Skip to main content

Fall Foliage Forecast: Where and When to See the Leaves Change in 2019

It’s hard to admit that summer wraps in just two weeks. Fall is around the corner, bringing with it a parade of flannel, seasonal hard ciders, and pumpkin-spiced everything. It also signals the annual turning of the foliage throughout the U.S. “Leaf-peeping” has never sounded sexy. For most of us, it recalls convoys of tour buses packed with blue-haired, camera-clutching senior citizens cruising the highways of New England in search of the perfect “peep.”

There’s no denying, however, that it’s the best time of year to head outdoors. The weather is perfect, the crowds begin to thin out, and nature explodes in one last, brilliant photogenic fireworks display before the arrival of winter. But that display is mercilessly brief. If you take your peeping seriously — if you’re the kind of outdoorsman who plans ahead — it’s important to know when and where the leaves will turn.

Related Videos

Despite the climate change “hoax,” average annual temperatures throughout the U.S. have continued to climb in the last few decades. This year was no different. Higher temperatures around the Atlantic will translate to a later start to this year’s peak foliage. Much of the country will see the most dazzling colors in the first two weeks of October. For this year’s complete fall foliage forecast, we look once again to’s annual fall foliage prediction map.

New England

Maine river

Believe it or not, the leaves have already begun to turn in some parts of northern Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. For 2019, the foliage should peak throughout all six New England states at the end of September into the first week of October. The best colors are often found in Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where the forest is rich with oak, sugar maple, and alder trees. Especially in the fall, it’s not hard to find a patch of brilliantly exploding nature all to yourself. Pack your hiking boots and kayak, head north on I-91 or I-93, and drop off the interstate at any reasonably interesting exit.

The Midwest

The Midwest

The best, most brilliant fall foliage in the U.S. is found closest to the Canadian border. In the Midwest, that means heading to northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota is another great bet with scarlet, birch, and yellow aspen blanketing the terrain in every direction. In the state’s Brainerd Lakes region, you’re likely to catch a fantastic display of oak, aspen, birch, and maple. For 2019, foliage in the Midwest is expected to peak around early October, with colors fading fast by the middle of the month.

The Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Mountains

Leaf-peeping in The Rocky Mountains is more fleeting, unpredictable, and dramatic than anywhere in the U.S. Coupled with spectacular natural scenery, those same reasons also make it the most rewarding destination. This year, the best colors should be on display around October 5. The peak window is extremely brief here and typically lasts only a week. With its long list of incredible state and national parks, Colorado is an ideal choice. Check out Aspen or Telluride where the mountain’s free, eight-mile gondola ride takes visitors over a stunning blanket of quaking golden aspen.

Editors' Recommendations

Where to See the Elusive Southern Lights
where to see southern lights mt wellington tasmania getty images 614326453 v2

Seeing the Northern Lights is high on most travelers’ bucket lists. With a little preparation and the right timing, they’re surprisingly easy to spot throughout much of Canada and the northern United States. The Southern Lights, cousin to the Northern Lights, are however far more elusive. Blame it on the lack of easily accessible land in the Southern Hemisphere from which to view them. From Tasmania and New Zealand to Argentina and Antarctica, here are the best places to catch one of the world’s most elusive natural phenomena.
Ushuaia, Argentina

Best known as the jumping-off point for most Antarctic cruises, Ushuaia is the southernmost town in Argentina and arguably the world. The so-called “End of the World” is situated at the extreme tip of South America, making it the best spot on the continent for Southern Lights viewing. While it’s a long -- perhaps overnight -- flight for most North Americans, it’s likely the most convenient location on this list for catching the aurora australis. It’s more densely populated than most travelers expect, however, which means renting a car to escape the light pollution is almost required. The town is also infamous for its unpredictable weather patterns, so patience is just as essential.
South Georgia Island & Antarctica

Read more
Why You Should Visit Yukon, Canada
yukon canada travel guide  2019 17

The Yukon is one of those destinations we hear or read about online, in travel articles, or through documentaries. It’s a place so remote that most of us can only imagine what really goes on there. It can be freezing, naturally gorgeous, and super adventurous. Visiting the Yukon in northwest Canada is also a year-round possibility as the region is open for business even in the depths of winter. Flights into Whitehorse, one of the two major cities in the territory, are easier to come by than you might think. Just be sure to pack your cold-weather gear if headed there during the winter, which you should, because it’s so damn cold that it’s actually fun. What follows are some of the winter highlights that one can only experience in Yukon, Canada. Grab your hand warmers and read on.


Read more
Fall Foliage Forecast: Where and When to See the Leaves Change in 2018
Canadian Rocky Mountians

Fall is here. That means it’s time for pumpkin-spiced everything, Oktoberfest, and leaf-peeping. If you think the latter is only for senior citizens and fanny-pack-wearing Midwestern housewives, you’re not entirely wrong. However, if you love trees and pretty colors and scenic grandeur, the annual turning of the leaves here in the United States is the ideal time to kickstart fall hiking season. Here are our predictions of where and when to enjoy the best fall foliage for 2018.
New England

The leaves have begun to turn in some areas of the Northeastern United States. For 2018, the foliage should fully peak around the second week of October (October 8-15) in upstate New York and northern New England (Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine), and just begin to peak in Massachusetts at that time. Thanks to the abundance of sugar maple, oak, and alder trees, Stowe, Vermont and The White Mountains offer some of the best leaf-peeping in New England. However, fall is also the region’s busiest time of year on the roads and hiking trails. Head north on I-91 or I-93, and look for the many less-trafficked secondary roads to escape the tourist crowds. For a bucket-list-worthy, foliage-focused adventure, check out the area’s ziplining, skydiving, and gliding experiences. For a more relaxed experience, Amtrak’s Great Dome Car offers panoramic views of the changing leaves in the Adirondack Mountains. For 2018, the vintage car once again travels the Adirondack line from upstate New York to Montreal.
The Midwest

Read more