Embrace the magic of fall

As the summer heat begins to wane and the crisp scent of autumn fills the air, there's no better time to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Lake Champlain Region, where the Adirondack Mountains meet one of the largest lakes in the Northeast. With abundant open spaces, big views, legendary adventure and history, the area boasts a perfect blend of fall foliage, outdoor adventures, and local dining that will fill you with delight and leave you refreshed and wanting more. Here's how to have a fabulous, colorful, flavorful fall getaway!

A tall woman in black clothing, wearing a bright blue backpack, walks across a golden-colored field in fall.

A symphony of colors: fall foliage extravaganza

As fall advances, huge swaths of forest shift from cheerful green to vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold, and the Lake Champlain Region transforms into kaleidoscope of color. Stunning views are all around and they're matched by the colorful adventures and activities one can indulge in. All of our charming small towns offer a unique backdrop for this annual spectacle and ample opportunity to take in the unique scenery, whether from a walking trail, lakeside fishing pier, or restaurant. Scenic drives are one of the best ways to see a variety of views, offering a relaxed way to explore. Winding country roads travel past scenic farms and historic sites. Use the Champlain Valley Cuisine Trail as your guide to great scenery and amazing flavor!

Bonus: keep your eyes on the annual foliage report, which provides weekly updates on the colorful transformation!

A bright green field featuring broown and white cows in front of hills covered in fall foliage.

Active relaxation and casual adventures

The Lake Champlain Region is a haven for those seeking the perfect balance between active relaxation and casual adventures. Whether you're a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or just dipping your toes into nature's wonders, there are many options throughout the region.

Hiking trails, such as the many offered by the Champlain Area Trails (CATS), provide an up-close and personal encounter with the foliage. The crunch of leaves beneath your boots, the scent of pine in the air, and the panoramic views of the dynamic landscape — a mix of lake, mountains, forests, and small farms — create an experience that's both invigorating and soul-soothing.

Paddling on Lake Champlain offers a unique perspective of the foliage as you paddle along the pristine waters, flanked by the changing leaves. Choose from a quiet, winding river, secluded lake or pond, or the bigger water of Lake Champlain. We have great spots to launch from, plus gear rentals and easy access to the water. Just remember: as the temps cool, so does the water, so be prepared!

For those seeking a more elevated experience, embark on a bike ride that can either be leisurely or a century; the choice is yours! Try out the Empire State Trail, which offers a route through our small towns and amid big landscapes. As you pedal through the charming towns such as Westport and Essex, you'll discover hidden gems and historic sites that weave together the rich tapestry of local history.

Two cyclists in yellow and black cycling clothing and helmets ride past a farm field, watched by a brown horse.

Culinary delights

Whether you're in the area for an afternoon or a week, you can't miss one of the best parts of fall: the food! Immerse yourself in the culinary delights of the region, where local flavors are enhanced by the backdrop of fall foliage. Our towns and rural spaces offer unique dining experiences that celebrates the bounties of the season, from casual lakeside dining to fine dining lit by the color of fall. Here, you can indulge in a farm-to-table feast right on a local farm, shop for ingredients for your own creations at farmstands, or indulge in a retro diner experience. Savor the taste of artisanal cheeses, fragrant fresh bread, freshly harvested produce, and handcrafted wines and spirits that reflect the essence of the Adirondacks.

A fall-themed display of corn stalks stand around a chalkboard welcoming visitors to a local fresh produce market.
An array of offerings is always to be found at The Hub on the Hill in Essex.
Two men sit at a wooden bar, smiling with golden-colored beer in glasses.
The lakeside location of The Old Dock is perfect for a golden brew.
The rough brick exterior of a two-story house with a sign that reads "Dogwood Bread Company."
Dogwood Bread Company's historic location is a perfect match for its rustic, amazing baked goods and flavor.
The brightly decorated interior of a retro diner, with turquoise walls, pink trim, and black and white checkered floor.
Burleigh's Luncheonette in Ticonderoga is a retro diner dream! Image courtesy Burleigh's.

Rich local history

The Lake Champlain Region isn't just about outdoor adventures and vibrant foliage; it's also steeped in a rich history that adds depth to your journey. Fall is one of the prettiest times of year to explore historic Fort Ticonderoga, a revolutionary landmark that played a pivotal role in shaping the nation's history. This is the kind of place where history truly comes alive through demonstrations and activities led by authentically-costumed guides and re-enactors. Fun fact: all of the costumes you see are made using traditional methods right at the Fort, for maximum authenticity. 

Throughout the region, locations such as the Crown Point State Historic Site, Adirondack History Museum in Elizabethtown, Hancock House in Ticonderoga, and the North Star Underground Railroad Museum in Keeseville offer fascinating explorations of the people, places and events that have made the region so interesting! These sites aren't just about history, they're also locations where you'll find scenic walks, special events, children's activities, and much, much more!

Bonus: pair fall history and adventure with a visit to War Cannon Spirits, one of the region's newest destinations for locally-crafted flavor.

Stone ruins of an early colonial American fort look out over orange-leaved trees, a bridge, and lake.

Plan your fall getaway

Whether you're seeking an active escape, a relaxed retreat, or a journey into the past, the Lake Champlain Region of Northern New York offers a colorful variety of fun and special events against the backdrop of nature's most splendid show. Unforgettable experiences and big views await, so pack your bags, grab your hiking boots, and get ready to embark on a stunningly scenic adventure. Plan your adventure today!