For most parts of the United States, the month of September still feels like summer until you get to the time when the leaves start turning colors. Something about those vibrant leaves as they turn on the trees really rings in the feeling of fall. The official start of fall is on the fall equinox on September 22nd. This is when both the day and the night are equally 12 hours long. From here, the trees will begin to get ready for winter just like people do.
Some trees will spend the winter without their leaves and before they all start to drop off, they turn very pretty shades of reds, oranges, yellows, and browns first. It makes a beautiful array of colors in the landscape and some people travel from far away to see this spectacular display of nature. Let’s review some of the best places to see fall leaves on the East Coast.
Why Do Leaves Change Color?
The turning of the leaves on the East coast is something that many people travel from hours away to experience. It’s a beautiful sight to see, but what actually makes the leaves change color in the first place?
In fall, the days get shorter, and the temperatures will start to drop. In preparation for winter, the leaves will stop their food-making process. Chlorophyll causes the green color to break down, and the color starts to fall out of the existing leaves. Yellow to orange colors will come in and some trees will have leaves that are red and brown as well.
Why does this happen and what does it mean? The short and simple answer is sugar! Tree leaves store sugar for food from the light, water, and carbon dioxide that they take in. When the periods of light change and get shorter as fall and winter come, the tree enters a dormancy phase and no longer needs the sugar for food. Chlorophyll drops from the leaves and with the green gone, we see the colors they would be without it.
With that said, here are some of the best places to see the fall foliage.
Best Places To See Fall Foliage
The best places to see the fall foliage are obviously areas that have a lot of deciduous trees. These are the species of trees that will lose their leaves in the winter, unlike evergreen trees that keep their leaves all year round. Some examples of evergreen trees are cedar, cypress, and pine trees.
Some examples of deciduous trees that drop their leaves are maple, many oak trees, elm, beech, birch, poplar, ash, aspen, and hickory trees.
These trees will shed their leaves at the end of the growing season. First, they turn from green to various shades of yellow, orange, red, or browns, and then they fall off completely until Spring. The East Coast of the United States – or more specifically New England – has long been known as one of the best places to see the fall trees.
However, the East coast is not the only place for viewing this great sight, and every state has at least some area with chlorophyll-deprived deciduous trees. For now, we’re going to look at some of the best places in the East.
Best Places To See Fall Leaves On The East Coast
When you talk about fall leaves in the United States, you’re no doubt going to hear about New England. This is the upper East area of the United States to include Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Connecticut.
Located on the Atlantic Coast, it also has a rich colonial past and many forested mountains. It is an area full of history and heritage and it’s also a great place to see east coast fall leaves. While the leaves will start to change in September in some areas, the views are even more spectacular if you wait just a bit later into the season.
October fall leaves are some of the best leaves that you can view when the seasons are changing, and the leaves are turning. If you want to find the best places for viewing, you can use an east coast fall foliage map. This map will show you where the leaves are turning, and some maps also give you an idea of when the best viewing times for certain areas will be. You can go on a fall foliage tour and see it all for yourself.
East coast fall foliage tours
There are many East coast fall foliage tours that you can take part in to get the best experience of the fall season in the East. While most of them are centered around New England and the northern states, there are also some that cover the mountain areas of the lower east states as well.
There are east coast fall foliage tours that you can sign up for and sit back and relax while someone else takes you around to see the fall colors. There are even train tours you can take. Some you may want to consider are:
- the Autumn Tour in New England
- Autumn at the Greenbrier and Historic Trains
- Fall Colors of New England and French Canada
- Fall Colors, Scenic Trains, and Martha’s Vineyard
These are all from Vacations by Rail, which takes you on trips by train, including the opportunity to see the kaleidoscope of fall colors for yourself.
Pictures of fall leaves
If you’re not able to travel to any of these locations to see fall leaves this year, another great option is to look at pictures of fall leaves. This is also a great idea if you want to see the fall colors near you in person and then look at pictures or videos of those in other locations.
You can search for photographers who share their albums of fall colors on their websites or social media accounts, for starters.
What if you want to take photos of the fall leaves?
Anyone from a hobbyist to a professional photographer can all appreciate the great fall leaves. October fall leaves are some of the prettiest you will ever see and if you like to take photos of fall foliage, this is the best time to go. If you live near some of these displays of stunning leaf views, you could take some photographs of your own and share them with people who don’t get to get out and see these fall colors for themselves.
Many states known for their beautiful fall colors have websites with dedicated photo galleries of the foliage. Check out this one in Vermont, for example. This Vermont photo gallery has great pictures from landmarks, mountains, and other fall leaf spots.
Viewing Fall Leaves In New England
There are many beautiful places to see fall leaves in New England, which is why you see it mentioned nearly every time people begin to talk about fall foliage. All of the northeast states are prime locations for viewing the colors, but there are some spots even more beautiful than the others. If you live in New England or will be visiting the area during the fall, you’ll want to see this for yourself.
Let’s take a look in more detail at the different states.
See fall leaves in Maine
The state of Maine is well known for its many parks, mountains, and other locations in nature that are perfect for spotting the turning of leaves in the fall. If you want to be very precise with the best time and location to spot fall leaves, you may want to check out a fall leaves schedule for Maine.
The best time to see fall leaves in Maine depends largely on what part of the state you’re in but can also be impacted by weather conditions each year. In the southern regions of the state to include Rockland, Portland, Camden, Kittery, and Kennebunkport, you can see the fall leaves later in the season, around October 21-27. This is also the best week for fall colors in coastal Maine.
As you work your way up the state, the central and eastern areas to include Fryeburg, Farmington, Rumford, Skowhegan, and north of Portland and the greater August area, the best time to see the fall leaves is a week before. October 14-20 will give you the best views in this area.
And then as you move up further and into Western Maine, you can see peak colors from October 6-13 in these regions. This includes Grafton Notch State Park, Route 17 around Richardson Lake, Bigelow Preserve, Cathedral Pines Rest Area, Rangeley, the lookout from Eustis Ridge, Mt Blue State Park (Weld), Lily Bay State Park, Sebec Lake, and more.
And finally, as you move up the state toward the nethermost parts, the best time to see the fall colors is earlier in the season, from September 24-October 6. This is when the hillsides first begin to turn and some great viewing locations include Aroostook State Park, Route 11, Mount Kineo, Rockwood, and Eagle Lake Public Land.
See fall leaves in New Hampshire
New Hampshire is another great state for enjoying the fall leaves. There are scenic drives and views in every region of the state. You can look out upon a kaleidoscope of color as you take in the smells of autumn.
You can look up the current fall leaves schedule to help you get an idea of when to start looking for the turning colors. In general, the end of September and beginning to middle of October will be good timing and by the end of October and into November, it will be past its peak, but there will still be some color changes. Many leaves will have dropped by mid to late November.
The best time to see fall leaves in New Hampshire in the northernmost parts of the state such as the Great North Woods and the White Mountains is from the end of September to the beginning of October. By October 7th, the colors will be peaking all over the state.
By October 13th, the peak will start to fade in the north of the state, but it will still be peak in the central to southern parts of the state in the Lakes Region, Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee, Merrimack Valley, Monadnock Region, and the Seacoast area.
If you want to spot peak leaf season in NH, there is a live foliage tracker that can help you see where the colors are at any given time. If you’d like to plan a fall foliage road trip or scenic drive in New Hampshire, there’s a state guide to help you plan your trip.
Here are some places to consider for viewing the fall leaves in NH:
- Dixville Notch and Moose Alley
- Franconia Notch State Park
- Cathedral Ledge Lookout
- Jackson Village
- Crawford Notch
- Conway Scenic Railroad’s Mountaineer Train
- Kancamagus Highway
- Lake Winnipesaukee
- Cathedral of the Pines
See fall leaves in Vermont
Next on our list of east coast fall views in Vermont. Another northeastern state with great views to offer, let’s look at where to see peak fall leaves in Vermont. Typically, the best times to see the fullest color in this state are from late September in the north and mid-October in the south.
The peak fall colors in Vermont will be best around October 4- 11th for most of the state. The northern parts of the state will start to peak first, and then the southern parts of the state will follow suit. Leaf color generally starts to change first in the higher, cooler areas, spreading down into the valleys, and moving from north to south across the state. The timing can also vary from year to year due to weather conditions.
You can see a “Current Conditions” map on Vermont.com that will help you see where the colors are at any given time if you’re planning a trip. They also have a “Leaf Squad” who turns in reports of the leaf conditions at different parts of the state. These reports will include a photo, the description, and the location and date of when the photo was taken. This is a great way to track the best spots to see the colors if you’re in the state or plan on passing through.
Here are some places in Vermont for you to view the fall leaves turning colors:
- Smuggler’s Notch Pass
- The Kingdom Trails
- Shelburne Farms and Orchards
- Quechee State Park
- Somerset Reservoir
- Burlington and Burlington Bike Path
- Mount Mansfield
- Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge
- Green River Reservoir State Park
- The Skier’s Highway
Fall leaves in Massachusetts for viewing
As we move our way down the eastern United States, we come to Massachusetts, another beautiful place to see the fall leaves. Some of the best places for fall leaves in Massachusetts are:
- Leominster State Forest, Leominster
- Appleton Farms, Ipswich
- Forest Hills Cemetery, Boston
- Boston Public Garden, Boston
- Towle Land, Carlisle
- Bash Bish Falls, Mount Washington
- Tower Hill Botanical Garden, Boylston
- Borderland State Park
- Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge
- The Mohawk Trail (Greenfield to North Adams)
- Summit of Mount Greylock
- New Marlborough
- West Stockbridge
You can view a fall leaves schedule for the current year to get a better idea of just where the leaves are at any given point in time. In general, late September to mid-October will be your best time to see fall leaves in Massachusetts. While every region of the state experiences color changes, you can see some popular routes and plan your own trip to one or more of them.
There is a section of the official Massachusetts website to help you find peak leaf season in Massachusetts, the best state parks for viewing the colors, and more info and additional resources on fall foliage in the state. This is a very good resource to turn to if you’re looking for the best places to see the colors in this state.
Fall leaves in Rhode Island for viewing
Rhode Island is a small state with a lot of great foliage to experience. This is a perfect state to experience the traditional New England fall. Here are some places to see great fall leaves in RI:
- Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln
- George B. Parker Woodland, Coventry
- Sprague Farm, Chepachet
- Goddard Memorial State Park, East Greenwich
- Big River Management Area, West Greenwich
- Arcadia State Park, Exeter, Richmond, West Greenwich, Hopkinton
- Trustom Pond, South Kingstown
- Burlingame State Park, Charlestown
A current fall leaves schedule will help you plan the best times for seeing the leaves in different parts of the state. In general, the best time to see fall leaves in Rhode Island is in mid-October. The leaves will start to turn in late September and, in some areas, they will start peaking at the beginning of October.
Peak leaf season in RI will typically be the middle of October. If you’re planning a trip to the state just to see the fall colors, you may want to look at a current, updated foliage map or tracker to see when and where they are turning this year since it can vary.
See fall leaves in Connecticut
We can’t talk about the color changes in New England without talking about Connecticut. This is another northeast state that sees beautiful color changes. If you’re looking for the peak fall leaves in Connecticut, keep in mind that the colors will start to turn in the north parts of the state first.
Peak leaf season in Connecticut is predicted as follows:
- Connecticut Northwest/Northeast Corners: October 3 – 8
- Connecticut Eastern and Western Mid-State Counties: October 16 – 23
- Shoreline and lower Connecticut River Valley: October 24 – 30
- Southwest Corner: November 7 – 14
Remember that it can change from year to year and based on weather. The Connecticut River starting at the mouth of Long Island Sound and going up toward East Haddam holds the foliage the longest and will allow you to view later in the season. The fall foliage in Connecticut tends to run a bit longer than other states in New England, giving you a chance to see more or see the colors later in the season than in other states.
Peak season fall foliage in Connecticut is predicted to be between October 3rd and November 8th. However, this can vary based on the weather conditions so if you want to be very precise, you’ll need to look at current foliage reports or a live foliage map.
Some of the best fall foliage in Connecticut is found at:
- Talcott Mountain State Park
- Haystack Mountain State Park
- Peoples State Forest
- Macedonia Brook State Park
- Shenipsit State Forest
- Litchfield area
- Mohawk State Forest
- Pachaug State Forest
- The eastern Mystic region
- The Connecticut Wine Trail
You can learn more about some great places to view the fall colors and the best fall foliage trips from the state’s foliage resource. Do you have a favorite spot that’s not on our list?
See fall leaves in New York
The best time to see peak fall leaves in New York is in October. On higher elevations, like the Adirondack Mountains, the peak comes in early October. The Catskills region experiences a peak of color in mid-October. Most of the state will have great viewing but there are some spots that are popular for viewing this stunning fall display.
- Whiteface Veteran’s Memorial Highway
- US Route 9
- Route 9D, Hudson Highlands State Park
- Palisades Interstate Parkway
- Bear Mountain State Park
- Park Road, Letchworth State Park
- Mohawk Towpath Byway
- Great Lakes Seaway Trail
- Niagara Falls
- Thousand Islands
- Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway
- Allegany State Park Routes 2 and 3
- Adirondack Loj Road
- Upper Delaware Scenic Byway
- The Amish Trail
- Adirondack Scenic Railroad
- Greenbelt Nature Center (Staten Island)
There are different factors that influence peak leaf season in New York. The largest contributing factor is the weather. While there are trends, the exact weather conditions will vary from year to year. The only way to know for certain is to look for updated live coverage of the area you are considering visiting.
The fall leaves in Delaware
Most of Delaware will have great views of the turning fall colors, even in the coastal regions. You just need to know the best places to look. If you want to see peak fall leaves in Delaware, consider viewing from these locations:
- Any of Delaware’s state parks
- Winterthur Museum, Gardens, and Library
- Cuba Center
- Nemours Estate
- The Brandywine Valley National Scenic Byway
- The Green at Dover
- The Green at the University of Delaware
- Interstate 95 from Newark to Wilmington
- Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
- Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge
- Old New Castle
This year, peak leaf season in Delaware is predicted to be mid to late October. This can vary from year to year but will always be close to the same dates. To get the exact best time for fall foliage in Delaware, look up current conditions or a live foliage map.
The peak season for fall foliage in Delaware is usually from the second to the third week of October through to the end of the month. Peak foliage is expected to be around the week of October 25th. You can learn more about the best fall foliage in Delaware from the resources on VisitDelaware.com.
The fall leaves in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is a mountain state known for its beautiful views year-round. It’s no surprise that it is also a popular place to see autumn leaves turning color. Here are some great locations in PA for viewing the turning of the fall leaves:
- The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon (Pine Creek Gorge)
- Ricketts Glen State Park
- Jim Thorpe borough
- Ohiopyle State Park
- Raystown Lake
- Kinzua Bridge
- Old City Philadelphia
- McConnells Mill State Park
- Hyner View State Park
- Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
- Frick Park
- The Reading Pagoda
- Chimney Rocks Park
- Mount Washington
- Presque Isle State Park
- Ralph Stover State Park
- Allegheny National Forest
- Wissahickon Gorge
- Quehanna Wild Area
- Downtown Harrisburg
- Nay Aug Park
- Bowman’s Hill Tower
- Worlds End State Park
- Mount Davis
- Loyalsock State Forest
- Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike
- Route 32 in Bucks County
- Rothrock State Forest
- Governor Dick Observation Tower
- Forbes State Forest
- Marie Antoinette Overlook
- Cook Forest State Park
- Bake Oven Knob
- Moraine State Park
- Gettysburg Battlefield
Peak fall leaves in Pennsylvania are expected in the weeks of October 17th and October 24th for most of the state. Peak leaf season in Pennsylvania is sometimes earlier in the month of October but this year had a very warm summer and it took later in the year for temperatures to start cooling enough for the trees to start turning.
It’s hard to list the best fall foliage in Pennsylvania because there are so many amazing locations to view. 2021 is predicting a later start to the turn of the colors, but with more vibrant colors to be seen. Since the timing and peak season of the colors can change from year to year, it’s important to do current research or view a live fall foliage map to know exactly what’s happening this year in the area you plan to visit.
See fall leaves in New Jersey
While New Jersey is one of the most densely populated states in the country, it also has many beautiful locations to see nature, including the autumn leaves turning color.
The average peak fall leaves time in New Jersey is October 19th through the 29th. However, it can all change depending on temperature and rainfall this season. There are many great places throughout the Garden State to view the turning of the fall leaves.
If you’d like to plan a hike to experience the fall leaves, consider the Best Fall Foliage Hikes in New Jersey.
Peak leaf season in New Jersey is usually mid-October but you can start to see the colors turn as early as the end of September. In some areas, they may still be turning in late October to the beginning of November.
Here are some places for the best fall foliage in New Jersey:
- Egg Harbor Township Nature Reserve
- Estell Manor Park
- Ramapo Mountain State Forest
- Ringwood State Park
- Historic Smithville Park
- Rancocas State Park
- Round Valley Reservoir
- Washington Crossing State Park
- Cheesequake State Park
- Lake Hopatcong
- Pyramid Mountain National Historic Area
- Rifle Camp Park
- High Point State Park
- Delaware Water Gap
- Jenny Jump State Forest
- The Pinelands
- Wharton State Forest
- Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail
Of course, state parks are going to make our list because they have some of the most beautiful, preserved pieces of land in the state.
View fall leaves in Maryland
The best time for peak fall leaves in Maryland is from mid to late October. The leaves will begin to turn yellow in early October and then by the end of the month, the state will see its full array of fall colors.
While peak leaf season in Maryland can change from year to year and with temperature and rainfall, you can count on these averages to help you plan a trip. If you want to get more specific with exactly when the leaves will turn this season, you can use a fall foliage peak map to help you.
Best places for fall foliage in Maryland:
- Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Historical Park (C&O Canal)
- Elk Neck State Park
- Potomac – Garrett State Forest
- Deep Creek Lake State Park
- Allegany County
- Cunningham Falls State Park
- Fort Frederick State Park
- Sugarloaf Mountain
- Seneca Creek State Park
- Swallow Falls State Park
- Deep Creek Lake
- Gunpowder Falls State Park
- Liberty Reservoir
- Susquehanna State Park
- Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge
If you have the chance to view the peak season of fall foliage in Maryland, it’s definitely a sight to remember. While there are great places to see the turning colors all over the state, we’ve picked some of the best fall foliage spots in Maryland to help you plan your own viewing trip.
See the best fall leaves in West Virginia
West Virginia will give you some amazing fall colors. In fact, there are few areas that can rival this state when it comes to the stunning views. According to the West Virginia Division of Forestry, the prime time for fall foliage viewing in West Virginia is between late September through late October, but this can change from year to year based on things like weather.
You really can’t go wrong viewing leaves in West Virginia since there are trees all over the state, however, we’ve picked some prime places for viewing below. Also, this interactive map can help you plan a route to view the peak fall leaves in West Virginia.
Here are some spots with the best fall foliage in West Virginia:
- New River – Greenbrier Valley
- Potomac Highlands
- Kanawha State Forest
- Hawks Nest State Park
- Babcock State Park
- Monongahela National Forest
- Chief Logan State Park
- Hatfield-McCoy Trails
- Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
- Cacapon Resort State Park
- North Bend Rail Trail
- North Bend State Park
- Coopers Rock State Forest
- Prickett’s Fort State Park
- Stonewall Resort and State Park
- Gauley River Canyon
- Oglebay Resort
- Wheeling Heritage Trails
- Grand Vue Park
See fall leaves in Virginia
Virginia is another state well known for its beautiful fall foliage. There are many great places to see the leaves turn in this state. You can see peak fall leaves in Virginia from just about anywhere in the state, but the mountain areas are a favorite for leaf lookers to enjoy.
The peak leaf season in Virginia is usually between October 10th and October 31st. As with every other state, this can change based on weather, temperatures, and rainfall. It can also vary depending on which part of the state you are in. Higher elevation mountain areas may start to change and then peak sooner than the valleys and low-lying areas.
Some of the best fall foliage in Virginia can be seen at:
- Grayson Highlands State Park
- Mount Rogers National Recreation Area
- Virginia Creeper Trail
- Hungry Mother State Park
- Natural Bridge State Park
- Potomac Heritage Trail
- Shenandoah National Park
- The Priest Wilderness
- Pocahontas State Park
- Mabry Mill
- Channels State Forest
- Hidden Valley Lake
- Sky Meadows State Park
- Humpback Rocks
- Roanoke Valley
- Blue Ridge Parkway
See the fall leaves in Tennessee
Tennessee is not a coastal state, but it is an eastern state with amazing fall leaves for you to enjoy. You can typically see peak fall leaves in Tennessee from mid-October toward the end of the month. The colors will usually start to turn at the end of September and the beginning of October. One of the best places to see the autumn colors in this state is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, at the state border of Tennessee and North Carolina.
Here are some great places to see the best fall foliage in Tennessee:
- Clingman’s Dome
- Tellico Plains
- Cataloochee Valley
- Reelfoot Lake State Park
- Gatlinburg Space Needle
- Roan Mountain State Park
- Warrior’s Path State Park
- Panther Creek State Park
- Norris Dam State Park
- Cumberland Mountain State Park
- Montgomery Bell State Park
- Natchez Trace State Park
Typically, east Tennessee will start to change colors in early October and then will peak around the third week of the month. As you move west in the state, the changes will happen a little later in the season.
See fall leaves in North Carolina
Next, we are looking at North Carolina. This is another great state for viewing the leaves turning colors in the fall. As mentioned above, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a good place to start. Western North Carolina is expected to be at or near peak colors around October 5th to October 12th. Some parts of the state will peak a bit later in the month.
Peak fall leaves in North Carolina are fairly predictable each year, although factors like weather and temperature can impact it. Here are some of the best locations to see the fall leaves in North Carolina:
- Blue Ridge Parkway
- Chimney Rock State Park
- Dupont State Forest
- Pisgah National Forest
- Grandfather Mountain, Linville
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Biltmore Estate, Asheville
- Chimney Rock State Park
- Cades Cove
- Craggy Gardens
- Appalachian Trail
See fall leaves in South Carolina
South Carolina also has some great places to see the fall colors. Peak fall leaves in South Carolina will typically be from the middle of October through early November. The farther south you go in the state, the later the peak will happen. South Carolina’s colors don’t last for as long, so if you want to see them for yourself, you’ll want to get in during peak leaf season in South Carolina.
Here are some great places to see fall foliage in South Carolina:
- Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway
- Lake Hartwell State Park
- Jones Gap State Park
- Raven Cliff falls
- Table Rock State Park
- Lake Keowee
- Keowee-Toxaway State Park
- Devils Fork State Park
- Laurel Fork Falls
- Lake Jocassee
- Oconee State Park
- Kings Mountain State Park
- Paris Mountain State Park
- Chester State Park
- Limestone University, Gaffney
- Cowpens National Battlefield
- Campbell’s Covered Bridge
- Isaqueena Falls – Walhalla
- Caesars Head State Park
While the peak season of fall foliage in South Carolina doesn’t last long, there are so many great places to view it. You could hike through a mountain trail such as Glassy Mountain Trail or plan a car route that allows you to see a lot of different spots on your trip.
See fall leaves in Georgia
Next on the list is Georgia. This southern state has a lot to offer, including great places to view the turning of the fall leaves. Georgia has many state parks, all full of deciduous trees that put on a beautiful show in the fall months.
If you really want to see the best time for fall foliage in Georgia, you can track it live on the web with this resource. Georgia’s State Parks offer an online “Leaf Watch” travel planner, found at gastateparks.org/leafwatch that can also help you see up-to-date information about the turning of the leaves and the best viewing locations. The LeafWatch link also has a photo gallery you can view online for free to see pictures of the Georgia fall colors for yourself.
Here are some places to see the best fall foliage in Georgia:
- Cloudland Canyon State Park
- Amicalola State Park and Lodge
- Red Top Mountain State Park
- Tallulah Gorge State Park, Tallulah Falls
- Piedmont Park, Atlanta
- Brasstown Bald
- Blackrock Mountain State Park
- Yonah Mountain
- Vogel State Park
- Fort Mountain State Park, Chatsworth
- D. Roosevelt State Park, Pine Mountain
- Moccasin Creek State Park, Lake Burton
- Smithgall Woods State Park, Helen
- Don Carter State Park, Gainesville
- George L. Smith State Park, Twin City
Can you see fall leaves in Florida?
Florida is not known for being a great place to see fall foliage so you might be surprised to know there are some good locations for fall colors on the trees. The red maples are what you will see turning the most in Florida.
The peak of fall leaves in Florida will be later in the season than in the states north of it. You can usually see them changing from late October through mid-November. The more north you go in the state, the more fall colors you will see. You can even see some stunning color changes in central Florida.
Peak leaf season in Florida starts a lot later than in other parts of the east coast. The Fall Foliage Prediction Map will be an excellent tool to help you see when the leaves will change in your area. Near peak and peak season for Florida will be around November 8th to the week of November 15th. Nearly every other state in the country will be past its peak by this point. A few other southern states may be still in peak, but Florida is the last to turn on the east coast.
Where can you see the best fall foliage in Florida? Anywhere with red maples is guaranteed to give you great colors, but let’s look at some specific spots where you can view the leaves turning.
- Torreya State Park
- Three Rivers State Park
- Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
- Suwannee River
- Flying Eagle Preserve
- Washington County
- The Morningside Nature Center in Gainesville
- Wekiwa Springs State Park in Apopka
These are just a few good spots to see fall foliage in Florida in the late season. You will see more in the north part of the state and the panhandle than in the southern parts of the state.
How To Find Fall Leaves Near Me
If you’re looking for ways to find autumn-colored leaves near you, here are some tips that can help. First, just become familiar with the types of trees that drop their leaves in the winter. If you have a mountain range nearby, there’s a very good chance it’s going to have deciduous trees that will turn fall colors.
Modern technology has also brought us many new resources that make it easier than ever before to find the best spots. For example, you can start your planning with the fall colors prediction tool on SmokyMountains.com. This tool uses meteorological data to help focus on when the colors will build, peak, and then eventually drop.
From there, you can also use a tool like Gaia GPS to find the region you want to visit. You can use the topographical map to search through satellite images from today or go back over the past few days or even two weeks. You can use these images to look for colors and this can give you a very detailed view of if the turning is happening yet.
Some people like to plan their routes the old school way – with a printed or paper map. If you’re using an app, you may still want to print your map just in case you lose signal along the way.
Fall Foliage Peak Times
Fall foliage will hit its peak colors around late September in some states and in October for most other states. Here are some of the most popular spots to see fall leaves and the best times to try to see them.
Maine Peak fall leaves
Peak times for viewing fall leaves in Maine are typically in the first week of October, although this can change from year to year. The ending of September until mid-October is ideal. You may still see some turning leaves later in the month but by November, the leaves have likely all fallen in Maine.
New Hampshire peak fall leaves
New Hampshire peak fall leaves can be viewed from late September to early October. By the middle of October, the fall foliage will likely be past its peak. While you’ll still be able to see some turning leaves, most of them will be fallen already, especially the closer you get to November.
New York peak fall leaves
October is the best time to see the changing seasons in New York state. In higher elevations such as the Adirondack Mountains, peak fall foliage will happen in early October. In the Catskills region, you can expect a peak around mid-October.
If you’re looking for autumn leaves in New York City, you’ll want to search from the end of September on. It’s usually the beginning of October when the leaves start to change in the City. They’ll peak around mid-month and be completely fallen by the beginning of November.
Vermont peak fall leaves
The peak time to see fall leaves in Vermont is mid-to-late-September and then into the start of October. The further south you go in the state, the later in the season you can see the colors peak. In the southernmost parts, mid-October may be the best time for viewing.
North Carolina peak fall leaves
North Carolina has a peak of leaves changing from the first to the second week of October. By the middle of October, the peak will be ending, and leaves will start to drop, although you will still be able to see the colors in many areas until late October or even into the start of November in some areas. In North Carolina, the fall foliage can last from 6 to 8 weeks total from start to finish.
Washington peak fall leaves
Although it is not located on the East coast, Washington State is another place that is popular for viewing fall foliage. The peak time to see fall leaves turning color in Washington is from October 11th to October 25th.
Keep in mind that these are just estimates and they can change from year to year and can be impacted by other things such as weather/climate. You can allow this post to be your guide but also check current, local weather, and leaf color predictions to help you decide when and where to go. Enjoy!
Lisa Clark is a freelance writer who grew up on farmland, then moved to the city, and has now retired back to her rural roots. She's having fun teaching her kids about gardening, planting flowers, and collecting houseplants.