With more than 151,000 acres of primarily hardwood forest, Land Between The Lakes is the perfect place to enjoy autumn colors. The public is encouraged to drive the public access roads or hike, bike, ride on horseback or ATVs on hundreds of miles of designated trails while enjoying the cooler days and changing seasons.
“Temperature, light, and water supply trigger the natural process that cause leaves to turn from green to the stunning display of colors seen during the fall,” says Yvonne Helton, Silviculturist at Land Between The Lakes. “These factors also influence the degree and duration of fall colors. The timing of the color changes varies by species. Blackgums and sumacs usually turn first. Tulip poplars, sweetgums, sassafras, and maples follow soon after. Oak leaves turn last, long after other species have already shed their leaves.”
Certain colors of leaves are characteristic of particular species. Blackgums, sumacs, and Virginia creepers turn bright shades of red; sassafras turns a brilliant orange; tulip poplars and hickories turn shades of yellow; oaks turn red, brown, or russet; while maples and sweetgums display the most vibrant colors including fiery reds, yellows, and oranges.
Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area manages more than 170,000 acres in western Kentucky and Tennessee as part of the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Agriculture’s public lands program. Land Between The Lakes offers outdoor recreation, lake access, land management, and environmental education to over 1.4 million visitors annually. The Friends of Land Between The Lakes works in partnership with the Forest Service providing program services, funds development, and volunteer support.
To find more information about Land Between The Lakes, log on to the official website at www.landbetweenthelakes.us or call toll-free at 1-800-LBL-7077 or local at 270-924-2000.
Photo credit: Photo taken at Cedar Pond, October 2014 by Denise Schmittou