Sunday, November 4, 2007

Weekend Trips from Northern Kentucky: Fall Foliage


If you love looking at leaves, you’re not alone; every year, people travel to enjoy our country’s fabulous fall foliage. Taking a trip to look at trees may sound silly. But couple it with a charming cabin in the woods, a deep bathtub with a picture window, plenty of hiking trails and a few bottles of red, and you have all the makings of a lovely weekend.

A lot of the northern states have peaked for optimum fall foliage viewing, but who cares, really? I’m a lazy hiker anyway; always trying to convince everyone to stop, enjoy the view and open up the canteen of mulled wine. Some ideas for weekend trips from Northern Kentucky to view the best fall foliage this year:

Champaign, Illinois promises lovely fall foliage this year. In addition, it’s a college town, so there’s always a game or some activity to attend. College towns also boast good shopping, restaurants and concerts, too. Under four hours to drive to Champaign, Illinois.

Parke County in Indiana claims to be the covered bridge capital of the world. 31 covered bridges do seem like a lot to explore. When you tire of looking at bridges, the many historic buildings and the widespread Amish community also delight. It’s a little over three hours to drive to the heart of Parke County.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is the high holy place of tacky commercialism, but, it’s also in the heart of the Smoky Mountains and the hiking- and the fall foliage- is spectacular. Stay far, far out of town and bring your own food to avoid the madding crowds. A hiker’s dream. About a four hour drive from Northern Kentucky to Gatlinburg.

The high point of the Mid-Ohio Valley Region of West Virginia for leaf-peeping and hiking might just be Cairo. North Bend State Park features the historic North Bend Rail Trail, an abandoned railroad track. Lodge rates just plummeted, so take advantage! About four and a half hours’ drive to Cairo, West Virginia from Northern Kentucky.

If you go on a hiking trip or fall foliage excursion in the Midwest this year: Let us know where you went, and give us some idea of time to drive and costs to stay. And do you give your weekend fall foliage trip a thumbs up or thumbs down?