Excited for all things Fall? Get a jump start on planning your autumn activities with the help of this interactive fall foliage map. It shows the predicted "peak" times for Fall colors across the whole country. The northern states tend to peak around early October, while some of the southern states last until late November.

Locally, the QC area is set to peak between October 26th and November 2nd. Just in time for Halloween!

via smokymountains.com
via smokymountains.com

If you're planning to take a drive up north to view the colors you'll need to go a little earlier. The majority of Wisconsin's Fall foliage will be the most colorful between October 12th and 19th.

Going even farther north to Minnesota or Michigan? September 28th through October 5th is the peak time. This is also the time most of the Rocky Mountains are in full color.

While we love to admire the reds and oranges of the changing leaves, why do they change color anyway? Believe it or not, the warm shades are actually their "true" colors. According to the Smoky Mountain National Park website, chlorophyll produced by leaves in earlier seasons is what changes their color to green. As the production of Chlorophyll slows in the colder months, the leaves' "natural" colors to begin to show.

Eventually the tree cuts off all nutrients to its leaves, which causes them to fall to the ground. This helps protect the tree through the winter while also supplying the soil surrounding the tree with a rich source of nutrients for the next year. Nature knows how to recycle!



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