Fall is one of my favorite seasons. There is nothing quite like watching leaves transform from their typical green hue to brilliant shades of orange, purple, red and gold. I look forward to it every year, and, luckily, Mother Nature rarely disappoints.
I’m hardly in the minority when it comes to my love for leaf peeping. Fall foliage attracts hoards of people who wish to witness this phenomenon firsthand. Fortunately, I don’t have to travel far to feed my foliage addiction. I live in a USDA Forest Service designated “Fall Foliage Hotspot.” Lucky me.
For those of you who aren’t so lucky, or those of you looking to road trip it out to take in the view, I’ve devised a list of my top five favorite places to go that have both stunning fall scenery and sweet singletrack.
Because, really, there’s no better way to experience the season than behind your handlebars.
New England puts on a show of orange, purple and red this time of year. Plan on visiting the area in October to see the colors at their peak. While you’re there, why not ride Kingdom Trails? This IMBA-designated trail network offers miles of twisty, flowing singletrack and classic New England scenery. For lift-serviced downhill mountain biking, spend the day at Killington’s mountain bike park. During foliage season both gondolas run. Don’t miss it!
Expect full color in the northern region of the state during early-October. Central Pennsylvania hits its peak during mid-October. Take in the beauty from Raystown Lake’s Allegrippis Trail System. The 30-plus miles of singletrack were designed by mountain bikers and built by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Visit Southeastern Pennsylvania during late October for foliage peaks. And while you’re there, take a spin through Wissahickon Valley Park, tucked inside Philadelphia's Fairmount Park system. The urban oasis offers mountain bikers 50 miles of trails.
The Beehive State showcases its yellows and reds in early September through November, depending on the region. See the season’s beauty by way of mountain biking the Mid-Mountain Trail. At 8,000 feet above sea level, the 20-or-so mile ride offers breathtaking views of the valleys below.
Visit Colorado in the month of September to see the yellow and gold leaf transformation of the Aspen trees. Get up close and personal to witness this spectacular show by mountain biking part of the Colorado Trail. The most popular sections are those near Denver and Durango, the segments accessible from Kenosha Pass area, sections near the Buena Vista area, and the portion near Marshall Pass.
Enjoy a variety of yellow, orange, purple and red late in the season. Parts of West Virginia don’t reach their foliage peak until early November! It’s easy to enjoy the fall colors from the saddle of your bike; the state boasts a multitude of sweet singletrack. Check in with the West Virginia Mountain Bike Association for more information on planning your Autumn mountain bike getaway.