Chasing Fall Foliage on Your Boat

As temperatures drop to a crisp degree and the leaves transition into a burnt color, the scenery from the water is truly spectacular.

From New England down to the southern edges of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and out to the rustic Midwest, there are some spectacular boating destinations primed for fall foliage viewings.

» RELATED: Fall, Arguably the Best Boating Season

Here are some recommended boating areas to check out before the autumn colors fade away and winter suddenly takes over.   

Acadia National Park, Maine 

Acadia is one of the country’s most visited national parks, and for good reason. There is no lack of breathtaking scenery, which is only heightened during the fall season. From the plush trees to the dramatic rock formations that cling to the mountain’s edge, experiencing Acadia National Park from the boat is a worthwhile adventure.

Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

More commonly known for summer visits, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard can be just as magical in the fall. The stunning sunsets paired with a backdrop of lush, multi-colored trees are quite the spectacle to view from your boat.  

Hudson, New York

Hudson is only two hours outside of New York City, but this quaint, little town feels like a world away from The Big Apple. It’s known as a hub for antique shops and boutique hotels worthy of a weekend stay. It’s the perfect spot for a boater looking for an easy, car-free escape along the Hudson River. 

» MORE: Boat Safety Tips For Fall

Eureka Springs, Arkansas 

Eureka Springs is tucked away in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, where the boating opportunities are endless. Several lakes and rivers are surrounding the area, perfect for boating and fishing. Some popular boating areas include Beaver Lake, Table Rock Lake, and Lake Leatherwood. Lake Leatherwood, specifically, is a great place to experience the fall foliage. It’s surrounded by 1,600 acres of Ozark Mountain countryside. 

If you prefer taking in the beauty of fall foliage with a quality hike, here are some of the best trailheads for autumn.  

  • Mount Monadnock, New Hampshire: This 3,165-foot peak offers sweeping 360-degree views of multiple states. The White Dot Trail will get you there. Although it does follow a sharp incline path, the views from the top make the trek all the more worth it.
  • Mount Mansfield, Vermont: The state of Vermont is one of the most-visited places for epic views of the season’s fall foliage. The northern Vermont forest of Mount Mansfield is no exception. The drive to the mountain takes you along winding, country roads, streams, and bridges. Every stop along the drive hosts some of the best autumn colors throughout the country.
  • Whiteside Mountain, North Carolina: Whiteside Mountain offers a two-mile loop hike with the Blue Ridge Mountains as the center backdrop. On clearer days, you can see Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. Look out for the falcons that nest in the mountain cliffs. The Blue Ridge Mountains are a beautiful sight in any season, but especially in the peak of fall when the trees are drenched in red, yellow, and orange colors.
  • Mount LeConte, Tennessee: Mount LeConte, part of the colorful Great Smoky Mountains, straddles the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. There are quite a few peaks available to the summit, each providing incredible views of the surrounding areas for all the fall vibes. Try out the popular Alum Cave Trail. It ascends Mount LeConte, which is the sixth highest mountain east of the Mississippi River. This 5-mile trailhead will take you through some historic landmarks, including Arch Rock, Inspiration Point, the Duckhawk Peaks, and Cliff Top.
  • Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming: Heading out west, Grand Teton offers a little bit of everything. Snowy caps, colorful trees, and glacially-formed lakes. The wide-open terrain met with the bright yellow trees is truly an idyllic landscape. Look out for the moose strolling through the park, they’re everywhere!

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