The fall colors along the Mississippi River are near peak as a small tug boat heads up river, seen from the Franklin Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (David Joles/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

5 ideas for harvest fall travel plans

The fresh air and vibrant colors of the season inspire families to harvest fall travel plans.

Here are five ideas to consider:

1. Crested Butte-to-Aspen Hike. Colorado

Considered one of the most scenic day hikes in the country, this trek from one iconic mountain town to another offers stunning vistas and the chance to see the famous aspen groves in all their glory. The 11-mile trail takes adventurers over the Maroon Bell Pass at 12,500 feet, thus family members should be fit and prepared for rapid changes in the weather. Crested Butte’s Nordic Inn simplifies logistics for travelers by offering a comfortable night’s sleep, breakfast and assistance in transport to and from the trailheads.


2. Door County, Wis.

Head to the scenic 70-mile peninsula in northeast Wisconsin known as Door County for a cornucopia of fall bounty. Expect apple and cherry picking to farmers markets offering tasty treats and locally grown and homemade items. Stop in for an iconic Fish Boil, at one of many local restaurants. The popular meal features locally caught Lake Michigan whitefish and potatoes cooked in a giant pot over a roaring wood fire. With fall colors as backdrop, hike local trails, stop by a lighthouse, and check out art shows, festivals and fireworks.


3. Discover farm fresh

Fall is an ideal time to celebrate our nation’s bounty by visiting farmers markets, joining in a barn dance or visiting a county fair. Take a farm tour and learn how our food moves from plow to porch. Visit a community garden and become inspired to join in or plan for your own. For a more immersive experience, spend the night or a weekend on a family farm. Leave the electronics and everyday expectations behind and get ready to pitch in for the morning chores. At farms across the country, kids can collect eggs, pet pigs, corral critters, tend to a garden brimming with fresh produce or hang out in the shade of fruit trees.


4. Orange County, N.Y.

Apples lovers can plan a fall trip to this Hudson Valley region, just 50 miles from Manhattan, where 25 varieties of apples grow on more than 1,000 acres. Stop by Apple Dave’s for luscious fruit plus live music and puppet shows aside scenic ponds and rose gardens. The family-friendly Lawrence Farms Orchard offers horse-drawn carriage rides and the chance to visit with farm animals. Or visit the cider tasting room at Soons Orchards. Consider the annual Warwick Apple Fest where families can enjoy live entertainment, children’s rides and an apple pie contest.


5. Corn Mazes and More

Play hide and seek in the corn maze. Climb aboard the horse-drawn wagon for a hayride. Scout for the best pumpkins in the patch. Relax in the fresh fall air with a glass of crisp apple cider. Check out Royal Oak Farm Orchard, in Harvard, Ill., to see the country’s first maze composed entirely of mature apple trees. Named “Amaze-N-Apples,” families can wander through 1.5 miles of walking trails, on four acres, while picking from nine different varieties of apples. After exiting the maze, stop by the bakery for fresh apple cider and doughnuts.

Find fall festivities near you here. Contact:;


(Lynn O’Rourke Hayes ( is an author, family travel expert and enthusiastic explorer. Gather more travel intel on Twitter @lohayes, Facebook, or via