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6 ATV Destinations to See Vibrant Fall Colors

Hop on your four-wheeler and enjoy some leaf-peeping. 

By Trent Jonas

6 ATV Destinations to See Vibrant Fall Colors
Lewis County ATV Trail System. Image Courtesy of Nicola Rinaldo

Soak up the autumn hues of red, orange, and yellow from the back of your four-wheeler. Riding through deciduous forests on the back of an ATV gives you a front row seat to the colorful seasonal shift. From the vast forests of Michigan's Upper Peninsula to the magnificent trails of the Adirondacks in New York, there's something for every fall rider out there. Here are five of our favorite ATV destinations to check out this autumn. 

Ottawa National Forest, Ironwood, MI

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is home to some the largest remaining expanses of hardwood forest in the United States. And that makes it the perfect place to hit the trail and tree bathe in some fantastic fall foliage. The Ottawa National Forest, with miles of forest roads and trails, is the perfect spot for autumn riding. There are several camping options scattered throughout the forest, including developed campgrounds and dispersed sites. Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort, near Watersmeet, offers ATV-friendly lodging in the heart of the forest.

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Pittsfield State Forest, Pittsfield, MA

Everyone knows that New England is renowned for its fall colors, and some of the best in the region can be found in western Massachusetts. Riders will appreciate both the autumnal beauty and the network of Berkshire Mountain trails that Pittsfield State Forest, near the town of the same name, has to offer. Camping is available in the nearby Balanced Rock State Park.

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70 Moto Trail, Carson National Forest, NM

Located within the Carson National Forest, not far from Taos, New Mexico, the 70 Moto Trail offers spectacular views of the Sangre de Cristo mountainsides as they give up their summer greens for autumn gold. Tracking a portion of the famous “Enchanted Circle” driving tour, the 70 Moto gets you up close and personal with the foliage while giving you the same cross-mountain vistas that you would get on the drive. Camping is permitted in the forest, itself, or if you’re looking for a little luxury after a day on the trails, head over to the nearby Angel Fire Resort

Hatfield-McCoy Trail System, WV

West Virginia is a state that is wrinkled with mountains and hollows, much of which is carpeted with fantastic hardwood forests. You can take advantage of the natural wonder that the state becomes during the autumn months by hitting the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System, which boasts more than 700 miles of interconnected ATV trails through the Blue Ridge and Cumberland Mountains of southern West Virginia. A trail system app is available to help you find dining and lodging options along the way.

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Trout Valley Trail, Winona County, MN

Some of the best fall colors in the Midwest can be found along the high bluffs and ridges of the Upper Mississippi River Valley, which holds the remnants of what was once known as the Big Woods—a massive hardwood forest that stretched from Michigan to Minnesota and Iowa. Much of it has been cleared for agriculture, now, but the parks and protected lands along the Mississippi still hold large swaths of oaks, maples, and cottonwoods, all of which explode into glorious oranges, reds, and golds come autumn. Hitting the Trout Valley Trail on your ATV is a fantastic way to get out and experience the area’s foliage. Camping is available in several nearby state parks, as well as within the Richard J. Dorer Memorial State Hardwood Forest. The Big River Resort makes an excellent basecamp for your adventures.

Lewis County ATV Trail System, NY

Nobody can argue with beauty of the Adirondacks in the fall, and for ATV enthusiasts, there’s no better place to experience the region’s autumn glory than the Lewis County ATV Trail System, which may be the best in the Empire State. It also happens to be in the heart of the Adirondacks, so you’ll have the best of both autumn worlds. Due to the county’s embrace of trail riding, you’ll find plenty of ATV-friendly lodging in the area, like the Montague Inn in Lowville, New York.

Due to the escalation of the coronavirus outbreak, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for more information.

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