By Chloé Margulis
It’s that time of year again! For some, fall is a depressing reminder that the summer is over and winter’s merciless snowstorms are on their way down the coast. But, for others, fall is a liberating time of year—one where tranquility can be found on a hiking trail surrounded in a whirlwind of whispering golden leaves.
Although my favorite season is summer, fall is a beautiful season to experience on the East Coast. Yes, the wind can be biting at times, turning pale cheeks red as tomatoes and frosting your car in the first signs of morning dewy freezes.
The cold doesn’t bother me, even though I spend most of my time outside during this season. It has been a tradition in my family since I was a little girl to go camping during Columbus Day weekend. It’s usually our way of starting off the new season. We would pack thermal sleeping bags, smart wool clothing, polar fleeces, hats, gloves, hot cocoa, and camping foods, and make our way to upstate New York. Let me just say, upstate New York during the fall is serene and spectacular. Get a campsite on a lake surrounded by turning foliage and you have a million dollar view.
When I was a little girl, I would bring my Barbie dolls camping, creating a makeshift tent and throwing them into the lake, attached by just a string to pull them back to shore. Now that I’ve grown up, I don’t need any sort of entertainment on these trips. All you need during fall camping is hiking boots and maybe a book. Hiking the trails of the Catskill and Adirondack mountains is one of the most beautiful experiences. Your feet crunch the colorful yet frail leaves that blanket the ground; some trees are luscious with radiating, vibrant shades of orange, red, and yellow, while other trees are barren, offering you a beautiful view of what is to come just around the bend. No one else is usually out—no animals, no people. It is quiet and peaceful, and you really feel like you are the only one left on the planet. But it is a good feeling, because you get to think, relax, and soak up the last rays of sun.
When you’re not hiking, you can be canoeing or kayaking across the lake, taking pictures of the changing foliage from the water (a beautiful and uniquely different perspective) and visiting hidden islands. Since my dad and I are both into photography, we usually take trips
up in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine to photograph the foliage. Every year the leaves change differently, making every fall experience one-of-a-kind.
By the end of the day, the sun sets over the lake and you are surrounded by nothing more than your loved ones and a warm fire. Roast some marshmallows, tell stories, and your fall experience is like none you’ve ever had before. Fall is the time to explore nature and its exquisite beauties. Don’t sit around indoors when you could be outside marveling at vibrant colored trees and peaceful mountain trails. The leaves don’t stay golden forever. Time is fleeting, and I think fall is the fastest season. Seize the moment and enjoy the season while you can!