Fall Leaves Escapes: Finding Peace Amongst Autumn Leaves

by Javen Hunter ·

The crisp air, vibrant colors, and peaceful serenity of autumn offer a perfect escape from the bustle of everyday life. As the fall foliage season begins, now is the ideal time to plan a tranquil getaway surrounded by autumn’s beauty. In this article, we’ll explore tips for finding zen amongst the fall leaves, from escaping crowds to embracing the colors and flavors of the season. By unplugging technology and embracing nature’s splendor, you can experience the peaceful magic of being present amongst the fall leaves.

Tahquamenon Falls Leaves

Dodge the Crowds

Fall is the peak leaf-peeping season, meaning popular scenic byways and famous fall destinations become crowded and chaotic. Avoid the masses by visiting lesser-traversed nature preserves and parks that provide solitude and fall vistas. Or, bypass crowded main highways for peaceful backroads and country lanes lined with bright fall hues. These quieter paths allow you to fully immerse in autumn’s rich tapestry, free from distraction.

Immerse in the Colors

Once you’ve found your tranquil fall escape, there are endless ways to revel in the vibrant autumn palette. Lose yourself in the rich fall foliage by embarking on a hike or bike ride surrounded by autumn’s canvas of red, orange, and yellow leaves. Paddle a canoe or kayak along a glassy lake reflecting the colorful trees overhead. Or find a grassy hillside overlooking a sea of shifting fall hues. Allow yourself to be fully present, soaking in the colors through all your senses.

Long Pond PA US

Cultivate Tranquility

Make it a goal to cultivate inner calm and tranquility. Practice mindfulness by opening your senses to the trees’ smells, sounds, and energies as you breathe deeply. Unplug from technology and allow your mind to rest from the barrage of digital noise and distraction. Give yourself open-ended time for reflection, journaling, or sitting quietly amidst the trees. This season of change offers the perfect backdrop for turning inward.

Capture the Beauty

While soaking in the fall displays, don’t forget to capture some of autumn’s fleeting beauty. Play with framing fall vistas through overhanging branches, using the foreground to frame the middle ground and background. Capture fall leaves floating gently across the surface of a lake or stream. Use leading lines like fences or trails to draw viewers into the photo. Experiment with lighting during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset when fall colors glow. Most importantly, be patient and present, waiting for the perfect fall photo opportunity to unfold before you.

New Hampshire US

Top Fall Destinations

Several lesser-known spots around the country offer access to fall beauty without the crowds. Try places like the Paria Canyon in Utah, offering solitude along the red rock canyons changing with yellow cottonwoods overhead. Or hike through the remote Willapa Hills in southwest Washington, blanketed in temperate rainforest turned to red and gold. The mountainsides of Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina also offer peaceful fall escapes. Find more crowd-free destinations by looking at parks off the beaten path.

Looking to maximize your fall foliage sightseeing through a Chicago road trip? Consider some of the top scenic drives within a weekend distance that are known for brilliant fall colors, like the Lake Geneva loop through Wisconsin, the Illinois River Road Scenic Byway, or the Michigan Gold Coast route along the eastern shoreline. For more ideas on the most stunning fall color road trips starting from Chicago, see our article “Road Trips from Chicago: The Most Scenic Drives for Fall Colors.”

Fall Camping

Camping in fall provides the perfect opportunity to unplug and immerse in nature’s autumn transitions. Look for secluded campgrounds in state or national forests surrounded by fall colors. Sleep under the stars, wake to crisp mornings perfect for campfire breakfasts, and spend days immersed in the fall scenery. Choose a tent site near a lake or stream reflecting fall’s vibrant hues. Reserve ahead since these campsites book quickly in autumn.

Unplug and De-stress

While camping is ideal for unplugging, any fall escape can offer the chance to take a much-needed digital detox. Turn off phone notifications, limit social media, and permit yourself to ignore email for a few days. Lose yourself in fall activities such as hiking, reading, crafting, or fireside cooking. Enjoy the simple pleasures of nature, free from the distraction of beeping devices vying for attention. An offline break may leave you feeling calmer and mentally sharper.

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Savor Autumn Flavors

In addition to colorful scenery, fall offers a bounty of seasonal flavors. Seek out apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and maple sugar shacks. Sip fresh-pressed cider and sample apple baked goods hot from the oven. Stop at farm stands for root vegetables, squash, and Brussels sprouts to cook over the campfire or work into hearty stews. Pack harvest foods like chili, sandwiches, and salads to enjoy the outdoors amidst the fall scenery.

Finding Peace Among the Fall Leaves

The blazing colors, intoxicating scents, and inherent tranquility of autumn offer the perfect recipe for escaping stress and finding peace. By avoiding crowded hot spots, fully immersing in fall’s fleeting beauty, and unplugging from technology, you can discover new depths of calm and contentment. As Henry David Thoreau said, “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit.” This fall, may you drink deeply from autumn’s bounty, finding serenity amongst the changing leaves.