By many accounts, the fall foliage this year is expected to be spectacular. So, it’s a must to get out there and enjoy the changing leaves as a family. Sure, you could take a drive, but why not try one of these eight fun ways to take in the fall foliage this year.
1. Take a Train Ride. From September 25 through November 4, Amtrak will make the “Great Dome” car available to passengers traveling select days on the Adirondack line between Albany and Montreal. You and your kids will love taking in panoramic views of the colorful leaves and Lake Champlain.
2. Take a (Short) Train Ride. Another way to enjoy fall colors by train is aboard a historic train between two cities. At the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, PA, families can enjoy fall foliage excursions that last just a few hours, including a brief layover, on several train lines.
3. Run a Race. There are a variety of running races of all distances that take advantage of the changing leaves and beautiful scenic views. Try the Fall Foliage 5K in Rhinebeck, NY or the Leaf Peepers 5K in Waterbury, VT with your kids. Be sure to take a Ben & Jerry’s factory tour while in Waterbury.
4. Enjoy a Festival. Family festivals abound in the fall and you’ll find quite a few, like the Fall Foliage Festival in Bedford, PA (10/4-5, 11-12), which celebrate the changing leaves and lovely fall colors. Another to check out is the week-long Fall Foliage Festival in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts (9/29-10/5). Look for a parade with floats, marching bands and a leaf hunt.
5. Try a Cruise. Yes, you can even take a five- to 14-day cruise, generally between New York and Montreal, to enjoy the colorful fall scenery. I’ll be honest, this may be a bit much, and difficult assuming you have kids in school, but this still seems like a pretty cool way to take in the fall foliage.
6. Try a (Short) Cruise. If you don’t have two weeks to spend enjoying the leaves, try a short cruise. One to check out is the two-hour Fall Foliage Brunch Cruise with Lady Katharine Cruises in Connecticut. Cruises depart on select dates between September 20 and October 26. As a bonus, French toast and frittatas. Yum.
7. Take a Bus Tour. Leave the driving to someone else on a charter bus tour to enjoy the fall colors. One to try is the Fall Foliage Spectacular Tour that departs from Boston. This full-day tour includes stops to explore Willard Brook State Forest and an apple orchard (always a kid-friendly favorite).
8. Go for a Bike Ride. Hop online and you should be able to find a variety of suggested bike rides for enjoying the falls scenery. In fact, Bicycling.com features a Fall Foliage Ride Guide, touting cities like Asheville, NC and Lancaster PA as great places for exploring fall colors by bike.
Photo Credit: Anthony Quintano