It’s not too late to see the fall colors!

I’ve had a tough time lately keeping up with this blog. Unfortunately sometimes life happens you don’t get to do all the stuff you promise yourself you will do. It’s actually very painful for me at this point to see  another day go by without having another post on my blog. 2019 has been a tough year for me (maybe when I’m in the mood, I’ll talk more about it). Anyway ever since my summer trip to Europe, I have been yearning to get back out and work on my landscape photography. Because of work and other commitments, I literally had one weekend to fly out and take in the beautiful fall foliage.

Timing is everything when it comes to finding the perfect fall colors. While there are many valuable resources to figure out where the fall colors are peaking at any given time, none of them have been completely accurate because of the milder than usual temperatures. At the moment the fall foliage map looks as follows with brown indicating past peak locations:

In general the rule of thumb for 2019 has been: everything is a week later than what this resource indicates. Last weekend I flew to Philadelphia and drove all the way up to Green Mountains in Vermont. I didn’t see much color at all south of Poughkeepsie, NY with the higher elevations (Adirondacks etc) already being at peak or just past it. My cousin and I camped out in the Catskills on Friday night and this was the scene we woke up to:

Sunrise at a pond in the Catskill Mountains

As you can see there are quite a few reds on top of the hills, but at the same time there are plenty of bare trees. From what I could see, the best time to visit a location is actually just before peak because that’s the period when there are the fewest bare trees. 

On my drive from Philly to Vermont, the best colors I hit were around Bennington, Vermont where there were plenty of colors, but none of the trees were bare of leaves. The hills and mountains in the area saw way more variation with certain hills having lots of reds, but many barren trees as well.

Bennington, Vermont with peak autumnal colors.

Some of the places I’ve enjoyed fall colors around the same time as now:

  • Nature Reserves and Forests in New Jersey/Pennsylvania
  • NYC/Philadelphia
  • Washington DC/Northern Virginia
  • Boston

 

If mountains and fall colors are what you are looking for there are still plenty of locations to visit. While the best colors in New England and Colorado are probably now behind us, there are a couple of areas where you can still catch some mountains/hills and fall colors:

  • Poconos (peak is probably this week)
  • Shenandoah National Park (likely two weekends from now)

Mid-November should see the following peaking:

  • The Great Smoky Mountains
About Fall Foliage in Europe:

Fall colors in parts of Western Europe come about a bit later than the United States, but the time is no less magical especially with the Alps as the backdrop for them. Last year I saw fall colors during the very last week of November in Switzerland (see the image below) just as the Christmas markets were opening and the first snow had made its way down!

 

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Areas I would recommend visiting (to name a few) are:

  • Germany’s Black Forest
  • Bavaria
  • Dolomites of Italy
  • Switzerland (Emmental Valley etc)
  • Lake Bled, Slovenia
  • Highlands of Scotland

Bottom Line:

Anyway as October comes to an end, panic does start to set in for many that they missed the best of the fall foliage. So I just wanted to share the news that it isn’t too late at all. This is especially true this year with the unseasonably warm weather predominating.

Where/When do you plan on taking in the fall foliage this season?