Turn over a new leaf: Chase that autumn foliage on foot

BOSTON (AP) — Here’s a novel way to enjoy autumn in New England: While the trees are dropping their leaves, you can be shedding some pounds.

Activate the “Health” app on your iPhone (it’s standard and has a simple red heart icon); don a light jacket; unleash your inner multitasker; and you’re good to go. Powered by the same GPS technology your phone’s map uses to give you directions, the app will tell you not only how many miles or kilometers you’ve covered but exactly how many steps you took.

If you’re a fitness geek, Fitbit, Garmin and other trackers can give you more data than you can shake a poplar branch at, including how many calories you’ve burned. If you’re a beginner looking to start a fitness routine, no sweat. Autumn is the perfect season to get outdoors: crisp and cool, with none of the strength-sapping humidity that can discourage even well-trained athletes.

Scenic trails abound across the region, and they offer some of the most drop-dead-gorgeous places to view foliage off the beaten path while getting in your run or walk. Plus, these places are far less crowded in the fall and are at their most beautiful. Win-win.

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A guide to some of the more resplendent:


CONNECTICUT: Bull’s Bridge River Walk, Kent

Route: Don’t go chasing waterfalls? Good luck with that if you find yourself hiking this stunning path , which overlaps part of the Appalachian Trail in the Litchfield Hills overlooking the Housatonic River. It’s replete with views of cascading falls and gorges, and the covered bridge built in 1842 provides an iconic backdrop for foliage photography. You’ll find the entrance to the scenic loop off Route 7 between the bridge and the first parking area. Fun fact: George Washington is said to have had a riding accident nearby in 1781.

Steps: 8,448

Distance: 4 miles, easy/moderate


MAINE: Jordan Pond Shore Trail, Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

Route: Picture a narrow boardwalk hewn from logs, encircling a pinch-me-perfect pond mirroring birch, aspen and oak — all blazing with peak autumn glory. That’s the trail around idyllic Jordan Pond , formed by glaciers in the shadow of Acadia National Park’s Cadillac Mountain, not far from Bar Harbor and its playful puffins. Part of the trail is over graded gravel; about 4,000 feet of it follows bouncy log bridges. It’s mostly flat and affords spectacular…

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