10 Top Fitness Destinations for Fall Foliage

Ride your bike, take a run, or just a hike at one of these 10 premium spots to see the leaves turn each fall

October 5, 2011
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Aspen, CO

The ski town known for A-list celebrities and waist-deep powder snow is also one of the most gorgeous places on the planet when the leaves are changing. The slopes are covered with the trees that gave the town its name, and they turn a brilliant orange, yellow, red, and gold for several weeks each fall before the snow falls. The trails around the town of Aspen are perfect for a bike ride or hike for a little exercise while taking in the sights. 

Peak Season: Early October

When You're There: Lodging and restaurants in Aspen

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Burlington, VT

Northwest of the rolling hills and slopes of the Green Mountain range and east of Lake Champlain lies the bustling college town of Burlington. This is just one of many great spots in Vermont to see the fall foliage from the saddle or on foot. Leaves from the region's basswood, aspen, and red maple trees form a colorful canopy for day hiking and bike trips.

Peak Season: Mid-October, with leaves changing from the end of September until the end of October

When You're There: Lodging and restaurants in Burlington

Foliage Rides. Try one of the 16 best foliage rides in the U.S. on your next ride.

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Yakima, WA

Hop on the Chinook Scenic Byway and crisscross through the Cascade Mountains. Soaring 14,000 feet, Mt. Rainier is way above tree line, but the lower peaks surrounding it are aglow each fall as the native vine maple, larch, and aspen leaves turn. The colors comingle with the conifers of the Cascades, forming a breathtaking patchwork of greens, oranges, yellows, and reds.

Peak Season: Early to mid-October

When You're There: Find great hikes and biking routes along the Chinook Scenic Byway

Weight loss tips: Avoid these 20 fall foods that will make you gain!

 

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Lancaster, PA

The pastoral landscape of Lancaster County is replete with horse-drawn carriages and farms as far as the eye can see. When fall takes hold, the beauty of this idyllic countryside becomes even more visually enticing. The roads and trails are lined with American beech and sycamore trees, and offer some of the best spots in the country to see fall foliage.

Peak Season: Mid- to late October with colors lasting until November

When You're There: Lodging and restaurants in Lancaster County

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Asheville, NC

The gateway to the Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway, the thriving town of Asheville gets even busier each fall as tourists arrive to see the leaves begin to change colors. The area's birch and mountain ash trees are one of the many attractions for the millions that come here every year. Drive north out of Asheville for a day trip to hike the trails of Mt. Mitchell off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Rather ride your bike? Head south and enjoy the view from the saddle on the Jeter Mountain Loop.

Peak Season: Mid- to late October, but colors can last into November

When You're There: Lodging and restaurants in Asheville 

Fuel your hike or ride with these four, fill-you-up breakfasts.

 

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Taos and Angel Fire, NM

The ski towns of Taos and Angel Fire are ablaze with color each fall as the leaves give way to winter. The mountain biking here is world-class, and there are plenty of trails for short hikes to take in autumn in nearby Wheeler Mountain Wilderness. The area is famous for its oaks, aspens, and cottonwoods.

Peak Season: Early to mid-October

When You're There: Lodging and restaurants near Taos and Angel Fire

Take your fitness to the next level with these 5 Extreme Workouts. Or travel to one of these 10 Hiking Trails Worth the Trek.

 

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Yosemite National Park, CA

One of the top national parks in the United States is also one of the best places to watch the leaves change each fall. The hiking options are endless here. Try hiking the Panorama Trail for views of El Capitan, Half Dome, and the changing cottonwood, sugar maple, and black oak trees.

Peak Season: Mid- to late October with colors lingering until the first snow of the season

When You're There: Other things to do near Yosemite National Park

Find a great hike anywhere in the United States. Here are 10 hiking trails worth the trek.

 

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Athens, OH

The Hocking Hills in southeastern Ohio don't register very high on the elevation scale. But their beauty (and steepness) is unmatched in this part of the country. Beat the Midwest summer heat and enjoy a feast for the eyes by riding or hiking here in the fall as the maple and ash tree leaves turn a vibrant orange, yellow, and red.

Peak Season: Late October

When You're There: Lodging and restaurants near Athens

Find a ride or a run wherever you are with the Fitbie Route Finder.

 

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Sun Valley, ID

Considered one of the best cycling, hiking, and skiing spots in the United States, the slopes of Sun Valley change color each fall and make the already scenic locale even better. Don't blink or you'll miss the aspens turn. Just like Burlington in the East, the leaves don't last long before the first frost hits and winter moves in.

Peak Season: Early October

When You're There: Lodging and restaurants in Sun Valley

Delicious flat belly foods! These 12 fall foods will help you lose without dieting.

 

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Delaware Water Gap, NJ/PA

A hike along the Appalachian Trail or a bike ride on the rolling roads along the Delaware Water Gap come with a front-row seat to some of the finest foliage viewing on the East Coast. Escape from the urban jungle, expand your lungs, and scintillate your senses-this spot is only about a 2-hour drive from New York City and even shorter from Philadelphia.

Peak Season: Late October until the first snow

When You're There: Restaurants and lodging near the Delaware Water Gap

REVIEWS: The 2011 Fall Running Shoe Guide. Find the perfect shoe for you.

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