Ride our favorite foliage-covered hills and mountains
Northern England’s Lake District overflows with visitors during high summer. But once the tour buses disappear and the leaves begin to turn, cyclists can reclaim the narrow country lanes. From the town of Keswick, follow the shores of the Derwentwater, one of nearly 100 lakes in the region. Pedal through verdant moors dotted with grazing sheep and lit up with fiery yellow oaks. You’ll welcome the chance to dismount and unlatch a farm gate as you grind up mountain passes—called fells here—where grades can hit 20 percent.
For something closer to home, try these three stateside climbs with colorful rewards:
INDEPENDENCE PASS, COLORADO
Autumn in this part of the Rockies means sweeping vistas of golden aspens. Pedal through luminous corridors of yellow along this 17-mile monster, which looms above the city of Aspen. The 12,095-foot elevation—and the view at the top— will leave you gasping.
SIX GAPS, VERMONT
Riding and leaf-ogling opportunities abound in and around the Green Mountains. But an assault on any one of the vaunted Six Gap climbs will yield expansive views of red-orange sugar maples in all their deserved glory.
MOUNT MITCHELL, NORTH CAROLINA
The tallest peak in the Appalachians showcases some of the most vibrant fall foliage in the lower half of the United States. From Asheville, follow the Blue Ridge Parkway 35 miles until you reach the summit at 6,684 feet. The payoff: a blazing panorama of maple, oak, and birch.