Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fabulous Fall Foliage Family Friendly Hikes!

Fall in New England
Fall in New England

Gorham Mountain Acadia National Park
Gorham Mountain, Acadia National Park
Leaf Peeper? Here are a few great fall hikes.  Remember fall weather can be unpredictable.  Bring warm layers and rain gear, water and snacks, and a reliable map.

Gorham Mountain Summit Sign
Gorham Mtn, Acadia
1.  Gorham Mountain,
Acadia National Park, Maine  
- Acadia's trees are mostly hardwoods which makes it a wonderful place to experience the changing of seasons.  There is a plethera of family friendly hikes including a stroll around Jordan Pond Nature Trail, Bubble Rock Trail, and Cadillac Mountain.  The one I recommend here for some great foliage views is the Gorham Mountain Trail.  This is a moderately strenuous hike with some steep grades but accessible to most fit people.  Too access, park in the Gorham Mountain Parking area past Thunder Hole.  The hike is 1.8 miles round trip.  It provides many stunning views.

Summit of Mt. Willard2.  Mt. Willard, 
Crawford Notch State Park, New Hampshire 
- Don't let the term "Mountain" scare you.  You will get a great bang (in views) for your buck on this hike.  Located in Crawford Notch State Park, NH, this 3.2 mile round trip hike takes you up 900 feet to a gorgeous view point looking down into the U-shaped valley.  Park at the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch.  Bring a snack to share at the summit.  You'll want to drink it in.

View from summit of Mt. Willard
View from Mt. Willard Summit

3.  Cardigan Mountain,
Cardigan Mountain State Park, New Hampshire
- There are multiple access points and trails to the summit of Mt. Cardigan in the New Hampshire Lakes region.  The summit of this mountain is completely bare due to a fire back in the day so you will experience amazing 360 views when you reach the still operational fire tower at the summit.  The nearby Mount Firescrew is worth a trip too if you want to elongate your loop.  The shortest/easiest hike is up the West Ridge Trail which can be accessed from AMC Cardigan Lodge.  The hike up Cardigan is 2.6 miles one way.  Plan to spend the whole day hiking and pack accordingly.  AMC Cardigan Lodge provides comfy lodging and food as well as a camp ground for the overnight trip.
hiking cardigan in new hampshire
Hiking near Cardigan Mountain
I welcome comments and suggestions of other awesome fall hikes!  Let me know!