As fall approaches, get ready for lower temperatures, shorter days, longer nights, and plenty of rain. Fall is a beautiful time of year, and it doesn’t happen magically! When there’s less sunlight, trees produce less chlorophyll, the pigment that makes leaves green during warmer times of the year. With less chlorophyll cycling through the plant, other pigments can show through.


Plants types and their fall leaf colors:
     
  • Oak – yellow and red

  • Dogwood – red and purple

  • Maple –  depending on type, can be orange, red, or yellow

  • Sumac – red

  • Birch – yellow

  • Hickory – bronze

Make sure you venture out to view fall colors at their peak! Northern-most regions, areas closest to water, and areas at higher elevations experience fall color first. Don’t miss out; Leaves will all turn brown and drop by winter, as any part of the tree that isn’t able to survive the cold is shed to protect the rest of the tree.


Pennsylvania


Visit Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest region and venture out onto the Kinzua Sky Walk. Experience northern Pennsylvania’s fall foliage in a 360-degree view from the highest remaining pillar of what was once the longest and highest viaduct in the world. Before a tornado struck the viaduct, it extended over 2,000 feet across the Kinzua Gorge. Its remains now stand as a pedestrian bridge surrounded by trees.


What you’ll see:
     
  • Red maple

  • Sugar maple

  • Black birch

  • Cherry

New Jersey


Head over to Cheesequake State Park in central New Jersey to hike a four-mile loop, made leisurely by the plentiful boardwalks and platform bridges. This is a great beginner trail as the boardwalks elevate hikers over any marshy areas.


What you’ll see:
     
  • White cedar

  • Pine

  • Oak

Maryland


For a seaside fall foliage experience, visit Assateague State Park on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Further inland beyond the dunes of beach grass and far enough away from the ocean’s salt spray, thick evergreen forests, covered in greenbrier and Muscadine grape vines, grow to shelter Assateague’s pony population of approximately 300. Bright fall colors pair brilliantly with tall pines.


What you’ll see:
     
  • Sweet-gum

  • Maple

  • Oak

  • Poison ivy

Virginia


Visit scenic Shenandoah National Park and cruise along the parkway that runs the entire length of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. At any point along the 105-mile Skyline Drive, stop to hike part of the Appalachian Trail, see waterfalls, and stargaze. Throughout the entire park, view ridge tops covered in dense vegetation, sure to be a wash of fall colors come late September.


What you’ll see:
     
  • Chestnut

  • Oak

  • Maple

  • Birch

  • Wild sunflowers