Colorful leaves and good weather: Your weekend guide to fall foliage in the US

Colorful leaves and good weather: Your weekend guide to fall foliage in the US

Krystal Nurse
 USA TODAYplayShow CaptionHide Caption#videoDetailsToggle{color:var( –color-dove-gray,rgba(0,0,0,.6));cursor:pointer;display:inline-block;font-family:var(–sans-serif,sans-serif);font-size:var(–type-7);font-weight:var( –font-weight-bold,900);line-height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);margin-bottom:-8px}#vdt_hide{margin-bottom:10px}.vdt-flex[hidden]{display:none}.vdt-svg{fill:var( –color-dove-gray,rgba(0,0,0,.6));height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);width:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px)}Check out the most beautiful drives to see this year’s fall foliageLoad up the hiking boots and pumpkin spice coffee! We’re hitting the road to highlight a few amazing fall drives from USA TODAY’s 10 Best team.Scott L. Hall, USA TODAY

In much of the United States this weekend, skies are clear, temperatures are warm or seasonal and leaves are reaching their most vibrant colors.

That’s not true everywhere — There is some wet and cloudy weather forecast in the northeast, for example. But for much of the nation, there’s nothing terribly worrying in the forecast.

And this weekend there’s still plenty of fall colors to see in much of the nation. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, most states are in peak viewing season on Saturday or Sunday.

If you’re interested in soaking in the fall colors, here’s a few things to know:

Which states are at peak fall foliage this weekend?

According to Almanac estimates, Saturday or Sunday falls in peak season in parts of more than 30 states. Some regions in the northern U.S. are likely past peak and much of the south isn’t at its most colorful yet.

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The Almanac suggests people visit when leaves are near their peak and avoid rainy and windy days since the leaves get soggy. Even if there’s cloud cover, the Almanac says cloudy skies can help show a contrast in colors.


Where are some of the best places to see fall foliage?

Still haven’t gone out leaf peeping? USA TODAY’s readers voted on the best places across the country to catch the visual phenomenon.

  1. Upper Peninsula, Michigan
  2. Taos, New Mexico
  3. Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania
  4. White Mountains, New Hampshire
  5. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
  6. Aspen, Colorado
  7. Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania
  8. Ozark Mountain Region, Arkansas
  9. Stowe, Vermont
  10. Door County, Wisconsin

The National Park Service has encouraged park visitors to stop and see the forests change colors. The agency urges people to be aware of their surroundings when visiting its parks for wildlife and to watch their steps when hiking.

It encourages people to visit the following national parks to gaze at the yellow, red, orange and brown hues:

  • Blue Ridge Parkway (N.C., Virginia)
  • Cedar Breaks National Monument (Utah)
  • Glacier National Park (Missouri)
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park (N.C., Tennessee)
  • Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Texas)
  • Natchez Trace Parkway (Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee) 
  • Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)
  • Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway (Wisconsin, Minnesota)
  • Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)
  • Yosemite National Park (California)

Can’t go out to a park? The agency has webcams across its parks showing miles of forestry and wildlife.

Weather this weekend: Rain for Northeast, Midwest; warm temperatures in Plains, west

According to forecast maps from the National Weather Service, most of the country has clear skies on Saturday, with some exceptions in the northeast, midwest, Pacific Coast and southwest.

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New England and Mid-Atlantic residents are in the midst of yet another rainy weekend.


States along the Eastern seaboard, the Great Lakes and the many areas close to the Pacific Ocean should see seasonal temperatures – but huge swaths of the center of the country are in for warmer-than-average weather this weekend.

See stunning photos across the country

Contributing: Camille Fine, USA TODAY.

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