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!” https://www.jeff-foliage.com/2013/07/best-time-for-fall-foliage-in-new-england-2/#comment-2005
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).
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.
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!
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.
Jeff “Foliage” Folger
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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.