New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » New England fall outlook 11 Sept 2012

The New England fall is in the air.

There is a certain feeling as the days grow shorter and those of us who live in New England wake to colder mornings. There is also a sense of uncertainty and anticipation among those who have made reservations.

There is also a sense of stress  in the comments I’m seeing and as one person put it (“I’m in a panic!”). I understand a bit of what they are feeling. Afterall, they are basing their decisions to travel at least in part on what I or others say about the autumn to come.

Here are two things to remember.

  • First, no one can give you a definitive guarantee  that you will see peak fall foliage.
  • Second, As of this second (not valid beyond this second) but as of now I don’t see a reason in any reports that I’m seeing from my foliage spotters (Photographers of the New England Photographer’s Guild) around New England, that you shouldn’t see and enjoy a “good” New England fall foliage trip.

If you have read my blog and listened to my comments I’ve put out the best information to help you make the best decision on where to stay to find peak fall foliage.

Many times someone will ask if they should change their reservations? I tell them always that if they based their decisions on what I’ve given them then they are still (probably) OK and it may not be necessary. This year Early fall color is the watch word and has people anxious about their itineraries. Read this woman’s question for me…

Mary writes… “We right now are planning to stay overnight in Westport NY on Thursday Oct. 4 and ride the ferry across Lake Champlain the next morning. That will put us around Stowe/Smuggler’s Notch by noon.

fort Ticonderoga ferry between Vermont and New York

fort Ticonderoga ferry between Vermont and New York

We could drive straight up to Danville and stay on Thursday night and get over there earlier.  Do you think that would be a better plan, although my husband right now is set on the ferry.”

I vote for the ferry… I like ferry rides.. It’s not always about the foliage… it’s about the experience!

To me the important part of this is the overall experience. Her husband wants to take the ferry across and I’ve done this exactly once and to me that particular day had many nice memories and the color was nice but not outstanding.

view of fall foliage from Fort Ticonderoga on the New York side of Lake Champlain

fall foliage view from Fort Ticonderoga

But I remember the ferry ride across to the NY side where we drove to Fort Ticonderoga. My first visit to the fort with my wife and then we drove south to the southern tip of Lake Champlain and crossed back into Vermont.

at the southern end of Lake Champlain I found a barn surrounded by glorious reds and golds and oranges of autumn. The tapestry of colors was just incredible

tapestry of New England fall colors surrounding barn

 I do need to note that on the New York side of the border (or maybe the VT side) I found a pull out with incredible color.

Fall foliage reports in the eastern US…

Kathy Mathews, (North Carolina) associate professor of biology, issues 2012 fall color prediction. “This should be a pretty good year for fall color, but colors will be spotty,”  The drier areas should have the best fall color, while the wetter areas will be less vibrant.”

Mathews believes that the formation of higher levels of yellow, orange and red pigments in the leaves correlates with dry weather throughout the year. The drier the climate, the more brilliant the fall leaves tend to be, she said.

The intensity of the color show will vary depending on where leaf-peepers are looking because of fluctuations in the amount of rainfall received across the region this spring and summer, said Mathews. An associate professor of biology at WCU who specializes in plant systematics, she bases her annual prediction in part on weather conditions, including rainfall, during the spring and summer growing season. is forecasting some portions of the Northeast has a chance at vibrant fall foliage based on forecast weather, while drought-stricken parts of the country may not have much of a display, Meghan Evans, Meteorologist reported.

Abrams added, ideal weather for a colorful fall would be drier weather through the second half of September with colder temperatures, dipping into the 30s at night.

A frost and freeze is most likely for upstate New York and north-central portions of New England during late September, according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok. This region will have the best chance for a bright and colorful fall.

I’m heading up to the NEK and northern NH tomorrow and I’ll have an updated report on Friday for the weekend.

For up to the minute reports watch my twitter feed (Foliage_Reports) and see if I find anything surprising…

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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New England fall outlook 11 Sept 2012 — 4 Comments

  1. A friend and I are coming to new England October 12th. I am sure we will see fall foliage. I am not really worried. We do not have a specific itenerary so I say we get a room wherever we decide to stop. My friend is worried we will not find rooms. We are not picky because we will spend the night, get up and go in the morning. What are your thoughts?

    • First you should read this article and the part 2 and then consider that since you are arriving after Columbus Day you may be ok. and maybe you’ll be able to find something each night. (no guarantees from me) but Fri, Sat,Sun is hard as that is when the most leaf peepers are on the road. Also the hotels/B&B’s sometimes want a 2 night stay minimum. (not all)
      It comes down to where you are looking to staying. If you got a reservation for the 12-14th then free lanced in on Monday through Thursday you should be ok. Remember! you may start looking at B&Bs but end up in a motel and in a smoking room… That happened to me once… So let the traveler beware…
      So can you do it and get away with it? I think you should be ok… BUT I would arrange for the first weekend ahead of time and then wing the rest of it… Also are you bringing a smart phone or pad to access the internet to look for reservations?

  2. i will be cruising from quebec to fl.the last of oct.will there be any fall coloer at that time

    • If FL is Florida then you’re going to pass right through (what I hope is) great foliage on your way to get there.
      Jeff Foliage

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