Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains in northern West Virginia, these towns offer spectacular views of the fall foliage. .While many choose Weirton or Ogelbay for their leaf peeping, these two off-the-beaten-path towns offer tranquility and a taste of West Virginia charm. With plenty of hiking and biking trails, quaint shops and home-style restaurants, this is a spot for those who prefer to keep things simple.
Best Dates: Expect a full range of color from mid to late October.
State Parks/RV Parks: North Bend State Park is in close proximity to Harrisville and accommodates RVs in both its River Run and Cokely campsites. Nature programs and boat rentals end in September, but there is still hiking, biking and horseback riding on the 72-mile rail trail that runs throughout the park, Part of the 5,500 Discovery America trail it follows unused railway tracks from a CSX corridor. Enjoy the park’s Quilter’s Getaway from October 28-31 with classes from master quilters.
Things to Do: The annual Pioneer Days in Cairo takes place October 16-17 in the Cairo town square. Filled with fun activities including a staged bank robbery, blacksmith demonstrations and apple cider pressing, delicious food and plenty of bluegrass, this events draws tourists and residents from all over the state.
Finger Lakes, NY
Spread across northwestern New York state, this area contains seven lakes and provides amazing locations to view the autumn leaves. Rochester, Ithaca and Syracuse form the triangle in which the lakes sit, but there are plenty of small towns that offer activities from hot air ballooning to apple picking. Wine aficionados may already know that this area is New York’s largest wine producing region and the fall is a perfect time to tour the vineyards and sample the wares. There also are plenty of museums and interesting historical sites, including Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the women’s suffrage movement.
State Parks/RV Parks: There are eleven state parks that front lakes and six more that feature gorges. Visitors can see waterfalls, spectacular foliage and stunning rock formations while hiking, biking and boating. There are nearly 70 camp sites within the state park system in the Fingerlakes region, many of which accommodate RVs. Find a campground near your route.
Things to Do: The Naples Grape Festival celebrates all things grape, including a grape pie eating contest and a grape stomping, and also has arts and crafts and plenty of food October 25-26.
White Mountains, NH
Famous for its spectacular fall colors, this mountain region in northern New Hampshire is filled with sugar maples that provide brilliant hues of red and orange. The area is home to a number of small towns known for their hospitality, including Franconia, North Conway, and Woodstock. Here you can take the Cannon Aerial Tramway across the valley to the top of a 4,200-foot summit or ride the Mountain Coaster at Attitash, an open flume-like ride that plummets down a 2,600-foot mountain slope. Calmer activities include a scenic walk along the famous Flume Gorge or hopping aboard an antique train.
State Parks/RV Parks: There are three state parks that can accommodate RVs in the area: Crawford Notch, Franconia Notch, and Moose Brook. All offer scenic vistas and an array of outdoor activities. Because of the high elevation, winter comes early here, so it’s best to visit as early as possible.
Things to Do: The Leaf Peepers craft show takes place October 16 and features handcrafted jewelry, wearable art, paintings, scroll saw creations, tapestry bags, gourmet food items and more. The event takes place regardless of weather at the North Conway Community Center. For more information, click here.
Chattahoochee/Oconee State Parks – GA
Numerous tiny towns surround and are embedded in the Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests, which rest at the northern Georgia border. Dahlonega is the heart of wine country with a half dozen wineries and Suches is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts offering exhilarating views while hiking, biking and boating. Towns are located in close proximity to each other so you can shop, hike and enjoy a great meal without having to travel far. If you’re a Cabbage Patch doll fan, be sure to stop in Cleveland, the home of Babyland Hospital where you can actually see a Cabbage Patch doll being “born.”
Best Dates: Best viewing dates will depend on your elevation here and span from mid to late October into the beginning of November.
State Parks/RV Parks: The campgrounds at Desoto Falls in the Chattahoochee Forest provide a great base camp from which to enjoy the scenery of the falls, as well as the nearby Appalachian Trail and Raven Cliffs Wilderness. The campground can accommodate RVs. Surrounded by dense forest, camping here is almost like being on your own private island. For information call 770 297-3000.
Things to Do: Here is a complete list of activities in the northern mountains of Georgia.
Sometimes referred to as the “other” mountains, this area may not be as famous as its sister Adirondacks, but it has just as much to offer those who love scenic views and outdoor activities. Comprised of four counties in the southwestern pocket of New York state, the area is home to Woodstock and Belleayer Mountain, as well as numerous small towns. The region is known for its artisans and antiques, along with fine restaurants serving everything from avant garde fare to traditional homestyle cooking. Visit for a detailed list of the great towns that make up the Catksills.
Best Dates: See the best color here are around the third week of October.
State Parks/RV Parks: There are many local campgrounds that are RV friendly.
Things to Do: For a complete list of Catskills events for the fall season, click here.