And just like that — it's fall.

by Rina Kremer

And just like that — it's fall.

The air is getting cooler, the sun is setting earlier, and the burning colors of a late-summer sunset-struck sky have moved on to paint our fall foliage — it’s time to get cozy! While it may be slightly bittersweet to let summer go, we’re officially allowed to pull out our fuzzy slippers, flannels, and fleece blankets again. Can I get an amen?

Fall is the yellow light of seasons, warning you that you’ve only got so much time to get out there and enjoy the last of the non-snow activities for the year.

The good news is that there’s really no more romantic time of year than the colorful, cool fall, and no better place to go full-fall than in the rustic wonderland that is the Adirondacks.


Fall Foliage Viewing on the Road in the Heart of the Adirondacks

Even if it’s a cool fall day – the kind where mist rises from the water, and snakes around the forest before burning off in mid-day sun – you can still enjoy fall from your automobile.

The best place to take a scenic fall drive is legitimately anywhere on Route 30 in the Heart of the Adirondacks, and all of its offshoots and detours (like routes 8, 10, and 28). You’ll be surrounded by the most vibrant yellow, orange, red, burnt orange, golden yellow, crimson, and (you get the idea) leaves as you make your way around the mountains and many lakes of the region.

And if it rained the night before, all the better: you know that smell after a rainfall that seems to indefinitely permeate autumn's fallen leaves? Bring a blanket for the car, and roll down those windows.


Wine Tasting

Fall plus wine equals date. This is an easy one. If you’re setting up an all-day itinerary for you and your SO, this is a good option for when the sun starts to set. Red season is coming back, and you can both make a date out of it and find a new favorite bottle for you and your partner’s cold-weather staple.

The Adirondacks are home to many local wineries, but a few that I’ll suggest in particular are Swedish Hill Winery and Goose Watch Winery, conveniently located within ten minutes of each other in Lake Placid.


Hiking It Up

For an optimal overlook, in all directions, of the vast rolling hills in all of their colorful glory, head out for a hike on the Lyon Mountain Trail in Malone.  

While Lyon Mountain isn’t far from the central hubs of Lake Placid and the Saranac Lake Region – it’s only about an hour’s drive –  Azure Mountain is another good option, right in Saranac Lake itself. It’s a shorter and steeper hike, but also provides some breathtaking views.

Or put on your competitive edge and hit the Tupper Lake Triad, a fun hiking challenge that will take you up three peaks, Mount Arab, Coney Mountain, and Goodman Mountain. Complete all three and get a patch – and even better fall photos!

On a clear day along with a sweeping view of the High Peaks, you and your SO will be able to see as far as Montreal, and there’s a restored fire tower to climb into and get an even better view from the top. 


One Last Picnic

Catch one of these scenic fall days for the last picnic of the year with your SO. My top spots are the Town Beach in the Schroon Lake Region, and the shore of Lower St. Regis Lake — you’ll get some beautiful mountain backdrops while you listen to the peaceful lapping of water that will soon disappear under winter’s frosty grip. 

Bring along a bottle of that great new red you found at the winery, and pick up some fresh cider (for whoever is driving). Soak in those fall smells and admire the stunning scenery while cozying up with your favorite human.

And that takes me to my next suggestion:


Apple Picking and Cider Drinking

Nothing screams “fall flavors!” quite like some fresh apple cider, am I right? The Adirondacks have some of the very best.

One particularly good spot for a cute little apple-picking, cider-drinking date is Gunnison Lakeshore Orchards in the Lake Champlain Region. After you spend some time filling a basket in the fresh fall mountain air, head into their country store to hydrate with some cider - and also some quite tasty pie - if you two are up for a sweet treat.


And there you have it.

While it might be time once again to pull out those blankets and flannels, there’s also still time to throw them in the car, grab your favorite human or that wonderful person you’ve been wanting to ask to hang out with you, and go do something! Since I’ve literally listed out places to go and dates to have, there’s really no excuse to call it quits on outdoor adventure. Don't settle for lounging on the couch until there’s enough snow to hit the slopes in the Whiteface Region. Take your date on an Adirondack autumn outing. Because fall isn’t just an in-between season, it’s its own season. Don’t hurt its feelings.