Tourism Experts Must Take Yearly Gamble On Leaf Predictions

Brown County tourism officials must make a guess and do some math to ensure peak revenue from the county's famous fall foliage.

Brown County State Park Sign

Photo: WFIU News

It's high tourism season for Brown County State Park -- as long as officials pick the right days to tell people to arrive.

Tourists come from all around to see the leaves change at Brown County State Park, and they plan well in advance.

“Well, we have some people that will book their room and start asking about the fall foliage as early as a year before. We have some people come on an annual basis.  But the big push for everybody else would probably start in the spring,” said Jamie Newton, Communications Director for the Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Brown County relies on autumn tourists for business in the area, but can be hard to determine when leaves will change and when the tourists will come.

“It’s a hard thing to know when the leaves are going to change and when they’re going to be at their peak because there are so many factors that go into it,” Newton said.

Department of Natural Resources ecologist Tom Swinford said it can be hard to tell when is the best time to come see the trees.

“Of course there is no way to predict it’s exact date of peak, when will the leaves peak but the third or fourth week of October is predictable,” he said.

The leaves start to change when the temperature drops and the trees start to go dormant. Those not able to see the leaves in person may check out the leaf cam at Brown County’s website.

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