From fall color to pumpkin-chucking, resources to help you plan fall outings

By Beth J. Harpaz, AP
Thursday, September 30, 2010

Online resources for planning fall outings

Planning fall outings is easier than ever. Here are a few online resources to consider as you enjoy the rest of the season.

—U.S. Forest Service fall color report, What’s great about this site is it doesn’t just concentrate on the Northeast states best-known for autumn color. Instead it has links for nearly every region of the country, from the Northwest to the South. In addition to the regional links on the page, if you scroll to the bottom, you’ll see “Choose a State Color Report,” with quick links to state tourism foliage guides. Travel + Leisure magazine is also offering a list of fall drives across the country, including Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway in New Mexico, the Eastern Sierra range in California and the West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway in Colorado,

—If you’re a Yankee purist, wedded to leaf-peeping in the six New England states, is a great resource. also lists its recommendations for places to see fall foliage at including Walden Pond in Concord, Mass., made famous by Henry David Thoreau’s sojourn there, and Mount Auburn Cemetery, in Cambridge, Mass., a 19th century cemetery known for its beautiful trees.

—If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of travelers heading to Universal Orlando for the theme park’s 20th annual Halloween Horror Nights, take your mobile phone along with you. Guests can sign up to get Halloween Horror Nights updates by texting 64646. While in the park, you can also get texts that offer text-based mobile games to explore the experience for each haunted house. The text code for each house is printed on event guide maps and shown on the exterior of the houses each night. You can also get updates on haunted house queues, including wait times.

—Recommendations for other haunted attractions can be found at and,

—Apples, pumpkins and corn mazes are all hallmarks of the season. These sites will help you find an orchard, pumpkin patch or maze near you: and and

—It’s pumpkin-chucking season — better known in some circles as Punkin Chunkin. If you’re not familiar with this autumn sport, it involves hurling pumpkins using air cannons, catapults and other machines. In September, a team of pumpkin-chuckers claimed they set a world record sending one a distance of more than a mile in Moab, Utah. The Olympics of pumpkin-chucking, the World Championship Punkin Chunkin contest, will take place Nov. 5-7 this year in Bridgeville, Del. about 90 miles from Washington D.C. Details at

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