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Fall colors slow to arrive in New England — 14 Comments

  1. Great! Hope to catch you there Jeff. I am looking to download maps showing the covered bridges and trail heads of white mountain national forest & route 100 (planning to do the smuggler’s notch & high way 100 leading upto route 125 as well along with the kanc scenic drive) can you point me in the right direction

  2. Hi Jeff, If we want to go see the foliage this weekend, where would you recommend? We live in MA and would like to drive to VT or NH to see some beautiful colors. I know it’s still early, but my parents are only here till Sunday, so we have no choice. Thanks!

  3. I remember last year I stopped at the 5 & 10 in North Conway on Oct 4th and the people at the store told us we missed the peak color by a week possibly a bit more. Franconia Notch was already mostly brown by this time. The last couple years I keep reading online how the foliage is at peak color yet when I drive to these areas it’s always past peak. Can’t figure it out. Could this be the hotel and restaurant owners posting these comments trying to stretch out the fall season. Sharon’s comment couldn’t have stated it any better. Peak foliage is usually the week before or the week after I get there. I’m not listening to anyone this year I’m going early.

    • Well Bob I can say that last year for the most part ran a little early but not terribly so. I saw really pretty color in northern NH on 28/29 Sept. Errol was gorgeous. Pinkham Notch was about 35% towards peak So in 6 days it should have about peaked or maybe a day earlier but not brown and gone. Franconia notch is about the same area so it should have been the same.
      I was a National Park Ranger last year so I didn’t get out nearly as much as I wanted to and I never hit Franconia.
      On 2-3 October I was on Route 100 in Vermont and I got some really incredible color from Middlebury (Mount snowdon) and up to Stowe where I got the best so far of the white church against the hillside in very nice fall color. It wasn’t peak but it was 70% or better.
      You could have run into what I have have happened before. A photographer reported to me that they came through Crawford Notch saying it was all brown and the locals all said it was gone already (very early in late Sept or 1-2 Oct) So I took that report and come to find out that the color just hadn’t happened yet. Why the locals (who should know better) say that? I don’t know. Maybe they are hoping everyone will go home… Doesn’t happen…
      But as far as the inn keepers and travel industry folks… Yes they would like a long drawn out peak and here is a secret… I call the local library. They have no interest in whether you as a leaf peeper show up and stay. Someone with no interest in the leaf peepers coming into VT or NH are my friends… 🙂
      Most hotel and restaurant people are very honest but they are paying attention to their businesses. Polly’s pancake parlor gets lots of people calling about the colors. But outside of their trip in from Lisbon or maybe the maples in front of the Meeting house up the road, they won’t know what the colors are doing over by Cannon Mountain or down at the Flume Gorge covered bridge. Not even 10 miles as the eagle flies but the colors can still be green there and shot to hell just up a couple exits on 93… I hate to say it and I’ve fallen victim to this a few times also. But you may have just missed the good areas.
      Did you have some other things to do while you were there? Maybe a trip to peacham VT The roads around there yield some great results. How many covered bridges did you hit. They actually can look better with a bit less leaves so you can see the bridge better… I’m including the Jenne farm on 10 October with is usually a good time for it there. The dawn light throws this off with the glow of the sunlight but the trees were pretty full and I bet as the sun came up it got some nice colors.
      I hope you don’t get to bummed out but also No you shouldn’t listen to anyone but me and Jim Salge at Yankee Magazine because I know him and he won’t steer you wrong and I won’t either, unless I get bad info from someone… It does happen.. 🙂
      Jenne farm on 10 October 2014

  4. We are driving from IA to Chicago then up to Niagara Falls the over to Ogunquit ME in 7 days before traveling down to Williamsburg VA for 7 more days. Will that be any colors to enjoy on our drive???

    • You don’t tell me your dates so I’ll have to with a definite maybe… At least until I hear the dates. Considering this week is cooling off up north so we should be good…

  5. Fine with me if they are a little slow to arrive–I won’t be arriving until early October. Had my fingers crossed for months that the timing would work out . Looks like it just might. 🙂

  6. Hello , we going to visit New Hampshire and Vermont on 13 October, we are coming from Israel and very exited , we hope that the foliage in this week will be wonderful

  7. My definition of “peak foliage” is usually the week prior to my arrival or the week after my departure. Got really lucky one time and hit the nail on the head, but mid week a big storm came in. One day the sun went down and the colors were absolutely beautiful…the next morning they were all on the ground! But, my Fall peak foliage mind set is just appreciate what you see today, no matter what color it is – so don’t blink! Hey, even green is a pretty color! I will miss New England this Fall, but it is always in my thoughts!

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