Hiking Trails Worth Exploring Before Autumn Fully Sets In

The transition between summer's warmth and autumn's vibrant hues is a magical period for hikers. It offers a blend of green canopies, crisp air, and the first hints of fall colors. If you're looking to experience nature at its most transformative, consider exploring the following hiking trails before autumn takes full reign.

  1. The Appalachian Trail, Eastern USA
  • Length: 2,190 miles (but you can hike sections)
  • Highlights: Sprawling forests, breathtaking views, and an assortment of wildlife.
  • Why Before Autumn: Witness the vast stretch of deciduous trees gradually changing color, a phenomenon that has made this trail legendary.
  1. Tour du Mont Blanc, France, Italy, and Switzerland
  • Length: 110 miles
  • Highlights: Alpine meadows, glacial valleys, and picturesque villages.
  • Why Before Autumn: Experience the melting snow feeding crystal-clear streams, while the mountain tops start getting their first snow, presenting a stark contrast.
  1. The West Highland Way, Scotland
  • Length: 96 miles
  • Highlights: Lochs, mountains, and moors.
  • Why Before Autumn: The heather blooms fade, creating a carpet of purples and browns, and there’s a soft, golden hue in the low sunlight.
  1. The John Muir Trail, California, USA
  • Length: 211 miles
  • Highlights: Sierra Nevada mountain range, including the famous Yosemite Valley.
  • Why Before Autumn: The cooler pre-autumn weather reduces the mosquito presence, and the wilderness starts displaying fall colors.
  1. Kungsleden, Sweden
  • Length: 270 miles
  • Highlights: Arctic landscapes, glacial rivers, and Sami villages.
  • Why Before Autumn: Experience the Northern Lights in the early nights of pre-fall while enjoying the gold and red hues of the birch trees. 
  1. Lyian Way, Turkey
  • Length: 320 miles
  • Highlights: Ancient ruins, turquoise coastlines, and traditional villages.
  • Why Before Autumn: The Mediterranean climate becomes more pleasant and the ancient ruins are surrounded by wildflowers.
  1. The Great Ocean Walk, Australia
  • Length: 66 miles
  • Highlights: Rugged coastlines, dense forests, and the iconic Twelve Apostles limestone stacks.
  • Why Before Autumn: Witness southern Australia’s spring in full bloom and spot migrating whales off the coast.

Hiking Tips For The Transition Season: 

  • Dress in Layers: As summer fades, temperatures can vary drastically between day and night. Dressing in layers ensures you remain comfortable.
  • Start Early: Daylight hours are getting shorter. Starting early ensures you make the most of the available light.
  • Be Prepared: Carry essentials like a map, compass, flashlight, first aid kit, and extra food.

The brief window between summer and autumn is a hiker’s delight, blending warm sunny days with the anticipation of fall’s splendor. These trails offer a unique perspective on this transformative period, making them a must-visit before the golden hues of autumn fully set in. Grab your hiking boots and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature’s transition.

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