Where are the best places to view fall foliage!
It’s amazing how early folks get going to plan for a fall trip to New England and since a vacation like this can cost some bucks they want to get it right and really enjoy finding fall colors.They also want to hit all the best places to view fall foliage.
Exploring like a 7 year old
The one thing I try to remind everybody, is to explore like a 7 year old… It doesn’t matter what you find, just get out there and have fun doing it… My first recommendation is for each day, to plan one or two daily activities. Maybe your dates coincide with a fall foliage festival in the North East Kingdom. (NEK) If you plan to be in Peacham VT, during their day long festival, (see my festival page) then you can take a tour of the town and see the “Peacham view”. Over a five day period a different town hosts the festival.
You may not like or agree with my Peacham view and that is perfectly all right. You can create your own by stopping to talk to a local business owner and ask them where they would suggest. They are very proud of their town and are happy to tell you where to go… Normally they will even tell you where to find the fall colors as well… 🙂
The secret of finding the best places to view fall foliage
The first secret is there are no secret views or at least no “REAL” secret locations. They are all known. What makes them a secret to you, is that you don’t know where they are at. At least not yet!
To me, the only real secret lies in picking the correct time and place. That doesn’t sound too hard does it? You just have to pick one or more locations, and match them to historically proven dates that coincide with the arrival of the fall colors. Ok, this is the most mysterious of the arcane arts. Generally I’m in the ball park with my dates but Mother Nature always has the last laugh when it comes to peak fall foliage dates… 🙁
I have several articles that give locations for a particular date. Read this one for 1 October locations in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. Although the Massachusetts dates range from late September to 9 Oct. This shows you that each year’s weather is a variable that can’t be predicted with 100% certainty (not even 65% certainty). For 1 October you will almost always be in the three northern New England states.
Here is a short list of some iconic scenes that usually produce at the very least, a pretty scene to photograph and if you are lucky, some great color as well. There is a link to another article in each of these listings that describes it further.
The Vermont church (any) against a backdrop of hills or as above, we have the Peacham VT church against the backdrop of receding hills dappled in autumn colors.
Over on Route 2 in Erving Ma you will find heading west out of Erving that the road suddenly gets very winding and on either side of the road the hills climb steeply upward (and there are a few pull outs for parking). Also as you get further along Route 2 you will come to Florida. No, you didn’t take a really wrong turn. Florida Massachusetts is out there on Route 2 and once again you will find more of these high walled roads that are covered in autumn’s fall colors.
Between 25 September and 1 October you can take the drive up into Maine. Before the 1st you will be heading to Geenville or even further. This is why I don’t cover northern Maine, It’s not an afternoon jaunt, you need to plan an entire vacation around traveling up there.
For 1 Oct a great stop is Rangeley Lake. On your way there you can stop at the Height of land. This is on your way to Rangeley Lake, Coming up Route 17 you will see signs for the height of land. Here you can pull over and see several of the lakes laid out below you.
The flow of the fall colors
As you may have read/heard before, the color tends to flow from the North to the south and we start to see serious color change around the last week of Sept. By the 1st of Oct, the North East Kingdom (North Eastern Vermont or the NEK) along with Northern NH and Northern Maine are usually showing really good color.
These Northern areas may be the first but I have found great color on the Kancamagus highway in NH by the 1st of Oct. You may find this confusing due to it being further south but you also have to factor in elevation. Higher elevation means cooler temperatures and temperature is a critical factor in the color change. I’ve found early color in the White mountains as early as the 18th of September BUT! this is just a tree here or there.
Traveling across New England is search of the autumn colors is an arcane art and its mysteries are seldom fathomed until the last minute. So while I feel fairly confident in my forecasts, Mother Nature holds all the cards.
If you want more opinions you might go up on our NEW Foliage forum and ask your questions there and see if anyone can give you their opinion on a good trip they took.. It’s pretty quiet at this time of year but if you want a larger audience you might check out Fodor’s forums. Or Frommer’s also.
January Contest winner
My monthly contest winner for January 2016 is Debbie Loundry of Massachusetts. If you aren’t aware, I pick from my Fine Art newsletter email list between Nov-April (sign up here). From May – October I host a monthly comment to win. Around mid month I post an article and I pick a name from everyone who comments on that article. This way I only get people who want to be entered into the contest.
Questions? leave a comment!
Til next weekJeff "Foliage" Folger You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites
- My Gallery on Fine Art America
- *NEW* We created a new Fall foliage forum
- Join my New England Fall Foliage page on Facebook
- Follow @Foliage_Reports on Twitter
but people call me Jeff Foliage.
I have several pages that I write blogs for such as: http://www.4cornersnewengland.com/
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff Foliage.com.
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.