Leaves are changing color, and there’s a fresh autumnal smell in the air—what a good excuse to explore the great outdoors! Pull on your hiking boots, grab plenty of water, and perhaps a sweater too—because fall is the perfect season for hitting the trail with your little adventurers. To give you an idea of the adventures that lie ahead, we’ve rounded up the best autumn hikes in the country. From mountain rambles and forested strolls to historic walks and more, you can discover them all in the album below.

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Sand Run Park – Akron, Oh

This Ohio park is full of history; the Portage Path running through it was once the western border of the United States. Today, you can follow that historic route, or take one of many other trails in the park. Look out for the plentiful wildlife (including screech, barred and great horned owls and red, gray and fox squirrels). You'll also spy some awesome fall colors.

Insider Tip: Take part in Summit Metro Parks Fall Hiking Spree, which will take you to some amazing parks and trails—from caves and marshes to steep valleys and waterfalls. This annual event has been going since 1964, and encourages families to explore the many trails in their community.

Onlinesummitmetroparks.org/sand-run-metro-park.aspx

photo: Summit Metro Parks

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