As full-time RV’ers, fall is our favorite time of the year. We once followed the Natchez Trace from Tennessee to Mississippi (backward, according to some – but we actually loved doing it this way) and experienced fall for a solid three months. It was like we followed the fall season down. Aside from the colors and the cooler temperatures, things get quiet as the kids go back to school and people start preparing for the holidays. Below are our favorite places to visit in the fall.
You can read our 3 part Natchez Trace experience by visiting the first link below.
Pine Creek Gorge, Pennsylvania
Before we decided to sell it all and travel full-time in our RV, we bought our dream house in Pennsylvania. Justin was born and raised in PA, so he knew most of the areas really well! The Pine Creek Gorge is sometimes referred to as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.
We really enjoyed it here!! Check it out any time of the year, but it’s incredible in the fall! It stretches almost 50 miles and is best seen in early October. The path winds through the gorge, offering up-close and personal views of the ever-changing colors of countless trees. Another local favorite is Colton Point State Park, which covers 368 acres and offers impressive views of the canyon and river.
Upper Peninsula, Michigan
We really must go back to the UP. We visited almost too quickly our first time! The UP is home to over 20 forested state parks and 4 million acres of aspen, beech, birch, maple, oak, and sycamore trees, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula comes to life in a spectacular array of fiery fall colors each October. What makes this area especially amazing at this time of year is the contrast between the sapphire waters of the Great Lakes, the eroded white limestone of the cliffs, and the brightly painted leaves. If you’ve never been to Michigan in the fall, definitely put it on your bucket list!
Part of my heart belongs in Kentucky! It was one of our first stops to really explore after we left to travel full-time in our RV. Close to the beautiful Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Middleboro offers a quiet and small-town feel. Located about two hours south of Lexington, Kentucky, the Gap offers the same spectrum of fall color as the more crowded Great Smoky Mountain National Park, with a fraction of the tourists. If you’ve read our Off The Beaten Path series, you know how we love the smaller, more quiet areas. Nearly 24,000 acres of the park are pure wilderness and offer truly spectacular hiking, biking, and camping in the fall. Best time to see the colors is between late September and late October.
When you think of fall, I bet you don’t think of the west coast! Well, definitely put Leavenworth on your radar! Leavenworth is a little slice of Germany hidden in the Washington forests.
It really pulls out all the stops for its annual Oktoberfest. Running over three weekends, with the last in mid-October, this is definitely an all-out extravaganza. Kick it off at the time-honored keg tapping ceremony, and then enjoy live music, games, and plenty of beer and schnitzel all day. Prost!
Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, North Carolina
Another excellent stay for us!! And again, we weren’t there long enough! Of all of the places in America, the Great Smoky Mountains are the most renowned for rainbows of foliage in fall. Both of these forests have incredible wilderness areas with incredible fall colors. You can see our blog of hidden gems in North Carolina here!
You can see one of our campground reviews of Curtis Creek in the Pisgah National Forest here
Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky
Did I mention I love Kentucky? And aside from the fantastic colors of fall here, you’ll have to check out our incredible free camping finds in the Daniel Boone National Forest!
Visiting in mid to late October is the time to see Kentucky’s sugar maple, beech, birch, and basswood trees alight with color. Daniel Boone contains Clifty and Beaver Creek Wilderness Areas. The Red River Gorge is a geological wonder you just must see!
Door County Wisconsin
Door County is one of the Midwest’s best fall color destinations.
It is popular and sometimes crowded during the few weeks of color pop. Follow Highway 57 down the Lakeside of the peninsula, enjoying the bursts of scarlet, gold, russet, and vermilion that line highways and form canopies over country lanes. Peak colors usually arrive about the second week of October, lingering well into the third week during a good season. Get there early, and stay late, so you don’t miss it!
I think I could have picked another 100 places to visit, but these are a few of our favorites. We hope you found some value and some new places to travel. Please share your fall favorites with us. We’re still working on our fall bucket list, so share your best places to visit in the fall.
Here are some other blogs we think you’ll love!
- Off the Beaten Path in Wisconsin. Our Top 9 Hidden Gems!
- RV Camping in Montana
- Living Full-Time in an RV for 3 years. Our 15 Tips
- Off the Beaten Path in California. Our Top Hidden Gems You Just Have to See!
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