New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » Fall foliage rules for predicting fall foliage

Attention leaf peepers, First day of fall 172 Days!

back road near Rangely Maine

back road near Rangely Maine

Does that get your attention? Do you all of a sudden have a strange urge to go wander through a pumpkin patch? Are you looking at the palm tree in the neighbor’s yard and swear you see a hint of red as the morning light comes through the leaves?

Well maybe you don’t have any of these thoughts since we’re barely into April and the maples haven’t even put leaves on yet! But 172 days till the first day of the greatest show in New England, better known as New England’s fall foliage season!

Do you need a fall foliage fix to hold you over until September, check my fall foliage galleries and enjoy.

Fall foliage questions

One of my readers wrote to me with their itinerary saying they just got an extra 3 to 4 days on the front end of their trip. They plan to be in Vermont on October 1 and want to explore Stowe but their first reservation doesn’t start until October 5, where should they go?

My answer is pretty simple on this one; I told them to head over to Lincoln New Hampshire and plan to find a B&B/hotel/motel to stay at. They could go all the way up to Lancaster, or even Pittsfield, but in my opinion, any place in the vicinity of Lincoln would be good between the first and fifth of October.

Fall foliage rules for when the fall colors first show

  1. Remember the fall color proceeds from North to South
  2. Higher elevation to lower (top of the hills down to the valleys)
  3. And in swampy areas, where the maples have their feet in water
  4. The earlier in the season, the farther north you need to be

Planning to fail (yes, it happens)

Let’s say you only have the last weekend in September for your vacation and you pick Bennington, Vermont for your fall foliage vacation. This is where I say you’re planning to fail.

Fall foliage rule number #4 states: “The earlier in the season, the further north you need to be”.

For a rule of thumb please refer to these two fall foliage maps from

late September rule of thumb for fall foliage in New England foliage map late Sept

mid October rule of thumb for fall foliage in New England foliage map early October

This first map is good for a general rule of thumb for late Sept.

This next map is a good general guide for the first week of Oct.

Remember! If you arrive here and its been raining for the past week or the evening have been in the 70s and you can’t find peak fall color, all isn’t lost.

If you read all my articles you will know to have a back up plan. This way you can still have a great vacation and enjoy what fall color you do find.

 Additional links to fall foliage reading

Popular spot for viewing New England fall foliage

Article link on the NEPGuild site titled: “Favorite fall foliage sites

Jeff “Foliage” Folger
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Jeff Foliage

My name is Jeff Folger,
but people call me Jeff Foliage.
I have several pages that I write blogs for such as:
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff
I live in Salem, Massachusetts and work as a blogger and Travel Photographer. I'm also the founder of the New England Photography Guild.
Feel free to visit me on my blogs and see what life in New England is like.

I started with Yankee Magazine as their first blogger on everything fall foliage. Now I blog on my own blog on my favorite subject, telling leaf peepers where the fall foliage is showing up in New England and helping them (to some extent) plan their fall foliage vacations.
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Fall foliage rules for predicting fall foliage — 1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Stress-free fall foliage trip planning - Exploring New England's fall foliage

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