10 Must-Take Fall Trips
Fall turns the South into a canvas, painting it with more colors than Pollock had at his disposal. Here are the best places to see the changing leaves.
Walk Across the New River Gorge Bridge
With the help of an experienced guide, families can walk across this 3,030-foot bridge. Be sure to pause and take in the breathtaking views of Fayetteville, West Virginia. But be warned: this one isn’t for anyone who’s scared of heights. You’ll see all those deep reds and bright yellows from more than 875 feet over the New River.
Hop on the Blue Ridge Railway
Hop aboard the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway and ride through the Chattahoochee National Forest just in time to see the leaves change. The train brings families on a 26-mile loop, which takes about four hours and stops in McCaysville, Georgia, and Copperhill, Tennessee, before heading back to Blue Ridge, Georgia.
Drive Along the Pig Trail
This 19-mile stretch of Arkansas Highway 23 winds sharply through the Boston Mountains, a region of the Ozark National Forest. The twisty road often has a speed limit of just 5 m.p.h. and is peppered with viewing stations. It’s just a short drive from the mountainous Eureka Springs or the college town of Fayetteville.
Hike the Greenbrier River Trail
Also in West Virginia but for the heights-adverse, this 78-mile trail is flanked by the Greenbrier River and offers consistently beautiful views of a Southern fall. Rent some bikes or a couple of horses, or just tie up your hiking boots, and wander through three national forests from Lewisburg to Slabtown, West Virginia.
Church Viewing in Cumberland
The skyline of this small Maryland town is spotted with steeples of its many churches, most of which were built in the 1800s. Once the second-largest town in Maryland, Cumberland’s filled with historical knickknacks. But the best thing to do is take in that skyline with its colorful Appalachian background.
Visit the Horses of Lexington
The sugar maples of Lexington turning deep hues of orange and yellow should be enough to draw any autumn lovers to the city. The horses roaming the pastures of various farms are an added bonus, a beautiful, almost ethereal added bonus. Take a drive through the countryside and take in fall in horse country.
Chomp on an Apple in a Virginia Orchard
You’ve never tasted apples like these before. Take a trip to Lynchburg, Virginia, to experience the very best of fall. Yes, the beautiful colors painting the fields and a trip to historic Monticello are contenders. But we’re talking about our Southern apples, more than 100 varieties that are grown in the region with names like ‘Grimes Golden.’
Camp in the Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains turn vibrant colors as autumn falls across them, and there’s no better place to enjoy them than Bryson City, North Carolina. From there, you can hop on the Appalachian Trail, one of the country’s longest hiking trails, to take in the dusky mountains. Bring a tent, and enjoy the cool weather.
Get Pampered in Hot Springs
Hot Springs, Arkansas, is known for long days spent rejuvenating in its many spas. But take some time to visit Hot Springs National Park and Lake Hamilton to take in fall’s charms.
Listen to Tunes in Floyd
It’s argued that the early origins of country music can be found in the small town of Floyd, Virginia. The hamlet of 425 flushes with deep autumn colors come October, and its residents gather at the Floyd Country Store to do the two-step that they arguably helped invent.