Leaves crunch beneath your feet and the air is crisp… fall is here! Before there’s frost on your pumpkin, head out for a hike to enjoy all the season has to offer. From colorful forests and mountain trails to beach strolls and lakeshore rambles, flip through to discover our picks for ultimate treks to take in autumn.

Staunton River State Park – Scottsburg, Va

One of the six original state parks opened in 1936, Staunton River has a variety of terrain—from woodlands and meadows to the sandy shoreline of Buggs Island Lake. Much of the landscape is unchanged from the times when Revolutionary and Civil War troops camped here. There are several hikes to choose from but the best one to try with mini-hikers is the easy Tutelo Trail.

Insider Tip: Staunton River State Park is certified by the International Dark-Sky Association. This means the night skies are very dark there and minimally impacted by city lights. The park hosts Star Parties twice a year.

Online: dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/staunton-river

photo: Virginia State Parks via Flickr

  • Staunton River State Park - Scottsburg, Va
  • Mt. Rainier National Park - Pierce and Lewis County, Wa
  • Hug Point Beach - Cannon Beach, Or
  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - Munising, Mi
  • Great Smoky Mountains - Nc, Tn, Ga
  • Coconino National Forest - Sedona, Az
  • Angel Falls, Rangeley Lakes -  Franklin County, Me
  • Cascade Springs - Provo, Ut
  • Palomar Mountain State Park - San Diego County, Ca
  • Rock Cut State Park - Rockford, Il
  • Castle Rock State Park  - Los Gatos, Ca
  • Wawayanda State Park - Sussex and Passaic County, Nj
  • Solstice Canyon - Malibu, Ca

Can you recommend a favorite fall hiking spot in your neck of the woods? Tell us about it in the Comments below!

— Helen Walker Green