If you’re looking for a unique way to check out the colors of foliage this season, don’t limit yourself to hikes in the wilderness or excursions down windy, country roads. While there’s no denying the pleasing experience those can deliver, there also are ways to actually turn leaf-peeping into an adventure of a sort.
How about viewing autumn’s kaleidoscope of color from the sky? In “Vacationland,” Katahdin Air has specialized in Maine seaplane fly-ins since 1947. Among the numerous itineraries the company offers, customers can take a 30-minute flight over Mount Katahdin to view the majestic colors littering Maine’s largest peak. Originating out of nearby Spencer Cove, the flight will climb up to 5,000 feet, where customers can experience a breathtaking overview of Baxter State Park. ($125 per person, visit www.katahdinair.com for pricing and more information. Weather requirements of 6,000-foot ceilings with 10 miles of visibility apply.)
If you’d rather not take off from the waterway and just enjoy the view from the surface, then an outfit like Mount Washington Cruises might fit the bill. The beauty of New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee, surrounded by the colors of the changing season, will be on display in a narrated scenic tour. Check mtwashingtoncruises.com for a schedule. ($40 per person; Sunday cruises are $60 and include brunch buffet)
Then again, what could be more romantic than a hot-air balloon ride in the midst of a perfect Vermont fall day? Above Reality Balloons promises the best foliage tours in the state. Flights originate at the Essex Resort and Spa, where a shuttle will pick you up for the start of your journey above the blazing colors of the Vermont countryside. Shared flights on the October fall foliage tours run $375. Private flights run from $2,250 (small basket for 1-4 people) to $4,725 (large basket for 9-14 people). www.balloonvermont.com