The season of scarves, sweaters, and pumpkin spice everything is almost upon us. No matter how you feel about the end of summer, it's hard not to appreciate the colorful foliage when it reaches its peak in autumn. Those red, orange, and gold leaves may be visible outside your window sooner than you think, and this interactive map from SmokyMountains.com shows you exactly when to expect them.
Fall foliage normally peaks some time after the autumnal equinox, which falls on September 22 in 2022; but exactly when depends on variables like rainfall and temperature. Each year, the tourism website SmokyMountains.com looks at weather forecasts and historical trends from NOAA and puts together an interactive map showing when foliage is predicted to peak across the contiguous U.S.
Fall foliage is projected to arrive in the U.S. slightly later this year compared to 2021. In 2022, most of New England, a place famous for its leaf-peeping, will see the brightest leaves by October 10. Peak foliage won't reach the southern-most parts of New England, in lower Connecticut and Rhode Island, until October 17. Around October 24, parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana will be treated to the most spectacular leaves of the season, and in southern states like South Carolina and Georgia, peak foliage shows up between November 7 and November 14. By November 21, the fall foliage will have passed its peak everywhere except Texas, Louisiana, and Florida.
By sliding the scale beneath the map at SmokyMountains.com, you can see when foliage is expected to peak in your part of the country. You can also use the tool to plan trips around the changing leaves.
If you can't pick just one spot to take in the foliage this fall, you don't have to—here are the best spots around the world for watching the leaves change.
This story has been updated for 2022.