Fall Foliage Driving Trips: Finger Lakes

Firelight Camps, IthacaA fall foliage road trip is more than a mere drive. It also includes apple picking, tasting cider and hot doughnuts, and perhaps most importantly, leaving your vehicle behind to take a much-needed scenic walk to a lonely waterfall, where autumn’s colors reflect off the water. Despite big marketing campaigns from states like Vermont, fall foliage is not restricted to the borders of New England. At Shenandoah National Park, orange beech trees and scarlet dogwoods provide the majestic color. Add fall harvest at vineyards and the annual fall round-up of bison at Custer State Park in South Dakota and you have more than enough reasons to hit the road.

This week, I’ll be discussing my favorite picks for September/October driving trips. If interested in any of these routes, please let ActiveTravels know and we’ll design an itinerary that takes into account the latest travel restrictions and lodging where you feel comfortable:

Route 54A, Keuka Lake, New York
Autumn in the Finger Lakes of western New York State is the time of year when leaves on the maples turn a tad crimson and the grapes on the vines are ready to be harvested for their award-winning Rieslings. Start on the northern tip of Keuka Lake in the town of Penn Yan. Head south on Route 54A and just outside of town, you’ll see signs for Apple Barrel Orchards, a third-generation U-pick apple orchard that makes homemade cider on the premises. Continue south along the shores of the 20-mile long lake to reach Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery. Founded in 1962 and now run by Dr. Frank’s grandson, Fred, Dr. Frank put the Finger Lakes on the wine lovers’ map with his award-winning dry and semi-dry Rieslings. Nearby in Ithaca, Firelight Camps, offers the ideal glamping opportunity.