It won’t be long before Iowa’s trees are full of color. The color change – from green and brown to a mix of red, orange, and yellow – begins in northern Iowa and gradually spreads south. Mick Klemesrud, with the Iowa DNR, says dry weather with cool nights and pleasant days will produce the most dramatic display. He says the fall color spectacle draws thousands of “leaf lookers” to state parks.
Klemesrud says, in northeast Iowa alone, the fall color economic impact is estimated at nine million dollars. One of Iowa’s best spots for fall color viewing is along the Great River Road, which follows the bends of the Mississippi River.
“It’s more like a trail,” Klemesrud says, “but there are sign markings on it and it’s also noted on the Iowa map. It really does follow the ridges and the ride along the Iowa side of the bank of the Mississippi River.” The peak for fall color this year in northern Iowa is expected around October 10th. The peak viewing time in southern Iowa is anticipated around October 20th. The DNR tracks fall colors on-line and offers a phone hotline.
Iowans can track the fall color conditions by calling 515-233-4110, or visit the DNR’s website .