As the weather gets colder and the leaves brighten, the USA’s public lands light up with color, from Alaska to Maine, from mountains to deserts. Scroll through the gallery above for pictures provided by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and find more on their instagram feed. And after the sun goes down, these spots are perfect for some stargazing:
In the mid-1800s, artists and painters of the Hudson River School flocked to Mount Desert Island in Maine and glorified its natural beauty with their brushstrokes — inspiring patrons and friends to explore the area. Undaunted by crude accommodations and simple food, they sought out local fishermen and farmers to put them up for a modest fee. As more people came to savor the fresh salt air, beautiful scenery and relaxed pace, the fame and popularity of this gorgeous coastline grew. After years of preservation efforts, this lovely landscape became Acadia National Park in 1929. It’s especially gorgeous in the fall.
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve in Alaska erupts with color during the short fall season. You can find more than gorgeous views and amazing wildlife here, though. Field research continues to uncover evidence of prehistoric animals and the first people to settle the continent.