It is Fall color season again and you do not need to arm yourself with maps of New England back roads to enjoy nature’s most spectacular show. We have put together this list of the top 5 autumn RVing destinations that will make your fall camping season the best yet. Here is a look at some of America’s roads less traveled to take in the red-and-gold-splashed Autumnal splendor:
Scenic Route 6 – Pennsylvania (440 miles)
This two-lane treasure swings across the northern tier of the Keystone State and is draped in hardwoods virtually the entire way. It covers two mountain ranges – the Poconos and the Alleghenies – and rolls through half a million acres of the Allegheny National Forest. Route 6 serves up a heap of local culture along the way with four Pennsylvania Heritage Areas, two National Heritage Areas and the Victorian-era town of Wellsboro that out-New Englands most New England towns. It is a celebration all October long in Pumpkintown USA on Mason Farms Country Market in Erie. Mid-October in the Pocono Mountains brings the Bonfire at the Scranton Historic Iron Furnaces.
Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway – New Mexico (84 miles)
New Mexico won’t serve up the village greens and white church steeples of New England but the culture is centuries older and the fall colors of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, with peaks reaching 13,000 feet, are every bit as vibrant. The easy-driving loop is anchored by Taos which has been continuously occupied since the 1500s and visits long-abandoned mining country; look for Taos Valley RV Park & Campground and Golden Eagle RV park in Eagle Nest as home bases for touring. The Carson National Forest is populated with aspens and cottonwoods that are turning bright gold and deep red. The oldest arts festival in the arts-centric town of Taos is the Fall Arts Festival and the last weekend of October brings the Taos Mountain Balloon Rally where the skies do sartorial battle with the colors on the ground.
Grand Mesa Scenic Byway – Colorado (63 miles)
The aspens are the arboreal stars atop the world’s largest flat-top mountain. The bright yellow canopy and glistening white trunks accent multi-colored sandstone canyons, dark blue spruce forests and more than 300 lakes. Cedaredge is the gateway town to the Grand Mesa and celebrates the bounty of the Surface Creek Valley each fall with its eagerly anticipated Applefest. Good Sam RV camping in Montrose to the south and Grand Junction and Fruita to the west provide access to the festival.
Columbia River Highway – Oregon (75 miles)
The Pacific Northwest is known mostly for its impossibly tall fir trees but Oregon and Washington stand behind no states in supplying breathtaking fall color displays. The maples, cottonwoods and ash trees pop against the dark green firs through the Columbia River Gorge that was designated America’s first National Scenic Area in 1986. The twisting two-lane Columbia River Highway was hacked out of the cliffs beginning in 1915 and passes 77 named waterfalls that are framed in gold and red and orange in the fall. Each October the Hood River Valley Harvest Fest is an old-fashioned get-together overlooking the Columbia River that honors all the best things of the gorge region.
Driftless Region – Wisconsin (158 miles)
While mountains and forests provide color that fills an entire canvas the spotlight that farmland places on individual trees and groves is equally thrilling. The Driftless Region of southwest Wisconsin in the Mississippi River Valley is a standard-bearer for fall color in America’s heartland as it provides deeply carved valleys along the Great River Road in addition to the Midwest’s signature farms. Jellystone Park in Warrens serves as a base for America’s Dairyland. For a fall experience out of the ordinary drive in to Norskedalen’s Civil War Immersion Weekend for 19th century heritage set against the blazing reds and yellows of autumn.