Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 23, 2015

Eastern National Forest Fall Colors

Eastern Regional National Forests have the following fall color reports for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania,


Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

When people think of fall colors, they typically envision the leaves of a tree turning brilliant hues of reds, oranges and yellows. Did you know that prairie plants and grasses also put on a spectacular fall color show? A visit to the Midewin will offer you a glimpse of this with various plants showing off their yellow and purple blooms. Occasionally, a late blooming Royal catchfly will attract attention with deep red flowers appearing among asters and goldenrods. Fall is also a time when flowers “go to seed,” when even dried flower heads are deserving of attention! The dense, ball-like flower heads of the Rattlesnake Master are beginning to turn brown, just in time to be harvested by volunteers this Saturday, Sept. 26, as part of a National Public Lands Day event.

As you walk through the prairie, you may catch a whiff of popcorn that is the Prairie Dropseed, a native prairie grass known for its lacy appearance. Smooth blue aster and goldenrod create a delightful contrast, as both have abundant flower heads with dense color. Be sure to keep a look out for pollinators, such as garden spiders – known as banana spiders, who are busy preparing for winter.

With approximately 34 miles of hiking trails, 22 of which make way for bicyclists and equestrians, there are many fun ways to enjoy fall colors on the Midewin!
Shawnee National Forest

There are hints of fall color showing throughout the Forest. The hickory and sycamore trees beginning to turn brown and yellow; dogwood trees sprinkled with red; black locust trees beginning to brown; and maple trees displaying a hint of red. We expect beautiful fall colors thanks to a wet summer, with a predicted date of Oct. 25 for peak color.


Hoosier National Forest

Although we are several weeks out from peak, fall colors are beginning to show throughout the Hoosier. The tulip poplars, sycamore, black gum, and dogwoods are beginning to display some of their brilliant yellows and reds. Weather for this weekend is predicted to be perfect for camping and hiking – plan your trip today.


Hiawatha National Forest

The Hiawatha is mostly green with just a hint of leaves beginning to show some color.
Ottawa National Forest

Leaves throughout the Ottawa are just beginning to show their magnificent color. Through the horizon of green treetops, you will catch a glimpse of what’s to come. There is so much to see and do on the Forest in the fall; it’s a great time to view wildlife along rolling hills dotted with lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Several scenic overlooks provide a spectacular view of fall color, such as Wolf Mountain, Alligator Eye, Silver Mountain or Bears Den overlook. If a fall drive is what you’re after, the Ottawa offers a plethora of scenic drives.

*Mark your calendar for Saturday, Sept. 26, and plan to join the Ottawa at a National Public Lands Day event at O Kun de Kun Falls Trail. POC: Randi Brown, 906-358-4724,


Superior National Forest

Along the shore of Lake Superior, leave color is at about 20%. The ash trees are leading the pack beginning to turn a brilliant yellow, with the birches and aspen at a close second and third. You can also catch a glimpse of a few standout flaming red maples. Further inland, you will find more color, with about 30% change or more in low areas prone to frost.

New Hampshire

White Mountain National Forest

Fall color is at about 10 percent or less throughout the White Mountain. In the valley, you will find mostly green with slight color variations, while more color can be found in the high country. This weekend will be the first great opportunity to explore the mountains and witness the beginning of beautiful colors.


Wayne National Forest

The majority of foliage on the Wayne is green with an occasional burst of red or yellow.


Allegheny National Forest

Though color change is only at about 5% throughout the Forest, the asters, goldenrod, and red sumac along forest roads make for a lovely drive through the woods!


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