Through autumn or fall, the forests of America's New England and parts of Canada are cloaked in a blazing palette of reds, oranges, yellows, golds and mauves. Through Vermont, this kaleidoscope of colour is highlighted in the Green Mountain National Forest which runs like a rugged backbone through the centre of the state, while in New Hampshire, the White Mountains and the Kancamagus Highway are the highlights.
Called leaf-peeping locally, the annual fall foliage is almost an obsession with some people. The newspapers publish a daily map to help pinpoint the optimal locations for the vibrant colours. Travellers in cafes, maps sprawled across small tables, speak surreptitiously of strategies to weave down sneaky backroads to get a better view. Whatever your method, ensure you get out and walk or ride among the narrow lanes and streets of the small townships and rural areas of New England. The forest areas are threaded with a variety of relaxing walking paths and trails.
The vivid white paintwork and timeless beauty of the high-steepled churches, elegant government buildings and old homely inns in the small towns of Vermont and New Hampshire make a wonderful backdrop for the riotous rich colours of the maples, spruces, oaks and beech trees.
And if all this colour builds an appetite, Ben & Jerry's rich premium ice cream in northern Vermont is among the finest I have ever eaten. What could be finer than gazing over the majesty of the autumn colouring feasting on a waffle cone filled with pecan butter cup and karamel sutra ice cream.