The crisp air fills your lungs as the golden sun dapples the changing leaves around you. Autumn has arrived, and while summer may be over, the season of fall foliage and harvest time has its adventures waiting to be discovered. It’s time to lace up your running shoes, pump up your bike tires, or slip on comfortable walking shoes – the trails are calling. Whether you want to stroll down a woodland path, cycle winding roads lined with fiery red maples, or jog through a sea of yellow aspens, fall offers the perfect weather and scenery for outdoor recreation. This guide recommends the best places to experience the autumn splendour on foot, bike or run. The summer heat has faded, the crowds have dwindled, and nature’s dazzling display is yours to explore. Adventure awaits on the autumn trails.
Embracing the Season: Why Autumn is the Perfect Time for Trail Adventures
The autumn season is the perfect time to hit the trails. Here are a few reasons why:
Crisp, Cool Weather
The summer heat has faded, leaving crisp, cool air ideal for outdoor activities. You won’t overheat while exercising and can comfortably layer on jackets and gear as needed.
The trails come alive with colour as the leaves change from green to vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. There’s nothing quite like exercising surrounded by the beauty of fall foliage at its peak. Take in the scenic views and snap some photos of the picturesque landscapes.
With kids back in school and summer vacations over, the trails tend to be less crowded in the fall. You’ll encounter fewer people, allowing you to set your own pace without dodging as many passersby. The peaceful solitude of the autumn trails can rejuvenate the body and mind.
Although the days are getting shorter, autumn still provides many hours of daylight after work hours and on weekends. Take advantage of the extended daylight to squeeze in hiking, biking, and running adventures before sunset. With autumn upon us, embrace the season and hit the trails! The cool weather, stunning scenery, smaller crowds, and longer days are perfect for an enjoyable outdoor getaway.
Lacing Up for Fall: Footwear Essentials
Once the crisp fall air arrives, it is time to gear up for outdoor adventure. The proper footwear is essential for traversing autumn trails in comfort and safety.
For running, look for lightweight trail shoes with grippy soles. Popular brands like Salomon, Merrell, and Brooks offer shoes with reinforced toes, water resistance, and traction for fallen leaves.
If hiking’s your thing, waterproof boots are a must. Brands like Berghaus, Brash, and Keen have affordable, durable options. Look for boots with ankle support, sturdy laces, and rugged, non-skid soles.
Flat or clipless shoes with clip-in pedals provide power and control for biking. Five Ten and Giro are popular flat pedal shoe brands, while Shimano and Pearl Izumi offer high-quality bike shoes with clip-in pedals.
Whatever your outdoor pursuit, footwear allows you to stomp through puddles, kick up leaves, climb rocky trails, and coast along winding paths this autumn without worry. So lace up, get out there, and make the most of the seasonal scenery. The trails are calling!
Layering 101: Clothing Tips for Autumn Trailblazers
Once you’ve geared up for your autumn adventure, it’s time to think about what you’re wearing. The key to comfort is layering – this allows you to adjust to the temperature changes you’ll experience on the trail.
Your base layer is the first layer of clothing you’ll wear directly against your skin. For autumn, a breathable fabric like polyester or nylon is suitable for wicking away moisture. Thermal underwear and athletic shirts or pants also work well.
Your mid-layer provides insulation. Fleece, down or a light jacket are good options. You can add or remove this layer as needed to regulate your temperature. Sweaters, sweatshirts and insulated pants are also suitable for this layer.
Your outer shell protects against wind and rain. A water-resistant jacket and or hiking trousers will shield you from the elements. For high-energy activities like running or biking, choose a breathable soft shell. For lower-intensity walking, a waterproof hardshell jacket may be better.
Headwear, gloves and socks
Don’t forget headwear, gloves and thick socks! A beanie, bobble or ear warmers will prevent heat loss from your head. Insulated gloves, mittens and wool socks add extra warmth to your extremities.
Dressing in layers will ensure you stay comfortable on the trail. Adjust as needed – add or remove layers, open up zippers or cinches to increase ventilation. Focus on enjoying the beautiful autumn scenery! You’ll be ready for a fantastic fall adventure with the right gear and clothing.
Ride, Ramble, or Run: Must-Have Equipment for Your Trail Adventure
To fully enjoy your autumn trail adventure, pack the essential gear. Whether rambling through colourful forests, riding scenic bikeways, or jogging winding paths, the right equipment will keep you comfortable and safe.
For walking or hiking, must-haves include:
- Sturdy and water-resistant hiking boots or trail shoes. Look for good ankle support and rugged soles with plenty of grip for navigating uneven terrain.
- Layered clothing like thermal undergarments, fleece jackets, and a waterproof outer shell. The weather can change quickly in the fall, so be prepared for rain or dropping temperatures.
- A backpack includes snacks, water, maps, gloves, a hat, and a basic first aid kit.
- Trekking poles to help balance on steep or slippery sections. They reduce strain on joints and make hiking more enjoyable.
Cyclists will want:
- A bike suited to trails like a mountain bike or hybrid with knobby tires. Skinnier road bike tires won’t handle unpaved paths well.
- A bike helmet, cycling gloves, and protective gear like elbow and knee pads. Autumn foliage is beautiful, but the ground can be covered in wet leaves. Safety first!
- A bike pump, spare inner tube, essential bike tools, and a patch kit in case of flats. Nothing ruins a ride faster than a flat tire miles from anywhere.
For running, must-haves are:
- Running shoes are designed for trails with added traction and support. Regular road shoes wonâ€™t cut it on uneven ground.
- Moisture-wicking clothing, hat, and reflective gear if running at dawn or dusk.
- A running pack or belt to carry phones, keys, snacks, and water. You’ll want supplies to fuel your autumn run.
With the proper gear and clothing for your chosen activity, you’ll be fully equipped to experience nature’s vibrant beauty in autumn. The trails are calling, get out there and enjoy!
Skincare for the Great Outdoors: Protecting Your Skin this Autumn
The crisp autumn air may feel refreshing but can wreak havoc on your skin. As the seasons change, so should your skincare routine. Protecting your skin in the fall ensures you can enjoy outdoor activities without irritation or damage.
Moisturise often. The lower humidity sucks moisture from your skin. Apply a rich moisturiser daily, especially after washing your face or showering while your pores are open. For active days outside, reapply every few hours.
Wear SPF. Just because the summer sun fades does not mean UV rays disappear. Use a natural broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF, and reapply every two hours. Look for sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which physically block UV radiation.
Choose a lip balm with SPF. Lips lack natural protection from the sun and elements. A lip balm with SPF prevents painful cracking and sunburn. Reapply frequently, especially after eating or drinking.
Protect your hands. Hands also need safeguarding from the drying effects of falls. Apply a moisturising hand cream, like our On the Trail Hand and Foot Repair Cream, after washing and reapply as needed. Wear gloves when outside for long periods.
Exfoliate gently. Remove dead skin cells to allow moisturisers to absorb better. Use a mild scrub, chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid, or facial brush 1-2 times weekly. Over-exfoliating can further dry out and irritate the skin.
Drink plenty of water. Hydrating from the inside out is critical. Aim for 6-8 glasses of water daily to keep your skin cells plump and soft. Limit caffeine and alcohol, which dehydrate the skin.
Transitioning your skincare regimen for the fall will keep your skin healthy, soft and protected so you can continue enjoying your favourite outdoor autumn activities. You’ll be ready to hit the trails worry-free with the right products and precautions.
Fueling Your Journey: Nutrition and Hydration Tips
Focus on nutrition and hydration to keep your energy levels up during long autumn adventures. Stock up on portable, high-energy snacks like:
- Trail mix with nuts, seeds and dried fruit
- Granola or protein bars
- Dried fruit like raisins, apricots or banana chips
- Jerky (beef, turkey or vegan)
Bring plenty of water, too, since dehydration is a severe risk of the cool fall air. Aim for one litre of water per hour of activity. Fill a reusable bottle or hydration pack and sip frequently as you explore. Pack electrolyte tablets or powder to add to your water for longer trips. They replenish the salts you lose through sweat and help your body absorb the water.
Once you’re back home, a balanced meal with lean protein, high-fibre whole grains, and fresh produce will aid muscle recovery. Some perfect post-adventure fare includes:
- A stir fry over rice or quinoa
- A hearty stew or chilli
- A burrito bowl with beans, salsa and avocado
- A smoothie made with Greek yoghurt, leafy greens and fruit
Packing the right snacks, staying properly hydrated and refuelling after your trek will give you the energy you need to fully experience the beauty of autumn. With the right fuel in your pack and your belly, you’ll be ready to adventure all season long.
Safety First: Trail Etiquette and Emergency Preparedness
Safety should always come first when enjoying the trails. Be prepared and courteous to others.
- Check the local trail conditions and any warnings before heading out. Weather and wildlife activity can change quickly in the fall.
- Let someone know your planned route and expected return time in emergencies. You never know if an injury could occur or if you lose your way.
- Share the trail and be considerate of others. Yield to cyclists and horse riders. Step aside to let faster runners pass. A smile and friendly greeting make the experience better for everyone.
- Pack essential gear: a map of the trails, nutrition, water, a penknife, matches/lighter, a compass, basic first aid supplies, a space blanket, a whistle, and a fully charged phone. You’ll be prepared for any situation.
- Follow all posted signs regarding permitted uses, closures and regulations. Many trails prohibit motorised vehicles, camping, fires and littering to protect the natural surroundings.
By exercising caution and courtesy, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the vibrant fall scenery without worrying entirely. The trails will call you back time and again if you respect them and value the experience of others along the way. Stay safe out there, and happy wandering!
Autumn on the Trail – Mother Nature's Annual Show
So there you have it, a few of the best trails to get out and explore this autumn. The crisp air, the vibrant colours, and fewer crowds make autumn one of the best times to hit the trails. Whether you want to run, walk or bike, there’s something for everyone at every skill level. Get out there and enjoy Mother Nature’s annual show before winter arrives. You’ll be glad you did. The memories of a perfect fall day on the trails will stay with you long after the seasons change. So lace up those running shoes, pump up those bike tires or throw on your favourite jacket – adventure awaits! Get moving and make the most of the autumn trails unveiled.