There’s so many year round outdoor adventures in the Adirondacks, however there’s something special about the Adirondacks in the fall. New York State mountain ranges offer breathtaking views during New York’s fall foliage season. Making the Adirondacks a perfect NY vacation spot. Your New York fall vacation plans should absolutely include a stay in the Adirondacks. The dramatic sight of a forest canopy crowned with the fiery colors of autumn is a must see. The Adirondacks and surrounding areas are a popular fall travel destination.
The best time for leef peeping in the Adirondack Mountains is from September through mid to late October. The exact time of transformation is impossible to predict. Weather factors such as early or late frost and varying temperatures will affect the rate of change as well as the intensity of the colors. In general, the leaves in higher altitudes turn first, with surrounding areas following swiftly.
5 Unique Outdoor Adventures in the Adirondacks to Enjoy the Fall Foliage
Most years the Adirondack Mountain region boasts gorgeous seasonal temperatures. With a great variety of local vacation homes by owner available, you’ll want to begin your Adirondack fall foliage tour planning now!
1. Rail Bike Tours
New this year, you can take in nature’s autumn beauty with a rail bike tour. If you haven’t heard of rail bike adventures you are missing out. The popularity of rail bikes is exploding, so be sure to reserve ahead of time. Riding specially crafted pedal powered bikes along railroad tracks is a unique and fun way to explore. You’ll experience nature in a new way and appreciate gorgeous sights – like the changing leaves.
For Adirondack rail biking, you’ll want to visit Revolution Rail Co. The company is located about a half hour from Lake George. NY in a town called North Creek. North Creek is also close to amazing New York vacation rentals.
Your rail bike tour begins at the historic North Creek Railroad Station. You will enjoy a 6-mile round trip adventure exploring a part of the Adirondacks previously undiscovered to all but the most avid hikers and mountain bikers.
The Revolution Rail tour allows riders to explore the beautiful Adirondack fall foliage while traveling along the banks of the Hudson River. You’ll travel under your own steam on tandem or quad rail bikes, crossing the Hudson River on an amazing trestle bridge and pausing to rest at a groomed picnic area.
Insider tip: When you are done with your rail bike tour, nearby Gore Mountain offers many fall adventures. Enjoy autumn scenery with a leisurely Gondola ride and then explore the sights of the mountain on foot before descending. There is so much to do at Gore, including hiking, mountain biking, mini golf, disc golf, inflatables, and climbing wall challenge courses. You can easily fill a day in the gorgeous autumn sun.
2. Oktoberfest in the Adirondacks
Lake George offers many great fall activities you can enjoy while surrounded by the colors of the changing season. Your Lake George stay begins with a great Lake George cabin rentals. There is so much to explore in the fall. Options include lively Oktoberfest celebrations in Lake George village, at nearby Gore Mountain and West Mountain, or at Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid. YES, to action packed outdoor adventures in the Adirondacks!
Oktoberfest at Whiteface kicks things off in September. This 2-day Bavarian celebrationis rated one of the 5 Must-Visit Oktoberfests in North America by SKI Magazine.
Lake George Oktoberfest is a 3-day event in early October. Here you will enjoy, authentic German food, music, and a European-style street fair.
In addition to German food and entertainment, the Gore Mountain Harvest Fest in early October boasts a “slopeside” shopping village featuring over 80 Adirondack artisans.
West Mountain’s Fall Festival takes place over 2 consecutive weekends, for 6 full days of celebration. The festival offers everything from hayrides and petting zoos to great music and cider.
Another great way to enjoy the changing season is with a lake cruise on an old-style steamboat. Add Lake George Steamboat Company to your things to do in Lake George list!
Lake cruises include everything from one-hour sightseeing cruises to pirate cruises and fireworks cruises to elegant lunch or dinner cruises. There truly is something for everyone.
Insider tip: If you are looking to enjoy the waterways with a little more thrill, fall brings great whitewater rafting to the Adirondack region. The Hudson river rises in the Fall and provides some exciting and beautiful Class III and Fall Foliage trips.
4. Flying High at the Adirondack Hot Air Balloon Festival
Try a hot air balloon ride to get a new perspective on the striking fall colors.
Just to the south, in Queensbury, NY the Adirondack Balloon Fest occurs in late September each year. Balloons launch in the early mornings and evenings. Sometimes as many as 80 fill the air. An amazing sight!
If you miss the Adirondack Balloon Festival or prefer a more intimate hot air ballooning experience, check out Ballooning Adventures http://www.ballooningadventures.net/. With a long history of safety this is a great choice for scenic rides in the Lake George, Glens Falls, and Saratoga regions. Private flights are available for groups of 3-4.
Insider Tip: Located less than 20-miles Fort Ann, NY offers great lodging options for those visiting the Balloon Fest. It is close enough to be convenient, but far away to give you a break from the crowds. Plan to explore Fort Ann’s Revolutionary War sites, or just wander along the locks and canals. The beautiful autumn backdrop adds a special touch. Choose from a large selection of vacation cabin rentals near Lake George, NY.
5. Ski Mountains – Gondola and Chairlift Rides
Gondola and chairlift rides are an amazing way to view the changing autumn leaves. Options include Gore Mountain, West Mountain, and Whiteface Mountain. Gore Mountain offers a 30-minute Gondola ride and is located in North Creek, not far from the Revolution Rail Bike tours. West Mountain is located in Queensbury, NY near the Adirondack Balloon Festival and offers chairlift rides in the fall.
Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, NY offers the 8-person “Cloudsplitter” Gondola ride for fall adventures. Views are incredible and include Lake Placid, the Olympic ski jumps, the Ausable River and all the nearby high peaks. The Lake Placid region offers amazing and unique Lake Placid vacation rentals that are minutes away.
Insider Tip: Spending time in Lake Placid? Be sure to check out the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex. In addition to a behind the scenes look at what it takes to be ski jumper, the observation deck of the K-120 meter jump offers panoramic views of Adirondack High Peak fall foliage.
Whether by land, sea, air or rail, the Adirondacks offer many unique opportunities to view gorgeous fall foliage. Ready to discover and explore the awesome Adirondack autumn? Start planning by booking your perfect Adirondack vacation rentals that are as unique and varied as the options available for viewing nature’s dazzling display of autumn colors.
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