October 7, 2013
There’s not much going on in the Midwest and I (a Midwestern girl) will be the first to admit it. Most of us are landlocked; we don’t have too many big, international cities around us, but there is one thing that we undoubtedly have: fall. During the Midwestern fall travel season, an autumn drive through the Midwest will lead to pumpkin patches, apple farms, hiking trails, haunted houses, and of course, beautifully colored trees. Sure, there are other places in the country with great autumn delights as well, but I feel that we Midwesterners have got something special going on and a plethora of fall vistas at our disposal.
If you are in the Midwest or are longing to get your fall experiences in before it all turns to ice, here are a few places to check out:
Starved Rock (Illinois):
With 13 trails to explore, Starved Rock is an excellent place to view not only autumn-colored trees but wildlife, waterfalls, and canyons. The hiking is supposed to be especially noteworthy here as well. Also, there is a surplus of things to do here: horseback riding, camping, canoeing, winery visits, trolley tours, and even a photography club! They offer lodging as well.
Hocking Hills (Ohio):
Hocking Hills State Park is full of beautiful gorges like Old Man’s Cave, rock formations, Cliffs and waterfalls. There are plenty of places to camp here, with about 200 campsites and plenty of places to stay in the area as well. If you are all about antiquing, there is also plenty of that in the area as well.
Red River Gorge (Kentucky):
It is debatable whether Kentucky is a Southern or a Midwestern state but one thing is for sure, Red River Gorge is a great place to see during the fall. A series of canyons await your arrival, along with cliffs, waterfalls, and natural bridges. It is smack in the middle of Daniel Boone Forest and Natural Bridge Park is right next-door, so there is plenty to explore. It is a great place for rock climbing as well and they also offer zipline tours!
Katy Trail State Park (Missouri):
Whether you want to bike or walk your way through the fantastic fall landscapes, Katy Trail State Park is the place to go. The Katy Trail (a former railroad) runs 240 miles and is the country’s longest rails-to-trails project. It is open to both those on foot and cyclists but there is more to do than just walk or cycle such as: camping, fishing, and swimming-although it may be too chilly for that last one!
These are just a few Midwestern fall travel spots to explore; the important thing to remember is that whatever region of the US you are in, get out in nature and enjoy the view!
Photo: Flickr/ BIGDOG3c (J. Todd Poling)