Posted by: Stephanie Vatalaro
September 24, 2010

Stephanie Vatalaro

Best Water Views for Fall Foliage

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the fall. I love the temperate weather, I love football season (and baseball playoffs, when my team is in the hunt) and I love scenic drives to take in all the fall colors. Boaters, in my opinion though, have the best views of the autumn scenery. I came across Discover Boating’s list of best views from the water and thought I would share:

  • Bar Harbor, Maine: As the gateway to Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor offers spectacular New England autumn scenery along the rugged Maine coast. Boaters can dock locally to explore this charming town and its abundance of seafood restaurants.
    Peak Season: Late September to Mid-October
    More Information: http://www.maine.gov/doc/foliage/
  • Columbia River Gorge, Ore.: Lined with pine, maple and ash trees, the Columbia River is North America’s second largest river and runs through the Cascade Mountains. Explore the its shoreline towns and waterfalls, including the spectacular 620-foot Multnomah Falls.
    Peak Season: Late September to Late October
    More Information: www.oregonfallfoliage.wordpress.com/
  • Finger Lakes, N.Y.: This popular boating destination in upstate New York boasts Cayuga and Seneca as the largest of its 11 lakes. The Finger Lakes region, with its rolling hills and lush fall foliage, is also home to many vineyards that welcome visitors to come ashore for tastings.
    Peak Season: Late September to Late October
    More Information: http://thebeat.iloveny.com/
  • Lake Geneva, Wis.: The town of Lake Geneva sits squarely on the 8.6 square miles of Geneva Lake, a popular nautical destination for weekend trips from nearby Chicago and Milwaukee. The city’s quaint downtown, stately lakeside homes, fall festivals and variety of boating opportunities, make this a must-visit in the autumn months.
    Peak Season: Late September to Late October
    More Information: www.travelwisconsin.com/fallcolor_report.aspx
  • Lake Lure, N.C.: With nearly 21 miles of tree-filled shoreline, Lake Lure is paradise for boaters and leaf peepers alike. Located in western North Carolina, it sits in the heart of Hickory Nut Gorge east of Asheville between the Piedmont region and Appalachian Mountains.
    Peak Season: Late October to Mid-November
    More Information: http://www.romanticasheville.com/fall.htm
  • Lake Monroe, Ind.: Situated in south central Indiana near Bloomington, Lake Monroe is the state’s largest lake. Surrounded by 13,202 acres of lush, protected forest and three recreational areas, it’s an ideal destination for viewing spectacular fall foliage. The lake is served by a full-service marina with nine launch ramps, making it easily accessible for locals and tourists.
    Peak Season: Mid-October to Early November
    More Information: http://www.in.gov/visitindiana/leafcam/
  • Lake Winnipesaukee, N.H.: New England is a haven for fall foliage seekers with its charming small towns and vibrant colors. Lake Winnipesaukee is perhaps one of the area’s favorite autumn destinations and a highlight of New Hampshire’s lakes region.
    Peak Season: Late September to Mid-October
    More Information: http://www.newhampshire.com/foliage/index.aspx
  • Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: It’s no wonder Michigan is popular with those who love life on the water, with more than 11,000 inland lakes and 3,200 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, it’s a boater’s paradise. Visit the state’s Upper Peninsula – surrounded by three of the Great Lakes – where there’s no shortage of autumn’s changing colors and waterways ideal for boating.
    Peak Season: Mid-September to Mid-October
    More Information: www.michigan.org/Topics/Fall/Default.aspx
  • Mammoth Lakes, Calif.: The eastern side of the Sierra Nevada is home to the Mammoth Lakes area, a prime spot to enjoy all the wonders of the fall season. Mountains and canyons surround several lakes that offer boat rental and ramp options for those who know the best seat in the house is at the helm.
    Peak Season: Mid-September to Mid-October
    More Information: http://www.visitmammoth.com/fall-colors/
  • Tennessee River Gorge, Tenn.: Referred to as Tennessee’s ‘Grand Canyon,’ this natural wonder is carved into the Cumberland Mountains by the Tennessee River. Brilliant fall colors and an abundance of wildlife call the Tennessee River Gorge home, including bald eagles, ospreys, blue herons, belted kingfishers and wild turkeys.
    Peak Season: Mid-October to Early November
    More Information: http://fall.tnvacation.com/

So, what’s your favorite water-view for the changing scenery?

P.S. if you are looking for the best fall foliage drives through parks and public lands, you can check out a list from the American Park Network.

Photo credit: Rick and Jeanne Klein

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