Sometimes itâ€™s great to do things up close and personal, and hiking through the mountain trails are a great way to see autumnâ€™s changing leaves. Â But sometimes a close perspective means we lose our vision, sort of losing the â€˜forest through the treesâ€™ (sorry, I couldnâ€™t resist). Â Taking a few steps back gives that broader perspective, and looking at maplesâ€™ orange and reds, the yellows in the white birch, and the browns from the oaks might best been viewed from a boat.
Here are a handful of great places to take in the beautiful fall foliage by water:
Bar Harbor, Maine
The seaside town of Bar Â Harbor is stunningly picturesque, with a rocky coastline and quaint harbor. Â In the distance is AcadiaNational Park, and when the foliage is peak (from the end of September through mid October), the view is spectacular. Most of the gamefish have migrated, so sit back, relax, and take in the gorgeous view from your own boat. No worries if yours is in dry dock; there are a number of operations that offer organized cruises, charters, or rentals. And if you enjoy eating Maine lobster youâ€™ll love Bar Harbor; as with many coastal communities the catch of the day is just that.
For More Information: Â Maine.gov
Elk Lake, Torch Lake and the Rapid River, near Traverse City, Michigan
Just east of Traverse City are two popular lakes near the quaint town of Traverse City: ElkLake and TorchLake. There are numerous cottages dotting the banks and outstanding color. The little RapidRiver is nearby, too, and itâ€™s an area where Ernest Hemingway camped as a boy. If youâ€™re adventurous youâ€™ll find that there are 14 lakes connected by rivers that are known as the Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed. And that means there is no shortage of water to explore.
For More Information: Traversecity.com
Portland and Columbia River areas, Oregon
Two dominant areas to see the foliage are in the Portland and Columbia River areas. Here youâ€™ll find a kayakers paradise of waterways and gorges all shrouded by colorful leaves. The WillametteValley is well known for its outstanding local vineyards, so dropping by for a glass of wine is always a good idea.
For More Information: Oregon Foliage
Columbia and Snake Rivers via paddlewheel cruise, Pacific Northwest
Hereâ€™s something a little different: a paddlewheeler cruise on the Columbia and SnakeRivers that stops at wineries, museums, and National Parks. The Queen of the West offers an eight-day cruise with staterooms, regional foods and wines, and outstanding views of autumns color from the top deck or even a stateroom.
Whatâ€™s your favorite place to check out the colorful leaves?