Photo op: This interactive foliage map will help you plan your fall adventures

interactive foliage map for fall prediction

If it’s hot and humid where you are right now, rest assured that cooler weather is just around the corner.

Fall is a big relief for many folks as it allows us to venture outdoors again secure in the knowledge that our bodies won’t spring multiple leaks for sweat to pour forth, leaving our clothes looking like we just emerged from a lake.

The more comfortable weather also means the arrival of those beautiful fall colors with the foliage exploding into a fiery display of vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows.

If you’re planning to get out and about in the coming months, then you might want to take a quick look at the interactive Predictive Fall Color Map before you plan your route.

Described by its creator, tourism website SmokyMountains, as “the ultimate visual planning guide to the annual progressive changing of the leaves,” the map lets you pull a date slider from left to right that reveals how the leaves will change and where the colors will peak across the U.S. from now through mid-November.

The color key describes the foliage as no change (that’s now), minimal, patchy, partial, near peak, peak, and past peak.

SmokyMountains points out that “no tool can be 100 percent accurate,” but adds that its own effort “is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year.”

Photo opportunity

Using data collated from social media, Nikon each year designates the best state for fall foliage photography. For the last two years Michigan has taken the top spot, with New York taking the title in 2015.

While New England is one of the most popular parts of the country among those keen to enjoy the autumn colors, there are a number of other locations across the U.S. that offer up their own dazzling displays of color.

Of course, SmokyMountains would be delighted if you paid a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, too, to marvel at its own fall spectacle. Straddling the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains foliage will peak toward the end of October, according to the interactive map.


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