Fall Color Report - September 24, 2014

 

Illinois

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Missouri

New Hampshire

Pennsylvania

Vermont

Wisconsin


Illinois

  • Shawnee National Forest: The sassafras, sumac and dogwoods are showing some beautiful red while the tulip poplar and sycamores are yellow and brown, with some leaves crumbling and falling. The maple trees are beginning to show a touch of red. The color is currently at about 8%. 


Massachusetts

  • Boston Metro Area: Color is very sporadic, with individual trees showing some vibrant yellows and reds; color is currently at approximately 5%.


Michigan

  • Hiawatha National Forest: Colors are just beginning in the St. Ignace District of the forest. To see some spectacular reds and yellows, take a trip to the Soldier lake area.
  • Huron-Manistee National Forests: The edges of roadways are getting more colorful, especially main roads such as M-115, M-55, M-72 and M-65. But the deeper in the woods you go, the greener things stay.  Some locations, such as Red Bridge on the Manistee River are just turning gold as water grasses and plants start to move to fall colors. Fall flowers you may see right now include asters, purple coneflower, hyssop, wheat grass, big bluestem and prairie sage. Fall color is at a little less than 10%.
  • Ottawa National Forest: WOW!! Color is popping on the Ottawa. We went from 30% color change to about 60% right now. Bright reds and oranges can be viewed around every turn on forest roads. Most of the remaining green is from the Aspen, which is a late bloomer. If you want to catch this spectacular fall color show now – plan your trip in-land. If you want to catch it with the back-drop of Lake Superior, plan your visit the first week of October. The weather forecast looks phenomenal through Sunday, so come visit and check out the view from one of the Forest’s scenic overlook areas!


Minnesota

  • Chippewa National Forest: This will be a “Top 10” week in Minnesota, with weather in the 70’s and a breath-taking array of fall color across the Chippewa! Maples are hitting wild pinks and reds; while the Aspen, oak and ash trees are coloring the forest with yellows, oranges and deep reds. Drive along highway 200 or County Rd 5 on the south end of the Forest for a great glimpse of color. In the heart of the Forest, try the Pike Bay road or Co 9 Winnie Dam road for a striking contrast of the blazing maples and oaks against the green pine. The Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway between Grand Rapids and Marcell is always an amazing scenic drive in September. And, with the Forest’s abundance of water, plan to take in fall’s splendor from your boat or a walk along Norway Beach!.
  • Superior National Forest: Due to a patchy progression, it is very hard to get a decent color percentage number this week. Some areas are at 15 to 20% color, with others near 100%. Unfortunately, you can turn the corner and it’s down to 0%. Inland areas of the Forest are the first to peak, with shore areas near Lake Superior close behind. The best thing to do is take your time and enjoy all the different routes and surprises of a patchy forest mosaic.


Missouri

  • Mark Twain National Forest: Fall colors in southern Missouri usually peak mid to late October. However, spring and summer weather conditions, can impact the variety, and length of time, fall colors are visible. In the past, fall colors began in mid-September in northern Missouri and moved south through early November. Check out this link for some amazing scenic drives throughout the forest


New Hampshire

  • White Mountain National Forest: Fall is off to a great start. In the last day or two the amount of color has increased exponentially with lots of blazing reds. As expected, higher elevations such as Pinkham Notch, Franconia Notch and Kancamagus Pass, as well as locales on the north side of the Forest have the most color. As always, we never know for sure when “peak” will be until we can say, “it was yesterday.”  Optimum color will begin at the end of September. With Columbus Day being late this year, we would guess the north edge and higher elevations will be somewhat past by then.
  • SAFETY MESSAGE: Some words of caution: Forest employees have seen some amazingly unsafe things during leaf-peeper season. First, probably the most dangerous things are drivers swerving as they try to take pictures while at the wheel.  Secondly are drivers who stop in the middle of the travel lane. Thirdly are those who unsafely pass or attempt to pass with disregard for drivers behind them. For those wanting a better glimpse of the beautiful colors, please take advantage of the many wide shoulders and overlooks along the Kancamagus. For those who are less interested in the colors, please incorporate defensive driving principles.


Pennsylvania

  • Allegheny National Forest: As the calendar turns towards October, the trees on the forest are slowly following suit. The most color can be found along the roads with the purple asters, red sumac, and goldenrod providing a beautiful panorama of color.


Vermont

  • Green Mountain National Forest: In the distance, the hardwood trees are getting a yellowish/orange hue, and the maples are now displaying vibrant reds and oranges. Though the color is pretty scattered at this point, it is becoming more concentrated with each passing day.


Wisconsin

  • Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest: The pace is picking up in many areas of the forest; for some blazing colors take a scenic drive along State Highway 70.
  • Milwaukee Metro Area: This week, cottonwood trees near Lake Michigan are starting to turn yellow while ash trees continue showing shades of gold.  West of downtown, maples are beginning to turn orange and red while the asters and goldenrods are notable fall flowers.