You don’t need to be an avid hiker, paddler, or outdoor explorer to enjoy the beauty of fall in the Adirondacks. Wherever you go within this six-million-acre park you will find brilliant fall foliage. From the shores of lakes and rivers to the tops of mountains and the bases of valleys, changing leaves transform the landscape into a vibrant color show.
Experience the blazing reds, oranges, and yellows from the comfort of your car when you take a fall foliage road trip through Hamilton County. With as many as seven scenic stops along the way, this route is perfect for nature photographers and leaf peepers who want to maximize their fall views. Download your favorite tunes, throw on your coziest travel sweater, and hit the open road to see the best color show mother nature has to offer.
Route 30 - Route to Adirondack adventure
Your ultimate fall foliage tour begins just north of the Hamilton County border in Tupper Lake. Stock up on warm, freshly baked donuts from the Washboard Donut Shop and Laundromat (yes, you read that correctly) and a spiced latte from Well Dressed Foods, then settle into the car and head west on Route 30 toward Long Lake. Hands-down one of the most epic stretches of road in the Adirondacks, the undulating pavement appears to merge perfectly into the horizon, creating the illusion that you are driving straight into the mountains. Talk about an Insta-worthy shot!
Long Lake - An Adirondack classic
Not long after you cross into Hamilton County you will be greeted by the charming village of Long Lake. Follow Route 30 into the village and you will cross over an old iron bridge spanning a narrow section of the namesake lake. The rust-colored bridge perfectly matches the fiery colors that stretch along the shoreline as far as the eye can see. Pull off at the public beach, grab a blanket and your donuts, and enjoy a cozy snack while you take in the views.
Blue Mountain - Big sky, big leafy views
Continue on Route 30 through the village and, when you reach the T intersection next to Hoss’s Country Store, take a right onto 28N. Follow this scenic route to Blue Mountain Lake, home of Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake. The public beach downtown provides a stunning scene and a great spot to pull over and enjoy the views. Mountains seem to rise straight out of the water, and small islands interrupt the bright blue surface with splotches of fall color.
Raquette Lake - A historic gem
In Blue Mountain, 28N turns into Route 28. Follow that down winding roads through dense forests until you reach Raquette Lake. At this point in your journey, take a break from the car and experience the little community of Raquette Lake. Turn right onto Route 2 and continue onto Antlers Road. Soon you will reach a marina where you can check out the Caboose gift shop, which boasts a collection of souvenirs, candles, locally made foods, and more. After you finish up your shopping, swing by the tap room at the Raquette Lake Hotel for a great meal, great drinks, a great lake view, and great company! The tap room is known for being open 365 days a year!
Seventh Lake Boat Launch - A can't miss stop
The adventure continues. Return to Route 28 and head south toward Inlet, where you’ll find not one but two breathtaking vistas. Before you arrive in this small mountain town, keep an eye out for the Seventh Lake boat launch on your right. While a boat launch might not seem like much of a destination, it’s a perfect spot to gaze at the distant hills of the Fulton Chain Wild Forest, all lit up in fall colors.
Arrowhead Park - Point your adventures here
Make your way into Inlet and you will find a large parking area to your left. Follow the walking paths from the parking lot to Arrowhead Park on the shores of Fourth Lake. Benches lining the waterfront are perfect for sitting and enjoying the view of Eagle Bay. When the waning daylight makes it hard to pick out the fall colors, head back into town and sate your appetite with a piping hot pizza at the Screamen' Eagle. The beer list is massive, too!
Take a detour and turn toward Speculator, a small town on the shores of Lake Pleasant where you can take in fall foliage around almost every turn. Stroll the scenic shopping district or dig your toes into the sand at Speculator's public beach and watch the foliage reflect on the serene waters.
Start planning for that perfect fall foliage tour by booking your lodging today!