Where To See Stunning Fall Foliage...Outside Of New England

Fall foliage is easily among nature's greatest annual demonstration. The various dazzling hues peak between September and October all across the U.S. Chances are you already live a short road trip away from spots with phenomenal mixtures of yellow, red, orange and green.

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

The Blue Ridge Parkway provides both stunning scenery and close-up looks of the natural beauty through the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah national parks. You can also bike the Blue Ridge, and the best time for that is early November. You'll see hundreds of fiery native hardwood species—sugar maples, scarlet oaks, sweet gum, red maple and hickories. Fall is a special time on the Parkway with the harvest visible along the roadsides in many places and communities showcasing their own version of fall festivals.

Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama

The Oak Mountain State Park has grown to 9,940 acres making it Alabama's largest state park. The park's stunning physical landscape, which alone makes for an unforgettable experience, is worth a trip to see majestic fall foliage. Some adventures you can embark on include mountain biking and hiking as there are more than 50 miles of trails to choose from.

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Lake Geneva, a small city in Wisconsin, is one of the most astonishing places to see dramatic and long lasting fall colors. Enjoy the gorgeous natural displays on cruises on the lake, and stay in off the beaten path cabins. Witnessing the blazing red, bright shining yellow and burning orange hues that burst in this Midwestern town between September and November is a real treat.

Upper Peninsula, Michigan

The Upper Peninsula is an underrated adventure destination. This natural beauty in northern Michigan has 1,700 miles of shoreline on three Great Lakes, and that's just the beginning of its outdoor offerings. About 90 percent of its area is covered in forest. The UP also has expansive mountains, lakes, streams, and waterfalls. Join a Fall Color Tour for more breathtaking vistas, country roads and walks on the lakeshore. Don't forget Michigan's Gold Coast for more awe-inspiring vistas of brilliant fall displays.

The Ozarks, Arkansas

The true peak occurs usually between the last week of October and the first week of November. "Entire hillsides are in bright intense colors everywhere you look. [There are] very few green trees, very few bare trees – just millions of trees in bright display, according to Ozark Recreation Directories.

Massapequa Preserve, New York

Look beyond the Adirondacks this year and see stunning fall foliage at the most beautiful and most hidden area in Nassau County. It's ideal for biking along a stream surrounded by trees and gardens. The preserve is made up of 432 acres. It contains a bike trail, hiking trail via the Greenbelt, as well as fishing and nature walks.

Coopers Rock State Forest, West Virginia

The colors here usually peak in mid-October. The park, located 13 miles from Morgantown, is all about the views. The forest has many overlooks of the canyon section of the Cheat River that offer breathtaking panoramas. Make the most of the 50 mile of hiking and biking trails and adventurous opportunities amongst the huge boulders and cliffs.

Eastern Sierras, California

The "natural landscape in the Eastern Sierra, where rugged granite canyons are carved by rushing streams and framed by an azure sky, offers a spellbinding contrast of colors during autumn golden, crimson and orange aspen and cottonwoods," according to The Outside of California. You'll see stunning alpine lakes, pouring waterfalls, and gorgeous mountain peaks. They vary from approximately 5,000 to 10,000 feet.

Sherman Peak, Bear River Range, Idaho

At 9,682 feet, Sherman Peak is the highest mountain in this region and therefore provides the best and most incredible views of fall colors in the area. It is surrounded by forests, which means that the blazing fall colors are out in full force. The peak can be accessed via the Bear River Range Highline Trail from the parking area near the trailhead off Eightmile Creek Road. In total, it's a 3.5-mile hike to the summit. This is a relatively easy hike.

The Poconos, Pennsylvania

The Fall Foliage Forecast will begin for the season on September 7. The Pocono Mountains are home to more than 120 varieties of trees, shrubs, and plants. The area spans 2,400 square miles. The three distinct color zones treat visitors to catching peak colors three times.

Tennessee River Gorge, Tennessee

The best time to go is during the last two weeks of October or early November. The Tennessee River Gorge is often referred to as the state's Grand Canyon. It makes its way through the Cumberland Mountains. Visit to see marvelous and bright colors on trees in three different kinds of forests. Consider taking a boat to explore more of the carved-out gorge and soak in stunning views of nearly 20 miles of gorgeous hues.

Door County, Wisconsin

The fall season is the time to be in Door County if you want to truly relax and unwind. The hustle and bustling of summer is gone and the natural beauty of the peninsula takes over. The colors usually peak in the middle of October. Go on a road trip and drive or bike along County Road 42 to see scarlet and gold leaves or take a water tour to witness the brilliant colors by boat.

Columbia River Valley, Oregon

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area starts just 30 miles east of Portland and offers incredible outlooks, hiking trails, and more than 90 waterfalls. See charming orchards and vineyards, drive to the Vista House at Crown Point, a scenic viewpoint that provides panoramic views of the gorge, and make time for the famous 620-foot-tall Multnomah Falls.

Leavenworth, Washington

Washington may be The Evergreen State, but it is also home to magnificent trees with leaves that turn intense shades of yellow, orange and red every fall. Go there for the town's famous Autumn Leaf Festival and Parade scheduled for Sept. 23-24. This is Leavenworth's longest running event; it is its original festival, dating back to 1964.

Lost Maples State Natural Area, Texas

Lost Maples, just about two hours away from San Antonio, is known all over the country for its fall color, even though the scenery is beautiful all the time. You'll see an abundance of wild flowers and steep canyon walls. Go hiking steep and rugged trails, fishing in the Sabinal River or Can Creek, primitive camping and bird watching. You can even hunt for geocaches.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

This popular national park is perhaps the most underrated when it comes to fall foliage. Take the park's scenic railroad or hike and bike some of the parks more than 120 miles of well-maintained trails. Visit in late October, not just to see the leaves, but to catch a glimpse of one of their many waterfalls, historic canals or eagles, as they nest in the park.