Early Fall Foliage: Here’s Where to Go and When to See Colorful Leaves ASAP

It might not technically be fall yet, but it is never too early to begin looking for those stunning fall colors we all love so much. Depending on where you are in the United States, you may already be able to catch a glimpse of the changing leaves ahead of autumn 2023. 

In most parts of the United States, fall foliage peaks around mid-October. This week, the most northern parts of the United States are beginning to see fall leaves change color, though change in some midwestern states has been predicted as well. 

If you just cannot wait for the fall foliage, here are places that will be in full fall-mode before the end of September.

New England

Image by Naphat Photography

By the end of September, New England will be almost fully entrenched in orange and yellow, making it a great destination if you’re ready to book your trip ASAP. With the leadup to Halloween, New England is a great place to go if you’re looking to get into the spooky spirit. Plan visits to Salem, Massachusetts and conjure the spirits of those lost in the witch trials. Head to Falls River, where Lizzie Borden took an ax and . . . yeah, you know the rest. 

If Halloween isn’t your thing but you still love the other activities that come with the season, hop in the car and drive to Damariscotta, Maine for Pumpkinfest on September 30th. You won’t want to miss the weigh-in competition.

Rocky Mountains

Image by Matt Anderson Photography

The trees in the Rockies will begin to shift into gorgeous fall hues in the upcoming weeks, and this is one of the best places to go if you’re looking to get a head start on your fall festivities. (Now we know why John Denver felt so deeply connected to them.) During the last two weeks of September, Rocky Mountain National Park will be a wonderful mix of greens and golds.

Rocky Mountain National Park will make a great trip if you’re just desperate for fall colors before the end of the month. Whether you choose to go deep into the woods on a backcountry hike or take a scenic drive down the road, you’re in for some beautiful views.

The Midwest

Image by Matt Anderson Photography

If you head to the Midwest towards the end of this month, you’ll get to see the leaves just before they peak for the season. States like Montana can expect to see their colorful leaves at the tail end of the month, which means it’s a great time to head out to the middle of the country and check some of those national parks and forests off your bucket list.

The Southwest

Image by Pete Lomchid

New Mexico often invokes images of red rock cliffs and cacti, but there are a number of national forests in the area that will put you in the midst of some fall foliage. Expect the leaves to start changing at the end of September. 

Source: https://outdoors.com/early-fall-foliage/