New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » New England foliage takes a breather

The New England foliage season takes a breather and so do I!

First! the color isn’t all gone OR done, so please read on…

Early fall color above a rock wall in New Salem Massachustts

Rock wall of horse paddock with large maple tree above dressed in Orange, yellow and green

I just read the beginning of the Globe Article about the Arboreal Oracle and my “uncanny ability to predict peak fall foliageOMG!! I must be good... 🙂

First! I merely look back at past years and tell you all where to go. So if you plan accordingly and plan for bad weather and other things to see you should set up to enjoy your vacation in New England AND find some nice foliage.

The Arboreal Oracle has been on the go since mid-September with so many things from getting articles out to you on where the fall foliage is showing and trying to not neglect my own yard and chores… Yes I have a “honey do” list to prep for the New England winter to come.. 🙂  And of course family obligations which involved the loss of my uncle this past week.

What is Mother Nature doing to my fall foliage?

Well, Mother Nature seems to be taking a pause from the outstanding color that was so easily being found this past week or two…

Before you start telling me that “But I have reservations!” and I will remind you that I always tell you to have alternatives from finding the colorful autumn leaves. Have some other interests in mind… With rain I look for indoor things to do or be ready to peep from the car window… OR you dress for rain and go hiking on the trails in the rain… (I know not as much fun).

Current conditions & where to find some color!

Guildhall Vermont grist mill in 1 October fall foliage an orange maple stands over the grist mill

Just to show you that a rainy day doesn’t count you out unless you let it. Misting rain at the Crawford farm grist mill

Ok, with the rain and wind we have lost some leaves so the perfect peak foliage that we had we are looking at spotty color in many areas. Also Peak only lasts a day to a few days depending on the year. Even without wind and rain Peak remains bright for 1-3 days and then turns a golden hue and starts to gently fall to the ground… But we have been getting hit with rain and light winds and the leaves are falling fast.

This shot was taken on cloudy or even rainy days. I don’t let the rain keep me from shooting and you shouldn’t either.

Maine looks promising!

The last report from the Maine foliage page say they had low leaf drop but that was before the rain but I think this is your best bet for the rest of the weekend.

You will find  good color in many areas where the trees may have been protected from the wind and rain. I don’t have a report from Maine but Butch on Friday said great color (full peak) in the western Maine area around Rangeley Lake. But that is now several days old… and rain has been falling there..

NH Lakes region

I would say the color that I saw around Squam lake/river and Winnipesaukee should hold on pretty well and this coming week is supposed to be rain free (hear that Mother Nature, rain free!!) So If you get your maps out and drive around the lakes and maybe as far north as Tamworth NH and south to Alton bay you should see some nice color..

Massachusetts autumn color

Central Mass is slowly coming into it’s color and there are patches of real nice color. I was down at Sturbridge Village on Sat and the area is looking nice but isn’t peak… So the color is spotty but still very nice. I drove the back roads until I arrived in one of my favorite spots, New Salem on the border of the Quabbin Reservoir. The color was good but again the leaves were coming down pretty good. It may still be good today but not much past that. Here is a link to the NEPGuild Facebook page where someone posted an image to Bish Bash falls in Mass.   There are many more also so stop in there and at New England fall foliage on facebook.

Vermont color

I would say try over in the Champlain valley on Route 7 and see what the color looks like to the west of the Greens or on Route 100 on the east of the Greens. No one has made a report since I was there except for Butch Lombardi of East Bay Images (NEPGuild member also) and he said the same as me, that “the area around Woodstock has gone by and suggested further south”.

Over all thoughts!


The Friendship tied up along the wharf in Salem with another three masted ship in October

In October the colors in Salem harbor are less autumn but nice

No I’m not going to tell you it will be spectacular or otherwise since “Spectacular” fall color and full peak takes a certain set of events to happen.

  • First we have to have a good long period of dry stable weather with sunny days and cool to cold nights (not freezing)
  • Second, we need no rain once the leaves have turned because this is when they are at their prettiest and their weakest and will fall off with a gentle breeze.

We had this in Sept and the first week of October and we had by my experience some of the best peak fall color that I have ever seen. I don’t think we’ll see peak like that the rest of the season but I hope that the color will be good through the more southern areas.

I’ll be looking at the reports and get more posts up here as I get them but you should visit my twitter and FaceBook pages for faster updates. I try to pull over and make them from the road if I get a chance. (Also if Verizon has service in that area)… 🙁

I hope you are having a wonderful vacation in spite of the weather which this morning was sunny and cool here in Salem… Yes I was out but I was down at the docks photographing the Friendship and another visiting three  masted ship that was tied up nearby.

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 takes a breather — 11 Comments

  1. Pingback: Fall Foliage colors for the 2nd wk of Oct - Exploring New England's fall foliage

  2. Hi, Jeff! We will be flying in, visiting my daughter in New Haven, then driving to see my son in Ithaca, NY. We thought we would drive via Lake Waramaug, Kent, CT,and Kaaterskill Falls, NY, because those areas are recommended as pretty in fall. Our plans are for this weekend (Oct 12 – 15), but we are also able to come two weeks later (Oct 24-27). Do you have an opinion on which weekend would be more likely to have beautiful color? Do you have any other suggestions for beauty or family fun (older kids) between New Haven & Ithaca? Thank you in advance for taking time to answer!!! (Love your site! Wish I’d found it sooner!) Colleen

    • I believe I answered this before so I guess I’d like to know how it went?

  3. How about the Mohawk Trail heading out to Williamstown and Cummington MA area? How’s the foliage out that way for next Tuesday and Wednesday (Oct. 16 and 17). Any hope for some good color then?

    • If we get sun then there is a chance of color on the hills. If we get rain or cloudy days then the leaves may not develop full color.

      • Please add the caveat that tonight we’re getting a heard freeze (not good) and after 7-10 days of rain it will take 7-10 days of sunny weather (straight) to get the leaves that are still green to turn… So saying the Mohawk trail isn’t peak isn’t saying that it will be soon… I just drove 357 miles out through northern MA to Bellows Falls VT. There was no peak anywhere to be seen… Unless we get 7+ days of sun I’m not sure we’ll get any more peak.. it will most likely be a tree here or there… I don’t want to give you false hope at this point. I’m not hearing about peak from anyone at this point so keep an eye on my blog and on my FB page where many photographers are uploading images that they see in their trips.

  4. Hello Jeff,

    I want to thank you again for your diligent reporting and many suggestions. My wife and I just returned to Burbank, CA from a wonderful tour of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. We based our timeline on a comment I read on one of your earlier entries that mentioned your timetable for your vacation this fall. We flew in to Boston on 10/3 and stayed in Concord, NH overnight, jogged over to Portland Maine on the 4th for a tour of the Art Museum there and then drove over to Franconia NH. We were blown away by the colors we viewed. It was a kind of drizzly, overcast day but thrilling to us newbies. On the 5th we drove down to Lincoln, NH, stopping at the Cannon tram and again at Flume Gorge. The sun was out and the colors were as brilliant as they could be! Just fabulous! That afternoon we went zip-lining in Lincoln and it was the most beautiful experience I have ever had….sliding through and above the treetops in the afternoon sun after Jack Frost had magically colored the entire forest. Priceless! We spent the next several days touring NH and VT and even though the colors were not at peak anymore it was still a beautiful 1000 mile drive. The reds were disappearing but the yellows and oranges were still abundant. We flew back to drab old Los Angeles on the evening of 10/9, very grateful for having had the experience of leaf-peeping. We thank you again for your input over the past couple of months.

    Jim Farrell
    Burbank, CA

    • I’m so very happy that you got here when you did. The season has been a tough one and those who came later are finding more difficult. The weather has been rainy for the past 7 days and with out the sun the colors have taken a slow boat to China in developing more color… I hope you got tons of great pictures…

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