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Best Places To Visit For Vibrant Fall Foliage

The peak season to see the leaves in all their glory varies depending on the region and the weather, so it's essential to check with local sources before you plan your trip. Some destinations, like the Smoky Mountains, have a fall foliage prediction map on their website to help you gauge your stay. As a general rule, leaves begin changing colors in late September. This phenomenon can last through early November, depending on where you are in the country. Peak times to view the leaves are the second and third week of October, before Halloween.

Whether you have already created a list of favorites to tour on your fall foliage pilgrimage or looking for new spots to enjoy the hues, we've compiled a list of some top spots with the most intense colors.

Stowe, Vermont

New England is known for its color in the fall, and Stowe doesn't disappoint.

Stowe offers legendary displays from early September to late October at Vermont's highest peak base. The town has received many accolades for being the number one destination for fall foliage.

White Mountain National Forest

Located in Maine, the White Mountain National Forest is a hot spot for those looking for an annual display of color. People travel all over the world to White Mountain to view the leaves. The peak time is September through October.

Cape Cod

Leaf peeping is from mid-September to late October in Cape Cod. The best way to view the colors is to take a scenic drive along Route 6A or Old King's Highway. The Cape at Cape Cod Winery is also an excellent place to see the changing fall foliage and sample several flavors of wine.

Adirondack Mountains

The Lake Placid region of the Adirondack Mountains has one of the longest fall foliage exhibits in the country. It makes the area an excellent place to schedule an autumn getaway. The best time to plan a trip is from the last week in September through the last week of October. There are lots to do in the area, including fright nights, apple picking, wine tasting, and corn mazes. The Adirondacks have something for everyone.

Catskill Mountains

The Catskill Mountains are in the southeastern portion of New York State. The Catskills provide the perfect backdrop for fall colors, from the tallest mountains to rolling hills. Take a hike or a scenic drive or stop at one of the farms stands for homemade cider.

Niagara Falls

It's one of the favorite and most beautiful regions in New York; Niagara Falls is surrounded by hardwoods that display golden yellow, rusty red, and burnt orange leaves. Top spots to view the colors include Niagara Falls State Park, Devil's Hole State Park, and Goat Island.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Most known for its beautiful beaches, the Outer Banks is also home to Kitty Hawk Woods, Sandy Run Park, and Nags Head Woods. All three parks have dense hardwoods that bring a world of color to the area. To get the most out of the display, take a hike along the trails and have a picnic lunch.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg, where the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is located, is also a popular destination for those looking for fall colors who live in the region. Colors can be seen as early as mid-September and last through mid-October and as late as early November. The most brilliant colors come from beech, maple, hobblebush, cherry, and birch trees that dot the landscape.

Yellowstone National Park

Fall is colorful at Yellowstone National Park. Summer crowds are thinning out, and wildlife is easy to spot. America's oldest park comes alive with color from the last week in September to the first week of October. Remember that Yellowstone weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to bring snow chains or tires if you plan to peek at the fall leaves.

Grand Canyon

The Kaibab National Forest is located along the northern rim of the Grand Canyon. Aspens can be found at higher elevations, while oaks and honey locusts don't disappoint at lower altitudes. The peak fall color is the first week in October.

Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge is known for its towering peaks and winter snow, but fall is the perfect time to enjoy the views and changing colors of the aspen trees. The best time to visit is early to mid-September. The city offers hiking trails and events like the Craft Spirits Festival.

Hood River, Oregon

The big leaf maple is native to Oregon. These large leaves turn gold and yellow and are easy to spot on any drive. Hood River is also home to dogwood and oak trees that display colorful palettes. Part of the Oregon Trail, Hood River also offers activities like apple picking, hiking routes, wineries, and farm stands perfect for a fall getaway.

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington

The Pacific Northwest is best known for its evergreen trees, mainly fir, cedar, and hemlock. There are a few areas, like Lake Ann and the Maple Pass Loop Trail, where colors come alive in the fall. The season peaks in mid-October when the maple trees display yellow, red, and orange colors. Lake Ann provides a beautiful backdrop for photographs.

Apple Fruit Trees - TN Nursery

Apple Fruit Trees

Apple Trees are valuable contributors to local ecosystems. Their blossoms provide nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinators, aiding in pollinating nearby plants. When they fall, the leaves add organic matter to the soil, enriching its fertility and promoting a healthy microorganism population. Enjoy the Beauty and Fruits of Apple Trees They produce pink blossoms anywhere between the middle of April and the middle of May. The number of frost hours (usually ranging from 500 to 1,000 hours) that the plant endures during winter dormancy and the varietal determine the precise date. All types typically develop leaves about four weeks before they bloom. Each of the ten ovules at the base of a bloom contains an egg cell that, if fertilized, grows into a fruit. When they are in full bloom, their white and pink blossoms release a delicious fragrance reminiscent of fruit. They also have a fruity scent. Encourage Pollination With Apple Trees Apple Trees attract pollinators throughout the spring by feeding bees, butterflies, and moths nectar. The flower's base is where the fruit grows after pollination and fertilization. When the petals fall off, the produce results from the base ovary expanding. The fallen flowers provide a healthy diet for the produce that falls to the ground in the fall. The blossoms in the spring and the leaves in the autumn contribute to the plant's aesthetic value. They are beautiful in the spring with their brilliantly colored blooms, which might be white, pink, or red. They mature into shades of red, purple, and gold throughout the autumn. Protect Wildlife With Apple Trees Because Apple Trees provide food and shelter, they benefit wildlife. Spiders like them for the water and sugar they provide. Bees love the nectar and pollen. Buds found on the plant offer essential nutrients for bullfinches. During the winter, several bird species use holes in them to nest or store food—animals like deer, raccoons, turkeys, and mice like them.

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River Birch Tree - TN Nursery

River Birch Tree

The River Birch Tree is a medium-sized deciduous type native to North America. It is prized for its distinctive peeling bark, triangular leaves, and tolerance for wet or poorly drained soils. It is highly valued in landscaping for its aesthetic appeal, adaptability, and numerous benefits. With their unique characteristics and practical advantages, river birches are famous for enhancing outdoor spaces. The River Birch Tree is a deciduous shade-giver with charming, ornamental features for every season. It grows quickly, averaging up to 40 feet tall with a proportionate 30-foot canopy, and it is best known for its vibrant leaves and unusual bark.   River Birch Tree Has Stunning Foliage It showcases true forest green foliage. Serrated edges give each leaf character, and the leaves grow on delicate branches that move easily with the wind. The leaves' alternating arrangement gives them space to flutter, and the combined effect catches the eye in even a light breeze. In autumn, the green turns to gold. This gorgeous plant puts on a bright show at the end of the growing season. A single plant or small stand can add seasonal color to gardens after the summer flowers have had their turn. River Birch Tree Has Unique Bark As lovely as its leaves are, this plant's claim to fame is its bark. Contrasting colors pop, and this species' vivid black, white, brown, and salmon bark looks like an Impressionist painting brought to life. The bark naturally peels in papery layers as it grows, creating a shifting display that has enchanted artists and poets for centuries. It's a wonderful trait for gardens and landscape designs. Even without leaves, this plant adds color and visual texture throughout the year. River Birch Tree Has Flowers It has unusual flowers. Instead of petaled blooms in spring, their catkins decorate otherwise bare branches through winter. The catkins grow larger in early spring, and the unusual flowers are relatively discreet. They serve as points of interest for guests and hopeful, seasonal signals that a long, hard winter is ending. River Birch Tree invites nature into any space. They're great choices for birdwatchers because they attract hummingbirds and various songbirds. Seeds from fertilized catkins draw many species, and their structure also supports safe nests, so it isn't unusual for chicks to grow up singing in one. Several types of butterflies visit them as well. These plants deliver practical and ornamental benefits for landscapers seeking fast-growing and attractive trees. Their shade, colors, and feathered guests transform outdoor spaces into welcoming environments.

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