“Thousands of people take trips to see the spectacular show of foliage colors as leaves change each autumn and many of those visits are to national forests," said former Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth. "I am proud that our national forests are some of the best places to view the season’s colors and that the Forest Service can help visitors find the best spots to catch the show."
The toll-free fall color hotline can be accessed beginning in September at (800) 354-4595. Callers will be greeted with an automated voice system and can hear weekly updates on peak color in different regions of the country. You can actually follow the fall foliage color wave as it moves across North America.
The Forest Service manages 133,087 miles of recreational trails and 136 scenic byways which guide visitors along scenic corridors to witness this natural phenomenon. Statistics show an estimated 350 million visits annually to national forests, grasslands and prairies.
The peak season for fall viewing in national forests begins in September and continues through early November. However, the timing and length of the fall color season is also affected by weather and other factors which can be predicted.
Forest Service officials indicate that starting in the higher elevations of the northeast, foliage changes will progress to the lower elevations and southward throughout October and November. Due to moisture differences this summer, some States may experience varying degrees of leaf color and early leaf dropping.
The Forest Service hotline will be current through mid-November.