Summer, shmummer. Everyone knows the truly best time of the year is the fall. It brings comfy sweaters, cozy nights, pumpkin-spiced lattes, and, of course, beautiful fall foliage. There’s something about seeing a countryside lit up in cascading waves of orange, reds, and yellows that never gets old.
Yet while fall is officially just a few weeks away for America, not all areas of the country will begin to see the leaves turning color at the same time. That’s where the SmokyMountains.com Fall Foliage Prediction Map comes in. The interactive map shows you when and where the leaves will change in your part of the country based on the progression of change.
For the richest viewing experience, you’ll want to take your scenic trips when your area of the country is in the “near peak” (dark orange on the map) or “peak” range (maroon on the map). One caveat, though. The Fall Foliage Prediction Map is just that—a prediction, not a guarantee. Everything from temperature to rainfall can speed up or slow down the changing of the leaves. But as the SmokyMountains website notes, “While no tool can be 100% accurate, this tool is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year.”
Taking day trips to see the leaves this year might have an extra benefit than just appreciating the beauty of nature, too. It’s an activity that makes it very easy to socially distance, and thus is perfect in the age of the pandemic.