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Go Where the Wild Colors Are

Posted by Robert Westover, Office of Communication, U.S. Forest Service in Forestry
Sep 29, 2017
A tree at the Pawnee National Grassland
A blast of bright yellow leaves punctuates the stark autumn landscape at the Pawnee National Grassland in Ault, Colo. The grass, too, takes its place on the fall color stage as it exhales a breath of soft gold just before overwintering until spring. (Photo: USDA/USFS)

Fall is here and it’s time to go wild! Or at least go to where nature’s brilliant hues of reds, yellows, and oranges are dotting our autumnal landscape: America’s national grasslands.

In fact, there are millions of square miles of these grasslands, and more than 16 million acres of them are managed by The Forest Service alone. While a lot of folks may not be aware of this, our 2017 theme of “Where the Wild Colors Are” is designed to let them know that fall is also beautiful in our National grasslands.

Fall Colors graphic
Fall Colors 2017. Go Where the Wild Colors Are.

This year, we’re giving our grasslands the center spotlight by featuring seven of them in a unique story map that will crisscross the midsection of the nation. The tour starts near Chicago’s Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, continues west to Colorado’s Pawnee National Grassland, detours south to Oklahoma’s Black Kettle and makes it way to McClellan Creek National Grasslands, and beyond.

Fall colors tourism is always a boon to local and state economies, attracting visitors who flock to national forests and grasslands and the hotels and restaurants surrounding them. For example, in a typical fall season, the state of New Hampshire receives more than eight million visitors who spend nearly $1.5 billion. Many of them flock to the Kancamagus Highway, a scenic byway in the White Mountain National Forest renowned for its dramatic vistas.

And remember, as in years past, the Forest Service’s Fall Colors website is a great resource for those planning a colorful getaway this autumn to either a national grassland or forest. So get out there and use our map as your guide to Go Where the Wild Colors Are!

Mount Adams in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest
The vibrant fall landscapes of the Northeast, such as those in this portrait of Mount Adams in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, dazzle visitors from around the world. (Photo by Jeremy Barnaby | Picture New Hampshire)
Category/Topic: Forestry