Leaf Peeping

Boulder, Colorado

December 6, 2020

This post is a catch-up entry as I am pretty sure I forgot to write about this term when I was in Colorado in September/October. I had never heard the term “leaf peeping” prior to that time, but according to Wikipedia it is not isolated to Colorado.

Leaf peeping is an informal term in the United States and Canada for the activity in which people travel to view and photograph the fall foliage areas where leaves change colors in autumn particularly in northern New England, Appalachia and the upper Midwest, as well as the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. An organized excursion for leaf peeping is known as a foliage tour or a color tour.

A similar custom in Japan Is called mornijigari (紅葉狩).

The term "leaf peeper" is used both with appreciation from businesses that benefit from the millions that pour into the higher elevations of the West, upper Midwest, and northern New England in fall, and with disdain from those who have to use the roads that get over-crowded due to leaf peepers. Hobbyists who get together for leaf peeping may refer to their gatherings asleaf peepshows.

The term "leaf peeping" has been used in numerous television shows, including "And It's Surely to Their Credit," an episode ofThe West Wing, and "Live Free or Die," an episode ofThe Sopranos.

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