The Farmers’ Almanac lists the peak color window for leaves in each state.
The season starts in late September in Vermont, inland New Hampshire, and central Montana. Mid-October covers the peak windows for nearly all 50 states. The color stretches to early November in the southern states, with Florida being the last to peak just before mid-month.
In particular, the Farmers’ Almanac highlights its “most idyllic spots in the U.S. for viewing fall leaves”:
- Rangeley Lakes region in Maine (October 1 to 17). Fly into Stephen A. Bean Municipal Airport or Rangeley Lake Seaplane Base.
- Letchworth State Park in western New York (end of October). Fly into Greater Rochester International Airport.
- Kancamagus Scenic Byway in New Hampshire (September 28 to October 9). Fly into Twin Mountain Airport or the grass strip at Franconia Airport.
- Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee (October 5 to 21 for eastern area and October 12 to 28 for western area). Fly into Lake Cumberland Regional Airport at the northern end in Kentucky or Scott Municipal Airport in Tennessee.
- Lake Geneva area, Wisconsin (October 5 to 14). Fly into Grand Geneva Resort Airport or Lake Lawn Airport.
- Shenandoah National Park in Virginia (October 12 to 28). Fly into Luray Caverns Airport, Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, or Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee (mid- to late October). Fly into Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport or Mc Ghee Tyson Airport.
- Mount Cheaha in Alabama (October 19 to November 4). Fly into Talladega Municipal Airport.
- Fort Ransom State Park in North Dakota (October 5 to 21). Fly into Gwinner-Roger Melroe Field.
- Estes Park at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado (September to early October). Fly into Northern Colorado Regional Airport northwest of Denver.
- Hawksbill Crag, Whitaker Point in the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas (October 12 to 28). Fly to the Ozarks and land at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, Ozark-Franklin County Airport, or Baxter County Airport.
- Olympic National Park in Washington (October 12 to 28). Fly around the area and into William R. Fairchild International Airport, Port Angeles Seaplane Base, Sequim Valley Airport, Bremerton National Airport, or Sanderson Field.
- Logan Canyon Scenic Drive in Utah (early October). Fly into Ogden-Hinckley Airport north of Salt Lake City.
For stunning views, plan your flights for early morning or late evening. The golden sun at those hours will make the colors pop—and you’ll also likely be able to enjoy calm, smooth air at those times.