By Tom Williams, Fall Foliage Leaf Spotter for PoconoOutdoors.com
The vibrant colors abound, an explosion of sights and scents! The recent frosts and cool nights in the higher elevations of the Pocono Plateau are pushing the boundaries of the forest’s fall foliage color palette. Many species are revealing their inner self; black gums, birches, and maples are igniting reds, oranges and yellows throughout Penn’s Woods. Summer drought conditions throughout the Poconos as expected are shortening a vibrant peak season, however, with a relatively low occurrence of leaf spot diseases will help to keep the fall foliage season going into late October. As of last week’s rain event, some trees have dropped their leaves early, mostly affecting sugar maple.
The tentatively scheduled Dam Release for October 10, 11, 2020 has been officially announced so come Whitewater Rafting with us! **The Oct. 10-11 weekend release is on as scheduled and is intended to provide a means of releasing any excess water that may have accumulated during the recreation season. The releases are 2000 CFS on the 10th and 1200 CFS on the 11th and are super fun!
Northern Poconos: (northern Wayne and Pike Counties): Bursting with color at tree tops, the underbrush is no longer a lush green. The warm yellows of goldenrods and sunflowers with the deep purple of wild asters are alongside the yellowing ferns, wilting fast. Red and sugar maples are well into their fall cycle. Cherry and birch have yellowed and have dropped some leaves due to rainy conditions and high winds last week. The beautiful striped maples, birch, and beech are turning yellow, along with black gums, they are adding some brighter red colors to the landscape. Sassafras and several understory plants like fern, blueberry, huckleberry, winterberry and poison ivy have been changing as well, contributing orange and red to the forest. If you see anything next to goldenrod and purple asters it will be a picture for the front cover of a magazine! The Fall Foliage peak color in the Northern Poconos Region will be around the weekend of October 9, 2020.
Central Poconos: (southern Wayne, Pike and northern Monroe Counties): A sudden onset of peak color this area of the Poconos is causing some of its best fall color in years. Red and sugar maples are peaking this weekend, but recent wind and rain have dropped many leaves. Remaining are cherry, ash, basswood, and aspen, they are showing awesome bright color. Birches, basswood, walnut, and aspen have been changing rapidly. Many trees are still green in this region like Oaks in lower altitudes, but they are dropping their acorns, so gather them up for crafts! Common along rivers in the Poconos, sycamores, are turning golden browns and yellows. Virginia creeper, a native vine wraps itself around stout trees, is showing shades of red. The Fall Foliage peak color in the Central Poconos Region will be mid-October, 2020.
Southern Poconos: (southern Monroe and Carbon County): In following step with the Northern and Central Regions, the Southern has changed quickly over the last week and is progressing toward an early peak. Most maples, birches and aspens are showing flaming scarlet, orange, and yellow leaves. Vivid colors of cherries stand out like fire against the deep greens of mixed oaks and beech. Huckleberry and blueberry are reddish. This explosion of sumac, sassafras, cherry, poplar and aspen are painting a wide color palette in the region. The Fall Foliage peak color in the Southern Poconos Region will be around the weekend of October 24, 2020.
2020 - FALL FOLIAGE WHITEWATER RAFTING TOUR -12:00 PM Dam Release FALL FOLIAGE TOUR Oct. 10, 11, 2020 -Adult/Youth(5+) $59.95 (4 person min.) -12:00 PM Daily FALL FOLIAGE TOUR -Adult/Youth(5+) $54.95 (Family style - September thru October, 4 person min.) 2020 - FALL FOLIAGE Bike TOUR -9:00 AM Daily FALL FOLIAGE TOUR - Lehigh Gorge Trail -Adult @ $45 -Youth @ $40 (4 person min.)
Poconos Fall Foliage 2020 Peak Season Calendar
- September 25 – The Pocono Plateau Bright and Beautiful Now
- October 2 – Northern Region Peaking with Autumn Splendor
- October 9 – Central Poconos Peak Display of Nature
- October 16 – Southern Region 134 Colors of Fall Foliage Fire
- October 23 – Leaves Dancing, Dancing on the Trail
- October 30 – Big Views and Low Altitude Color Last Stand
For a more detailed report go to the www.PoconoOutdoors.com home page, where you can read all the 2020 Poconos Fall Foliage Reports and the unique fall foliage outdoor adventures to be enjoyed. Enjoy Enjoy the great Pocono Outdoors!
Fall Foliage Report Information Resources: