It’s all about the point of view. Photographers and others of a creative bent know this. A unique angle, lens, perspective and composition renders anew a familiar object, scene or even person.
Mankind’s innovation is ever-expanding, ever-new and unique. He dwells, works and plays in all dimensions and elements. He is equally comfortable and familiar with earth, water or sky.
This year gaze at the panorama of fall by looking down, instead of up and around. There are numerous modes of aerial transport to peep at leaves from above. Small aircraft, hot-air balloons, chairlifts, ski-gondolas and even zip-lining. Try one this season for an indelible experience.
Soar up above the kaleidoscope of reds, ambers, golds, yellows, browns, pinks, russets and all the subtle nuances of shades in between. Loop the loop on a magic carpet, sandwiched between the glory below and the blue-gold canopy of autumn skies above.
Ski resorts, cleverly extending their season, offer chairlift and gondola rides for inveterate and determined leaf-peepers. Genius! Scenic autumnal beauty from aloft is a literally transcendental experience. www.gonewengland.about.com.
Mid-September through October up to early November, New England’s constantly changing canvas unfolds on earth. The six states and indeed neighboring New York vie with each other in flashing color.
The very best sights await at Killington, Vermont, in the heart of the Green Mountains. The K-1 gondola rides up to the highest peak possible. A short 10-minute hike to the summit offers visibility into five states and Canada on a clear day. What a gift, this way of seeing the leaves! Killington Resort explodes into brilliance from mid-September through the second week of October. http://www.vermontvacation.com
Quintessential Vermont towns surround Killington: Woodstock, Pittsfield, Manchester and Rutland. In addition, enjoy mountain biking, hiking, festivals, farmers’ markets and special events that showcase the autumn spectacle. www.prweb.com
Stratton, southern Vermont’s highest peak, is incomparable. In addition to the gondola rides are hiking, golf, paintball and fly fishing options. Four states are visible from the 3,600-foot summit of Mount Snow.
Wachusett Mountain has the only high-speed detachable quad chairlift in Massachusetts. The Fall SkyRide is indescribably spectacular, and is available on weekends, holidays and harvest festivals.
The Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway whisks leaf peepers to the 4,180-foot summit of New Hampshire’s Cannon Mountain in just eight minutes. On a clear day, one can view the mountains of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York and Canada.
Wildcat Mountain in Jackson, New Hampshire, offers gondola rides daily through mid-October, weather permitting. There’s also a Lift & Lunch option.
Loon Mountain in Lincoln, New Hampshire, offers not only a spectacular, scenic, 1.5 mile gondola ride, but plenty of adventure when you reach the summit, including an opportunity to meet local craftspeople at the Artisans’ Village. Explore glacial caves, hike nature trails and shoot great seasonal photos from the observation tower. Summit Worship services are conducted on select Sundays.
Chairlifts and gondolas too tame for your sense of adventure? Strap on a safety harness and abandon yourself to the skies, skimming the treetops. Ascend over 700 feet across the Pemigewasset River on Loon’s Zipline. The year-round Canopy Tour at New Hampshire’s Bretton Woods ski area features sky bridges and zip lines high in the trees of the ancient forest. The 3.5 hour guided, swift aerial tour over the variegated, multi-hued terrain affords unbelievable vistas of mountains, forests, rivers and villages.
Hunter Mountain in Hunter, New York in the northern Catskills, cleans up handsomely for the autumn. The new six-passenger Kaatskill Flyer chairlift wafts you on an 11-minute ride to the 3,200-foot summit.
Cloudsplitter Gondola rides at Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, New York stop at the observation deck at the 3,600-foot summit for fabulous vistas.
Hot air ballooning is literally an uplifting event. The roar of the burners gives way to the serenity of sailing with the clouds between 500 to 2000 feet high, drifting with the winds, gazing at the passing panorama, flora and fauna below. A unique perspective, with peace and tranquility floating over the tree tops. Most states in New England offer hot-air balloon flights. Take a scenic and serene flight with Massachusetts Ballooning. www.massachusettsballooning.com.
Berkshire Balloons operate numerous launch sites in central Connecticut and the Farmington River Valley. http://berkshireballoons.blogspot.com/
In Derry, New Hampshire, High 5 Ballooning tour company offers scenic sunrise and sunset flights that are particularly spectacular at this time of year. They end with a champagne picnic lunch. www.high5ballooning.com
Enjoy stunning panoramas of southern New Hampshire’s foliage from the skies in a Liberty Flights hot air balloon, and again, partake of a traditional champagne celebration after the tour. www.libertyflights.com/
Hot Fun First Class Balloon Rides offer colorful autumn vistas in southern Maine, stretching as far as the horizon. www.hotfunballoons.com
Circle Maine’s majestic Mt. Katahdin and fly along rivers and over lakes on 15 or 30-minute plus air flights by Katahdin Air Service Scenic Flights. Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the remote Maine North Woods, with their brilliant display which is largely inaccessible by car. They offer options for secluded picnics at remote pond beaches. www.katahdinair.com
All the ingredients needed to cook up a season to remember.