Autumns out west are great – the glow of aspen trees alight in pure gold – but there is nothing quite like leaf peeping the bright reds and purples of maple trees in New England. While most states in the Northeast have a few mountains above 4,000 ft that are favorites among peak baggers, some the best hikes for leaf peeping are below the tree line. Often less crowded but no less a workout, these are four of my favorite hikes.
The trails are dog friendly, the views are stunning and you won’t be able to miss the kaleidoscope of colors donning the deciduous trees.
VT: Stratton Mountain (3940 ft)
A world famous ski mountain, Stratton has a fire tower at the top that scared the heck out of me but I still climbed to the top. The views are lovely and there are multiple routes for getting to the top.
NH: Chocorua (3490 ft)
Chocorua is an iconic Granite State mountain with a treeless summit that has some more technical scrambling making it an exciting venture. I prefer to make it a loop by hiking up and across the three sisters before going for the Chocorua summit giving you three summit views for the price of one!
ME: Caribou Mountain (3648 ft)
Just over the New Hampshire border in Evan’s Notch you’ll find this beauty of a hike. This mountain is great as a loop, too – up the mud brook trail and down the Caribou trail. Lots of different tree species will have you admiring leaves of all kinds, shapes and colors.
NY: Noonmark Mountain (3556 ft)
If you are able to venture over into the Adirondacks of upstate New York I highly recommend Noonmark Mountain. Similar to Chocorua the summit has a bit of rock scaling that requires a bit more skill but views of the high peaks makes it worth it. And don't forget to head to the Noon Mark Diner afterwards for one of their pies!
Guest Blogger: Gretchen Powers
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