Top Places to See Fall Foliage in North America

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October comes with pumpkin-spiced everything, sweater weather, and of course beautiful views of color-changing leaves. Witnessing trees such as maple, oak, and sassafras transforming from lush green to burnt orange, amber, and yellow is the unofficial indicator of autumn. With this list of the top places to see fall foliage in North America, you will be able to experience these spectacular sights for yourself this fall!

Fall Foliage Prediction Map

Before you head out to go leaf hunting, check out the link below for an interactive fall foliage prediction map that will show when leaves are minimal, patchy, partial, near peak, peak, and past peak.

Aspen, Colorado

“There’s no feeling like waking up and realizing that fall has settled on Aspen. Our warm summer air transforms into a crisp breeze, and the mountaintops come alive with brilliant shades of gold as the leaves change colors. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or driving, the Aspen fall colors will not disappoint.” (aspensignatureproperties.com/blog/aspen-fall-colors/)

Maroon Bells hidden by fall fog
Credit: Jeremy Swanson (www.colorado.com/articles/10-places-see-colorados-fall-color)

North Conway, New Hampshire

“The White Mountains are particularly spectacular when the foliage turns into vibrant variations of purple, red and yellow. The North Conway area usually starts the last week in September, up to 3-4 weeks. The peak is usually around mid-October, close to Columbus Day weekend.” (www.north-conway.com/best-places-to-enjoy-the-fall-foliage-colors-in-the-white-mountains-nh/)

Bar Harbor, Maine

“All parts of Maine, especially the Western Lakes and Mountains, present a colorful fall foliage showcase. In the Western Lakes region, the Sunday River ski area in Newry and Sugarloaf ski area in Carrabassett Valley offer foliage viewing from above on gondolas and luxury chair lifts. The Songo River Queen offers scenic foliage cruises on Long Lake. Foliage will be great at the fabulous Acadia National Park; the nearby town of Bar Harbor is fun to explore. Another way to see Maine foliage is from a windjammer sailing ship cruise.” ( www.visit-maine.com/state/foliage/)

Stowe, Vermont

” Stowe, Vermont is the perfect place for a fall getaway. From early September through late October, experience Stowe’s legendary foliage while enjoying your favorite outdoor activity. Take in landscape views blazing with vibrant autumn color and discover hidden avenues along Stowe’s less-traveled back roads.” (gostowe.com/stowe-vermont-foliage/)

Catskill Mountains, New York

“Blazing colors ignite the hillsides. Cozy flannels keep you warm in cool, crisp temperatures. The smell of fresh cider fills your nose as you pick apples straight from the tree. There is an almost tangible warmth in the atmosphere that envelops you. It’s fall in the Catskills. Get in the spirit of the season by taking advantage of the many fall attractions available in the region. Gawk at the brilliant colors, gather your friends and family, head to a fall festival, or experience top fall activities. The only thing outshining the natural beauty of your surroundings will be your smile.” (www.visitthecatskills.com/fall)

Ozark National Forest, Arkansas

Arkansas landscapes are rich with the brilliant hues of fall foliage, meaning scenic drives are a popular activity. Normally, the peak of color occurs around two or three weeks after color changes begin. Ozarks will change in late October. Central and western Arkansas will change in late October or early November. The southern and eastern sections will be the last to change in early to mid-November. To help you plan your fall foliage tour, Arkansas Tourism has a network of color spotters in every region of the state each fall who have volunteered to supply weekly updates. ” (www.arkansas.com/articles/best-fall-drives-ozarks)

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

“At nearly 96,000 square miles, Oregon alone is 25% larger than all of New England. That’s a lot of ground to cover, and almost half of it is covered with forested acreage. However, the spectrum of Oregon’s colorful fall foliage is less about dying leaves than it is about the surviving trees, shrubs, and vines.” (traveloregon.com/things-to-do/trip-ideas/favorite-trips/guide-to-fall-foliage-in-oregon/)

 Stroll through Lithia Park in Ashland for fall foliage at its best.
Credit: Jak Wonderly / Travel Southern Oregon

Eastern Shore, Maryland

“As the air turns cool and crisp, enjoy Maryland’s beautiful sunsets and autumn in all its splendor on these unforgettable foliage tours and SCENIC BYWAYS. Don’t miss Garrett County’s Annual AUTUMN GLORY FESTIVAL. The five-day celebration of autumn celebrates the beauty of the fall foliage in Maryland. The festival includes decorated floats, concerts, art exhibits, antique and craft shows, and much more! Explore Western Maryland’s scenic byways, quaint small towns, historical attractions, trails, lakes, and more on GARRETT COUNTY’S ANNUAL FALL FOLIAGE TOUR.” (Farmer, L. http://www.visitmaryland.org/article/take-maryland-fall-foliage-trip )

The Poconos, Pennsylvania

“Home to more than 127 varieties of trees, shrubs, and plants, the Pocono Mountains is truly a spectacular sight during the fall season. Because the region spans 2,400 square miles, three distinct color zones are present allowing you to catch peak Poconos fall colors not only once, but three times. Updated every Thursday through the end of October, this forecast will assist you on where, when, and how to experience the brilliant foliage in our four-county region. The fall foliage report is also available by calling 570-421-5565.” (www.poconomountains.com/seasons/fall-in-the-pocono-mountains/fall-foliage-forecast/)

Long Island, New York (My Home!)

“What does autumn mean to you? It’s a time of shopping for costumes, enjoying a seasonal beverage, and basking in the cooler temperatures. Autumn on Long Island is among the most beautiful times of the year, and for those of you planning a trip to visit later this year, you might be wondering about the most beautiful and scenic locations to spot the foliage, take some pictures and make some memories.” Locations include CAUMSETT STATE HISTORIC PARK PRESERVE, CEDAR ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE, MASHOMACK PRESERVE, MUTTONTOWN PRESERVE, WEST HILLS COUNTY PARK, and WILDWOOD STATE PARK. (www.executivelimousine.org/long-island-in-autumn-best-spots-for-fall-foliage)

Credit: facebook.com/jimcolligan

Taos, New Mexico

“Taos in the Fall is among one of the most beautiful sights you can find in New Mexico. All of the activities this town has to offer are made exponentially better when they take place among Taos’ already stunning landscape as the leaves are changing to the most beautiful colors and the mountain air becomes just a little bit crisper. Take a deep breath; take it all in.” (taos.org/plan-your-trip/taos-fall-road-trips/)

Have you been to any of the places mentioned on this list? Where is your favorite place to go leaf-peeping? Let me know in the comments!

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