New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » Fall colors 2014, rained out?

Could my fall colors get rained out?

The complicated answer is yes… IF you show up to JUST find the peak fall colors. Rosilind (one of my commenters) posted a comment because someone told her if it rains, “your fall foliage vacation is ruined!”

I told her it may not be the best tour she’d ever taken but because she was going to visit a ton of great places like Lexington MA, and Mystic CT and Martha’s Vineyard and North Conway NH, not to mention Portland Maine. She will still have a great time because she has planned a great vacation (or the tour operator did).

Fall colors on Vermont farm in Central VT east of Lake Champlain, Oct 10 2013

Vermont farm in Central VT east of Lake Champlain, Oct 10 2013

I told her to bring a rain coat and an umbrella and prepare to really enjoy the sights and if it doesn’t rain she will probably see somewhere along the way, great foliage!

Let’s face it, none of us can control the weather and we just have to make the plans and hope for the best. Last July 2013, I wrote that after the monsoon season up in Vermont of 2013 and I didn’t think it would end the season. Well here is a Vermont image from 10 October last year and while the fall  colors were late, it wasn’t too bad.

WHEN is the best time to for fall colors?

This is the grand Daddy of all questions on this blog and probably every other blog as well! The problem is this, picking a single location to find the fall colors in New England is like choosing a stock to buy based on past results. Just because it did well 4 years ago, doesn’t mean it will this year.

A small boat with the fall colors of a New England fall foliage season at hand.

The small boat is a working one with the autumn fall foliage in the background.

Generally a good location will produce good color almost every year but if for some reason this area got more than it’s fair share of rain or got so little that the leaves fall off the trees OR,  if someone farts in Tennessee, then this may not be the year for that spot.

When I talk about New England fall colors, I do so with a broad paint brush… I don’t sit in one location for the entire season seeing the fall colors develop but instead, I’m driving all over taking a sampling of what the autumn colors are doing on any given day and forming my opinions from that.

Mel Allen, at Yankee Magazine always talks about the fall color continuum. And very simply you just have to get out and enjoy what you find. The colors will develop from north to south (generally) and from higher elevation to lower elevation. You have swamp Maples which are just Maples that are in low-lying wet areas and they tend to turn earlier than any of their counterparts. Sometimes you pass through a peak area and back into a green area within a few miles of travel and if you are lucky, back into a high color area after that… 🙂

The best advice that I can give!

New England fall foliage stretching as far as the eye can see in Rangeley Lake Maine

Rangeley Maine :A view from the height of land above Rangeley Lake on 3 Oct 2013

When you plan your vacation, look for things that you are going to enjoy doing rain or shine. This way if the weather isn’t as nice as you would like, at least you’re out seeing something that you’ll enjoy. I know for a fact that picking apples in an orchard with my wife on a cloudy, overcast day is just as nice as if it were a sunny one.

leave me a comment and let me know if you think I’m right or wrong! I loved to hear your opinions and I’ll try to answer your questions as honestly and quickly as I can.

Escape today

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 colors 2014, rained out? — 5 Comments

  1. My friends and I will be visiting New England for the first time this fall. Our main objective, of course, is to see the fall color. We will be staying at the Inn Season Resort @ Pollard Brook from October 19th to 26th. I would appreciate any ‘words of wisdom’ you could share with this ‘first timer’. Any “don’t miss” or “don’t bother” advice? Thanks in advance. BTW, I came across your FB page through a photo ‘liked’ by one of my pages and I have since ‘liked’ your page. And I will be spending a lot more time on your website. Looks like there is a lot of interesting information there.

    • Hi Linda, for those who don’t know, the Inn season resort is in Lincoln NH on Route 112 (the Kanc or Kancamagus highway). Well Linda I’m comfortable telling you, that you will spend much of your time driving south past Lake Winnipesaukee and into southern NH or even Massachusetts. I think we’ll see early color this fall. Not 1 Sept or peak on 15 Sept but the signs are looking that there will be color development earlier in Sept through more southern areas of New England.

      But if you read my articles you would see that in any year (except 2011 and 2005) by these dates (19-26 Oct) I would be directing people to MA/CT/RI to locate themselves…
      Don’t miss… that’s tough.. A drive along the Kanc should be nice.. (no to not much color left but not much traffic either, Bonus!) You’ll have Conway and all the tax free outlet shopping to yourself. Drive up the road to Jackson and check out the Ravenwood curio shoppe. Take my word for it… it’s worth stopping at…
      Help or Hurt?

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  3. Jeff – thank you so much for providing your insight. We know that no one can predict, however, do you think that it is possible to see fall colors as late as the last week of October this year? Thank you so much!

    • Hi Patricia T. You’ll be glad to know there is always fall colors through the end of Oct BUT! Where… If you go looking up in the White mountains you will be most likely disappointed. The color I speak of is down along the shoreline and depending on the year Salem has had a colorful Halloween. Take a ride down along the coastline of Rhode Island and Connecticut and the little towns of Tiverton and Barrington and over to Mystic CT for some mystic pizza! (and the tall ships).
      Chestnut street in Salem at Halloween Chestnut street at Halloween

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