When it comes to seeing the ultimate in fall foliage across the United States, people usually flock to New England to see the colors change in late September into October. But it’s not the only place with autumn displays. The US Forest Service has the scoop on the leaf situation across the country in its fall colors guide.
When exactly the best fall colors will be on view is only nailed down a couple of weeks before, so if you’re into leaves, check the site often and hope for cool days and nights.
For fans of Alaska, you may have already missed your chance; things usually peak there in late August, although we’re sure a few leaves trying their best to hang on.
Below are the prime times to catch what should be the peak of fall foliage in regions around the United States.
Fall Foliage Report: The East Coast
I believe New England’s autumn rivals any season in any part of the world for pure beauty. Here is when to catch Mother Nature’s best show.
Maine/Ogunquit: It’s been a warm summer, but Maine is still on track to enjoy the bulk of their fall foliage during the first week of October.
Vermont/New Hampshire/upstate NY: First two weeks of October.
Boston/Provincetown: First two weeks of October.
New York City/Asbury Park, NJ: Middle, but probably late October this year.
Washington DC/Virginia: Late October.
Fall Foliage Report: The Midwest
For those in the Midwest, the grand finale is usually in mid- to late October, especially around the Great Lakes.
Michigan/Wisconsin: Late September will be the earliest for the Midwest, touching the tips of Upper Michigan and around Green Bay, WI. The bulk of the leaf-peeping action for each state will come around the second week in October.
Ohio/Indiana/Illinois/Minnesota/Iowa: These five states typically turn around the same time, which should be the middle-to-end of October.
The Smokey Mountains: This range of mountains, cutting through West Virginia, the western bit of Virginia and the eastern bit of Tennessee, should see peak color around the second or third week of October.
Fall Foliage Report: The South
Down south, things start to get exciting during the second weekend of October. Pro tip: Travel through the Blue Ridge Parkway and Tennessee and Virginia to fully experience ths fall glory.
The Carolinas: Starting around the second week of October.
Georgia: Late October to early November.
Fall Foliage Report: The West and Northwest Coast
Finally, out west, the best bet is going to be California. Yosemite National Park puts on a great display every year, especially in the higher elevations. Again, October seems to be the best, but in years past things haven’t started until November.
Northern California: Nothing for the coast, but in the northeastern bit of California, expect to see color come in around the third week in October, through the first week of November.
Washington: Starting around the second week of October.
Oregon: Late October, with a few patches possible in mid-October.
Rocky Mountains: Early October, with the chance of late September depending on your elevation.