For the “Fall Foliage Enthusiasts”

They’re called leaf peepers, a term that’s both embraced in their community and poked fun at by the general public. Foliage enthusiasts, if you will.

The stereotype screams hipster and middle-aged Americans who flock to the upper Midwest to view the changing of the seasons, often from behind the wide lenses on their cameras. They gather in groups – be it droves of RVs, local guided tours, pull offs on the sides of roads, camping excursions, or hosted Facebook events – they are simply very enthusiastic about the arrival of autumn.

But before you laugh at their expense, they aren’t the only ones with this form of fervor once the summer blues fade. Those of us in four-season states often cannot contain our excitement from late September through October. There’s the humorous pumpkin-spiced everything culture that surrounds this season. Orange, red, yellow, and brown make their way off the trees and into fashion and décor.

It’s an appreciation of change that isn’t scoffed at by many, and you don’t have to go as far as Northern New England to find it.

This map is a general guide of what to expect by region. Foliage changes differ annually and are effected by rainfall, temperature, and sun. Foliage maps are released with predictions based on the weather annually toward the end of summer.

Maybe we’re not all as ardently enthusiastic when it comes to autumn, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the changing of the seasons with zest. Besides, a trip through nature is still a trip after all, and we could all use a little escape before the chaotic holiday stretch that seems to begin earlier and earlier every year.

When it comes down to it, knowing when to plan your leaf peeping journey, even if you just use it as a casual hobby or an excuse to travel, is the most important part.