It’s officially fall, which means it’s once again leaf-peeping season in Pennsylvania.
In the Saucon Valley area many trees are just beginning to display small flashes of color, which is in line with what the state’s Bureau of Forestry says residents should expect to see here right now.
In their Sept. 28 Weekly Fall Foliage Report, a forestry map shows both Northampton and Lehigh counties in the part of the state where little to no change in foliage has been observed.
According to the map, this area should expect to see peak color in three to four weeks, which is slightly later than the majority of Pennsylvania will see it.
The only counties that are currently experiencing much in the way of fall color are across the state’s northern tier, where it’s estimated that peak leaf-peeping will be on tap in about a week.
So if you’re in the mood to see some wondrous autumnal beauty and don’t feel like waiting for it to arrive in the Lehigh Valley, your best bet right now is to head north to Wayne County or one of the other northerly destinations highlighted on the map.
The intensity of the colors that are observed annually in the Keystone State is influenced by a number of factors, many of which are meteorological, and the report from the state takes note of this.
“After a remarkably long spring drought, timely summer rainfall and moderate temperatures helped to green the canopy of Penn’s Woods, setting the stage for a very colorful autumn display,” it said.
“Fall temperatures seemed to arrive earlier than in recent years, compelling noticeable changes throughout Commonwealth forests,” the Sept. 28 report also noted.
Warm days and cool nights are often said to help intensify the color of fall leaves, and warm days will be on tap during the first week of October, when highs approaching 80 are expected locally.
Lows are forecast to fall back into the 50s, so that combination just may lead to some of the best fall colors in years.
Only time will tell, of course, but once the leaves begin to turn, some of Pennsylvania’s state parks and recreation areas are recommended sites for viewing them.
State parks within a 30-minute drive of the Hellertown area include Jacobsburg State Park near Nazareth, Nockamixon State Park near Quakertown, Ralph Stover State Park in Pipersville and Delaware Canal State Park in Upper Black Eddy.
To view future fall foliage reports, visit the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) website.