Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 2, 2017

Eastern National Forests Fall Color 11/2/17

Eastern Region National Forests reports

llinois
Shawnee National Forest Areas on the Shawnee National Forest are popping with fall color! The hickory tress are ablaze with yellow, while the oak trees are beginning to show orange tips, and the sassafras are a dull purple. Some leaves are just beginning to fall; while other trees have lost a lot of leaves. Check out Rim Rock National Recreation Trail for some spectacular views! Now is a perfect time to plan a visit to check out fall color on the Forest.

Indiana
Hoosier National Forest The Hoosier National Forest is beautiful now!  The maples and beeches have begun their transition into brilliant hues of red and orange. With recent snowfall in the northern forests, fall colors have come and gone, so it’s the perfect time to head to southern Indiana to see them one more time. There will be some rain the rest of the week through Saturday as temperatures rise back into the low 70’s providing another warm spell.  Hunting seasons are upon us, so be sure to wear your hunter orange when out exploring the Forest. And, remember, once fall color season is over on the Hoosier, there are still plenty of recreation opportunities. For hardy hikers and riders, you can enjoy the Forest almost pest free, and there are several campgrounds that allow camping throughout the winter.

Michigan
Ottawa National Forest Visitors to the Ottawa National Forest have enjoyed a long mild fall. Though, it’s beginning to look and feel like winter. Once winter arrives, there are plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities available on the Forest. With almost a million acres available, there is sure to be something for everyone on the beautiful snow covered landscape. Plan your adventure to cross country ski, snowmobile, snowshoe, ice fishing and winter camp. Generally, snowmobile season runs December 1st through March 30th on groomed snowmobile trails and unplowed Forest roads. Cross country ski enthusiasts can enjoy groomed trails on almost every District of the Forest. For those who wish to backcountry ski, our three Wilderness areas provide a great opportunity to ski ungroomed trails. There are no specific trails designated for snowshoeing in the Ottawa; however, with a map and compass the possibilities are endless. While many of the campgrounds have been closed for the winter, winter camping enthusiasts can enjoy those that remain open throughout the winter months with no services provided or camping fees charged.    Remember it is hunting season around the Ottawa, so please wear orange when you are out and about. We hope to see you out exploring!

Minnesota
Chippewa National Forest We received our first snowfall of the autumn season in the Chippewa National Forest! There’s a bit of faded gold on the tamarack still hanging on, while other trees are looking very bare this week. The air temperature has quickly turned cold. There is snow on the ground in much of the Forest, and the wildlife is on the move, especially the white tail deer. Deer hunting season is approaching. If you plan to visit your national forest to hike, camp, or sightsee, please remember to wear blaze orange clothing.

Superior National Forest Colorful leaves on the Superior National Forest have now been replaced by white snow.  Though, autumn has left the Superior, snow holds its own beauty, as well as an opportunity to catch a glimpse of passing animals like moose, snowshoe hare, and pine marten.

Missouri
Mark Twain National Forest As one of the southern tier states in the Eastern Region, the Mark Twain National Forest is just getting into its fall color season at about 50% color change. Right now bright oranges and yellows are beginning to pop. A great place to enjoy fall colors on the Forest is from one of our National Scenic Byways.  Here is a list of drives that you may want to consider.

Ohio
Wayne National Forest The Wayne National Forest is at peak fall color! The Forest’s palette of reds, oranges, yellows, and purples is reminiscent of the tastes and aromas of autumn’s harvest, from apples to pumpkins. Right now maples and hickories are aglow in bright golds and yellows, with some oranges and reds mixed in, while sweetgums are dazzling in a whole rainbow of fall colors.

The Forest is planning to host more public events soon; however, if you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, our neighbors at Burr Oak State Park are planning a full moon hike this Saturday:  http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/burroak. We hope you’ll plan a visit to the Wayne and enjoy the fall color show with loved ones.

West Virginia
Monongahela National Forest Fall color has come and gone on the Monongahela National Forest. Many of the higher elevations saw their first snow of the year this past weekend.

As always when visiting your national forests, safety first and know before you go! Hunting season has begun or will begin soon in many of the Eastern Region national forests. Please consider wearing blaze orange when you’re out exploring the woods.

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