Smitten with fall’s kaleidoscope of saturated shades but tired of the typical bus tour? For leaf-peeping excursions that put you at the center of the scenery, try the following:
1. ACE Adventure Resort Whitewater Rafting Lower New River Trip
Oak Hill, W.Va.
Experience class 1 through 5 rapids and still have ample downtime for soaking in sights, including a 1,000-foot-deep canyon awash in the gold, orange and rust-red colors of oak, maple, ash and birch.
2. Spruce Ridge Llamas Fall Foliage Trek
Salida, Colo. (about 100 miles from Colorado Springs)
Llamas carry the gear, leaving hikers free to enjoy the vistas: namely Rocky Mountain hillsides covered in the golden glow of turning aspen leaves. Choose from an easy day trek or an inclusive overnight camping trip to maximize viewing.
From $69, www.spruceridgellamas.com/fall-foliage-treks.htm
3. Hole Hiking Experience
Jackson, Wyo. Embark on a leisurely group hike through Bridger-Teton National Forest’s Gros Ventre, a partially reclaimed landslide sparkling with an autumn display of aspens and willows. Evenings conclude with access to an awesome wildlife ritual: the annual rut of the bull elk.
4. 1000 Acres Ranch Resort Fall Foliage Weekends
Stony Creek, N.Y.
Set among the Adirondacks’ stunning fall palette of spruce, maple and birch leaves, Stony Creek’s riverside dude ranch couples prime East Coast foliage with Western flare. Horseback rides, family-style meals and even activities for tiny tots are part of the package.
5. Urban AdvenTours Emerald Necklace and Fall Foliage Bicycle Tour
Pedal 15-plus miles around Boston’s Emerald Necklace — an 1,100-acre chain of parks and waterways designed by Frederick Law Olmsted — while taking in the North End’s natural splendor. Highlights include elm-lined Commonwealth Avenue and the fiery-hued flora of Arnold Arboretum.