What better way to celebrate fall than by taking a road trip, surrounded by sweeping vistas on every curve formed by the millions of red, orange, yellow, brown and green leaves? Whether you are planning a short weekend or an epic once in a lifetime fall family road trip, we have the tools for you.
1.Driving distance from Point A to Point B.
2.Driving time from Point A to Point B.
3.Cost of driving.
4.Suggested stopping points for your road trip.
5.Hotels in the area.
6.Cities near the area.
Let’s put these tools to use on Travelmath’s 5 best fall road trips:
One: West Virginia Fall Road Trip
80 percent of West Virginia is covered with trees. From late September to late October, West Virginia’s fall colors will be in full bloom. One of the most popular road trips is on the Highland Scenic Highway where you will see “a collection of crimson colored leaves across panoramic mountains during fall.”
The Highland Scenic Highway is a National Forest Scenic Byway and the highest major roadway in West Virginia, according to Pocahontas County. It is 42 miles from Richwood to U.S. Route 219 (the end of the byway).
You will have the opportunity to rise from 2,300 feet to over 4,500 feet above sea level. There are four scenic overlooks along the way with views of Allegheny Highlands. Travel through a few undeveloped portions of the Monongahela National Forest with steep-walled valley and sights that include Cranberry Glades Botanical Area, Summit Lake and Falls of Hills Creek. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) recommends two hours to drive or four hours to enjoy the byway slowly.
Use Travelmath’s driving distance tool, from Richwood, WV to US219 and SR150, you’ll get this map and direction (Google Map):
Always check your direction with the state’s tourist information center before traveling on trips to small towns and national parks.
Here is the direction given by DOT:
• Between Richwood, West Virginia, and US 219 north of Marlinton, WV the route includes WV 55, 39, and 150.
• The byway starts at the city of Richwood on SR 55.
• Take SR 55 east until the Highway become SR 150.
• Take SR 150 east until the route ends at the edge of the Monogahela National Forest, at the junction of SR 150 and US 219.
• This is the end of the byway.
Information: Highland Scenic Highway
Two: Finger Lakes NY Fall Road Trip
The best way to experience Finger Lakes fall road trip is to choose a lake you want to explore. Don’t make the mistake of trying to see them all and miss out on the best.
Fall foliage typically starts in late September and ends in mid-October at the Finger Lakes. Every year is different and you can check out the current status of the foliage at ILOVENY.com.
There are five suggested routes. We chose Cayuga Lake- NY89 North. This route starts in Ithaca and ends at Seneca Falls. It is approximately one hour, calculated using Travelmath’s driving time.
Information: Finger Lakes
Three: The Great River Fall Road Trip
The Great River Road is your answer to an epic fall road trip. According to DiscoverAmerica.com, the Great River Road follows the length of the mighty Mississippi, linking 10 states that border the river.
It goes from Minnesota to Louisiana, stretching over 2,000 miles through Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas. For this trip we start from Minneapolis and end in New Orleans.
Use Travelmath’s stopping points to plan out your stops from Minneapolis to New Orleans.
Information: Map of The Great River Road
For fall foliage updates check out The Miracle of Fall from University of Illinois Extension.
Four: Alpine Loop Scenic Backway, Utah
Mid-September is typically the height of fall foliage in Utah Valley. The Uinta National Forest’s Alpine Scenic Loop starts at the mouth of American Fork Canyon on SR-92 at 5,000 feet and follows the canyon to the summit at 8,000 feet. The road then winds down toward Provo Canyon and US-189.
Some of the highlights of this road trip are of course the fall foliage at the summit of American Fork Canyon, Mt. Timpanogos with its aspen groves and Lone Peak Wilderness.
Use Travelmath’s hotel near Uinta for best hotels in the area.
Information: Alpine Loop Scenic Backway
Five: Colorado Fall Road Trip
Colorado.com has a range of suggested fall road trips in the state known for its aspens. September is the perfect time to see the “tinkling leaves turn to vibrant shades of gold.”
Depending on where you want to start your road trip in Colorado, there is at least one fall road trip for you. If you are in Durango, CO, use Travelmath’s major cities tool to find out the closest cities nearest to Durango. Here we have a choice of taking a road trip from Cortez or Grand Junction.
The Northwest Colorado Fall Color Drive from Grand Junction to Grand Mesa on I-70 has a stretch of glowing aspen. Cortez to Pagosa Springs on US160 is another favorite route.
Do you have a favorite fall road trip? Let us know. Remember to use Travelmath’s tools for your road trips.