Last updated: 01:00 AM ET, Wed September 23 2015

5 Most Idyllic Fall Camping Destinations

Features & Advice | Patrick Clarke | September 23, 2015

5 Most Idyllic Fall Camping Destinations

PHOTO: Smoky Mountains. (photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

Across the U.S., fall's arrival signals last call for enjoying the great outdoors. Nature lovers and fans of color-changing foliage know there's a small window for experiencing the changing of the seasons.

With that in mind, we'll examine five of the most idyllic camping destinations in America.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, West Virginia

Nestled along the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers at the point where West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia meet, Harpers Ferry is a town full of history, offering an ideal viewpoint of the transition from summer to fall.

Whether you choose to stay at the Harpers Ferry Campground or the Harpers Ferry/Civil War Battlefields KOA, you'll be just minutes away from downtown Harpers Ferry, local shops, a handful of scenic trails, museums and other activities, including zipline and sightseeing tours.

There are even old battlefields to explore.

Beyond those attractions, the Maryland Heights trail is a must this time of year. It'll take some effort to get to the top, but once there, the main overlook offers an unbeatable view of the area.

White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Central New Hampshire is where you'll find White Mountain National Forest, a destination guaranteed to pique campers' interest this fall.

Altogether, the forest boasts two dozen different campgrounds. Plus, backcountry camping is permitted in certain areas.

If the scenery isn't doing it for you, head over to Loon Mountain, where you'll find no shortage of activities, including bungee trampoline, ziplines, caves and the state's longest scenic Gondola Sky Ride.

Ozark National Forest, Arkansas

If you're looking to take in fall farther south, consider Ozark National Forest in northwest Arkansas.

Located just a few miles west of Fayetteville, the overlooked destination is home to hundreds of miles of trails, Blanchard Springs Caverns and a plethora of campgrounds.

Traverse the Sylamore Scenic Byway and snap some photos. Or get closer to nature by going birding or rock climbing. Visitors will also have opportunities to fish and picnic in a serene setting. 

Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania

Waterfall enthusiasts looking to enjoy the natural attractions in a gorgeous fall setting must add Pennsylvania's Ricketts Glen State Park to their travel bucket list.

There are 22 named waterfalls here, including the 94-foot Ganoga Falls. If your legs are feeling strong, check out the Falls Trail, a 7.2-mile hike that will allow you to see most of the park's waterfalls in addition to the beautiful fall foliage. 

The park's campground offers 120 different tent and trailer sites with access to showers and bathrooms. Plus, visitors can rent out a cabin year-round. 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

It's certainly no surprise that America's most-visited national park makes the list.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is practically overflowing with natural and man-made attractions, including waterfalls, historic cabins and an observation tower. 

A hiker's paradise, the park is home to hundreds of miles of trails and a handful of campgrounds. Roaring Fork Motor Nature trail is a favorite among visitors and a fantastic way to experience the park in a limited amount of time. 

Clingmans Dome, Mount LeConte, Cades Cove and Chimney Tops are also premier attractions offering tremendous vantage points of an ideal fall landscape.

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