We’d be remiss to exclude New Hampshire’s White Mountains — particularly for hiking enthusiasts — even if it is one of the region’s best-known destinations for fall trips.
For easy access to hikes in Franconia Notch State Park, Haley Hamblin, a Washington Post photo editor from the region, recommends staying at an Airbnb in the town of Franconia, at the base of the mountains. The park has hikes for different skill levels, from shorter, kid-friendly trails to multiday backpacking routes. Plus, “it’s still very close to the rest of the Presidential range and easy to hop onto the famous Kancamagus highway,” Hamblin says.
Her other suggestion is Littleton, a town 20 minutes from hikes with a lovely downtown for dining and shopping. Whichever you pick, “keep in mind we get our first snow around Halloween most years, so people should be prepared for cold weather,” Hamblin says.
Another option outside of New Hampshire for amazing hikes is New York’s Watkins Glen State Park on the southernmost part of Seneca Lake.
“Going in the fall, it will be very colorful, and you have gorges and cliffs and waterfalls,” says Anthony Berklich, a travel consultant and founder of the travel platform Inspired Citizen.