Leaf Tracker Apps for the Best Fall Foliage

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View of a national park during peak fall foliage.

Are you longing for pumpkin spice lattes, freshly baked apple pies, or Saturday afternoon football games? Fall is one of our favorite seasons because of the comfortable temperatures and beautiful changing colors. If you want to view the stunning changing fall colors, we have a list of the best leaf tracker apps.

Let’s learn more about how you can find the best fall foliage where you live!

Why Do Leaves Change Their Colors in Fall?

During fall, leaves turn gold, red, and orange for a beautiful display of nature at its finest. These colors are pigments in the leaves that are usually overpowered by chlorophyll during the spring and summer. There’s more sunshine during the summer, so the green pigment — chlorophyll — diligently works to supply food and energy for trees.

But when September comes, the daylight shortens, and the other pigments take their cue. The orange, yellow, and red pigments start shining through because chlorophyll isn’t producing as much energy.

Where Are the Best Places for Leap Peeping This Fall?

Anywhere there’s an abundance of forests is an ideal place to go leaf peeping this fall. The Adirondacks, Green Mountains, and Appalachians in the east are full of color. Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks are packed in September and October.

Although there are fewer prime locations for leap peeping in the Midwest, don’t forget the Ozarks. There are miles of hiking and biking trails to enjoy this outdoor playground. The Rockies, the Cascades, and the Sierra Nevada range are all excellent options out West. The small towns in each location offer fun, family-friendly fall activities like u-pick farms, corn mazes, fall festivals, and arts and crafts shows.

You can check out our best places to see fall foliage in this article!

View of a national park during peak fall foliage.

What Is the Fall Foilage Prediction Map?

The Fall Foliage Prediction Map is designed to help travelers track and find optimal leaf-peeping locations during the fall season. It’s a great resource to find the best time to plan trips or head out on a scenic drive near you.

The timeline on the bottom of the map shows you where you can find beautiful changing colors.

For example, if you move the bar to October 2nd, the map will display peak season for areas near the Canada-U.S. border and in parts of the Rockies. Most of the Northeast is near peak season.

If you move the bar to October 30th, the map will show that the majority of the northern half of the United States, as well as the major mountain ranges, are past peak season but still provide excellent opportunities in the Midwest, parts of Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon, and near the eastern coast of North Carolina and Virginia.

What Is a Leaf Tracker App?

The Fall Foliage Prediction Map is a great resource, but it’s not an app. If you want a leaf tracker app for your phone, you’ll need to visit Google Play or the Apple store. These leaf tracker apps provide easy access at your fingertips. 

Open the app, search where you want to visit, and plan your fall leaf-peeping road trip. You’ll find many leaf tracker apps with photos submitted by users for real-time data, comments, and ratings.

View of a national park during peak fall foliage.

5 Best Leaf Tracker Apps for Fall Foliage

If you want the best leaf tracker apps, we have the list for you. Hopefully, one or a combination of these resources will help make your fall road trip planning easier and more enjoyable. 

1. Leaf Peepr

This leaf tracker app is only available for people in the Northeast, but it’s an excellent tool for following the changing colors in this region. New England’s Yankee Magazine provides Leaf Peepr. It’s similar to the Fall Foliage Prediction Map, which uses a scrolling date bar and colors to display the peak season.

Keep in Mind: While you can visit these national parks year-round, you’ll want to add these 10 national parks to your fall itinerary!

2. Weather Underground

Weather Underground isn’t just for leaf peepers; it’s a weather app that includes tips for viewing fall colors. You can download it from the Apple Store or Google Play. Set notifications for your location to receive weather updates and customizable alerts. It’s worth adding to your apps to stay informed as you plan your fall road trip.

3. Gaia GPS

The Gaia GPS app provides maps for all types of adventures. The free plan gives you access to standard maps, while the premium membership includes over 300 additional maps. The premium membership also provides access to satellite imagery.

You can zoom in on the area you want to visit, paying close attention to the colors. The date stamp will tell you when the photo was taken so you have a good idea of the colors you’ll see at that time.

4. Leaf Snap

Like Weather Underground, Leaf Snap isn’t necessarily going to give you prime leaf-peeping information, but it’s another app to add to your toolbox. Leaf Snap gives you more information about the trees and plants you’ll see when you go out for a scenic drive or hike a trail.

Snap a photo of the plant, and Leaf Snap will give you information about it. If you want more than a pretty afternoon, download Leaf Snap to learn more about the plants in the area.

Keep in Mind: Do you want to visit all 63 national parks? We have a free printable map to help you keep track of all of the parks!

View of a national park during peak fall foliage.

5. The Foliage Network

The Foliage Network is a website like the Fall Foliage Prediction Map. Although it’s not an app, it’s another resource you can use to find and track the peak season for leaf peeping in a certain region. Locations only include the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest. Once you click on the region, you’ll have links to specific foliage reports.

For example, in the Southeast, you’ll see a list of links to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Foliage Report, the Appalachian State University Foliage Report, the Explore Asheville Foliage Report, the Virginia Department of Forestry Foliage Report, the West Virginia Tourism’s Live Leaf Map, the Blue Ridge Mountains Foliage Report, and the Great Smoky Mountains Foliage Report. You can find out more about specific locations with the Foliage Network compilation of websites.

Tips for Planning a Leaf-Peeping Getaway

The most important tip is to research peak season for the perfect leaf-peeping getaway. If you arrive a week or two too early or too late, your adventure won’t be ruined, but it won’t be as stunning as it could have been.

Peak leaf-peeping season in popular locations like Stowe, Vermont, Asheville, North Carolina, or Aspen, Colorado, means lodging accommodations will be booked quickly. Make your reservations as early as possible, whether staying at a campground, hotel, or Airbnb.

Finally, don’t just plan a scenic drive. Find out what local communities offer during your stay. Visit a farm or apple orchard. Attend a festival and enjoy the local entertainment.

Many of these popular locations have tons of activities during the fall season to entice visitors to come to their regions. So, make the most of your leaf-peeping getaway.

Enjoy the Fall Foliage With These Leaf Tracker Apps

These leaf tracker apps and additional tools will help you plan your fall adventure. Use them all to plan for the right week or weekend, stay up-to-date on the local weather, and learn more about the trees and plants you see.

Fall is a spectacular display of colors around the country. Plan your getaway with these resources today!

Where do you want to visit this fall?

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