Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 26, 2017

Eastern National Forests Fall Color 10/26/17

Eastern Region National Forests reports


Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie You can catch a glimpse of scattered yellows and oranges peeking through trees throughout the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, though the fall prairie bloom is over. This Saturday would be a great time to head over to the Midewin to catch the remaining fall color and to enjoy a fun program – “Midewin for Kids – Spider and Snakes!” Details are below:

  • Date: Saturday, October 28, 2017
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Location: Midewin Welcome Center, 30239 S. State Route 53 Wilmington, IL 60481
  • Description: It’s just not fall without spiders and snakes! Come learn about, meet, and touch some of the crawlers and slitherers of the prairie. Discover their importance in nature and the food chain and what makes them so special! Download the event flier for additional information.
  • RSVP: Yes –

Shawnee National Forest Fall color has been slow in Southern Illinois this year, with color currently around 40% throughout the Shawnee National Forest. The lack of rain has affected our usually beautiful color. A perfect spot to catch brilliant orange and yellow maples right now is the Lincoln Memorial, located on the west side of the Forest.

Hoosier National Forest The Hoosier National Forest is now very close to peak color! Color varies between 50-75% depending on where you are on the Forest. Maples are really beginning to display beautiful oranges and reds, while the Sweet gums are still gorgeously hued with deep colors. Much of the understory is beginning to wane although the remnants give that extra pop of color. This coming weekend is going to be much cooler, with highs in the low 50s for the daytime hours and down to low 30’s at night. For those adventurous campers, now is the time to enjoy the Hoosier. Be sure to check out local festivals and activities!


Hiawatha National Forest Fall leaves are still in full color on the Hiawatha National Forest, with plenty of awe inspiring reds, oranges and yellows. However, a recent storm did knock a lot of leaves from trees. When you are out and about, please be careful of partially fallen trees and limbs.

Ottawa National Forest The vibrant fall colors of the north woods are almost completely gone on the Ottawa National Forest. Cold temperatures, rain, snow and strong winds have stripped the bright color from the horizon. With this comes something new to observe, the lack of lush foliage exposes the diverse rock formations and land topography otherwise not visible from a distance, when everything is camouflaged with foliage or snow. A few of the oak and aspen trees are hanging onto their leaves, however these occurrences are sparse. The Tamaracks are still a glowing yellow gold, adding a brilliant hue to the bogs and swamps. If you’d like to enjoy the fall colors from the comfort of your car, there are plenty of scenic drives through the Forest. Remember to plan to stop at one or two waterfalls along your drive. Remember, this is hunting season around the Ottawa, please wear orange when you are out in the Forest. For more information on recreation opportunities, visit

Chippewa National Forest This week it’s been windy and the fire danger level is high on the Chippewa National Forest. With the strong winds, many leaves have blown to the ground. The tamarack have produced some beautiful golden color along forest roads and trails. It’s a perfect time of the year to bike the Migizi (meaning bald eagle in the native Ojibwe language) Trail near Cass Lake. This 18-mile paved bike trail loops around Pike Bay and then connects to the Heartland State Bike Trail. Lots of people are out enjoying the Forest this week, catching the last of the fall colors while biking, hiking, hunting, balsam bough harvesting, bird watching and taking photographs.

Superior National Forest An autumn gale with gusts of 59 mph took most of the leaves down in the Superior National Forest, even the needles from the tamaracks. Which means, that fall color is over, especially with some forecasts predicting up to 8 inches of snow this weekend. However, there is still plenty to see and do on the Forest in the late fall/early winter!


Wayne National Forest The Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio is nearing peak, with color between 30-60%. We’re seeing more yellows and golds this season than we have in recent years. Check out this excerpt from a report by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to learn why, “Many trees are showing yellow hues this year because it has remained warm throughout September and October so far. The yellow pigments, or carotenoids, are always present in the leaves but are masked by the green chlorophyll most of the year. Since the temperature hasn’t cooled, especially at night where it should be in the 40s or upper 30s right now, the sap in the tree has not thickened enough to really clog the veins in the leaf stem. This leads to less sugar being trapped in the leaf tissue, which causes the chemical reaction that produces the deep red and purples we have seen in past years. People should also be looking out for hickory and yellow-poplar trees, which are showing off their gold colors.”

Allegheny National Forest Color on the Allegheny National Forest is slowly fading with leaves falling from the trees. Plan your trip to the Forest now to enjoy the bit of fall color that remains. A great way to get out and see the colors is on a hike; the Allegheny has a lot of trail options, check them out at:

West Virginia Monongahela National ForestIn the higher elevations of the Monongahela National Forest, wind, rain and frost have brought many leaves to the ground. Limited viewing opportunities remain in the mountains. Most of the remaining color can now be found in lower and mid elevations where the reds and oranges of the maples have flourished over the last few days. If traveling through the Forest this week check out Bear Heaven and Bear Rocks just off of Forest Service road 91; you will be sure to catch a glimpse of some amazing fall color.


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