ACTIVE TRAVEL SERIES: Leaf Peeping Time is Here

Colorful leaves in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Colorful leaves on Foothills Parkway West in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in late October. Photo: Deposit Photos

First, an ode to Fall by Kahlil Gibran …

Said a Blade of Grass

“Said a blade of grass to an autumn leaf, “You make such a noise falling!

You scatter all my winter dreams.”

Said the leaf indignant, “Low-born and low-dwelling!

Songless, peevish thing! You live not in the upper air and you cannot tell the sound of singing.”

Then the autumn leaf lay down upon the earth and slept.

And when spring came she waked again—and she was a blade of grass.

And when it was autumn and her winter sleep was upon her,

and above her through all the air the leaves were falling,

she muttered to herself, “O these autumn leaves! They make such noise!

They scatter all my winter dreams.”

Now that you are in the mood … Yes, fall is here, and the leaves, they are a falling. Before the autumn leaves hit the grass, it’s time for a quick road trip to enjoy the scenery, sip a pumpkin latte or hot mulled wine, or go pumpkin or apple picking.

Where to go?

If you are looking for ideas, check out the latest Smoky Mountains fall foliage map , which covers the entire United States and determines when the vibrant colors of fall will peak in each county.

The fall leaf map is intuitive and easy to use. When you visit the page, you will see a slider at the bottom. The slider will be set to the current week. You can slide the slider to the right to see the predicted progression of fall. The green indicates the trees in that area of the country have not begun to change colors. The brown color means that the leaves are past their peak.

The remaining colors show a colorful depiction of the progression of fall.

The creator of the fall leaf map is David Angotti, a statistical expert and the founder of As an Airline Transport Pilot, Angotti was required to fully understand weather patterns and was highly trained in using meteorological tools. These weather sources, predictive tools, and the brand’s existing data from previous years are the backbone of the 2023 fall leaf map.

Caption: Example of the Smoky Mountains Fall Foliage map progression.

To help you zero in on when and where to go, here are the leaf-peeping suggestions from

For Tennessee Fall Foliage:

Tennessee is expected to peak in mid-October from October 23rd-27th, with the lower elevations in mid-November.

For Vermont Fall Foliage:

Fall foliage here should peak around early October, with the ultimate peak being around October 9th-13th. Though, you may be able to catch some beautiful colors in the southern part of the state through late October.

For Washington Fall Foliage:

In Washington State, you can expect to see the leaves begin changing around the end of September, with their peak between October 9th-13th. The end of peak is around late October.

For New York Fall Foliage:

Minimal peak season in New York starts (in the northern part of the state) around
late-September and lasts until about October 7th. Peak season is from October 9th-13th..It starts to go past peak in mid-October.

For Maine Fall Foliage:

In the northern half of Maine, you can expect near peak fall color around October 2nd. For the ultimate peak, it should start around October 9th-13th. Maine will reach past peak around

For Maryland Fall Foliage:

In mid-October of this year, Maine begins to change into its vibrant yellow colors, with the ultimate peak being around October 23rd until the 27th. It goes past its peak in early November.

For New Hampshire Fall Foliage:

Upper New Hampshire starts to peak around early October, but the majority of counties can expect the peak to appear around the second week of October. Expect the best colors at their peak between October 2nd-6th (in the northern half) and October 9th-13th (in the southern portion).

For Rhode Island Fall Foliage:

Expect the leaves in Rhode Island to peak in early-October around October 9th and last until October 20th. You can see the dwindle past its peak in later October.

For North Carolina Fall Foliage:

The leaves begin changing in North Carolina around early to mid-October, but you can expect
peak color in most of the state between October 23rd until around the 30th.

For Oregon Fall Foliage:

The leaves start to minimally peak around October 9th, with the full displays of color around mid
to late October, like October 23rd-Nov 6th.


So, don’t miss the beautiful fall foliage this year … before the leaves hit the grass. Timing is everything!

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