What a view! The blue-green waters of Lake Superior stretch out from the gray cliffs at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan. Lake Superior is the largest, coldest and most pristine of the Great Lakes. It has the largest surface of any freshwater lake on earth and it is the third largest lake by volume. Storms, snow, fog, humidity, temperatures and wind generated from the lake impact every park ecosystem, causing dramatic seasonal changes. Photo by Gregory Lloyd (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Tennessee protects the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. The area boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, is rich with natural and historic features, and provides visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities including hunting, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, horseback riding and whitewater paddling. This time of year, you can also enjoy the stunning fall colors. Photo by National Park Service.
If you’re looking for fall colors on public lands, Blue Hen Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park has to be on the list. An easy drive from Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, the falls are one of the most popular spots in the park and a great place to #OptOutside. Decked in orange and yellow leaves, the forest around the picturesque falls is peaceful and welcoming. Photo by Jennifer Lhost (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Guadalupe Mountains National Park has the four highest peaks in Texas, an ancient fossil reef, desert, dunes, canyons, wildlife and a touch of fall color. In McKittrick Canyon, the maples are putting on quite a show this autumn. With lots of trails for hiking and horseback riding, you’ll find the perfect place for your fall pictures. Photo by National Park Service.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area on the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border is a wonderland of forested mountains, tumbling waterfalls, Native American and Colonial historic sites, bountiful wildlife and dynamic rivers and streams. Recreation opportunities include boating, biking, fishing, hunting, hiking and enjoying the views along scenic roadways. An easy drive from New York City and Philadelphia, the park is a popular year round getaway. Here, it’s showing a spectrum of lovely fall colors. Photo by National Park Service.
The fall colors are showing at Blue Lake in North Cascades National Park in Washington. Photographer Albert Yang described the scene he captured: “The lake was so still I almost felt like I had to hold my breath to embrace it. I was searching for fall colors and these larch trees were just gorgeous. It was my first time exploring this area and I know I will return many, many times in the future.” Photo courtesy of Albert Yang.
With snow already accumulating on the Sangre de Cristo mountains, fall is coming to an end at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado. The cottonwoods along Medano Creek are losing their golden leaves and frost greets the morning. Soon, the tan dunes will put on their blanket of winter white. Photo by Patrick Myers, National Park Service.
There’s a lot to do at Congaree National Park in South Carolina. Whether you prefer paddling Cedar Creek, roughing it on a backcountry camping trip, fishing in oxbow lake, having a picnic, joining a ranger-led “Owl Prowl” or just taking a short stroll on the boardwalk, the park is ready to welcome you. Photo by National Park Service.
The beauty of autumn attracts large numbers of sightseers to the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and Virginia. People often ask when “peak” season will occur. In a park that is nearly 470 miles long and varies over 5,000 feet in elevation, there is no simple way to predict fall color. The intensity and timing of changes are determined by complex environmental factors and the genetic makeup of the plants themselves. For those with lucky timing, the view is incredible. Photo by Philip Varney (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Twenty miles outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and not far from the historic battlefields of Lexington and Concord, Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge features 3,800 acres of wetlands and forests – perfect habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. Over 200 species of birds have been sighted here, and white-tailed deer, beaver, fisher, otter, muskrats, red fox, weasels and various small mammals all find a home in the refuge. Photo by Deb Della Piana (www.sharetheexperience.org).