NASHVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Tourists are descending upon Brown County in droves to view the changing colors of leaves in an annual ritual for the picturesque south central Indiana county.
The curving, hilly roads are becoming clogged with vehicles packing visitors headed to the arts and crafts shops of Nashville, the hiking trails of Brown County State Park, Yellowwood State Forest and other destinations to view the brilliant shades of crimson, yellow and orange emerging from the trees.
"I think if it weren't for the trees, we wouldn't have quite what we have," Tim O'Bryan, co-owner of the Big Woods Brewing Co. micro-brewery, told WLKY-TV.
"They like to see the colors and the changing of the leaves. A year like this where we're going to have great color, it's going to be a great year for us," O'Bryan said.
Longtime friends Deborah Gephart and Jackie Smith, of Nineveh, and Debra Snedegar, visiting from Florida, drove the back roads into Nashville last Wednesday.
"We were hoping the leaves had changed more," Snedegar told The Herald-Times. "But it's still pretty. We don't get together that much, so it's girls' day out."
Jane Ellis, of the Brown County Visitors Bureau, said Nashville and the surrounding county draw about 2 million "leaf peepers" each year — "and it seems that they all come this weekend."
"When the spring air comes and the crispness of the fall comes, people want to get out and see it. It's beautiful. You can drive down the road and see it. You can get out and hike and see it," Ellis said.