From the fair weather to the vibrant foliage, fall is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful times of the year. If you truly want to take in the beauty, there’s no better way to do it than with a hike. Yet, with the plethora of options out there, it’s tricky to narrow down your choices. Luckily, we’ve done all the work for you. Here are our picks for the five best cities for fall hiking in the U.S.
1. Bar Harbor, Maine
Located on Mount Desert Island, the charming small town of Bar Harbor, ME, is one of New England’s top destinations for outdoor adventures. Its seaside location and proximity to Acadia National Park provide virtually endless opportunities for hiking and exploration, along with unforgettable sights. If you want to take it easy, the Bar Harbor Shore Path is ideal. The trail begins at the town’s pier and follows the breathtaking shoreline of Frenchman Bay and even provides a glimpse of the Porcupine Islands.
For a more immersive experience, head next door to Acadia National Park. The park is home to over 45 miles of carriage roads, which offer fairly easy treks — perfect for traveling with kids and pets. There are also over 100 miles of hiking trails to choose from. For a moderate climb, hit the Cadillac Mountain North Ridge Trail, featuring mesmerizing views of the harbor and the bay. Or, push your limits by heading up the strenuous yet rewarding South Ridge Trail. Round out your visit with a relaxing, gentle walk around the loop nature trail at Jordan Pond on the east side of the park.
2. Milton, Massachusetts
While it’s technically a suburb of Boston, Milton, MA, feels far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. In fact, the quaint town is nestled in-between the Blue Hills and Neponset River, providing thousands of acres of a lush, natural landscape to explore. At the Neponset River Reservation, the kid-friendly Quincy Riverwalk trail offers two-miles of spectacular views alongside the waterfront. Even though it’s short, it’s an excellent way to start off your hiking expedition.
When you’re ready to dive into nature, head to the Blue Hills Reservation. Spanning over 7,000 acres, the reserve offers 125 miles of trails for all experience levels and is dog-friendly. The Braintree Pass Path and Wolcott Path Loop in Milton offer an easy trek and shouldn’t take more than three hours apiece, so you can actually tackle both. Looking for a challenge? Try the three-mile Skyline or Buck Hill loops. If you’re visiting in the early part of fall, enjoy a post-hike cool off with a swim at Houghton’s Pond Recreation Area.
3. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Known as the Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, TN, is one of the best cities for fall hiking in the U.S. The Smoky Mountains are beautiful year-round, but in autumn, the rich reds, oranges, and yellows blanketing the hillsides are breathtaking. As a result, it’s a must-stop on every fall nature getaway.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park covers over 500,000 acres, making the biggest challenge deciding which trails to hit first. If you want to get up close and personal with a waterfall, take the Pigeon Creek Trail to Mingo Falls or the Laurel Fall Trail to Laurel Falls. To break a sweat, trek the Alum Cave Trail, or for unbeatable views, try the Chimney Tops Trail. Planning a family hiking trip? The Kephart Prong and Porters Creek trails are both kid-friendly.
4. Camden, Maine
It’s hard to beat the autumn views found in Maine, and Camden isn’t an exception. Resting on the Penobscot Bay, the idyllic town is surrounded by nature and offers some of the most majestic fall views in the entire country. When it comes to hiking, Camden Hills State Park is the place to go. The 5,700-acre park’s most popular trek is the Mount Battie Trail, but the Cameron Mountain Trail is a close second. For a slightly less challenging option, try the Adams Lookout Trail or the Bald Rock Trail.
5. Santa Fe, New Mexico
The landscape surrounding Santa Fe, NM, is a living piece of art with picturesque mountains, towering pine forests, and lush wildflowers. Resting in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, nearby Hyde Memorial State Park is one of the top spots for hiking. While the West Circle Trail covers over two miles of hilly terrain, the rocky Waterfall Trail provides a well-earned cascade prize at the midway point. For a more diverse selection, take on one of the Dale Ball Trails featured throughout Santa Fe County, including the dog-friendly Atalaya Trail.
Hit the Trails with BusTickets.com
It’s hard to beat the visual experience provided by a well-chosen autumn hike, but sometimes budgets get in the way. Luckily, you can enjoy a trek for yourself without breaking the bank with the help of BusTickets.com. Our easy-to-use price comparison tool allows you to compare travel prices from the industry’s top providers in one spot. Simply search, browse, and buy — all within a few clicks of a button. What are you waiting for? Book your bus tickets to the five best cities for fall hiking in the U.S. today!
https://www.visitbarharbor.com/ https://www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm https://www.mass.gov/locations/neponset-river-reservation https://www.mass.gov/location-details/quincy-riverwalk https://www.mass.gov/locations/blue-hills-reservation https://www.mass.gov/location-details/hiking-in-blue-hills https://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm https://www.maine.gov/dacf/parks/trail_activities/camden_trail_conditions.shtml http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/hydememorialstatepark.html