, a detailed MRI measured the amount of glutamate and GABA produced by their brains. Both neurotransmitters spiked during the activities. 

The most significant increases were found in the visual cortex, the area of the brain that helps process information and where mental clarity and focus originate, and in the anterior cingulate cortex, the area that helps regulate mood and emotion. The most exciting finding from the study showed elevated levels of glutamate and GABA long after the participants had finished working out.

Even More Benefits for the Brain

When you exercise, you probably concentrate on your core, legs, arms, and gluts. However, these aren’t the only areas that get stronger and more resilient with exercise. Increasing your heart rate during exercise increases blood flow to your brain, bringing with it more oxygen and nutrients. 

Exercise triggers the release of feel-good brain chemicals dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins.

Exercise induces the release of beneficial neurons that promote the growth of new neurons. 

All this oxygenating and boosting of neuron health naturally results in improved mental abilities. The proof – children and adults who regularly exercise have been shown to perform better on tests than those who don’t exercise regularly. 

Another Smart Move to Boost Your Brain Health

The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are essential for normal brain function and critical for healthy brain aging. Both fatty acids are part of the structure of your brain cells and facilitate communication between these cells. 

While many people get their omega-3 supplementation from fish oil, it turns out that krill oil may be a better source. Krill oil offers highly concentrated amounts of omega-3, and it contains powerful antioxidants that fish oil doesn’t include. 

Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Krill Oil contains 1,600 milligrams of K•REAL® Krill Oil, with high levels of EPA and DHA, in phospholipid form for better absorption.

And if arthritis or inflammation of your joints prevents you from getting the regular exercise your body and brain need every day, Dynamic Krill Oil can help here, too. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help reduce morning stiffness, tender or swollen joints, and joint pain. 

If you’re over 50 years old, consider taking an omega-3 supplement…

Because it’s unlikely that your diet alone provides enough omega-3 to replenish what’s needed.  Taking an omega-3 rich supplement like Dynamic Krill Oil provides a therapeutic dose of omega-3 fatty acids in each serving, giving your body and brain the benefits of this essential nutrient.

Sources:
1. Acute Modulation of Cortical Glutamate and GABA Content by Physical Activity | Journal of Neuroscience (jneurosci.org)
2. healthline.com/nutrition/omega-3-fish-oil-for-brain-health#TOC_TITLE_HDR_3
3. alzheimers.org.uk/omega-3-and-dementia