So the story in 2017 is that colors will change earlier than normal this year. Others are saying that this will be a dull color year due to heavy rains causing the trees to just “give up the ghost”. Well, I always think an image is worth a thousand “experts”. 🙂
Normally we see our peak colors sometime between the first and third week of October here in the Baraboo Hills. Weather is an important factor, but it’s not the whole story either. In the Baraboo hills, we have all sorts of micro-environments as well. South facing hills, deep cool valleys, open areas, deep woods etc., each with their own “peak”.
The first place we see a real color change at Devil’s Lake State Park is around the parking lots and the open areas of the campgrounds where trees are exposed to more sunlight and probably stressed more being surrounded by pavement. These trees are changing fast now. Some are even past it already.
Most other areas including the north shore entrance road, the bluff faces surrounding the lake, and the outlying hiking trails are all still pretty green. It’s fair to say the weekend of Sept 29-Oct 1, will NOT be the peak weekend. We’ve got a couple of weeks to go yet.