AccuWeather's Fall Foliage Map Predicts Some Surprising Locations for Leaf Peeping This Year

Here's where you need to go for the most vibrant foliage displays.

<p>Matt Anderson Photography/Getty Images</p>

Matt Anderson Photography/Getty Images

Labor Day is behind us, which means it’s time to unpack the cozy sweaters, warm mittens, and oversized scarves and start plotting out those leaf-peeping adventures. But before you book, you may want to hear about AccuWeather’s fall foliage forecast because it’s listing some rather surprising must-see destinations for this season's leaves.

This year, according to the team at AccuWeather, the best time to see fall foliage across much of the nation, including in prime spots like New England, the upper Midwest, and the Rocky Mountains, will be in late September and into early October this year. That will be followed by the Appalachians, the Ohio Valley, and the rest of the Midwest in mid-October, with the season closing at the end of October in Washington, Oregon, and California.

<p>Courtesy of AccuWeather</p>

Courtesy of AccuWeather

However, while people have come to know and love the New England region for its typically spectacular fall foliage displays, AccuWeather’s senior meteorologist Paul Pastelok, said that this year, hardcore peepers may want to head west.

"The best places to check out the fall foliage this season is probably going to be across the Northeast, the Great Lakes in the upper Midwest, and then even the West," he explained. "The aspens should come out looking really good in late September to mid-October."

AccuWeather’s fall foliage map also points to Northern California, southern Idaho, much of Utah, and large swaths of Colorado as key destinations in the West. However, due to heat waves this summer and windy conditions expected in the early fall, Pastelok predicts that much of the southern U.S. will have a less-than-stellar foliage year, including northern Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and surrounding states.

"On top of that,” Pastelok said, “we could see a big change in October where some cold air can come down, causing an early frost.”

See AccuWeather’s full foliage forecast at

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