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Plan Your Fall Getaway With This Peak Foliage Prediction Map

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Now’s the time to start planning your fall road trip.
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Now’s the time to start planning your fall road trip.

Here are the dates when the leaves will change color across the United States in 2019.

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Planning a leaf-peeping trip to coincide perfectly with peak color is a difficult task. If you go too early, you’ll see more green than orange and red. Too late? You might risk being greeted by a forest full of brown leaves. To help avoid these disappointing scenarios, SmokyMountains.com released its 2019 fall foliage prediction map for the continental United States. The online tool aims to help you time your autumn getaway whether you plan on seeing the sugar maples turn red in Tennessee or the aspens go for gold in Colorado (or if you’re planning multiple trips throughout the season to some of the best leaf-peeping spots in the country).

Using historical data and forecast information from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, SmokyMountains.com created an algorithm to predict the timing of peak foliage in 2019. 

“The predictive fall leaf map helps potential travelers, photographers, and leaf peepers determine the precise future date that the leaves will peak in each area of the continental United States,” data scientist Wes Melton said in a statement. 

While no weather prediction tool can be 100 percent accurate, this interactive fall color map shows you the best opportunities for when and where leaves will be near peak, at peak, and past peak this year as you move the slider at the bottom of the map between weeks throughout the season.

Expect minimal changes to foliage colors in early September 2019.
For example, on September 7, 2019, the map shows that only parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont will be showing minimal changes in their foliage. But by October 5, the leaves in those prime leaf-peeping states will be at their peak, while everywhere else in the United States except for the southern half of the country will see at least minimally changed foliage.
By early October, much of New England will be at or near peak fall color in 2019.

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If you’re looking for the best time to see peak fall foliage in New York’s Hudson River Valley or Catskill Mountains, you’ll want to schedule your trip upstate for the week of October 12 when the map says the lower half of the state will reach its peak fall color.

The week of October 12 is also ideal for anyone going leaf peeping in the Pacific Northwest, when the fall colors will be at or near peak in Washington State and the northern parts of Oregon.

For those hoping to visit Great Smoky Mountain National Park or have a farm-to-table feast at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee during its peak foliage window, you’re better off waiting until the first week of November 2019 to see the leaves at their best there, according to the map.

To see when the foliage near you (or your favorite fall destination) will change this year, visit the map at SmokyMountains.com.

 

This article originally appeared online in September 2018; it was updated on August 27, 2019, to include current information.

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