All too soon it seems like a season is gone just as we are beginning to enjoy it. Before summer has faded away, it is a good idea to get out your trip planner and jot down some notes as to the best places to just enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. For those who love autumn when nature shows off her most glowing wardrobe, one can find some spectacular fall colors throughout Appalachian country. From mid September to early November is the peak of the autumn show of colors.
If you like to get out in nature, regardless of your mode of travel, you will have a beautiful background of vivid reds, yellow, oranges, and purples of hardwood trees all complimenting each other and the lovely shades of green from pine and spruce trees. When this is combined with a gorgeous sunset at day's end, you will feel you are in paradise -- and well you may be.
In Shenandoah National Park, in Virginia, there is only one public road that will take you through the park, and what a lovely drive it is. Skyline Drive is a 105 mile road that runs north and south and will take you through the entire park. Stopping at any, or all, of the 75 viewpoints (or overlooks) will provide some absolutely stunning views of Shenandoah Valley. Year round wildflowers, along with the autumn spread of color is breathtaking.
Another renowned scenic driving route is the Blue Ridge Parkway, a National Scenic Byway. This route travels north from its southern terminus at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs 469 miles, most of it along the Blue Ridge mountains, and provides access to Skyline Drive in Virginia.
A drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during the fall provides travelers with fantastic and brilliant leaf colors, from pale yellow to deep rust, blazing oranges, shades of red and wine that make the land look like a majestic tapestry. The scenes are just bursting with vibrant color.
Within this vast range called Appalachia, there are 420 counties and eight independent cities in 13 states, including all of West Virginia, 14 counties in New York, 52 in Pennsylvania, 32 in Ohio, 3 in Maryland, 54 in Kentucky, 25 counties and 8 cities in Virginia, 29 in North Carolina, 52 in Tennessee, 6 in South Carolina, 37 in Georgia, 37 in Alabama, and 24 in Mississippi. There are so many small, historical towns in these regions that get you close to nature and also provide great lodging choices, camping, dining, and shopping.
For some spectacular photographs of autumn colors in Appalachian country, take a few moments and visit the photo gallery at:
Appalachian Fall Colors By Thomas Bailey. If this does not make you want to plan a trip now, you can at least dream about being in those beautiful scenes.
If you prefer to take a more relaxing trip by train, check out the Fall Colors in the Smoky Mountains -11 Day Tour. I came across this site while doing research and wanted to share it with you. There a few great benefits of taking a train trip -- well, many benefits actually. Two of those benefits is that you do not have to do the driving and all the planning is done for you -- so, you and the family can just sit back and gaze out the windows.
Whether you plan your trip with your own vehicle or by train, enjoy the beauty of nature in her finest array of brilliant colors.