Autumn Hike: Stairway to Heaven

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The last Saturday of October felt like the last carefree and beautiful day of fall.

I spent that day hiking on a section of the Appalachian Trail called Stairway to Heaven with some friends. Superstorm Sandy was looming on the horizon and we realized it would probably be our last chance to enjoy the outdoors in all its autumn glory. It was a bit of a poignant experience walking through that beautiful forest, knowing that destruction would in all probability come. Now that both Sandy and Athena have blown through the tristate area, I'm thankful that we got to enjoy that beautiful fall day when we could.

The hike was breathtaking, with fall leaves in shades of pumpkin, pale lavender and fiery red covering the forest floor and forming canopies above our head.  
We started out at the hiker's lot on Route 94, following a path that wound through a moderately steep path up Wawayanda Mountain. There were some large boulders and slippery stone switchbacks aplenty—hence the trail's moniker, Stairway to Heaven—so it was good to be wearing shoes with good traction. But every precarious step was worth treading to see the view from Pinwheel Vista. At the height of fall, when the turning of the leaves had painted a riot of colors on the landscape, it was breathtaking up there.


It's the second year in a row that I've managed to go out for a fall hike to see the turning of the leaves and every time, it's been a wonderful thing. If you've never done it before, I highly recommend adding a hike to your yearly fall to-do list, too. Fall is a beautiful, fleeting time and we should enjoy as much of it as we can, while we can.

More information on the Stairway to Heaven hiking route is available here.

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17 comments

  1. A true case of serendipity: a perfect day before the storm. I live in Australia so our leaf-turning days are not very spectacular. My bucket-list trip includes a hiking trip to New England, Colorado, and Utah to see the true change of seasons. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos to keep my 'Fall hunger' satiated until I manage to go for myself :)

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    1. A New England fall and a Colorado winter are on my wish list, too! I went on a road trip through Utah in 2010 and it is still one of my favorite trips ever. It is absolutely stunning there. Glad you enjoyed this post ... so much to see, so little time, so we must go go go! Hopefully a trip to your beautiful country will figure into my agenda sooner rather than later!

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  2. Wow--that's absolutely amazing! I've got seeing the fall foliage on the east coast on my bucket list. It's so beautiful!

    ~Tiffany
    http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

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    1. Hope you'll get to cross that off your list soon! It really is a beautiful time of the year (minus the freak storms of 2012)

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  3. Wow, absolutely stunning! I can't help marvelling at what a remarkably beautiful world we live in!

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  4. WooOooh! What a spectacular view! The beautiful view is a good price of hiking. Thank you very much for the lovely and awesome pictures!

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  5. Beautiful pics. I love your definition of "happily ever after" too.

    xx
    Lulu

    http://ablueoctober.blogspot.com

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  6. How lucky of you to have been at that beautiful place. I'm envious!

    +To Me It Matters+

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    1. and I love the name of your blog too and how it is all about the here and now, gets me thinking quite a bit.!

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    2. Thank you, Aprad! I'm so glad you are enjoying the blog!

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  7. These pictures are very beautiful :D Thumbs up!

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