Fall and Spring Color

Fall and spring in southern Indiana are always beautiful. To better enjoy the colors of both these seasons, check our suggestion for places to visit to see fall color, or we have several driving routes recommended.

Fall color in southern Indiana normally begins in mid-late September and peaks the second or third week of October. 


dave morris in fire tower on autumn day

Fall Color Report for October 26, 2015.


view from the tower in the fall 10_26_2015In Fall,

the yellow and golds of tulip poplars, locust and redbuds add vibrant color to the forest canopy and roadsides.  There are also reds from the blackgum trees and sumac, and burnt orange from maples and sassafrass.

Fall flowers including yellow black-eyed susans, purple iron weed and bright yellow goldenrods add color to fields and roadside ditches. Croplands also add their own beauty as fields come alive with fall harvests.

Geese heading south and walnuts falling, making autumn an interesting time to visit the Forest. Bring your binoculars and your camera. The height of fall color is normally mid to late October. Here are some Options to view color on the Hoosier

spring color picture In Spring,

Spring colors creeps gradually into the forest, with the trees along openings and roadsides the first to don spring color. The purple pink of redbud and the creamy white of dogwood make spring many visitor's favorite time to drive forest roads. The forest floor is also bright with trilliums, anemones and a host of other spring wildflowers. Come visit us during the Wildflower Foray held in the spring.

Driving routes for viewing fall and spring color -

Two routes are recommended through the Hoosier National Forest area with infinite variations down rural back roads.

Stone Head at Story IndianaRoute 1 -

Route 1 loops through the northern part of the Forest southeast of Bloomington. Highlights include Lake Monroe with breath-taking views of the hills around the lake and the sparkling lake itself with speedboats and sailboats. We also recommend visiting the T.C. Steele Historic Site and walking through the restored gardens and home of this famous painter. Other stops include Nashville, a small historic town nestled in the hills is a retreat for artisans. Crafts and art are popular attractions for visitors in this quaint historic town. Brown County State Park is also on the route, one of the state's most beautiful parks. At the town of Story visit the general store, reminiscent of stores at the turn of the century. Also at Story is a quaint bed and breakfast, an orienteering course, and a large intricate limestone tree carved by a local sculptor at the road junction. A unusual historic road marker, dating to 1851, also stands along the road marking directions to various communities.

Route 1

view from hickory ridge tower

View from Hickory Ridge Lookout in the fall.

Two alternate routes begin at Tell City. One suggestion is to take the new Ohio River Scenic Byway along Hwy 66 through Magnet. Visit the communities of Fredonia, Artist Point, Alton, and stop at the Buzzard Roost overlook. The route is relatively remote, with spectacular panoramic vistas, and your chances of seeing wildlife are good. Route 2 follows the mapped route. Highlights of this route include the locks and dam on the Ohio River at Cannelton and the rural countryside. Route 3 is an alternative or extended loop through small rural communities and farmland.

Map for Route 2 and 3


fall scene in October 2005

Fall Color Report - October 26, 2015

Wow, can you believe how fast colors can turn?  It is like someone flipped a switch with the maples and sweetgums.  In the past couple of days we brightened up the forest with brilliant oranges, reds and yellows that are quickly waning.  We will be experiencing lots of rain for a couple days and by Thursday we should have sunshine again.  This will be your last opportunity to see these colors until next fall.  We hope you will take some time to see the wonderful fall landscape.

Also check out the Region 9 Fall Color page which includes photos and information on fall color on all 15 eastern national forests. 


The wilderness from the lookout tower October 18, 2015. The Wilderness on 9/18/2015 The wilderness from the lookout tower October 13, 2015.The Wilderness on 9/28/2015. View from the Hickory Ridge Lookout Tower, September 28, 2015.The Charles C. Deam Wilderness on 10/13/2015. view from the tower in the fall 10_26_2015 The Charles C. Deam Wilderness on 10/25/2015.

Maple in Color in Indiana forests Maple leaves leave splashes of color in the forests.view of fall color on Indian Celina Road View of fall color on Indian-Celina Lake Road10/19/2015. Indian Celina Road on 10-26-2015 View of fall color on Indian Celina Lake Road on 10/26/2015. Picnic Area at Buzzard Roost in Fall.  Buzzard Roost Picnic Area on 10/25/2015.