What Kind Of Leaf Peeper Are You?

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by Michael Martineau

What Kind Of Leaf Peeper Are You?

Fall is here and we're quickly prepping for those 60 degree days and 40 degree nights. Quick, some country music star write a song about that!

The days are dimming and the leaves are changing (or falling!). Did you know this happens because of a chemical reaction? The decrease in the amount of chlorophyll produced by the trees leads to the color changes.

While I could get into all the scientific stuff pertaining to why leaves change color, let us instead dive into the bigger question when it comes to fall foliage: How am I going to view it? Do I want to go for a hike? Should I rent a bike and go pedal around a pond? Or perhaps go for a scenic drive a-la-1950s Americana?

There are so many options, and I’m here to help you on your fall foliage viewing way. Read on to find out what kind of leaf peeper you are.


Happy Hiker

Your two feet are the only kind of transportation you need this fall in the Adirondacks. Set your alarm clock for first light – or like 10ish – and hike into a lakeside spot to watch the sun’s rays illuminate the red, orange, and yellow leaves. Some of my favorite spots are in the Lake Champlain Region. Take in the vistas of Lake Champlain and the forest trails burning with vibrant colors. Looking to bag some peaks? Challenge yourself and become a Saranac Lake 6er!


Pedal Pusher

You’re looking to take it easy, burn some calories, and look amazing in a flannel – all while enjoying the crisp air and fall colors. Imagine, the wind flowing around you, your legs churning along, your eyes to the sky – quick, back on the road! You missed your turn. Now you’re surrounded by vibrant colors as you spin yourself along roads that cut through the dense forests and farmland around the Malone Region. Take it from me, this is one area you’ll keep coming back to for cycling during peak foliage. A favorite is the eight-mile Lamika Lake Loop. Woods, water, wonderful. 


Gas Goer

Gas Goers are looking for a way to explore as much of the Adirondacks as possible in one day, or maybe have a destination in mind, such as Apple Fest or Oktoberfest or another super cool harvest fest going on. If you go by car or motorcycle, you’ll find orchards and cider mills, coffee shops, and boutique cafes, as well as peak foliage. Cruise along winding roads as part of your Adirondack Experience, stopping to indulge in a scenic overlook photography session. Or, make your way to the Tupper Lake Region’s breweries to sample one of the craft brews that are earning the region a cult following. Also, it’s totally acceptable to drink a half gallon of apple cider and eat a dozen apple cider donuts in the car while you drive along.



You’re itching for that perfect fall foliage shot to put up on Instagram or Facebook. The one where fall colors are reflecting over still water, or you’re on top of a mountain summit looking out over a sea of red, orange, and yellow as far as the eye can see,  or you —  sparkle in your eye — are happily posed with flannel on your back, hot cider in hand. While you can find that just about anywhere in the Adirondacks during peak foliage, accessibility to every kind of shot you desire can be found right around Schroon Lake and Lake Placid – just use the foliage reports to find the peak spots. Don’t worry about touching up the photos either, the colors are brilliant enough to make all your followers super jealous.


Fisherman or Woman

You’re looking to take it all in while relaxing and living in the moment. Why not toss a line or two into a river, lake, or pond to see what you can catch? In the Whiteface Region you’ll find flowing water rich with a variety of species and backdrops that amplify all things fall foliage. Vibrant leaves flood the river banks while the mountains in the distance become a pantone book showcasing different hues of fall.  

So, what kind of peeper are you? Personally, I plan on being all the peepers this fall! Luckily, the Adirondacks, USA has one of the longest fall foliage periods in the country, so there is plenty of time to peep. It’s time to pack up your gear and head to the Adirondacks – fall is upon us!