Fall foliage is a major tourist attraction in the Poconos.
And this year the season seems to be getting an early start.
The change in colors is the complete opposite outcome from last year.
A blanket of red, orange and yellow is taking over the greenery in Monroe County.
DCNR Service Forester Garrett Beers says, "It seems to be a little sooner probably because the trees are stressed out from it being so dry for the last month and a half so you might see a little earlier fall color than you normally would."
The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau is welcoming the change-over with open arms. Last year, fall was washed out.
Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau Executive Vice President Brian Bossuyt says, "The rain overall affected tourism as a whole, you know a lot of our outdoor attractions really suffered throughout the summer and the fall. I think we had maybe five Saturday’s from May until November last year where it didn’t rain."
That wet weather caused slow changing leaves. Luckily Mother Nature seems to be falling in line this year with the foliage needs.
Brian Bossuyt says, "Last year was a little off and then the year before we had a big drought so it was a little different too. I think right now we’re kind of in that spot where we need to be for the tourism."
How long the colors last is also in her control.
Beers says, "Rain really knocks the leaves off the trees, they don’t stay around very long. But this year, it’s been so dry, if we stay in this dry spell without any kind of large rainfall event, we should have the fall colors for awhile."
And don’t worry, you still have plenty of time before the leaves fall. The peak colors are right on schedule.
Brian Bossuyt says, "The following week is going to start being close to peak in the northern region and then right after Columbus Day Weekend it’ll be peak for this area and then down by Carbon and Jim Thorpe, it’ll be peak the week after that so the month of October is really the best month to see the bright colors."
Leaf peepers can also look forward to fall festivals and events.
Brian Bossuyt says, "I think this is a great time to come see the Poconos and a lot of people really come and enjoy it. You don’t have as many big crowds as you do in the summer. There’s a lot of different and unique things to do."
You can track the fall foliage forecast at www.poconomountains.com It’s updated every Thursday and you can see when the peak colors are in each region.