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Search TripSpot or Google |   Great Must-See sites   |   Read Articles and Lists | Find answers | City Guides  
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Fall Foliage

It's easy to tell when autumn has arrived -- you smell the crispness in the air and see gold and crimson on the trees. If you're a fan of fall leaves, here's a quick rundown of the best times and places to take in those technicolor views. To get started, check out the Fall Foliage Map from SmokyMountains.com, which helps determine when peak leaf season will occur in your area.

Northeast

The Weather Channel says early October is the best time to check out New England's vibrant fall foliage (mid-October for Pennsylvania and the coastline). The colors are the most intense of any region because all the leaves change at the same time.




South

For varied and long-lasting color, the South is a great place for autumn touring. Check out the southern extremities of the Appalachians, like the Blue Ridge Parkway or Shenandoah National Park, in late October.

Midwest

Fall colors surrounding the Great Lakes shoreline make for a beautiful autumn landscape. Expect most of the area to peak during mid-October, though trees in Northern Michigan and Wisconsin will change earlier in the month.

  • The Miracle of Fall
    This page, sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension, offers foliage updates for Illinois and driving tours in Midwest and Eastern states.

  • Stormfax Guide to Fall Foliage
    Find toll-free foliage hotlines for states in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and New England.

The Rockies

In the higher elevations, leaves start changing mid to late September. Be there by early October or you'll miss the peak. Great viewing areas include Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone National Parks.


The West

Like the Rocky Mountain states, trees at higher elevations start changing mid-September. The Southwest peaks mid-October, while the Northwest and California peak later in the month. Trinity and Shasta National Forests are worth a look.







   --- R.M.

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