Plan Ahead: Fall Fun in the Mountains

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Fall can be the perfect time to experience some of our nation’s great mountain ranges.

It’s not just snow that brings out the best in our mountains. In fall, the slopes billow in shades of reds and yellows. Experience the colors and the crisp fall air by riding chair lifts for panoramic views, hiking through woods and taking a scenic train ride up the mountains and through river-carved canyons.

Vermont’s Green Mountains: The Equinox Resort & Spa

The Equinox, a Luxury Collection Golf Resort & Spa in Manchester, VT, traces its roots to 1769.  Along with good food, the Equinox offers outdoor adventures. Discover how to handle hawks and other birds of prey at the Green Mountain Falconry School, go off-road to maneuver a Land Rover over rocks, down hills and through mud; paddle a canoe on the Battenkill River, and learn how to fly fish with the Orvis Fly Fishing School. Afterwards, relax at the spa with its indoor pool, fitness equipment, classes, massages and treatments.

The Mt. Washington Cog Railway.

The Mt. Washington Cog Railway

New Hampshire’s White Mountains: Mt. Washington Cog Railway

The Mt. Washington Cog Railway, in Bretton Woods, the world’s first mountain-climbing cog train pushes instead of pulls you to the pinnacle of the northeast’s tallest peak. En route to the 6,288-foot summit, you pass mountain streams and hillsides bright with yellow birch leaves and red maples. On a clear day, from the look-out at the top, you can see six states—New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine.

Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains: Wintergreen Resort

Wintergreen Resort, a Virginia ski resort sprawled on 11,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, offers spectacular slopeside, ridgetop, and valley views. Step into the scenery by hiking some of the property’s 30 miles of nature trails.

The resort’s mountaintop Devils Knob Golf Course remains open through fall and Stoney Creek, the resort’s course near Lake Monocan, is open year-round, weather-permitting. For tennis lovers, the resort offers both outdoor and indoor courts. For those who just want to relax, soak in a hot tub, swim at the indoor pool, or get a massage at the spa. Wintergreen Resort has hotel rooms, condominiums and houses for rent.

Arizona’s Red Rock Canyons: Verde Canyon Railroad

Bold red buttes and bluffs form part of the landscape traversed by the Verde Canyon Railroad. On the 40-mile round-trip ride from Clarkdale, AZ, in the Sedona area, you roll through a canyon accessible only by train, where golden cottonwoods glow against red rock formations. You pass Sinagua Indian cliff dwellings and through a 680-foot man-made tunnel. Keep a sharp eye out for deer, antelope, red tail hawks, javelina, and even bald eagles.