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Fall Color

close up of a leaf


Fall Color Update - Oct. 31, 2018

It seems most of the Allegheny National Forest has reached peak color for the season.  The maples and poplars are bright yellow.  The scarlet oaks are turning red, while most of the other oak species remain green with a few hints of orange showing up. Get out for a hike and enjoy the fall colors in the forest!


Fall Color Update - Oct. 24, 2018

Not much change over the last week.  The majority of the black cherry trees have lost their leaves, while maples are slowly turning yellow. Most oaks still remain green. 


When to See the Color

Fall color begins in September and usually ends by the middle of October. You'll notice trees along roadways turning before trees further in the woods start to change color. Northern portions of the forest will start to turn before the southern portions.


Plan Your Fall Color Excursion

The areas listed below provide some of the best wildflower, tree, grass and fern fall color viewing on the forest.  To get directions to a site select the link and you will go to that sites web page.

Visit Flickr to see pictures of the Forests during fall color.

Fall Color



Allegheny River

Fall Color Hikes

Motorized Excursions


 Want to see more? Pick up a Motor Vehicle Use map and take a scenic drive through the Forest to see the fall color along the lesser traveled roads.  Looking for more scenic fall color views? Visit our Nature Viewing page to find a few more places not listed here!

Why Do Leaves Change Color?

Each year as nights begin to get longer, the trees begin to change from the vibrant green of summer to the warm tones of gold, orange and red. Temperature impacts color and intensity, it is only one part of why leaves change. As chlorophyll production stops, the yellow and orange pigments begin to show. Red and purple colors come from sugars trapped in the leaves.

Certain colors are characteristic of particular species:

  • Oaks: red, brown, or russet
  • Hickories: golden bronze
  • Aspen and yellow-poplar: golden yellow
  • Dogwood: purplish red
  • Beech: light tan
  • Sourwood and black tupelo: crimson

The color of maples leaves differ species by species:

  • Red maple: brilliant scarlet
  • Sugar maple: orange-red
  • Black maple: glowing yellow
  • Striped maple: almost colorless