1 Mt. Major Mt. Major State Forest, NH
Info bit.do/mtmajor Trailhead 43.5190, -71.2736
September hits Mt. Major with a bang, turning the grasses, sedges, and shrubs that cover its summit bright yellow, orange, and deep red. In addition to the colorful foliage, the 3-mile out-and-back trail to the top opens to painted views of Lake Winnipesaukee and the White Mountains, providing top-notch photo ops.
2 Maah Daah Hey Trail Little Missouri National Grassland, ND
Info mdhta.com Trailhead 47.5863, -103.2786
Whether you're tackling a section of this path or the full 144-mile thru-hike, autumn is the season to visit the Maah Daah Hey Trail. The most colorful of the 60 distinct species of prairie grasses along the route are little and big bluestem and switchgrass, which each turn bright red and gold in September and October.
3 Raven Cliff Falls Chatahoochee National Forest, GA
Info fs.usda.gov/conf Trailhead 34.7096, -83.7892
This 4.9-mile hike passes through mixed pine and hardwood forest to several waterfalls, the tallest of which gushes from a deep split in a 40-foot cliff. To get your color fix, keep an eye out for the bright orange berries of American bittersweet vines among the trees. The woody stems spiral to a height of up to 20 feet.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Emerging from Darkness
For one hiker, nature is the best place to confront her past and consider her future.
Flowing Into Silence
The natural world has a lot to say, if we're willing to listen.
When the Humans are Away
Montana’s remote Crazy Mountains are a playground for more than just hikers.
Chasing the Light
A photographer bushwhacks towards dawn in the Dolly Sods. Martin Radigan, as told to Kristin Smith
Broken and Alone
When his brother turned back a few miles into their overnight hike, Jacob Velarde decided to continue solo. Then, he fell.
A Land Away From Time
Channel Islands National Park is a window into California’s wild past.
An Unexpected Autumn Rainbow
These 10 hikes bring kaleidoscopic hues to overlooked places.
Smoke Eaters On The Front Lines
The new era of wildland firefighting is a war with no end in sight.
Improve Your Aerobic Fitness
Want to be more efficient on the trail? Start by developing your aerobic base (how well your body uses oxygen to burn fat), which allows you to do sustained cardio without gasping for breath. Hiking sometimes requires anaerobic fitness—short bursts of effort where your body produces energy without oxygen—but by and large, it’s an aerobic endeavor. During aerobic training, your heart rate should be elevated above resting, but not so high that you have to catch your breath.
IF THESE HILLS COULD TALK
Environmental activists are pursuing legal steps that would allow natural entities to sue in their own defense through a human spokesperson. But maybe it’s the conversation, and not the law, that matters most.
Even if you log thousands of vertical feet at your local mountain beforehand, heli-skiing can wreck you after one day. Here’s how to beat the bonk.
The Haunting Of The Backpacker Murderer
One year since killer Ivan Milat’s death, the horrors of the past continue to torture the families of his victims