From New England through the south and across the upper Midwest to the Rockies and Pacific Northwest, many people anticipate that this weekend will be a showcase for a vast array of brilliant fall colors.
Many experts agree that the extreme weather conditions in varying portions of the country this spring and summer have altered the fall color schedule and brilliance we are experiencing. Many of the historic panoramas nationwide are exhibiting spotty or uneven color changes across whole landscapes and ridges. With the onset of cooler nights, and shorter sunny days, trees are preparing themselves for winter, and are beginning to show their expected fall brilliance, and among the still-green forests you will find a mosaic of brilliant reds and oranges beginning to dominate the color scheme.
National forests, state and local forests and parks all provide individual Fall Color reports that give you weekly updates, including our own Fall Colors web pages. You can read more about why and how leaves change colors at our Questions and Answers page as well.
Be sure to check in on some of our Forest and partner web cameras that capture and relay the changing colors of forests and landscapes nationwide. These include:
Bitterroot Valley from the Stevensville Ranger Station on the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana;
Brasstown Bald in Georgia, near Blairsville;
Shining Rock Wilderness, Pisgah National Forest, Near Ashville, North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Parkway with a view of Cold Mountain from the largest wilderness area in North Carolina;
Upper Buffalo Wilderness, Ozark National Forest, Northwest Arkansas looking toward the Boston Mountains and the Hurricane Creek Wilderness in the Ozark National Forest;
The Forest Service Air Quality web cameras nationwide.
Check your local and state natural resource and tourism web pages for links to local color reports and hot spots to visit this weekend and through the remainder of October as the forests change over completely to their majestic seasonal hues.