I've never been one of those people who get homesick. Home for me has always been where my backpack has been parked. Literally! That being said, every year when autumn shows up at my doorstep, I spend a lot of time reminiscing about the hikes I took that time of year with my mom, dad & sister growing up in Canada. Well really, we kept doing these every year until I left for my year of Uni in Europe. I especially remember the reds the maples splashed onto the landscape. And I miss them. Yup, I miss my Canadian maples and the bright rush of colour they deliver before a blanket of white embraced us for the next 5 months.
So once autumn shows up here in our part of the world, I become like a hound obsessed with a scent.... red leaves... There are lots of splashes of yellows, golds, and oranges in the Swiss foliage but not much red. I've hiked near and far, and learnt to appreciate what the Swiss landscape has to offer this time of year but in my heart, I still look for red.
Here are 4 of my favourite autumn foliage hikes around these parts:
1. La Vaud section of the Aubonne Arboretum
Le Vaux section at the Aubonne Arboretum boast a number of maples. A real red feast for the eyes.
*TIP: Start your hike at the Bois-Guyot entrance near Bière. It's a direction less travelled and has a magical feeling as you descent into the maple section.
2. Lac de Bonlieu trail in the French Jura
The Lac de Bonlieu trail in the French Jura. Only 30 minutes to loop around the lake. Perfect for a trek with little ones.
* TIP: Photographers, at the south tip of lake, there is a path that leads to a view point over the full lake.
3. Les Mélèzes de Balavaud
250 old larches looking ablaze in the pasture above Nendaz, Valais (Isérables). It's in mid-October that the golden color is the most intense.
* TIP: Head out mid-afternoon to view the larches in the warm afternoon sun that accentuates their colour.
4. Le sentier des Châtaignes
Between forest and the vineyards, hiking the Sentier des Châtaignes between Bursins & Luins lets you enjoy the coloured foliage, heavy grapes before the harvest, and golden colours reflecting on the lake.
* TIP: Pack an autumn picnic and enjoy it at the covered Refuge du Devens.
What are your favourite fall hikes?
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