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Foliage report for this weekend 22-23 Sept

Well, my recommendation is this: There is still only a little fall foliage color showing up in Northern NH/VT and I talked to Jamie in Colebrook NH (Near Dixville Notch and she said there wasn’t much color yet!, even with the cold nights they’ve been having. Would the Notch make a nice drive? (Only if you are in the area (1-2 hours away so you don’t drive all day to get there… See the rest of the article..) I would say stay closer to homeand visit a farm to look over pumpkins or a great local orchard and pick apples and get a cider donut (but in reverse order). Then walk out to the fields to pick apples to work off the donut… 🙂

New England fall foliage trip 2013?

Stop the insanity and don't view all your trip through the windshield

Stop the insanity and don’t view all your trip through the windshield

I got an email telling me that their fall foliage trip plans are to go from one end of New England to the other… Here is a portion of the letter.
“I want to do this trip with my husband next year. We’ll have 7 days and would like to see CT, RI, MASS, NH, VT. Maybe even a day or so in Montreal. Any suggestions???”
First, I would say stop the insanity! 🙂 I don’t intend to be mean, but really? Next, I have to say YES you can do all that driving, butis this a professional photo gig to try and Photograph all of New England? or a vacation?

  • If it’s a vacation then decide what you both (assuming there is a both) really want to see.
  • Then determine where those things are located.
  • Location will determine your timing as to when arrive.
  • If you are a photographer then book the three weeks that you know you will need to do this trip… 🙂

Remember Interest = arrival date + location

Antiques in Erving MA on Route 2 the Mohawk trail...

Antiques in Erving MA on Route 2 the Mohawk trail…

  • If you for instance want fall color and lighthouses then you will choose the coastal areas and you will come in late October.
  • If you want antiques (which can be done anytime) then you should think about where good antique shopping can be done. (Such as Essex MA or Route 4 in NH, also known as Antique alley)
  • Do you want to see places that have re-purposed items? Once you decide where it determines the when.
  • If you have kids to entertain… Then locations will be determined by proximity to amusement parks, (six flags, Canobie Lake, Story land,  Clark’s trading post, etc…) Also remember that most of these shut down for the season right around Columbus Day So now you have a location limitation and date limitations.

Drive times across New England

Also, it is quite easy to drive from Connecticut to Montreal (in about 8 hours). This is straight through (gas and potty breaks only! no camera stops). From Where I live in Salem MA I drive to St Albans Vermont in about 4.5 hours. This is with one or two stops for stretching the legs at a rest stop but not for anything really scenic.  So keep in mind the greater the travel distances then you have more time in the car. (is that what you really want?)

My Advice is…

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I spotted this while driving at Sunset. I parked, got out and took a few shots. You don’t have to hike miles to get fall foliage color.

  • I spotted this pond reflection while driving just at sunset. I parked, got out and took a few shots. You don’t have to hike miles to get a good fall foliage picture.
  • You should concentrate on getting out of the car and exploring nature I always suggest a base of operations and explore 50-100 miles around that B&B/motel/hotel.
  • Stay there for a few days and really explore that area and then move on and explore another area. This way it’s not all a blur but a memory.
  • Don’t try to knock all of New England off in one trip as marking off your bucket list. I’ve lived here for ten years and I’ve only scratched the surface…

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 foliage for Sept 22-23 & planning for 2013 — 13 Comments

  1. Hi Jeff, what are your predictions for fall in VT/NH/Maine for the weekend of 29. Can we expect some colour?

    • well I will look into my crystal ball and put on my turban… The great and powerful arboreal Oracle looks into the crystal ball and says: “the mists are clearing I can see, I can see it now! You are going to find green trees wherever you go in New England!” Definitely lots and lots of trees 🙂
      just a moment, this is from last year. Let me shake it up, as the snowflakes clear I see glorious reds, golds, oranges and colors everywhere in between.
      So that’s my prediction for this weekend. Now your only problem is you have to go and find it 🙂
      the colors should be good this weekend in the Northeast kingdom stretching down to Stowe. In New Hampshire you want to be North of the white mountains or very high in elevation in the white mountains. A week and a half ago the Western half of the Kancamagus was looking very nice and should be beautiful this weekend and if the Western side of route 112 (the Kancamagus) is a bit past then the eastern half from the highest point down towards Conway should be well on its way too high color. But I’ve gotten no reports that the white mountains themselves are that far along yet. I would say in New Hampshire that you’re going to have to go further up towards Lancaster and Pittsburgh and maybe Dixville defined really good color.
      Over in Maine there’s lots of color (check their website for current reports, the last was on the 19th as I’m writing this.
      The biggest problem is that this weekend is still a little early so you’re going to have to drive to the northern areas to find really good color. I did talk to two gentlemen who rode their motorcycles down into St. Albans to find fall color and they said Montréal was beginning to turn but hadn’t quite yet (this was as of this past Sunday afternoon).
      So the color this year is not flowing smoothly like we would prefer it to do. It’s showing up wherever the colder temperatures have been happening so you need to look at where the low 40s and upper 30s have been happening at night and that is where you’re going to find the best fall colors.
      It takes the shorter days in conjunction with the colder nighttime temperatures and bright sunny days to really get the colors going.

  2. I was hoping for your input on some scenic stops and photo ops between N Conway and Bar Harbor. I will be traveling East out of N Conway on 10/7 after a couple of days of White Mountain hiking and wanted to meander to the coast off the beaten path if possible. Do you have any advice on the roads less travelled??

      • Kim, if you’re going east on Route 302 on 10/7 you’ll bump in to the Fyeburg Fair. Bad traffic if you’re in a hurry, so get an early start. Or decide to spend some time enjoying an old-fashioned country fair. Either way, you should have great foliage.

    • Hi kim,sue has some great suggestions and links and I will add these. If you go a bit north to Route 2 and come into Maine that way you have a different set of options. As you arrive in Bethel you can head north on 26 to Grafton State park. I haven’t explored the park fully but it holds promise. I found a pull out that has some stairs down to an old carriage route…

      Next if you continue on 2 until you hit 17 then take that north. This is a good route to explore on the way up to Rangeley lake. but before you get there, look for the town of Byron and Coos Canyon. There is a river cutting through a steep walled canyon and there are a lot of colorful trees that line both sides. Then you can continue to Rangeley.
      Rangeley lake will take more than a day to explore but it’s worth a visit and just plan to come back.
      How you “meander” to the coast on paths less traveled… is up to you at this point and most all of them will be the path less traveled. I think starting off on 4 and then just pick roads that both sound interesting and head the right direction. Get a gazetteer for Maine or a good map book and see where it takes you.
      Jeff Foliage

  3. My hubby & I are coming to VT next week {Oct 1.} so I can get some Fall photos. We’ll be staying in Manchester, Waitsfield, & Dorset….while driving the entire state to find areas for great photos of the colorful trees. Any suggestions as to where we could find special spots that might offer the prefect place for photos?

    • Brenda I just came down from the NEK and St Albans. And I expect you will see peak just beginning later this week 28th in the NEK and as far south as Stowe..
      I would say a drive through the covered bridges of Montgomery and if you drive over to 118 towards the west you will see several covered bridges that way but the color will be less because you are approaching lake Champlain.

      And each day from the 1st of Oct there will be a fall festival in a different town in the NEK. Check my festivals page for the NEK and you will find a listing of the towns and their days.

      Does this help?

    • Hi Brenda, Well Oct 1 on I would say you head to the Northeast Kingdom of VT and explore there. There will be plenty of color (hear that Mother Nature??? Plenty of color!!!) 🙂
      You don’t need to drive the whole state unless you stay for several weeks…

  4. After 60 some years and retirement, I’m finally making my way eastward (from California) to see the colors my back-East relatives have been telling me about. Most live in Mass. and S. Maine. I’ll be arriving on 10/4 and staying for a week. With the unusual weather patterns this year, any predictions for what I will be seeing?

    • Sorry Dan as you can guess, I’m getting backlogged…
      First for 4 Oct you will be looking at Rangeley lake area, (maybe Sebago lake too). In the White Mtns and north a little bit (the Kanc during the mid week should be nice. and from Central Vt (Woodstock to points north).
      I think you will see a little nice color in Mass and southern VT, NH, and ME but the real color will be further up.

      As of right now we have rain coming in on Wednesday but dry near perfect weather outside of that. The long range forecast is calling for rain also on the 2nd of Oct but if it doesn’t bring significant rains or winds then we will make it into your wee with good color up on the trees… Watch the new England weather for hard rains or winds which will bring the leaves that have turned down into a carpet of color…
      That is what I have for right now…

  5. Hi Jeff, We are getting so excited! It’s our first trip to New England and we’ve been dreaming about fall foliage since July. We are staying in a house on Joe’s Pond VT from Oct. 3-9 and then in a house on Ossipee Lake NH from Oct. 10-15. We prefer to stay in one spot and do “day trips” to find beautiful photo opportunities. Do you have any ideas for fun photo trips from these locations? Sure hope we picked a good time and good locations! We’ve been following your blog…thanks for all the great tips! Janet

    • Hi Janet, I think you will doing good as to the dates and placement. IF! Mother Nature leaves us alone for the most part for the next few weeks or month… 🙂
      Over on Route 5 is the King Arthur Flour facility and they have tours and samples and lots of interesting thing to see there… North of that there is a big Round barn with a huge maple tree over it… Sorry the exact placement is eluding me at the moment but I you travel up and down route 5 you will have a very enjoyable ride… Last week on 5 I saw the beginnings of nice color so by the 4th… it should be nice.. Also off 5A is lake Willoughby and near that is Crystal lake both very scenic.
      Route 108 out of Stowe is Smugglers Notch which is a winding, twwisty road that climbs through the hills… (worth it!)
      Next, south of Joe’s pond is Groton state park with Owl head peak which is a nice walk/hike but from what I hear isn’t real hard and the views from there are spectacular on a clear day.
      Also in the park is Seyon Pond and is another very scenic location..

      In Ossipee I would look for Eaton’s little white church which is on a pond and at sunrise there is usually mist rising on the water and a reflection of the foliage and the church in the water…
      Next take a drive around the lakes region (route 11 is a prime route) with lots of old buildings and towns to visit.

      Heading out in the morning so I’ll cut this short… Did you get a gazetteer yet? These map book have tons of locations and points of interest marked.

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