PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The weekend is here and it is the prime time for “leaf peepers.”
It is the annual rite of taking in the full pallet of Mother Nature’s fall colors.
Or as DCNR Forestry Environmental Education Specialist Rachael Mahoney puts it: “This one last hurrah of this beautiful color display a reason to get outside and do explore before the cold winter is a big deal for a lot of folks.”
But our weather has certainly been volatile this summer so will be the fall display be muted.
“We did have some big rain events here and there, but the dry weather, kind of balanced it out,” Mahoney says. “Out of the last five years, this is like the most, even-keeled weather patterns that we’ve had, that have primed us for some really spectacular fall colors.”
For most of the area, we are still at least a week away from the leaves getting into the “awwww” factor.
But if you are looking to take in the color this weekend Mahoney says head east on route 30 towards the Laurel Highlands.
“The black, the red maples the sugar maples, SassaFrass, all of this phase which is really beautiful pinks and oranges and reds are really starting to show,” she recommends.
Which she says is perfect timing.
WATCH: Finding The Foliage
“For Fort Ligonier Days and those activities out in the Ligonier area, heading up the Laurel Ridge would be another great location, colors are really developing,” Mahoney says.
For the closest peak location head for Somerset County and the Mt. Davis area of the Forbes State Forest.
“That’s where fall foliage is best right now,” she says. “It’s about at peak, I’d say from about this weekend, maybe a little bit into next week, it’ll be the most beautiful time to be up there.”
Another key area for color this weekend is north into McKean and Potter Counties and over towards the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.
The pallet of color is in full use but she says it won’t last long.
“Fall foliage colors are fleeting as soon as they like peak, it’s almost instant, and then there’s a number of factors that can just wipe out those colors, quickly,” she says.
A good size storm, with any high winds, and those colors will be at your feet.
The areas around Pittsburgh and the state parks of Western Pennsylvania are still at least a week from displaying the colors of fall and a couple of weeks from seeing the peak.