New York Adirondack Adventure
The Adirondack Park, the largest wilderness east of the Mississippi, sprawls far and wide across upstate New York—a rugged, pristine realm where forests and mountains reign supreme. Encompassing both public and private land, the Adirondack Park is shaped a bit like a giant oval, and it boasts an astounding 6 million acres—a tapestry of woodlands, meadows, high-shouldered peaks, and thousands of streams and lakes. The 16,000-acre Wilmington Flume Preserve on Rte. 86 is part of Adirondack Park. Tiny villages are nestled across the countryside, and campgrounds and trails abound. It is no wonder, then, that visitors who come here tend to stay a while in order to savor the stunning scenery, protected since 1892 by a state law decreeing that the park shall remain ”forever wild.”
Length: About 270 miles, plus side trips.
When to go: Fine scenery year-round, with drastic and dramatic seasonal changes. In October, Lake Placid hosts a Flaming Leaves festival, which includes good food and sporting events. This is why fall is the cheapest, easiest, and best time to travel.
Hidden in the time-worn mountains of far western Maryland is a pristine province where rivers run deep, forests grow thick, and tiny mountain towns beckon with cozy inns and tales of frontier lore. Don’t miss the Casselman Bridge of Grantsville, a mountain village populated mostly by Amish and Mennonites since the 1800s.
Length: About 193 miles, plus side trips.
When to go: Best between May and October.
Massachusetts Mohawk Trail
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Forested mountains, rich river-bottom farmlands, and riotous explosions of autumn color—the splendors of this Massachusetts drive have inspired the raves of travelers for generations. Above, a floral cascade blankets the stream-side trail at Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls.
Length: About 60 miles, plus side trips.
When to go: Popular year-round, but best in fall for the foliage. Check out these things you need to add to your fall bucket list this year.