You want spectacular fall colors? You need to head to my home state of New Hampshire and its New England neighbors. Autumn is stupendous in New England. There are few places on the planet that rival this part of the country when it comes to dazzling fall colors. The ridges turn into hillsides of fruit loops. Red, yellow, orange, and every tone of these colors. And why is that? Because of Northern hardwoods! Beeches, sugar maples, red maples, silver maples, witch hazel, yellow birch, paper birch, sycamore, hickory, walnut, poplar, cheery, ash, even the cruddy oaks turn red! You need hardwoods for colorful foliage!
The few hardwoods in western Washington, like the Big leaf maple just turn crappy brown. Yeah, there's the occasional avalanche chute of vine maples and they turn a crimson red. And blueberry bushes turn scarlet too-but still the mountains and forests of Western Washington are overwhelmingly green!
So, yes my Northwest friends, you can be smug when talking to me about my beloved White Mountains and state that they are not real mountains. But I have boasting rights when I say you haven't seen gorgeous fall colors until you spend a Columbus day weekend in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Quebec! I'm going to once again miss autumn this year-no trip to New England this fall. But at least I have my Eastern Washington larches and aspens to lighten up my fall and maybe next autumn I'll get back to the Whites for a hike or two! In the meanwhile check out VisitNH for some nice autumn photos and check out my brother Jeff's book (pictured above) for some great Maine and New Hampshire autumn hiking destinations. See that cover-Pisgah State Park in early October. I was there for that photo. Now, that's some pretty fall colors!