Thursday is the first day of fall and historically, here's when the Iowa DNR expects the best colors across the state of Iowa.

Normally, the last week of September and the first two weeks of October are prime for the northern third of Iowa. The first three weeks of October catch the central third of the state and the final three weeks of October brings the greatest beauty to the trees in southeast Iowa. This year, things will be a bit different (see bottom)

via Iowa DNR

In the northeastern part of Iowa, many walnut trees have already dropped their leaves, due to disease but Virginian creeper vines and sumac are starting to redden. The Iowa DNR expects the peak for this area around October 12.

North central Iowa doesn't have much color at all right now. Peak viewing should be October 15-16.

Northwest Iowa isn't showing much color either, except some trees that may be dealing with drought. The Iowa DNR says peak for this part of the state is hard to forecast, but will be sometime in the middle of next month.

Central Iowa is seeing crops dry up and turn brown but pretty much the only color so far is from the red of sumac. Central Iowa's peak time is forecast to be between October 16 and 22.

Southeast Iowa is still status green at this point, where peak viewing is expected to be between October 17 and 21.

South central Iowa is much like southeast Iowa with cottonwood and walnut turning yellow and dropping leaves. The best colors in this part of the state are expected to be the second or third week of October.

Finally, southwest Iowa is still green. Peak colors will likely show themselves in this part of the state the latter half of October.

Yes, it won't be long 'til it's time to take a trip toward northeast Iowa and Pike's Peak State Park or another spot where you can see the beauty of nature for miles and miles. What's your favorite spot to enjoy Iowa's fall colors?

[via Iowa DNR]