Without fail, every fall, mother nature puts on a spectacular show of her greens evolving into enchanting hues of gold, red, orange, and yellow. The days become shorter, as the sunlight decreases, yet the beauty only rises. National parks with terrain encompassing thick forests, tree-covered mountains, lakes, and deserts give the absolute perfect setting for the magical fall event.
Aside from the spectacular golden views, fall is also a great season to visit national parks because the weather isn’t too hot or too cold. Below are three exciting national park destinations you must check off your list before the winter winds roll in.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina & Tennessee
The magical fall colors of the Great Smoky Mountains can begin to set in as early as mid-September, when the yellow birch, mountain maple, and American beech change color as the temperature falls. Through October and early November, at lower elevations, you can witness dazzling displays of sugar maples, scarlet oaks, hickories, and autumn wildflowers.
Yosemite National Park, California
In most sections of the park, the prime time for beautiful leaf colors is in late October. Within the valley, you will find golden yellow on black oaks; red, pink, and yellow on dogwoods; bright yellow on cottonwoods, and firey red on sugar maples.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Not too far from the urban areas of Arkon and Cleveland, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is home to thousands of miles of colorful forests, hills, breath-taking waterfalls, and unbelievable hiking trails. Peak fall foliage time ranges from early to mid-October and one of the best spots you can find during this time is the 65-foot Brandywine Waterfall. If you’re a fan of scenic rides, there is a special Cuyahoga train that travels through the best locations of the park, which runs from Tuesdays through Sundays, until the end of October.