Stay Safe While Viewing the Fall Foliage

Trees are starting to change color in the Rocky Mountains this week, and next week, New England, the Eastern Seaboard and the Pacific Northwest will begin the annual change. Much of the Midwest will peak mid-October, and areas further south will see trees start to change toward the end of the month. Plan ahead to see the spectacle on a fall hike or drive; with COVID-19 still restricting travel, however, remember to check all local, state and county regulations, says The Points Guy, “and prioritize your health and safety, no matter where in the country you plan to travel.”

Find out When Fall Foliage Will Peak

As of this week, 2021’s interactive fall foliage map shows the leaves nearing their peak fall colors in cool areas such as northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, as well as in the Rocky Mountain states of Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Depending on your location, most people in the U.S. will several weeks to witness the change progress; simply use the map’s sliders to find your location and get ready for a walk in the woods or a scenic drive — or plan a trip to another region.

Why the Leaves Change Color

With fall officially underway, the leaves on many varieties of deciduous trees are starting to change color in northern climes. Why? Because chlorophyll production is declining, and as a result, the leaves lose their green color and reveal their true underlying color, says Beta-carotene produces orange leaves, anthocyanin produces reds and flavonols yellows. To protect themselves from winter’s harsh temperatures, perennial trees cut off leaves’ supply of water and nutrients to hibernate.