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Your guide to fall foliage on the East Coast

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

If you live on the east coast, you can probably already feel Fall’s presence– in the way the air smells, the cooler mornings, how green turns to yellow and red on the tips of leaves, and the assortment of fall scents and pumpkin themed things already lining store shelves.

The east coast is a spectacular place to watch the leaves change color and we want you to experience the best of the best! Don’t quite know where to start? We’ve compiled a list of sources below filled with colorful adventures that will make it easier for you to weigh your options and plan your next trip.

Photo: Brandon Dewey

The Best Areas on the East Coast for Fall Hiking

The story above highlights a comprehensive list of specific hiking adventures in different east coast states that feature spectacular displays of leaves changing color.

When and Where to See Fall Foliage

Photo: Chris Mongeau

Much like the story above, this piece provides useful info on where to go for show-stopping foliage in a number of east coast states, but also provides information on WHEN you should go to experience the autumnal transition at its peak.

National Park Lands

Are you more of a National Park person, but haven’t had the chance to hit spots on the east coast? Give this piece a read for some ideas on both popular and lesser known national parks, seashores, and recreation areas in the East. From Maine and Massachusetts to North Carolina and Georgia, you may be surprised by the diversity of this list!

New York

Photo: Janet Thomas

Whether you’re visiting from outside the state or you’re a NY city dweller looking for an autumn escape in the great outdoors, this story lists notable New York adventures featuring waterfalls, fire towers, a nice kayaking spot, and the best of the Catskills.

A Day in the Catskills

This is a more personal story highlighting the author’s experience with Fall photography around Catskill State Park. Give this a read for some motivation to visit the Catskills or for some Fall photography inspiration.

5 Tips for Finding Beautiful Fall Foliage in Massachusetts

Aside from suggesting places to visit in the state of Massachusetts for fall foliage, this story will satisfy your desire or curiosity to understand from a more scientific standpoint why planning a leaf peeping trip is more optimal at certain times over others– affected by things like the weather and light conditions. Follow the included useful links to peak fall foliage maps and learn about different types of trees and the colors they boast.

Martha’s Vineyard

If you’re looking for an idyllic east coast weekend getaway, reserve a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Cape Cod this autumn. The vineyard is most known for being a popular summer vacation destination with most of the businesses and activities booming May through August, but once the tourist crowds die down, you’ll find that you’ll really be able to harness your main character energy while peacefully walking down the charming main streets in the crisp air. Go for long beach walks, bike all around the island, and discover hidden trails to take in all the island’s beauty minus the hustle and bustle.


Photo: Abby Shepard

Browse through this list of state parks and a national wildlife refuge in Delaware for noteworthy recommended autumn adventures.

Though it can be tough to wave goodbye to summer and its warmth, there’s nothing quite like that fleeting magical period of time when the seasons change. Maximize marveling at the vibrant fall colors by taking a road trip instead of flying to a new destination. To find fun adventures along the way, download our app and spend less time planning and more time being in the moment.

Cover Photo: Jason Hatfield

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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