There’s been a change in the air recently.
Although we can try to deny it, leaves are already starting to change color as the fall season is upon us. And even though there are still a few weeks left of summer, it’s not too early to begin thinking about a trip to the woods to see the fall foliage.
And for those planning for travel during peak times of leaves changing, SmokyMountains.com is here to help with its annual Fall Foliage Map.
The map uses an algorithm developed from tons of data — like historical temperatures and forecast precipitation from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — to create a predictive map of when trees will reach peak viewing status around the country. The algorithm then produces a county-by-county breakdown of when colorful leaves are expected to peak that you can toggle through week-by-week.
“Similar to any meteorological forecast, leaf predictions will never be 100% accurate,” company founder and statistical expert David Angotti said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure. “However, after publishing our predictive fall foliage map for nearly a decade, we are quite confident in our data sources, process, and algorithm.”
Courtesy of SmokyMountains.com
And this year, to make the map even more accurate, the website will publish a mid-season update for regions that tend to peak later. A second version of the map will go live around mid-September for end-of-season leaf-peeping.
“Our experience combined with a scheduled mid-season update has us especially confident about this year’s predictions,” Angotti said. “Our goal is that this data-based, interactive tool will increase the number of people that are able to enjoy peak fall in 2021.”
Whether you’re trying to figure out when’s the perfect time to go for a long drive or when to plan the perfect outdoor photoshoot, the Fall Foliage Map has all the information you need to guarantee your most colorful autumn ever. And if you’re looking for additional trip help, SmokyMountains.com also put together a list of the best places to go leaf peeping in all 50 states.
See below for times of the year of peak foliage around the country:
New York: Most of New York state will hit its peak fall foliage the week of Oct. 4, but there should be great viewing from Sept. 20 through Oct. 25.
Vermont: Optimal viewing from Sept. 20 through Oct. 4, although the leaves will begin to change in early September.
Maine: Leaves in Maine will create the perfect backdrop will happen during the week of Sept. 20. The state will peak the week of Oct. 4 and nearly all the leaves will be past peak by Oct. 18.
North Carolina: North Carolina’s leaf patterns move east across the state. The first leaves in the western part of the state will begin to peak the week of Oct. 11. By Oct. 25, the entire state should peak and the show will be pretty much over by Nov. 1.
New Hampshire: Leaves in New Hampshire will be at their best the week of Sept. 27. By Oct. 18, most of the state will have changed.
Washington: Washington state leaves are expected to hit their peak the week of Oct. 11 and past their peak by Oct. 25.