National Scenic Trails - Appalachian Trail

Fall Foliage
Aerial view of the AT's fall splendor

The following guide is based on average dates of peak color and is arranged into October sections southward from Maine to Georgia on the Appalachian Trail. Conditions vary significantly from year to year, and can differ over short distances due to elevation and other factors. Within each section there is a listed time interval of when peak occurs, which is followed by more specific notes on when and where to expect the most color.

Baxter State Park to Andover, ME: September 20 - October 10
Earliest throughout the section above 3,000 feet. Latest in lower elevations near the Kennebec River and in the 100-mile wilderness between Cooper Brook and Wadleigh Stream.

Andover, ME to Sherburne Pass, VT: September 20 - October 12
Earliest in the higher elevations of the White Mountains and Mahoosuc Range. Around October 1 in the more northern valleys near Gorham and Andover. Latest in the Connecticut River Valley near Hanover.

Sherburne Pass, VT to Cheshire, MA: September 25 - October 15
Earliest in the Killington area, and above 2,500 in the rest of southern Vermont. Latest in lower elevations near North Adams and Cheshire.

Cheshire, MA to Bear Mountain, NY: October 1 - October 18
Earliest along the October Mountain and Race-Everett areas. Latest in the low valleys near RPH Cabin and the Hudson River.

Bear Mountain, NY to Port Clinton, PA: October 8 - October 20
Earliest above 1,200 feet in New York, and near High Point, New Jersey. Around the 15th along Pennsylvania's ridges. Latest in Port Clinton.

Port Clinton, PA to Front Royal, VA: October 15 - November 2
Earliest on the ridges south (west) of Port Clinton and highest elevations near Caledonia. Latest in Harpers Ferry.

Front Royal, VA to Troutville, VA: October 10 - November 2
Earliest in areas near 4,000 feet (near Big Meadows/Skyland, The Priest, Cold Mountain region, Apple Orchard). Latest at Jennings Creek and the Tye and James river valleys.

Troutville, VA to Atkins, VA: October 10 - October 31
Earliest above 3,800 feet near Mountain Lake, Chestnut Knob, and other high ridges north and south of the New River. Around October 25 in Pearisburg and Atkins. Latest in lower elevations near Troutville.

Atkins, VA to Hot Springs, NC: September 28 - November 6
Earliest on the highest terrain (summits of Mount Rogers and Roan Mountain). Elevation is an especially evident factor throughout this region. Some general guidelines: around October 8 near the 5,000-foot level, October 22 at 3,000 feet, and typically after November 1 below 1,700 feet. Latest in Hot Springs.

Hot Springs, NC to Amicalola Falls State Park, GA: September 28 - November 6
Earliest in the high Smokies above 6,000 feet. Around October 15 near 5,000 feet in the Nantahala Mountains, and between October 20 and November 1 through most of Georgia. Latest in Hot Springs, the Pigeon River Valley, Fontana Dam, Wesser, and lowest points in GA.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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