Our Top 5 River Destinations For Fall Foliage

Here are some of our staff’s favorite rivers for enjoying autumn.

White River, VT | Photo by George Ostertag/Alamy Stock Photo

White River, Vermont

“This is the best place I know of to see sugar maples. Driving up the valley one time, I completely missed an exit because everyone in the car was looking at the mix of reds, oranges and yellows. We had to drive 20 minutes to the next exit.”
– Amy Singler, director of River Restoration, Connecticut River Basin

Youghiogheny River
Youghiogheny River

Upper Youghiogheny, Maryland and Pennsylvania

“The first weekend of October can bring snow squalls, heat waves and often glorious fall colors from the diverse hardwoods lining the riverbanks. It’s why I chose to get married on this river.”
– Liz Deardorff, director of Clean Water Supply, Delaware River Basin

Merced River, California

“I love autumn in Yosemite National Park and especially seeing fall colors reflected in the Merced River. Hiking close to the bank, you’re covered in mist from the river as it drops over two massive waterfalls and flows right through Yosemite Valley. Incredible!”
– Amber Taxiera, associate director for California Major Gifts and Communications

The Yakima River by Chris Boswell
The Yakima River | Photo by Chris Boswell

Yakima River, Washington

“There’s nothing like an early fall float through the high desert canyon. With flows settling down from their peak summer irrigation demands, the fish are looking to gobble some meat, and the streamer action for fat 18-inch trout can be ridiculous.”
– Jonathan Stumpf, associate director of River Protection, Rivers of Puget Sound and Columbia Basin

Swannanoa River, North Carolina

“After ushering my eldest daughter off to college, I have a vivid memory of watching the bright leaves float downstream on a warm day with the sun low. On that day, looking for migrating butterflies and watching leaves, it was the perfect spot to be.”
– Gail Lazarus, associate director, Rivers of Southern Appaachia and the Carolinas

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