Best Fall Foliage Spots Highlighted On New Forest Service Map

There’s a chill in the air, which means trees around the country will soon be sporting magnificent fall colors. If you’re planning a vacation to see the foliage, or just get outdoors a few more times before the cold set in, a new tool from the U.S. Forest Service can help.

The recently-launched  Fall Colors 2013 campaign is designed to help you figure out if and when tree colors are peaking in your state. Each region of the U.S. has a unique collection of indigenous trees, which means a diverse selection of colors and terrain to choose from. Use this handy map to find what there is to see, from wildflower to wildlife, and when and where to see it!

fall foliage USFS online map

Image via Rona Proudfoot

In addition to being a beautiful marvel of the changing seasons, fall foliage also provides a much-needed boost to rural economies across the U.S.

“The New England area alone receives an estimated $8 billion annually in local revenues from fall visitors. In the Midwest, millions of visitors hit the road to enjoy the sights, and in the West, the mountains offer destinations filled with tourists seeking views of shimmering gold aspens.”

The map is meant to help visitors and communities alike capitalize on the brief phenomenon of the changing leaves.

The online tool can be accessed easily by navigating to www.fs.fed.us/fallcolors/2013. Built using eyewitness accounts, the map is shaded in green to indicate that a region is not peaking or bright red (peaking) to brown (past peak). Another map helps visitors find a national forest nearest them to enjoy the colors of fall.

“America’s public lands, particularly our national forests, are among the most spectacular venues to view the changes in fall colors,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, in a news release. “The Forest Service offers numerous resources to help you plan your experience. Nature is closer than you may think.”

Additionally, the Forest Service is once again offering its Fall Colors Hotline at 1-800-354-4595. Dial in for audio updates on the best places, dates and routes to take for peak viewing of fall colors on national forests.

Want to know which trees you’re looking at? This iPhone App Makes Identifying Trees A Snap!

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

  • NewEnglandTravel

    That’s a great resource, thanks so much for sharing! I wasn’t aware of this service but have now bookmarked it.