A delight any time of year, Vermont's forests (which cover 75 percent of the state) grow wild with vibrant color from late September through October. Oaks, maples, beeches, apple trees, ash, cherry and other hardwoods burst with beauty as their leaves lose chlorophyll in preparation for the coming winter. The following rides take you through Vermont's lovely, rolling countryside, where you'll find autumn's leafy beauty greeting you with every push of the pedal. And at the end of your ride, the quaint, friendly villages of Vermont's countryside offer welcome respite from the day's adventure.
In the southern part of the state, Bennington County offers charming rides down country roads that cross beautiful, barn-like covered bridges. Farther north, rolling hills around the hamlet of Plymouth and the village of Woodstock also offer picturesque places to bike. For adventurers seeking mountain biking opportunities, the country around Bethel and Pittsfield is inviting. One trail near Bethel runs along the gorgeous White River. In the ski areas near Waitsfield, cross-country ski paths double as mountain biking trails, allowing bikers to explore the rolling terrain. And finally, gentle hills and streamside rides characterize the cycling in Green Mountain National Forest, where bikers can pedal along paths with views of the dense forest.
More on Green Mountain National Forest
The darker forest colors of coniferous spruce and fir tend to dominate the Colorado Rockies, but all of this changes for a few weeks every year as the turning aspen light up the mountains with bright golden hues. The display typically begins in September, and makes fall a perfect time to explore the high trails of the mountains. The lovely weatherwarm, sunny days and chilly nightsis yet another reason why many consider autumn to be the premier season for venturing out in this part of the country.
No place offers a greater panorama of the aspen in all their glory than atop Colorado's high passes. Buckskin Pass rises outside the town of Aspen in the White River National Forest. An 11-mile round-trip to a height of 12,580 feet, the pass stares east at the spectaular Maroon Bells and the golden covered slopes beneath them. To the west, Snowmass Mountain and Capitol Peak tower above the autumn scene.
Brown's Pass crosses the Continental Divide high in the Collegiate Peaks outside Buena Vista. An 8-mile in-and-out from Cottonwood Creek takes hikers to views of the Three Apostles and the Texas Creek Valley of the San Isabel National Forest.
Fancy Pass and Missouri Pass are connected by a 10-mile loop outside Leadville. Crossing the rugged cirque at the head of Fancy opens views to Cross Creek Valley nestled under Holy Cross Ridge. Topping Missouri on the return leads to a series of lakes along Missouri Creek, most spectacular at the height of autumn color.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication