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It’s Time to Go Leaf Peeping!
Fall is such a beautiful time of the year across the U.S., especially in those areas where the changing colors of the leaves are putting on a dazzling show. Here are some great places to go leaf peeping. And just in case we haven’t covered your neck of the woods, the nice folks at Weather.com have published a map that shows peak fall foliage times across the country.
Door County, Wisconsin
If you imagine the state of Wisconsin as being shaped like a mitten, Door County would be the thumb, and this peninsula, which is surrounded by Lake Michigan and Green Bay, contains 300 miles of shoreline. To view the fall colors, which are projected to be at their peak in mid-October this year, you can drive north along the Green Bay side of the peninsula then return down the Lake Michigan side. Along the way, you’ll find apple orchards and seven picturesque lighthouses.
Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina
It’s easy to see why Great Smoky Mountain National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the U.S. In addition to its spectacular natural beauty, the park is home to more than 100 species of trees that “paint” the park in shades of red, gold, orange and purple in the fall. Peak viewing times depend on elevation, but colors start to change at above 4,000 feet in early to mid-October.
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
This popular area in central Missouri offers a variety scenic drives where you can see the forests’ colors turn to shades of gold, russet, scarlet and mahogany throughout October. The Missouri Department of Conservation even offers a free MO Fall Colors app for Android and iPhones that will let you browse up-to-minute fall-color scenes around the state and use GPS info to navigate to them.
New Hampshire’s Lakes Region
If you love lakes, this is the place for you, because there are more than 270 of them in this region. They make the fall colors all the more beautiful because they’re reflected in the water. The area is sheltered from strong coastal winds, which helps extend the leaf peeping season through late October.
The Berkshires, Massachusetts
In addition to offering stunning views of forests transforming themselves into shades of red and gold, this area is a great place to wander through small towns, go antiquing or sample fresh-pressed apple cider. Fall colors usually peak around the first week in October, and one scenic drive to consider is to take Route 7 between Sheffield and Williamstown.
Mount Baker Highway, Washington
Originally built in the 1800s as an access road for the logging industry, the Mount Baker Highway stretches between Bellingham and 5,140-foot Artists Point which offers spectacular views of Mount Baker. You’ll discover plenty of great photo ops along the way.
Silver Falls State Park, Oregon
Located less than an hour east of Salem, this 9,200 acre park is considered to be the state’s “crown jewel.” As though spectacular fall colors weren’t enough, it also contains a series of waterfalls, including one that towers 177 feet tall. The park also offers over 25 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking.
As the philosopher Albert Camus once said, “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” We hope you can plan a camping trip in the very near future so you can enjoy some of nature’s colorful fall “flowers.”