Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 5, 2012

Eastern Region National Forests Fall Color Report 9/20/12

The October 5,2012  Eastern Region Fall Color Report has fall color updates the following National Forests: Allegeny, Chequamegon-Nicolet, Chippewa, Hiawatha, Hoosier, Mark Twain,Ottawa and Superior.

Allegheny National Forest (Pennsylvania)

This is the weekend to come and see the leaves in Northwest Pennsylvania!  The peak of color usually comes right around the Columbus Day Holiday and this year is no different.  One of the most scenic overlooks for a view of fall foliage on the Forest is the Rimrock Overlook. This overlook is located off of State Route 59 on the Bradford Ranger District.  For more information on the Allegheny or to see a map of the Forest visit:  www.fs.usda.gov/allegheny

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (Wisconsin)

Fall colors are in bloom on the Forest, particularly on the Laona Ranger District in Laona, Wisconsin!

Chippewa National Forest (Minnesota)

Fall color reached peak in the Forest over the weekend! Bright vibrant colors can still be viewed as the aspen, oak, and maples leaves sway in the wind and begin their descent.  The sun illuminates the great colors, such as the tamaracks reaching a brilliant golden hue.  The warm weather this week will take a turn today as rain and snow are in the forecast.

Hiawatha National Forest (Upper Peninsula of Michigan)

What a difference one week can make! The Hiawatha’s fall foliage palette has evolved from moderate color to near peak/peak conditions across many portions of the Forest! A nice drive in the highlands will reveal a bright, vivid canvas of color, whereas the low lands and lakeshores are still in transition from moderate to peak color. Nevertheless, the landscape is just breathtaking!

Alger County, on the West Zone of the Forest, is full of fall splendor. A bike ride or hike along Bruno’s Run Trail will reveal many “hidden treasures!” Additionally, Chippewa County, on the East Zone of the Forest, is reporting that color along South Point Road is not only mesmerizing, but also sticks around for quite a while. Additionally, Point Iroquois Lighthouse is predicted to be the ideal site to experience the pristine landscape, wilderness appeal, and color that the Forest has to offer.

Don’t wait too long though! With Fall really starting to set in over much of the Upper Peninsula, it is predicted we will be facing much cooler temperatures, rain, potential snow in the highlands, and some wind come this weekend. Such conditions could set the stage for the falling of leaves.

Hoosier National Forest (Indiana)

The colors are here!  The Hoosier’s fall foliage is between 25-33%.  With the maples in their myriad of wonderful hues of yellows into oranges and the sweet gums with their vibrant deep reds, the Forest is becoming a wonderful spectacle of colors.  The ponds have the lovely lily pads floating and the bushes are loaded with berries of all shades.  Temperatures are in the 60’s during the day and 40’s at night.  This week we are having some rain but the weekend looks lovely; perfect for a family fun camping trip!

Mark Twain (Missouri)

September rains have brought some fall color to the Mark Twain!  According to Jenny Farenbaugh, District Ranger on the Ava, Willow Springs, and Cassville units of the Forest, “So far, from what I’ve seen from being out in the field, we are seeing some really pretty color.  I’m frankly quite surprised.  It’s very vivid and very crisp.   While the understory vegetation is turning, the oaks will be the major player and their show is still a few weeks out.” Typically, fall color develops first in northern Missouri in early October and then spreads south the following weeks.  Foresters say that the best colors will likely be seen a little earlier this year due to this summer’s drought conditions (source: The Joplin Globe; link to full article:   http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x325752942/Don-t-write-off-fall-color-in-Ozarks-just-yet).

Ottawa National Forest (Upper Peninsula of Michigan)

The Ottawa’s fall foliage is at 85-90% peak right now, more or less in places across the Forest.  Colors are very vibrant this year, with the golden aspen popping! There is still plenty of time to come and see the colors.

Superior National Forest (Minnesota)

The Superior’s fall foliage is at about 75-50%, just a little past peak.  The past few days have been perfect for autumn leaves; unfortunately, a winter storm is predicted with 40 mph winds, rain, snow, and temps into the teens.  This may leave little in the way of fall color by the end of the weekend.  So, plan a trip now to enjoy a somewhat stormy fall Forest, but drive safely and bring hot chocolate!

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