It’s fall and the leaves are changing, which means it’s time for cabins and hot apple cider and pumpkin spice everything. And the place we’re betting on to bring all that together better than most is the Adirondack Mountains—the tree-laden gem of New York State.
Why envy it: When New York comes to mind, images of the Empire State Building and Lady Liberty holding her torch up high typically come with it. The rest of the state hardly gets the attention it deserves, but there’s natural beauty outside of the beloved concrete city. Whether you’re hiking untrekked trails, winding through trees ablaze with color as hues shift from yellow to orange to red, or you’re camping lakeside under the stars, the pure preserve has a way of leaving you refreshed, making you feel one with the wilderness (but from the safety of a cozy cabin if campgrounds aren’t your thing). Scenic drives will carry you through the rolling landscape to vistas worth looking out from, or private places to paddle board, and maybe even to a brewery or winery or art gallery when it’s time for some indoor activity. In the Adirondack Region’s more than 100 little towns, you may even come across winter carnival celebrations or artisans handcrafting Adirondack furniture. It’s the kind of place where connecting comes before everything else.
High Season: In the summer for lake swimming, in the fall for leaf changing or in the winter for snow-related sports.
Hotspots: The Wild Walk trail that towers across treetops, Adirondack Pub & Brewery where you’ll sample craft beers brewed and bottled onsite, Smoke Signals for Southern-style barbecue in Lake Placid
Cool to-dos: Sip hot apple cider while roasting marshmallows for ‘smores over an outdoor fire, go sailing on Lake Champlain or tobogganing down snowy slopes, and watch the sun rise over the mountain range.
Credit image: Flickr, Decaseconds