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Monday, September 23, 2019

First Day of Fall - Hiking Guide Round Up!

I love summer, I do, I do.  But Fall is the best season in New England.  Hands Down.  

It is everything you could want in a season.  It's short and sweet and the perfect mix of warm days and cool nights, amazing foliage and the best activities.  This weekend it hit 80 during the day and 50 at night and I am thanking the weather gods for this mix of everything lovely.  The bugs are gone, the AC is away, and you don't need to turn on the heat just yet.  Heck, its the cheaper season where the weather is so perfect you only need a sweater in the morning, sunscreen in the afternoon, and can sleep blissfully with the windows open. 

Here in New England, fall is especially special.  It's fair season and we flock to our local fairs for tractor pulls and fried dough.  We pick apples, bake pies and make our way through corn mazes.  We grab our flannel and throw on a Patagucci vest.  We head to haunted houses, craft festivals, and hayrides.  We go on "foliage drives" through New Hampshire, cross covered bridges in Vermont, hiking mountainsides that turn into shades of fiery reds, deep oranges, and bright yellows.  I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. 

To celebrate the First Day of Fall, I am sharing my Everything Autumn Guide to New England (foliage prediction maps, how to tell the leaves apart, best trees for color, etc) and some of my favorite fall hikes.  If you are outside the northeast, you can see the peak foliage in your neck of the woods on this Fall Foliage Map. I almost always carry "The Bible" (Fodor's Guide to New England with the best fall foliage guides and scenic road trips) during any road trip up north and this is especially true for the fall.  There is an entire section devoted to the foliage, the best scenic drives, and primo New England destinations.  Don't worry, you can Amazon Prime is and have your very own New England Bible in 2 days.  

For everyone in the Northeast, prime foliage is the last weekend of September/first week of October for the northern elevations of New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York and the second to the third week of October for Connecticut.  If you are like me, you start your hikes up north and make your way south, catching the prime foliage from Maine to Rhode Island.  

F e a t u r e d   i n   t h e   f a l l 

Stowe Pinnacle - Vermont
3.2-miles round trip, 1,520 ft elevation gain, dog and kid-friendly - Trail Guide

Kingdom Trails - Vermont
A network of trails (over 100 miles) popular mountain biking destination Guide

Lantern Hill - Connecticut
2.5-miles round trip, 400 ' elevation gained, dog and kid-friendly - Trail Guide

Mount Mansfield - Vermont
7-miles round trip, 2,600 ' elevation gained, dog and kid-friendly Trail Guide

Devil's Hopyard - Connecticut
4.5-miles, 870' elevation gained, kid and dog-friendly Trail Guide

Burke Mountain - Vermont
6-miles, 2,100' elevation gained, Dog-Friendly Trail Guide

a n d  m o r e . . . 

I did not hike these actual trails IN fall (so you will notice the trees are still green in all my photos) but I do know that these hikes offer some amazing fall foliage. 

Indian Head 

H i k e  N e w  Y o r k 

Overlook Mountain 
(Easy to Moderate Hike to hotel ruins and the fire tower with views)

Indian Head 
(Moderate Hike gorgeous views off the cliffs, will be STUNNING when the leaves change)

Carter Moriah Traverse

H i k e   N e w   H a m p s h i r e 

Carter Moriah Traverse 
(Moderate to Difficult Backpacking loop in the whites)

Mount Monadnock 
(Moderate Hike, elevation and stunning views)

Franconia Ridge 
(Challenging  Hike but voted the best day hike in New England)

Mount Washington 
(Challenging, short window to hike, highest point in New England with gorgeous views on Tuckerman's Ravine)

Ragged Mountain Hike

H i k e  C o n n e c t i c u t 

Lake Zoar 
(Easy to Moderate Loop Hike along the Lake with gorgeous views)

Ragged Mountain 
(Easy Loop Hike with changes in elevation and pretty vistas)

Mount Tom

H i k e  M a s s a c h u s e t t s

Mount Tom 
(Easy Hike with vistas and overlook)

(Moderate Hike along pretty trail, summit views with a cabin)


H i k e  M a i n e

Katahdin, Baxter 
(Challenge hike, the tallest peak in ME, stunning views all along, and a short window to hike)


H i k e  V e r m o n t

Hunger Mountain 
(Moderate to Hard, great views above the treeline) 

Bingham Falls, Stowe 
(Easy, short hike, swim in the waterfall)

Deer Leap Overlook, Killington 
(Easy hike, short, scenic, cool viewpoint at the end)

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