Fall Color Report - November 4, 2021

Fall Colors Green Mountain National Forest
Fall Colors Monongalia County West Virginia

(Left) Even past peak foliage, the Green Mountain & Finger Lakes National Forests remain photogenic. (Right) An evening walk in the woods of Monongalia County, West Virginia. USDA Forest Service photo. See more photos in our Fall Color 2021 Flickr Album.

It’s that wonderful time of year in the USDA Forest Service Eastern Region when the landscape gradually changes foliage color from nearly uniform greens to an artist’s palette of brilliant hues. Reds, oranges, yellows, purples and other colors begin to emerge in the coming weeks, creating a stunning display courtesy of Mother Nature.

From the mountains of Maine to Missouri’s scenic valleys, fall foliage in the Eastern Region is spectacular show each year! In the north & east, the maples are beautiful reds and oranges, while the aspen, paper birch and tamarack are golden. To the south in Missouri, there are brilliant yellow hues in the hickories, and a variety of orange, yellow and red shades in the maples and ash trees. Throughout the Region, you will find amazing views either from ideal overlook areas or winding scenic byways.
 


Illinois

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie:  Late-season stunners are helping are stretching out fall colors on the prairie now. In places like the South Patrol Road Prairie restoration area, hazelnut leaves that look like “Dreamsicles” color the edges of the Henslow Trail. Yellow Indian grass and other grasses shimmer in the River Road Seedbeds nearby.

Shawnee National Forest:  Southern Illinois has seen a big shift in fall color this past week. Driving the winding roads through the Shawnee National Forest visitors will note a yellow-green hue across the treetops. Then, like an explosion of color there are pops of bright red or yellow where entire trees are decked out in full fall foliage. It won’t be long and the region will be in peak fall color season. Currently about 40% of the trees have changed, but with cooler temperatures expected to continue this week, the region will be in peak season next week.  To plan you fall color trip to the region visit Southernmost Illinois Tourism website and a list of “must-see” sites visit the Shawnee National Forest Special Places website.

 

Indiana

Hoosier National Forest: The Hoosier National Forest is showing peak fall colors right now. Tree tops from a distance show a mosaic of reds, yellows, greens, oranges, and browns. The Hoosier also had its first freeze of the season Tuesday night and more freezing nights are in the forecast, so the fall colors may not be around much longer. Take a drive through the Forest this week to see all the beauty. Even a hike this weekend would be perfect. The forecast for the weekend is sunny with highs in the mid-60s; perfect for viewing fall colors and getting some fresh air and exercise.

 

Massachusetts

Durham, NH (State & Private Forestry): While the foliage is past its peak, there is still plenty of fall color to be found along the Mohawk Trail in Massachusetts, making the destination still worth the trip in early November. Many of the brightest reds, yellows are gone, though you can still find these colors sometimes in surprising spots along waterways and in the valleys. Rusts, golds, and other hues remain on the hillsides and elsewhere in many locations.

 

Michigan

Hiawatha National Forest: The Hiawatha is done for the season.  We’ve just received our first real frost near St. Ignace, and some areas have seen some snow.

 

Minnesota

Chippewa National Forest: The fall colors are a wrap on the Chippewa National Forest as the last trees cling to their leaves against wind, rain and now snow… yes snow!  The tamaracks are ending the color season displaying a rich gold. Aspen, birch, and red oaks and maples are past peak. Winter birds are starting to arrive on the Forest! Wild turkeys are feeding along open areas and the gray and red squirrels continue to be busy getting ready for the long winter. You will spot bright orange on the hunter walking trails as hunters travel to the Forest! Be Safe! Follow the @ChippewaNF on Facebook and Twitter: as winter approaches, we will be sharing the “31 Days of Winter”. The Forest under a blanket of snow is amazing.

Superior National Forest: Fall is over and early winter is setting in with snow squalls and frosted windshields in the morning. The white of snow is lovely against the rich golden brown of fallen leaves, and along the North Shore and certain patches inland, the tamaracks are still wearing their fall finery.  Deer rifle season starts November 6, so your personal fall color needs to be blaze orange if you are out in the woods!

 

Pennsylvania

Allegheny National Forest: Fall foliage is fading fast across the Allegheny! In the northern portion of the forest, an ephemeral snowfall briefly blanketed the autumn leaves in white. Jakes Rocks and Rimrock still provide stunning views, but this is probably the last week before they are past peak color. The southern portion of the forest is still in full fall colors. The Tidioute Overlook provides a beautiful bird’s eye view of the town and the Allegheny Islands Wilderness, both surrounded by autumnal glory. Come take in these spectacular views before they are hidden by the snow!

 

Vermont and New York

Green Mountain & Finger Lakes National Forests: Peak foliage has past and every day there is more and more ground cover as trees lose their leaves. The most adventurous of forest visitors may still be able to find some elusive nooks of color, but for most, looking DOWN is probably your best chance of seeing foliage now!

 

West Virginia

Monongahela National Forest: All that rain and wind over the past week has really knocked a lot of the leaves off our trees. You can still see trees with some color (mostly yellows and browns), but they are typically in the understory with bare trees overhead. We had a hard freeze last night (Nov. 3) and very cold air is expected into the weekend. If you are planning a visit, be sure to bring your woolies!

Morgantown, WV (State & Private Forestry): Glowing hills around Morgantown, WV.  This is probably the last week in some areas and then it will be past peak.

 

When visiting your national forests, remember to always keep safety first and know before you go! Hunting season has begun or will begin soon in many of the Eastern Region national forests. Please consider wearing blaze orange when exploring out in the woods.

Fall Colors