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.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Munising, Mi

15 miles of colorful sandstone give the towering cliffs of Pictured Rocks their name. You’ll find caves, arches and unusual rock formations, all naturally stained by minerals from Lake Superior. This National Lakeshore has wonderful fall hikes that capture the beauty of both the cliffs and the changing of the seasons. The Chapel Trail Mosquito Falls Loop is a great hike for families with big kids; it takes you past two waterfalls and along part of the 42-mile Lakeshore Trail with spectacular scenery. It’s not recommended for the littles as the trail goes along the clifftops. Families have several nature trails and day hikes to choose from including hikes to waterfalls, shipwrecks, dunes and the Au Sable Lighthouse.

Insider Tip: After your hike, hop on a boat cruise to get a good look at the cliffs from a different vantage point.

Online: nps.gov/PIRO/

photo: Brenda Denton via Flickr

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