It may not feel like it in some parts of the state, but fall is right around the corner, and the U.S. Forest Service wants you to go out and enjoy this spectacular time of year (FYI, check out our October issue, which features some of the best back roads and bike trails for riding among the stunning fall leaves).
Below, the Forest Service offers up some very compelling reasons to hit the road:
“Autumn is a wonderful time of the year to plan a trip to see the beauty of your national forests,” said Tom Tidwell, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. “As tree experts, we have incredible resources on our website to help you plan a great adventure this fall season.”
Coast-to-coast, state and local economies get a boost because of the fall season and for many rural communities, fall color tourism is a major source of revenue. Hotels, restaurants and local shops rely on the influx of dollars generated by fall visitors. For example, the New England area receives an estimated $8 billion in local revenues annually due to fall activities. Throughout the Midwest, millions of visitors hit the road to enjoy the sights. And in the West, the mountains provide destinations filled with tourists seeking a glimpse of shimmering gold aspens.
Weather conditions in all areas impact peak viewing dates, so information provided by the Forest Service will help visitors plan their trips:
The Forest Service’s Fall Colors 2012 website includes clickable maps with fall color information and links to state tourism sites and fall color websites. Some of our most popular, family-friendly features include scenic drives and trails, coloring pages for kids, the science behind the season, and links to a tree database. Photographs from visitors nationwide will be added to the site.
The Forest Service has also turned on its “Fall Colors Hotline:” 1-800-354-4595. The hotline provides audio updates on the best places, dates and routes to take for peak viewing of fall colors on national forests.