Fayette County

Head east for the best of autumn leaf color

Drone’s-eye view of Kentucky’s fall foliage

Drone footage from the Daniel Boone National Forest during October 2017.
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Drone footage from the Daniel Boone National Forest during October 2017.

Eastern Kentucky is finally headed toward its fall color peak, and it starts this weekend.

Tom Kimmerer of Venerable Trees, a conservation nonprofit, said the next few days should be colorful in Eastern Kentucky, with Oct. 29 “a great day to go east.”

That means if you want to see the beauteous red and gold displays that herald brisk temperatures, sweater weather and trick-or-treating, it might be time to take I-64 east or hop on the Mountain Parkway.

Stuck in Lexington? You have to look harder for fall color among the dry-looking greenish-yellow trees, some of which have already shed their leaves.

Kimmerer said that Kentucky “had the setup for a perfect, bright autumn — wet summer, then a dry spell. However, it has since been very warm, and this has delayed color.”

Central Kentucky, he said, doesn’t develop great color because it lacks the right tree species.

“Trees like hackberry and walnut, our most common trees, just fade away,” Kimmerer said. “With the loss of most of our ash trees, our autumns have become even less colorful.”

If you’re still looking for Lexington-area color, he suggested the state nature preserves on the Kentucky River, the Lexington Cemetery and the Arboretum.

Cheryl Truman: 859-231-3202, @CherylTruman

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