Autumn is a magnificent time of the year for travel – mild mornings, sunny afternoons and some of the most brilliant hues of warm gold and rich reds to be found. While autumn is enveloping us here in the southern hemisphere, the following destinations will be glowing with colour come October and November – plenty of time to plan your leaf-peeping adventure.
United States – Lake of the Clouds, Michigan
You won’t find this picturesque lake in Michigan’s Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park on your standard fall foliage-viewing trail in the United States. While that path typically meanders through New England, this lesser known option certainly commands attention. Lake of the Clouds runs through a valley between two ridges of the Porcupine Mountains. Come autumn, the mountainside is blanketed with reds, oranges and yellows, making for a spectacular viewing experience. An evocative landscape, it is well worth the small park pass fee to visit and is a popular local hiking, fishing and camping spot.
Japan – Oirase Stream, Aomori Prefecture
Japan will have any leaf peeper jumping for joy with its magnificent natural beauty and endless vantage points. One of the most famous locations is Honshu’s Oirase Stream that flows through Oirase Gorge. With waterfalls spilling into its path, it’s a fast-moving body of water that winds between trees rich with golden colour come late October and early November. A 9 km-hiking trail runs through the most picturesque part of the trail, making for a decent day trip heading out and back.
China – Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan
Jiuzhaigou Valley is a beautiful national park found in the north of Sichuan. With plentiful pools of green, emerald and turquoise, the contrasting autumnal crimsons and golds are exquisite. Its name translates to ‘valley of nine villages’ and refers to the nine Tibetan villages that run along its length. Several of these traditional villages are accessible to tourists and sell their local handicrafts, snacks and souvenirs. One of the most visited spots in China, Jiuzhaigou can get exceptionally busy and it’s worth making a plan for tackling the park outside the peak tourist times. With plenty of hotels and restaurants in the area, allow plenty of time to soak up this magical spot.
England – Tarn Hows, Cumbria
Visiting the Lake District in autumn is seeing it in all its glory and there are plenty of spots for foliage followers to revel. Tarn Hows is a man-made beauty that came to be after a stream was dammed in the Victorian era. The process created the tarns, or pools, you see today and the Hows refer to the hills beyond. You can drive up towards its top and walk a pretty 1.5-mile circular path admiring the golden landscape beyond. Seats are dotted all along the journey, making for a dreamy spot to sit back and take it all in.
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