15 Sep

Map of the Week: Fall Foliage

By Katie Anderson

With the entrance into September, summer is approaching its final days. As Autumn nears, the next few weeks function as a time to prepare for sweater weather and warm beverages. In addition to fall preparations and jokes about not being woken up until September ends, September also marks the beginning of the changing of leaves. According to Almanac, leaves can begin to change colors as early as late September and through the beginning of November. 

Almanac created an animated map based on reports from their readers to visualize the progression of fall foliage colors. Foliage describes the leaves of a tree or a plant. Fall foliage is recognized as the specific period of time where leaves transition in color from bright greens to shades of red, orange, and yellow. Peak times for viewing fall foliage is dependent on geographic location. 

In northern-tier states in the Western and Midwest United States, leaves start to change in late September with a peak just before October 4th. In much of New England and the Pacific Northwest, near and/or peak fall foliage occurs around October 11th. Further south in the Blue Ridge Mountains region, the peak is around mid-October. Exact peaks cannot be determined solely using past years’ data due to differences in weather and climate, but they do serve as rough estimates. 

Almanac recommends 15 places to see the best fall foliage: 

  • Acadia National Park, Maine
  • Ozark National Forest in Arkansas
  • Massapequa Reserve, upstate New York
  • Traverse City, Michigan
  • Black Hills, South Dakota
  • Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina
  • Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire
  • Pere Marquette State Park, Illinois
  • Skyline Drive .Blue Ridge Mountains, Virgina
  • Jackson, Wyoming
  • Connecticut River Valley, S.E. Connecticut
  • Logan Canyon Scenic Byway, Utah
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
  • Buckhorn Lake State Park, Kentucky
  • Vogel State Park and Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia

Do you live near any of these places or have any recommendations? We would love to hear about it! Happy Fall!