Here to help plan your weekend road trips, an interactive map introduced by the Alabama Tourism Department with predictions on when ans where to see fall colors in the state through the season. Plus, tips on recommend trails to maximize the experience!

The tourism's website www.alabama.travel points out that large concentrations of hardwoods make Alabama State Parks some of the best places to enjoy the fall color change. Joe Wheeler has an excellent viewing spot next to the dam and near the cabin area on the Lawrence County side. Autumn scenery can be found at DeSoto State Park at Little River Canyon and DeSoto Falls. Monte Sano has views of the Tennessee Valley along the Warpath Ridge Trail and its overlook. Cheaha’s Bald Rock and Pulpit Rock trails both have excellent views. Cheaha is the highest point in the state at 2,407 feet above sea level.

With cooler days and lower humidity, autumn hosts a variety of outdoor festivals. Lee Sentell, director of the Alabama Tourism Department, recommends several events designed around being outdoors and enjoying the fall weather.

Outdoor events scheduled for this fall include the Moundville Native American Festival from Oct. 7-10, celebrating Native American history and culture in the area.  The Cullman Oktoberfest on Oct. 7-11 that celebrates German culture with authentic food, costumes and music. The National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores on Oct. 8-11 features fresh gulf seafood, live music and arts & crafts. The Belle Chevre goat cheese creamery in Elkmont hosts the Southern Reinvention festival on Oct. 10.

Northport's Kentuck Festival of the Arts returns Oct. 17-18. The town of Thorsby celebrates its Scandinavian heritage during the 25th annual Thorsby Swedish Festival on Oct. 10. The city of Mentone celebrates its annual Colorfest on Oct. 17-18 with a weekend of arts & crafts, family activities and live entertainment. Alabama Frontier Days in Wetumpka on Nov. 4-7 features reenactments from French Colonial times to the Early American period.

Nearly 200 songwriters from across the country will be performing in venues all along the Alabama Gulf Coast during the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival on Nov. 5-15. The National Peanut Festival in Dothan on Nov. 6-15 is the nation’s largest peanut festival. The 8th annual Oyster Cook-Off featuring all-star chefs and live entertainment is Nov. 6-7 in Gulf Shores. The Pike Road Arts and Crafts Festival in the city of Pike Road on Nov. 7 features an arts & crafts market on the grounds of the historic 19th century Marks House.

A complete list of fall events is available at www.alabama.travel.