Are you in the mood for a road trip? If so, this is the perfect time of year to travel somewhere new to see the leaves turning brilliant yellows, reds, purples, and oranges. Today, I have some fun ideas for if you’d like to get behind the wheel with your family and set out to admire some beautiful foliage.
The Nine Best Places to Road-Trip Through Fall Foliage
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina. If you want to take a road trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you have an opportunity to see brilliantly colored leaves from mid-October to early November. Mountain maples, American beech, sugar maples, and hickories are just a few of the trees in this tremendous park.
- Northwest Ohio, Route 65. This drive takes you on a 50-mile tour of the lovely changing leaves in northwest Ohio, starting on Route 65 and going on to routes 110 and 424. This winding road runs beside the Maumee River from Perrysburg to Defiance, Ohio. Be sure to look for Mary Jane Thurston State Park along the way! The leaves are at their peak color here in late October.
- Hocking Hills State Park in Southeast Ohio. Travel to Logan, Ohio, and drive through Hocking Hills State Park to admire the changing foliage all around you. This short 15-mile jaunt runs on routes 664 and 374. There is a walking trail at Ash Cave if you want to get out and walk a bit. Late October is the peak time for leaves around Hocking Hills State Park.
- Michigan’s Gold Coast. Starting at Traverse City, you can see the changing colors of maple and oak trees as you cruise along for 100 miles near Grand Traverse Bay. I like the idea of traveling to a place to see leaves along with a lot of other interesting sights like windmills, lighthouses, and fishing towns. Mid- to late October is the best time to see leaves in peak color.
- Wolf Pen Gap Road in North Georgia. The 11.8 miles of this curvy road are bordered by trees with leaves at their peak color in early November. Be sure to take a look at Lake Trahlyta along your route.
- Trap Pond State Park in Delaware. The reds, golds, and yellows of the leaves in this Laurel, Delaware, park will astound you! They are at their peak from mid-October to early November. Enjoy the endless sights throughout this 3,600-plus-acre park.
- Scenic Fairfield County in Connecticut. No leaf-peeping season is complete without a visit to Connecticut. Did you know the state has the longest season for fall foliage? Take the Scenic Fairfield County tour and get your fill of beautiful leaves for 115 miles. The best time to take this specific road trip is from mid-October through the end of the month.
- Vermont Green Mountain Byway. This 220-mile road trip travels through Waterbury and Stowe. You’ll see an abundance of colorful leaves along with a collection of villages, quaint shops, pastures, and other picturesque scenery. The leaves are at their best from the last week of September into early October.
- Marinette County Waterfall Tour in Wisconsin. A 125-mile loop takes you on a drive where you can observe changing leaves on elms, birches, maples, and more. Plus, there are 14 majestic waterfalls, including Caldron and High Falls, to see along the way. The peak time for leaf color in this area runs from late September to early October.
No matter where you roam, make sure you consult the fall foliage map to determine the peak time for changing leaves. Thanks for reading. – Alan