Pumpkin spice lattes have officially landed, Costco is stocking Halloween costumes and candy corn has hit the grocery store shelves which can only mean one thing: fall is coming. Along with the season of trick-or-treaters and pumpkins comes the the breathtaking sight of autumn leaves changing colors. If you’re wondering when is the best time to see fall foliage, look no further than this awesome interactive map that will tell you where and when to look.

Using a complex algorithm to analyze millions of data points collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—such as historical temperatures and precipitation—SmokyMountains.com has created a predictive map that displays the peak of leaf season across the country.

The fall foliage season varies across the United States and the peak changes from year to year based on the annual temperatures and rainfall. “Although simply entering rainfall, temperature data, elevations and other data points into a model will never be 100 percent accurate, this combined with our proprietary, historical data drives our model to become more accurate each year,” explained Wes Melton creator of the map and co-founder and CTO of SmokyMountains.com.

He added, “However, unexpected rainfall that falls well outside of expected trends can always change the peak foliage dates and brilliance.”

You can try the map for yourself below:

According to this year’s map, the season will begin with the first peak at the beginning of October in the northeast and some mountain regions. From there, the peak will spread with the majority of the country hitting and passing peak by mid-November.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Greg Shields via Unsplash



Amtrak’s Fall Foliage Train Ride Is a Perfect Family Getaway—& It’s Under $60

10 Art Projects That Feature Fall Foliage

14 Amusement Parks That Are Way Better in the Fall