Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 17, 2019

Eastern National Forest Fall Colors 11/17/19


Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

The leaves of the burr oaks trees at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie are now starting to change colors, as the prairie grasses being to dry and turn to their characteristic shades of golden brown.


Hoosier National Forest

This week, fall colors are starting to explode! Joining the tulip poplars and sassafras in changing colors are the maples with their brilliant yellows and reds. A hike or drive on the Hoosier National Forest one would see a roughly 50/50 mix of fall colors and still green. We are still a couple of weeks away from full fall colors but it’s no reason not to visit. The forecast for the week shows clear skies with high temperatures in the 60s to low 70s making for perfect recreation weather. Some leaves are already fallen for that perfect crunch underfoot as you hike.


Hiawatha National Forest

Fall color season is in full swing throughout most of the Hiawatha National Forest! Look for:

  • Red maples—for gorgeous bright colors!
  • Sugar maples—for yellows and some orange
  • Beeches, aspen and deciduous conifer, Tamarack—for bright yellows!
  • Oaks—for golds and browns!

Temps have been in the 40s – 50s, with lots of rain. 

Huron-Manistee National Forests

Fall colors had been spotty thus far, with some parts of the forests seeing more color than others. However, cooler temperatures this week have encouraged fall colors, especially deep reds and oranges, to pop all over HMNF.

Places to see: Sawmill Point Boat Launch and other sites along the AuSable River are seeing bright oranges and yellows weaved in amongst the evergreens.

Ottawa National Forest

The Ottawa experienced its first snowfall of the season last week which has snapped many of the trees that were not quite showing to color to turn rather quickly. In the south zone a lot of the maples and oaks have dropped leaves already with the cold wind that has blown through, but the aspen are offering long streams of golden hues along the roadsides.

The north zone of the Ottawa has started to catch up with colors turning and they’re turning fast with the maples glowing red while aspens are a shining a brilliant gold. Taking a drive along any of the main roads through the forest is guaranteed to delight in the beauty of the Ottawa​.


Chippewa National Forest

The grand finale of fall colors is coming to an end. The trees have put on a stunning display causing the forest to glow. The added moisture of rain and snow has helped the leaves avoid the dry appearance. They have been holding on well, even with the winds (though things can change quickly). There are still a few pockets of red and orange-yellow in the red and sugar maples that were sheltered from the wind and rain. Bur oaks are now soft tan/brown and red oaks are stunning shades of reddish/orange and red-brown. Paper birch trees have a rich golden color. The tamarack trees, our deciduous conifer, are turning from soft yellow to deep gold as they begin to peak in color.

Thank you for the beautiful fall show Chippewa!

Superior National Forest

A major snowfall dumped as much as 13 inches of snow onto our fall colors last week, bringing many of the leaves tumbling down. Snow and leaf cover vary widely on the Forest right now, with the birch forest on the shore of Lake Superior still looking to be around 75%, but some inland areas having no leaves and snow-covered ground and some areas in the west with no snow, but dwindling leaves, giving those areas a rating of 0-25%. But… this week is probably the peak of tamarack color, so the areas of the Forest with a large number of tamarack are at 100% and are beautiful with the golds contrasting with the dark green of spruce.

New Hampshire

State & Private Forestry – Durham, NH Field Office

Foliage color can be found in areas across the Northeast. Some spots are in peak foliage, while others have yet to significantly change color. Whether it’s peak or not quite peak in places, it’s a great time to take a drive and do some leaf-peeping across New England.

White Mountain National Forest

Fall colors on the White Mountain National Forest are rapidly fading, having reached their highest rate of color in the previous week. Rain and wind forecasted for Wednesday evening into Thursday will effectively end good leaf-peeping conditions in the region.


Wayne National Forest

Fall color conditions are still in the “changing” stage here in southeast Ohio, though colors are slowly spreading.  We do have an event planned as follows:

Kids can enjoy free horseback rides through the beautiful fall foliage this Saturday, October 19th, courtesy of the Washington County Chapter of the Ohio Horseman’s Council! Meet at 1 PM at the Kinderhook Trailhead (northeast of Marietta, off the Ohio River Scenic Byway) for the Happy Trails Celebration! We will unveil our new trail signs, which provide visitors with historic and environmental information. Refreshments will also be served under the colorful autumn leaves.


Allegheny National Forest

The Allegheny National Forest’s Fall Colors are averaging at 50-60% color change, although depending on what part of the Forest you’re on it can be more. The cooler temperature has brightened up the reds, oranges, and yellows throughout the Forest. Visitors can see the changes along the Allegheny Reservoir, our scenic overlooks, and roads such as Route 6 and Longhouse Scenic Drive.

We are expected to have heavy and steady rains for the next two days but the weekend’s forecast is sunny and cool, which should allow for some great Fall Color viewing throughout the Forest.


Green Mountain & Finger Lakes National Forests

Foliage has been at peak throughout the Green Mountain National Forest for much of the past two weeks. The higher elevations are beginning to lose leaf color while the lower elevations in Vermont continue to be vibrant. Foliage viewing will be best in the lower elevations in the next week.

For more information about Fall Foliage in Vermont, check out the Vermont Public Radio podcast.

West Virginia

Monongahela National Forest

Fall colors have peaked in the higher elevations. The colors in the lower elevations are also becoming more vibrant as temperatures have cooled off considerably and rain has moved into the area. The first snow of the year is expected Thursday in the higher elevations.

Visit these sites for more fall foliage information:


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