New England's ski resorts are kicking up more autumn fun than a kid in a great big pile of leaves this year, offering visitors scenic views of fall's finest foliage from aloft.
From mid-September through October, you'll find chairlift rides a terrific way to view New England's constantly changing, colorful fall foliage panorama.
Here's the scoop on some of the ski resorts' offerings in New England and neighboring New York:
K-1 Gondola Rides at Killington
At Killington, the eight-passenger K-1 Gondola can take you to the highest Vermont peak serviced by a chairlift, where you'll enjoy views that stretch into five states and Canada on a clear day. What a way to see the leaves! The K-1 Gondola leaves from the Killington Base Lodge, located at the top of Killington Road, 5 miles from the junction of U.S. 4 and VT 100 North in Sherburne.
Killington also has a new open-air Skyeride for foliage thrill seekers.
Ride the SkyRide at Wachusett Mountain
Wachusett Mountain has the only high-speed detachable quad chairlift in Massachusetts. Your view of the scenery from the Fall SkyRide will be breathtaking. The Scenic SkyRide is open on weekends and holidays during fall festivals, and festival admission is required in addition to the price of SkyRide tickets. Directions to Wachusett Mountain, located in Princeton, Massachusetts, are available online.
Summit Gondola Rides at Stratton
Soar to the top of southern Vermont's highest peak and enjoy foliage views that defy comparison. Stratton beckons to leaf peepers with its gondola rides, plus hiking, golf, paintball, ATV tours to the summit and more! You can save by purchasing your tickets online in advance. Directions to Stratton are available at the ski area's Web site.
Fall Foliage Scenic Chairlift Rides at Mount Snow
You'll have views of four states from the 3,600-foot summit at Mount Snow Resort in Mount Snow, Vermont. Scenic Chairlift rides are available Friday through Sunday, September through October, weather permitting. The chairlift also operates on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the height of the foliage season, September-October, as well as on Columbus Day. To purchase your lift ticket, visit Mount Snow Sports in the Grand Summit Hotel. Directions to Mount Snow are available online.
Cannon Mountain Scenic Tram Rides
The Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway whisks leaf peepers to the 4,180-foot summit of New Hampshire's Cannon Mountain in less than 10 minutes. On a clear day, you'll have views of the mountains of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Canada and New York. And there's a bar at the top, so you can toast the leaves. Rides are offered daily, weather permitting through October.
Gondola Rides at Wildcat Mountain
Wildcat Mountain in Jackson, New Hampshire, offers gondola rides weekends September 10 through October 10 including Columbus Day Monday, weather permitting. There's also a Gondola Ride & Lunch option. Directions are available at the Wildcat Web site.
Skyride to Summit Adventures at Loon Mountain
Loon Mountain in Lincoln, New Hampshire, offers not only a spectacular, scenic, 1-1/2 mile gondola ride this fall, but plenty of adventure when you reach the summit. Explore glacial caves, turn the kids loose at the mountaintop playground and, best of all, get great foliage photos from the four-story observation tower. Hours are daily through October 10. On weekends, you can opt for the Loon Adventure Pass includes not only unlimited gondola rides but zip lining, wall climbing, bungee trampolining and a two-hour mountain bike rental.
For an additional charge, the Super Adventure pass includes admission to Loon's Aerial Forest Adventure Park.
Hunter Mountain Skyride
See the northern Catskills all dressed up in their autumn colors from Hunter Mountain's six-passenger Kaatskill Flyer detachable chairlift. An 11-minute ride will take you to the 3,200-foot summit. The Skyride operates on weekends through October 16, plus Columbus Day Monday. Hunter Mountain is located in Hunter, New York. Directions are available at the ski area's Web site.
Whiteface Mountain Cloudsplitter Gondola Skyride
Gondola rides at Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, New York, run from Friday through Sunday through October 9 and Monday, October 10 (Columbus Day). View fabulous foliage from the observation deck at the mountain's 3,600-foot summit.