5 Apps for leaf-peepers

It's autumn here in the northern hemisphere, and where I live, in New England (and elsewhere around the US too), that brings leaf-peepers. What's a leaf-peeper? It's a tourist, typically from New York or New Jersey, who visits rural New England to observe the beautiful autumn leaves. It's a big deal for us. Each year we New Englanders take a break from eating cranberries, disavowing the Red Sox and pahkig the cah in Harvard yahd to view nightly news reports on peak leaf-viewing projections, which states are changing first and at what rate, etc.

Fortunately, there's an app for that. Five, in fact, and here they are.

Rest Area

If you're traveling from out-of-state, you could encounter unfamiliar highways ... not good when you got to go, if you know what I mean. Is the next rest area 5 miles away or 35? Rest Area [iTunes link] knows the answer. It displays the nearest pit stops as well as what facilities each one has, like bathrooms, vending machines, restaurants, etc. Rest Area costs $0.99US.


Park Maps

To maximize your viewing pleasure, you'll want to visit a rural area. Some of the best scenery can be found in our National Parks, and Park Maps [iTunes link] will aid your navigation. It downloads GPS-enabled maps so you needn't be connected to use them (though you'll need an iPhone 3G or 3GS for GPS navigation). With more than 250 maps available, chances are you'll find what you're after. Park Maps costs $0.99US.

Tree ID

Know what you're looking at! Tree ID [iTunes link] is a database of thousands of images, illustrations and notations to help you identify any tree in the USA. It was developed with Jason Siniscalchi, a PhD in Forest Resource Science, so you know it's reliable. Also, the App Store page notes that a full list of fall trees will appear in a future update. Tree ID costs $3.99US.


It's harvest time and the farmers markets are bursting with fruit and produce. Locavore [iTunes link] can detect what US state you're in and provide you with a list of what's in season as well as where you can buy it. Conversely, you can enter the food you're interested in and Locavore will tell you where it's ready to eat. Locavore costs $2.99US.


Finally, Autumn [iTunes link] is for those of you who don't get to experience the change in person. Much like Koi Pond [iTunes link], Autumn presents a tranquil scene for you to manipulate. Swirl brightly-colored leaves through the air or just let them fall over one of several backgrounds or one from your photo library. Customize the number of leaves and their size. Autumn costs $0.99US (there's also a free, ad-supported version).