Part of the Washington Heritage Trail takes drivers to Paw Paw Tunnel, about one mile north of Berkeley Springs, where the Potomac River bends. It is 24 feet tall and 3,100 feet long. Bikers and hikers are welcomed year-round to this out-of-the-way place. Bring a flashlight if you hike all the way through. Go to www.berkeleysprings.com/tunnel.htm.
Berkeley County, W.Va.
Sleepy Creek Wildlife Preserve is 28,000 acres of mountainous wonder. Hiking and mountain biking trails are open year-round. The Tuscarora Trail, part of the Appalachian Trail, winds through the preserve. This is also a great spot to bird watch, since you're looking up into the trees. For a map, go to www.thewoodsresort.com/rec_hiking.html.
Jefferson County, W.Va.
Yankauer Nature Preserve is located just north of Shepherdstown on Whiting's Neck Road. Managed by the Potomac Valley Aububon Society, Yankauer Nature Preserve is a spot for bird-watchers. With trails that wind through its 104 acres, Yankauer has plenty of places to stop and reflect on nature. Got to www.potomacaudubon.org/yankauer.html.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, off U.S. 340, is an obvious choice for anyone wanting to see the beauty of nature in Jefferson County. From nearly any point of Harpers Ferry, there are plenty of trees to see on steep hillsides and cliffs to the north and east and on trees throughout the park. Hiking and whitewater rafting is available in Harpers Ferry. Great points for seeing colorful trees are Jefferson Rock (a short hike from the lower part of Harpers Ferry) and Maryland Heights (a long hike across the Potomac and up the cliff).
While in Harpers Ferry, be sure to take the walking tour of Virginius Island, the remains of an industrial complex along the Shenandoah River. The tour takes an hour or two to complete.
And don't forget that the Appalachian Trail also curves its way through the park, which also is highlighted by a footbridge.
For more information, go to www.nps.gov/hafe.
Adams County, Pa.
Caledonia State Park is actually located in both Adams and Franklin counties between Chambersburg and Gettysburg on U.S. 30. The park offers 10 miles of trails. Get out of the car and explore the beautiful foliage in South Mountain and the Great Valley. For directions to the park, go to www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/caledonia.aspx.
Franklin County, Pa.
A trip to Mont Alto State Park offers bird-watchers and tree lovers a serene place to escape in its 23 acres. The park can be accessed from Caledonia State Park on U.S. 30, and is adjacent to Mont Alto Campus of Pennsylvania State University. For directions, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/montalto.aspx.
Fulton County, Pa.
Cowans Gap State Park, which is located between Chambersburg and McConnellsburg in Athens Valley, is usually filled with activity throughout the summer. But even when the air starts to cool, visitors can find plenty of trails on which to take in the natural beauty of the park. For directions, go to www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/cowansgap.aspx
Md. 68 drive - Drive along Md. 68, from Clear Spring to Williamsport to Boonsboro. The route features a variety of topography, from rolling farm fields to rocky hills, plus a variety of fall foliage.
- Lifestyle editor Chris Copley
Keedysville Road circuit - A driving circuit, beginning and ending at Boonsboro. From the traffic light in downtown Boonsboro, at the intersection of Main Street and Potomac Street, travel westward on Potomac toward Keedysville.
Turn right onto Keedysville Road and follow this road about three and a half miles on some of the most interesting pavement in the county. Keedysville Road crosses Antietam Creek and two tributaries on narrow, stone bridges, winds past farms (including the University of Maryland Experiment Farm), and twists and turns like an old wagon road. Take your time and enjoy the scenery.