New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » In search of peak fall foliage
incredible hues of rainbow colors of New England fall colors over a small white church in Sugar Hill New Hampshire.#Vistaphotography #JeffFolger, #JeffFoliage,

Is Peak the reason for the season?

Along Route 2A in Bedford Mass on 29 Sept 2012. One tree is bright red and the ones next to it are bright green...

Along Route 2A in Bedford Mass on 29 Sept 2012. One tree is bright red and the ones next to it are bright green…

Lucy wrote to me asking about her bus tour itinerary. Now, whether you like guided tours or not this is more about getting substance out of your vacation.

Her dates are 1-8 Oct and starts in Boston, out west to the Berkshires, up into Vermont and Stowe, over to North Conway and then back down the coast to Portsmouth/Rockport and then Boston and home.

Her main concerns are:

I’m having second thoughts about finding peak on an insight foliage tour” She also says “I know 8-10th is what you call the sweet spot, but perhaps Oct.3-6th is not too early for peak in that part of New England.

And Finally “With your delay prediction, and the spring drought, should I postpone this trip for next year? I would only get one chance at a New England vacation. I hear the first week is best for this area (under normal conditions). What do you think

I love her highpoints on her itinerary

  • Berkshires
  • Stowe Vermont
  • North Conway NH
  • Billings Farm, Woodstock and Quechee Gorge
  • Stay at the Trap Lodge
  • Crawford Notch, Silver Cascade
  •  Bretton woods
  • Franconia notch with aerial tramway
  • Kancamagus highway
  • Portsmouth
  • Rockport


Lucy was looking at my 2013 forecast and not my April 2014 update! So the drought doesn’t apply to this year (so far and my May update will be out next week with any game changers in there.)

Also! if you have read my blogs for a while, you know, I always state “you might miss peak” But like the image above which was taken on 29 Sept in 2012 “you are very likely to see some individual trees in incredible color”! That one tree, was @two weeks early!


I think Everybody needs to read this article on finding peak fall foliage to aid in making their plans. I also have pulled out all planning articles on my Archives page. They are listed on the right side of the page.

This means you can skip the past years foliage reports and concentrate on what you really want to know! (I also have a page with each state listed and the articles that detail some of that states best locations with directions and dates!)


The Pine sentinel crossing  river in Franconia Notch state park, New Hampshire.

Pine sentinel covered bridge crossing river

Third and final (for the moment) Nothing I write is written stone! (it’s more like jello… 🙂  I want you to forget one thing,  FORGET That YOU EVER HEARD OF PEAK FALL FOLIAGE!

Why you may ask? Because, if I never left home until I was sure I’d find Peak color, I’d never leave home! Instead I want you to focus on having a good time because that is the reason for taking the trip, I guarantee you will see lots of fall colors, sometimes there will be lots and sometimes there will be only a little but you will see it.

Also when I say The Kancamagus “may be” or may not be at peak, or it may be later than you are arriving, that is because by MY standard which is higher than most autumn leaf peepers, I’m not happy yet!

As a case in point! Lucy asks” if she will see any color on 4 October when they cross the Kancamagus highway?” I’ll answer this will two videos of the Kancamagus from 2012 and 2013, both taken on 2 October in their respective years.

This is 2013 And this is 2012 Remember this was on 2 October! and while I may say this isn’t peak.. I think you will agree that it would make your trip worth while.

These are views from the western side of the Kanc (the side closer to Lincoln NH). When you go over the top to the Eastern side there was much less color and that is the way of it.

Peak is not simply throwing a blanket over the entire region in one toss, and declaring New Hampshire is Peak!

It’s more like throwing paint on the wall and saying the splatters are where the fall color will be today and each day you throw a bit more paint on the wall and there is some more fall color showing up. When the wall is covered completely you are now at peak.

I hope this gives you some basis for making a good decision and if I can ask a small favor, can you write back when the trip is over and tell me how good the tour operator did. Everything from how they made you feel and how they set you up.

Jeff “Foliage” Folger

Escape today

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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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