Seeing peak fall colors is on a lot of people's bucket lists. After a week of road tripping through Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York in mid October I have a few good ideas of where you need to start.
This was checked off my list in true form this year when I hopped into a dealer's cabernet-red 2016 GMC Denali—a totally tricked out compact SUV adventure vehicle with 4G wifi hotspot (amazing for remote locations!) that rides like an absolute dream.
I headed north, as one does to experience the peak of seasons for five days of impromptu hikes in state forests, morning runs on breathtaking country roads, and more delicious local food than I could eat (and a few highly rated but dubious looking diners too). PLUS I took on some crazy fun mountain biking at Catamount Center in Vermont, idyllic farmhouse stays via airbnb, and just one question for locals: what do YOU do for fun?
I got all sorts of must-do answers. A Becket, Massachusetts, resident and triathlete by way of Germany who we were staying with pointed me in the direction of an incredible running route, right outside my door, where lonely lake views and possible black bear sightings might be had. It was full of challenging rolling hills, the satisfying crunch of rainbow-colored leaves beneath my feet, and the endless reward of views like the above—and below.
After a morning run, what did I do first? I ATE! And I started with the best local, pesticide free apples growing in my aibnber's yard, of course! They made the perfect complement to the oatmeal
I'd brought with me in my Yeti Cooler of
goodies. It was the perfect way to warm up.
Massachusetts is surprisingly vibrant and more central for those East Coasters who want to see fall colors.
There are countless things to do in Vermont in the fall. Picking apples from local farms, visiting dairy farms for some cheese that truly lives up to it reputation. Have your tried Blythdale Farms Vermont Brie?? Sorry, France, but this stuff is really GOOD. Or there are plenty of
Vermont wineries to trounce around (with
a designated driver), or the slew of outdoor sports to get into, which is actually why I went to Vermont in the first place.
Though this post is about the fall colors, I have to say that the sweetest sixty-something Vermonter named Tim at the local (amazing, 3-floor) outdoor outfitter, the
Skirack, had tips for mountain biking routes in every
direction except west—since Burlington sits right next to the enormous Lake Champlain to its west marking the most beautiful line you could imagine drawn between New York and Vermont. In other words, the
Burlington area, with its waterfront views, is jam packed with mountain biking routes from beginner to advanced, all within 1.5-hour drive to
the city. See some of those view below!!
Plus we also took Tim's eager recommendations for nightlife, Burlington-style to shake loose with locals at day-to-night hangout-turned-jamspot Radio Bean and the Light Shop lounge. You won't find
many unfriendly people in this town. Sure some locals want to be left alone and they'll leave you alone, too, but the majority of Northern Vermonters are generous with their friendly chit-chat
and warm as ever. It's like Berkley, California, or Portland, Oregon, on the East Coast. Anyway, I digress.
Seeing fall foliage in the Green Mountain State? Definitely a must.
For video of adventure sports in Vermont, look out for my next blog post, where I ride the Pure Bliss Trail and post running video & more professional mountain biking video.
Below, sunset views of Lake Champlain, country road views, top of Mount Philo views! All of Vermont's finest!