With fall foliage season fast approaching, travelers concerned with getting the timing right for autumn road trips and weekend getaways have a freshly updated online tool at their disposal.
The 2023 Fall Foliage Prediction Map is now available at SmokyMountains.com. Despite the website's name and its role as a travel booking platform for the mountains of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, the interactive map displays foliage predictions for all of the contiguous U.S.
Visit the map's online home or use the embedded version below to find when leaves are expected to hit peak color near you or wherever you plan to be this autumn. Move the slider at the bottom of the graphic to see fall's progression across 12 weeks, from September 4 to November 20.
Green areas indicate parts of the country where the leaves haven't turned yet; brown means the leaves are past their peak. The yellows, oranges, and reds in between illustrate the patchy-to-peak spectrum explained in the map's legend.
SmokyMountains.com has released its annual leaf map since 2013. According to a statement, the site's researchers use a "refined data model that depends on a combination of factors, including historical temperature and precipitation, forecast temperature and precipitation, the type of tree known to be prominent in that geographic region, the historical trends in that area, and user data."
Having introduced a form last year to allow users to file their own reports about the leaves they peeped, SmokyMountains.com has improved that feature in 2023 by giving users the chance to submit photos as well.
If you're not much of a visual learner, the site's foliage experts have also provided the following predictions for when autumn leaves will hit peak color in 10 states with reliably impressive fall displays.
Tennessee: October 23–27 (mid-November in lower elevations)
Vermont: October 9–13, though "you may be able to catch some beautiful colors in the southern part of the state through late October"
Washington State: October 9–13
New York State: late September to October 7 for "minimal peak"; October 9–13 for peak
Maine: October 2 for "near peak" in the northern part of the state; "ultimate peak" October 9–13
Maryland: "vibrant yellow colors" in mid-October, peaking October 23–27
New Hampshire: October 2–6 in the northern half of the state, October 9–13 in the south
Rhode Island: October 9–20
North Carolina: October 23–30
Oregon: October 23–November 6
For more information and to keep tabs on fall foliage all season long, go to SmokyMountains.com.
And for a New England–centric foliage forecast, see our report on Yankee magazine's predictions for 2023.