The view from Basin Mountain, one of the 46 Adirondack high peaks, on Thursday, Oct. 6.
By TRESA ERICKSON
When the days turn cooler and the leaves glisten in shades of gold, orange, purple and red, America becomes a beautiful sight to behold. It is so beautiful, in fact, that many take time out to tour the color-changing landscape. If a fall foliage tour sounds like a great idea to you, read on!
There are a couple of avenues for exploring America’s shifting fall color palette. You can create your own route and explore it by foot, bike or car. You can look to a professional to guide you and explore the route by bike, bus or train. Either way, you are sure to have a great fall foliage tour.
For some leaf peepers, there is no better way to check out the changing colors than to fly solo. They choose their own route and go their own pace. There are hundreds of sources online and in print for determining the most scenic fall foliage routes.
For other leaf peepers, only a guided fall foliage tour will do. They don’t have the time or inclination to plot out a route, nor do they want to do the driving. It’s far better to hop a bike, bus or train and leave the planning to someone else.
Professional fall foliage tours can range from a few hours to several days, with fees based on the length of trip and services provided. As with any trip you take, you should research in depth what’s offered and select the package that will best serve you. Some tours are better than others, and it pays to read customer reviews and check out references and recommendations. When you have selected a tour, you should get everything in writing, including the fees as well as a list of what you will need for the trip.
No matter how long the fall foliage tour, guided or self-guided, there are a few things you should do to ensure you have a good time. You should always dress in layers to account for changing temperatures. You should pack a first aid kit, along with nutritious snacks and water, for any hikes you might take. Finally, you should bring a camera. No doubt you will come across some sights that you won’t want to forget.
Fall foliage tours can be great fun. Don’t dismiss the beauty around you. Whether just a short jaunt around the local area or a long trek up the coast, you’re sure to be inspired by Mother Nature’s changing fall vista.
Some best locations:
According to iloveny.com, the week of Columbus Day is the optimum time to visit the Adirondacks for the best color foliage.
North Country’s colder climates lend to an earlier peak season compared to neighboring regions.
Field observers report Tupper Lake and Mt. Arab areas expect peak foliage this weekend with 85 percent color change and bursts of magenta, rhubarb, strawberry, raspberry, bittersweet, dandelion, buttercup, russet and golden orange. While Lake Placid is already at peak.
In relation, the Capital District and Mohawk Valley is still around the midpoint of color change, so the best times are yet to come. Of course, the higher in elevation that you go, the close you will be to peak this week.
— Michael Hallisey