The Eastern Region of the National Forests published a Fall Color Report for September 27, 2012 that includes Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri and West Virginia.
Allegheny National Forest (Pennsylvania)
Trees on the Allegheny are slowly beginning to turn, with a few more chilly nights and sunny day. We expect peak color to occur somewhere between the first and second weeks of October. Take a drive on Longhouse National Scenic By-way on our Bradford Ranger District to view first-hand the glorious colors to come. For more information on the Allegheny National Forest visit
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (Wisconsin)
This week, early morning sunlight is highlighting colors along Langley Lake on the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station in Rhinelander.
Chippewa National Forest (Minnesota)
The Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway on State highway 38 north of Grand Rapids to Effie, Minnesota is at peak this week with lots of bright colors to enjoy! Follow the fall color tour signs for little side trips. The maples and birch are at about peak in the central part of the Chippewa with tamarack and aspen turning yellow each day in the southern part of the forest. We expect peak colors very soon.
Hiawatha National Forest (Upper Peninsula of Michigan)
In the past week, the Hiawatha’s palette has progressed from transitioning color to moderate color. Although the hues are somewhat muted, the sugar maples are sporting shades of yellow, and in the lowlands, the red maples are in their glory. The oaks are starting to paint a dazzling roadside canvas, while aspen are showing some yellow then simply going brown and dropping leaves. Additionally, the bracken ferns have started to yellow adding color to the forest floor. Being located amongst the Great Lakes, colors along the lakeshore are taking longer to transition than further inland. In fact, we are still seeing quite a bit of green along the shore. However, Chippewa County is predicting bursts of color this approaching weekend. A road trip to the 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. Overall, the Forest is displaying mostly early color with some peak to near-peak conditions.
Mark Twain (Missouri)
After a record hot summer and continuing drought, foresters are predicting trees will continue in their survival mode and not offer much color this year. Fall colors in southern Missouri, where most of the Forest is located, usually peak mid-to-late October. Colors start in northern Missouri and move south starting in September through early November. If you want to check for fall colors, there are several drives in each of the Forest’s districts. Around Rolla, travel eight miles south on Highway 63 to Lane Spring; from Salem, the area on Hwy A between Hwy 19 and Bunker would be a beautiful scenic road trip; and if heading across southern Missouri, State Hwy 60 has a number of vistas.
Monongahela National Forest (West Virginia)
On the southern most regions of the Monongahela there is about 10 – 15% change in color, with some leaf dropping in the lower elevations. The higher levels on the Highland Scenic Highway are also at the same range, and colors throughout the Marlinton/White Sulphur Districts are changing rapidly. Gradual change of approximately 10% is on the Gauley District, depending from which side of the mountain and/or lower elevations you are observing. The Greenbrier Ranger District foliage is at roughly 25%, due to rain/frost conditions. On the Cheat/Potomac Ranger Districts more leaf drop was reported due to stronger winds, with not much color changes in the lower elevations. Some yellows are peeking through, with more moderate color changes in the higher elevations of approximately 30 – 40%. Around the Supervisor’s Office in Elkins, there is about 25 – 30% change in color, with more leaves dropping. Changes in temperatures at night and windy conditions are some of the contributing factors to the colors. September 28-30, the 24th Annual Leaf Peepers Festival will take place at Canaan Valley, West Virginia: http://canaanvalley.org/event-calendar/leaf-peepers-festival/.
Ottawa National Forest (Upper Peninsula of Michigan)
On the Ottawa, fall colors are at approximately 50-60% developed, with Aspens just beginning to turn yellow. For a scenic drive, check out Forest Road 730.
Superior National Forest (Minnesota)
Fall colors are in abundance this week in the Superior. Colors still vary widely, from large local patches of green to areas that are fully turned. There are strange juxtapositions though; it’s possible to be at an overlook under green maples with a view that is totally reds and yellows! Peak colors of the season are very close.
Fall Color Hotline: 1-800-354-4595