Find the best times to admire fall colors across the USA.
Saying farewell to the long, warm days of summer can be bittersweet, but the sheer majesty of the changing fall foliage makes the transition a little bit easier. As autumn’s cooler temperatures and shorter days set the trees ablaze with color, now is an ideal time to plan a leaf-peeping road trip, hike, train ride or other excursion to take in the views.
But since the conditions change from year to year, knowing exactly when to head out to see peak color can be tricky. Fortunately, the tourism site for the Smoky Mountain region put together an interactive fall foliage map that plots the changing leaves across the United States from September to November.
The team created the first iteration of the map back in 2013 when they began getting questions from travelers about the best time to visit the Smoky Mountain region for optimal fall color. They developed an algorithm that takes into account historical temperature and precipitation data, forecasted temperatures, user-generated reports and past years’ leaf trends.
The result is a sophisticated (but not totally foolproof, as the tool’s creators note) county-by-county prediction of when the leaves will go through various stages of the color-changing process. Give it a go...