4 Famous National Parks That Are Best to Visit in the Fall

Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming during the fall.

Some national parks are perfect in the winter while others should be visited during summer. However, large parklands aren’t appealing only during these two seasons. Several world-famous park sites come alive in the fall, offering fascinating wildlife spotting, cool camping weather, and memorable hikes.

1. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Aerial view of Great Smoky Mountains National Park with trees changing their foliage.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park covers an area of 522,419 acres and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. During fall, it offers sightings of elk and bears, and the best part is that visitors don’t have to leave their vehicles to see them. It also has amazing trails that cut through old-growth, hardwood forests, which become flooded with colorful foliage.

2. Acadia National Park

Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park during the fall

Visiting Acadia National Park during the first half of September is a great decision because the weather is warm but the humidity, fog, and bugs are gone. Kayak enthusiasts can enjoy the waters of Eagle Lake, Long Pond, and Jordan Pond while being surrounded by the colors of fall. The parkland has four campgrounds, which offer overnight accommodations to visitors.

3. New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

Climber scaling a cliff in the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve with the 876-foot-tall New River Gorge Bridge in the background.

Located in southern West Virginia, the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is the perfect spot for mountain biking and climbing during the fall. In October, the park site welcomes countless BASE jumpers who can legally jump off the 876-foot-tall New River Gorge Bridge, the world’s second-longest arch bridge.

4. Rocky Mountain National Park

A view of the Rocky Mountain National Park in the fall.

Opened in 1915, the Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most famous parks in North America. Hikers say that midweek trips during the months of September and October are the best time to visit the parkland because there are few visitors and they get to enjoy the beauty of nature without any distractions. The temperatures are mild during the day and animal sightings are quite often.

Other Parks to Consider Visiting in Fall

The Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming are two other marvelous parklands worth experiencing during the autumn months.