Fall Color Report - October 22, 2014




Autumn is one of the most popular seasons for visiting the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. Currently there is still a lot of mixed color across the landscape, with some trees showing their autumn foliage and others still green. Some of the early turning trees still holding a lot of color are the deep crimson leaves of the dogwood and sumac trees. While the treetops of the maples, sycamore and elm have turned into a blend of orange, yellow and red. Always the last to change will be the wide variety of oak tree species, transforming into deep reds and burnt orange. Currently leaf change is at about 50%, with peak season likely to occur around November 1.


The Hoosier National Forest is now at about 75% color on the northern district, and about 50% on the southern district. Trees, shrubs and vines are now gloriously colored and starting to lose their leaves. Maples are beautifully red and orange, with the dogwoods and sumacs still showing their deep reds. Other species are showing brilliant golds and yellows. It won’t be long before the winds and rain take the rest of the colors. This is to be a wonderful weather weekend in the mid 70 during the day and 40’s at night. Come for a spectacular camping and/or touring weekend.


The Ottawa National Forest is experiencing the final phase of fall color, with the birch, aspen and tamaracks a brilliant yellow-golden. The color is enough to brighten even the cloudiest and rainiest of days. For a scenic view of these trees, take a drive along Forest Highway 16. Some maple saplings are also still clinging to their yellow hue. This week’s weather looks to be phenomenal with a very good chance of viewing the northern lights. So, take a drive to the Ottawa and enjoy the lasting images of fall color. 

The weather is changing now on the Hiawatha National Forest, with the days getting colder and the leaves dropping. However, there are still areas of beautiful fall color to behold. Areas along US 2 and US 41 are vibrant with yellows and reds. Other great spots to catch a glimpse of color are Soldier Lake, Grand Island Trail Head, and Valley Spur Trail Head.  The tamaracks are in full glow right now in the Forest’s boggy areas. So, plan your trip now to enjoy the remainder of this wonderful fall season.

Milwaukee Metro

Maples are the stars of the show this week, with trees showing brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red. North of the city, there are noticeable patches of bare trees. Trees that are first to turn in the season—ash and elm—have dropped most of their leaves. The treescape continues to boast all colors of the fall rainbow, with basswood and birch providing the yellows, and oaks showing a range of muted red and brown tones; in addition to the evergreens, quite a few trees are still green. And, closer to the ground, sumac shrubs are a bright scarlet.


This week in the Chippewa National Forest, temperatures are forecasted to reach in the upper 60s, which will make for perfect autumn days to spend in the Forest! Even though northern Minnesota is past peak for fall color, there are still some colorful leaves hanging on, and lots of fun activities going on to assist your enjoyment of the lasting fall color. Canoe the great Mississippi River, hike the North Country National Scenic Trail, or take a pleasant drive on the Avenue of the Pines Scenic Byway, the Ladyslipper Scenic Byway, or the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway.  There are leaves/trees, plants, lakes, rivers, wildlife and fresh air here for you to enjoy this autumn season.

On the Superior National Forest, fall colors are “past peak” in terms of brilliant reds; however, some aspen and poplar are still holding on and the vibrant tamarack trees finally have the stage to themselves in lowland areas. When the sun hits their foliage they light up golden against the intense blue autumn sky. It is definitely worth getting outdoors to enjoy these crisp fall days.


The next two weeks October 20-31, 2014 should be the peak of fall color throughout southern and central Missouri, where Mark Twain National Forest’s 1.5 million acres are located. Fall colors started showing early October in Cedar Creek, the northern most forest district near Fulton, Missouri.The change in color in the southern part of the Forest is intensifying as hickories, poplars, redbuds and sycamore turn bright yellows, and sumac, dogwoods and poison ivy turn from red to burgundy. For some of the best routes to drive to see fall color, check out the map at:  http://1.usa.gov/1sPmKnr.


Snow has fallen at the higher elevations, and can be seen on mountain peaks and ridgelines throughout the Green Mountain National Forest. We are now moving into “stick” season at the mid to high elevations. However, there is still some fall color to catch, with some later turning trees dispersed throughout, and some brilliantly colored trees in the valley locations.