Autumn Adventures

Scenic Driving & Wildlife Viewing
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Scenic Driving New England
New England, with its flaming red maples and vibrant yellow birches, is prime territory for leaf peeping in the autumn, offering spectacular viewing opportunities through the first few weeks of October and peaking around Columbus Day (Oct 12.) It's no wonder that recreational driving through this region is a popular activity. In north-central Maine, Baxter State Park Scenic Drive runs 94 miles on back roads, offering gorgeous views of densely forested Mount Katahdin. A little farther south, in Massachusetts, the incredible Mohawk Trail (Route 2) threads through the western part of the state for approximately 65 miles, passing through historic towns and forested state parks.

More on The Mohawk Trail, Massachusetts

Wildlife Viewing around the Eastern Great Lakes
The natural world is full of activity in autumn, as wildlife prepares for the coming winter in its own unique ways—storing food, readying for hibernation, or migrating south to warmer climates. Around Lakes Erie and Ontario, all this motion occurs against the backdrop of vibrant, rich fall colors. This makes late September and early October an ideal time to visit the region's wildlife refuges.

At Iroquois Refuge in western New York, a flurry of bird migration happens from mid-September through November. Visitors often spot Canadian geese, as well as peregrine falcons and eagles. The swampy habitat of Montezuma Refuge, between Syracuse and Rochester, New York, also provides excellent birding opportunities. The numbers of Canada geese peaks in mid-November, and the duck population is at its peak in late November. Shorebirds, such as sandpipers, herons, and egrets are most numerous in mid-September. Ottawa Refuge, on the coast of Lake Erie, hosts a great number of species for fall migration. Visitors include tundra swans, Canada geese, and bald eagles, and the staging of up to 20,000 mallards and black ducks each season is not uncommon.

More on Iroquois NWR
More on Montezuma NWR
More on Ottawa NWR

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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