Every autumn, leaf peepers fall all over themselves trying to get to the most vivid patches. Now, enthusiasts willing to hear out a few plugs for motor-coach tours can get the scoop on action across the United States and Canada through the Tauck Foliage Hot Line (800/214-8209), sponsored by Tauck Tours. Scotty Johnston, who has been following the leaf scene for 38 years, gathers data from weather maps and a 16-person field team. "We're watching the changes hour by hour," he says. Here, a few of Johnston's pick hits for the season:
Arkansas's Route Seven in the Ozarks. "The white and red oaks turn multicolored; black gum gets red, even purple."
Ste.-Agathe-des-Monts in Quebec's Laurentians. "Red and sugar maples contrast with firs and spruces."
The Maroon Bells near Aspen. "The place to see Colorado's prime foliage tree, the aspen."
Watch the leaves turn and fall without leaving your desk:
- The Weather Channel's Fall Page which includes hot topics like why leaves change color (remember freshman biology?) and allergy alerts, and has swell peak color maps;
- StormFax's Fall Color Hotline has a list of state tourism foliage hotlines;
- Or, call call the Forest Service's Fall Color Hotline at 800/354-4595.