Forecasts & reports

Fall foliage Forecasts and Reports

In January, I start looking at the weather patterns put out by the NOAA climatology folks and I try to make a fall foliage predictions based on their reports and Yankee Magazine’s Old Farmer’s Almanac, mixed in with my own experiences and guesswork! So, below, you will find my GUESS about what we are going to have in the way of fall foliage for this year.

See bottom for past years predictions and Foliage reports.

Forecasts for 2014 season

2014 Fall Foliage Prediction

Prediction on what is happening or what I think will happen as far as the fall foliage season goes in 2014

Foliage Reports for the 2014 season

2014 Fall Foliage Report

Reports from August to November 2014


Fall Foliage Forecasts and Reports for 2013

Fall Foliage Forecasts and Reports for 2012

Click the previous years to see what you missed in the images of previous fall foliage reporting!



Forecasts & reports — 40 Comments

  1. Pingback: The Road to Journey’s End « freelancetrekker

  2. Pingback: New England fall foliage prediction – 2013 - Exploring New England's fall foliage

  3. Dear Jeff,
    I’m an italian travel agent and I’m very pleased to read all you post on your website and on facebook too.
    You’re so great!!!
    I’m planning my trip to your wonderful country next 3rd October (this is my 40′s personal gift).
    I’m starting my foliage tour from Burlington (VT) to visit the Kangamagus, then we would reach the Maine. We have only one week available. Do you think does it worth to visit the Acadia Nat Park?
    Furthermore, is it easy to drive from Burlington to Belfast (ME) in a day? This would be to reach the Acadia…I’m so confused.
    I’m looking forward to see your new photos and 2014 prediction.
    My warmest regards from Italy,

  4. Hi Jeff!!!! I’m very grateful of your kindness!
    As you can imagine when I sell tours in the USA, they are organized by local tour operators. But this is MY journey and unfortunately I don’t have so much time….We will visit the region in 6 days….. so sad….one of the route I wouldn’t miss is the Mohawk Trail. What do you think?
    We take the hard decision to avoid Boston and Cape Cod….
    My regards from Arezzo. Have you aver been to Italy?????

    • Well Jessica, the Mohawk trail will have some color especially in the western portion because of it’s elevation. (highest point in Massachusetts. but other part will be spotty to green. inother words it will be nice but… not bright and colorful. But if you do go make sure you stop in Erving at the Freight house antiques. they have a little dining counter for sandwiches and their pies are homemade and delicious!
      Here is an article that covers a small portion of the Mohawk trail:
      I will say in 2012 there was good color as of 29 Sept (not great but 35% towards peak in some areas which is very unusual. It was a very dry year (7″ less rain than normal) This year is so far also a dry year but not nearly as bad. maybe 1″-2″ below normal but that could be fixed in a week or two. The trees are healthy and if we go into late september with this deficit in precipitation then we could have outstanding colors.
      Now the reason I mention all this is because the colors start waaaay up north in Canada then as we hit the middle of Sept they start flowing south and from higher to lower elevation. AND! just to make it more difficult, if we get early cold temps in Sept (again in 2012 we had night time temps in the 40s for several weeks in Massachusetts and this caused our colors to turn early) This can also throw a wrench in the calculations.
      So this is never an exact science, Mother Nature is fickle, at best… AND just when I think I have it figured out, she changes the rules!
      Today is June 26th and the outside temp at 8:26AM is 64 degrees (17C for my Italian neighbor) :-)


  5. Hi Jeff, my husband and I are planning to travel to Bar Harbor, rent a car, drive to Portland, Maine and drive down the coastal highway to Boston and fly home to Tennessee after that. We have 7-10 to spend on this trip. We’d rather not run the risk of getting caught in the first snow storm of the season and my husband is especially sensitive to extreme cold temps. My dream has always been to see the beautiful fall foliage, quaint bridges, steeples and lighthouses. When would you recommend that we make this trip to have the best chance of meeting the criteria I’ve laid out. I won’t hold you to it; just your best guess please.

    • I would say if you arrived around Oct 15th you should be pretty happy. If the color is later it’s wouldn’t be much of a drive to come inland a little to find the color but most of the trip to Boston should be a colorful one. With 7-10 days you will be able to zig zag through all the fingers of land on your way down.. The only downside is that Reds in Wiscasset ('s+Eats/@44.002532,-69.664201,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xdf6136272c1d7296)
      Will be closed by then (great lobster rolls but you should be able to find some along the way (make sure they butter and toast the rolls!)
      Pick up a Gazetteer (here is a link: Maine Atlas & Gazetteer)

      You don’t have to get a Gazetteer (the link has them between $7 (used) to $15) but I find that are great to use to explore with. But any good atlas will point out locations. If you find anything really great, please come back and let me know, so I can mark it down… :-)

  6. Hi Jeff, my husband has surprised me with a Birthday gift to see the fall foliage sept. 26th-oct.4. We plan on seeing ‘Cher’ in concert in Boston on the 27th and then on the 28th. driving to New Hampshire, Vermont, the Cape and take the ferry to Nantucket and back to Boston. In the past we’ve visited the third week of oct. and our anniversary in May. My concern is we are arriving too early to see the trees change colors and or any of the brilliant colors from past visits. Any thoughts or suggestions on our itinerary would be more than appreciated.

    • You are right it will be a bit early and I can recommend places like Montgomery and Hazens notch in VT as well as all of the NEK. Then into NH from Canon Mountain to all points north. I think I can say you’ll see some color but the further north you go the better (longer drive). 3rd week in Oct means you’re much further south and into MA, RI, CT. As we get closer I’ll get a better picture. We’re still 76 days out and even for me that is a bit of a stretch to even being close to accurate… :-)

      • Hi Jeff, I checked out the places you recommend and I can’t wait to explore new territory… there is so much to do and see. I think driving north will give us the autumn beauty we are wanting to experience. Your photos of these areas are majestic… they truly are a selling point. Thank you for sharing your time, expertise and adventures with us so we can plan our dream vacation. I look forward to your updates as we get closer to the fall season. I am recovery from major foot surgery this summer and your site/photos give me an escape. Your work is a treasure.
        Be well,

  7. Hi Jeff, I had an aborted trip starting in Burlington, VT right before 9/11 and have only now some time to revisit a portion of that trip. The time I have available is Oct 30 – Nov 6. I could drive out of NYC or fly out somewhere and then rent a car, i.e. flexible as to the where to go. Just wanted your insight as to where the best opportunity to see great fall colors in the area would be. Thank you.

    • Hi Lee, well with those dates I will make a few recommendations. First, this is the tail end of the season and I would be looking at anywhere along the coast. IF, yes I say IF we don’t have any major storms in Oct then you may find really nice colors further inland but I wouldn’t want to take those odds. In the last 5 years we’ve had anywhere from rain and winds during Oct to Hurricane Irene.

      So I would look to balance these factors. There is also pumpkin/harvest/Halloween festivals to think about. Halloween is on Friday this year and Salem MA comes to mind. :-)

      If you are limited to VT (wasn’t sure from your comment) You could also look at traveling around Lake Champlain. The lake stays warm and like along the ocean the colors will be delayed a little near it. You could try Route 2 that follows the islands on the lake. North Hero can be very nice.

  8. Hi Jeff! I am planning a trip out to Durham, NH to visit my brother and I’m trying to plan it so I can see some great fall colors. I plan on flying in to Boston, then driving up to NH. The two dates I am debating between are Sept 25-28, or Oct 16-19. Since we will be closer to the coast and southeast NH, would you recommend Oct 16? Thanks!

    • hi Lydia, I would say your second set of dates are right on the mark. Durham and the area around great day will be slow to change due to the warmth of the Bay and the proximity to the ocean. (You must have been reading my blog ):-)
      but I would say that you still may benefit from exploring North and West of your area. It really depends on what mother nature gives us and if the season is slow I would drive up to Lake Winnipesaukee and circle around it and see what the colors are like up in that area you could also travel through the Merrimack Valley which is West and South of Durham and North along route one following the coast from Portsmouth up into Maine and Kittery. There will be no lack of farm stands and events going on that you can enjoy the autumn harvest season.
      It looks like most all of the festivals or fairs will be over but you do have the Keene pumpkin Festival on October 18 which is in Keene New Hampshire.
      I hope this gives you some ideas on things to do. Also check my site for touring ideas you might be able to find some hiking or bike paths or even a scenic train to take to see some foliage.
      Jeff foliage

  9. Hi Jeff, we are flying into Hartford, Connecticut on October 3rd spending the night there and heading to Hyannisport for a couple of nights. Then making our way up to Jeffersonville, Vermont for the remainder of our trip which will be flying out on October 11th. What route do you suggest to make it to Jeffersonville where we would see the best scenery?

    • hi Angie, I’m not sure what your exact arrival date is or how long you’re going to be on the road which makes it hard for me to direct you. But assuming that you’re allowing for a weeks vacation, plus a day to travel back to the airport (it depends if you’re flying out of Manchester or Concord or Portland or Boston or Hartford.) the further the airport the longer the draw (it goes without saying)
      for the most part assuming you are driving up on the third or fourth of October, I’m also assuming your driving up route 89 which will be the fastest way to get there, coming in from the West on 104.
      The first thing that strikes my mind is that if the color is late you could drive up 109 to 118 and visit Montgomery Vermont with its covered bridges and then from the center of Montgomery pick up route 58 which will take you up and over hazes notch which could be quite a lovely drive.
      From there you arrive in Lowell and hit route 100, you follow that down through Eden and hit possibly route 15 or hit route 100C and pick up route 15 further West and come back into Jeffersonville and finish your day.
      On another day if the color is a little further along you can head South on route 108 out of Jeffersonville and follow that through Smugglers Notch which can be quite beautiful in the mountains you’ll pass underneath Mount Mansfield rising majestically above you and come out into Stowe. From there you can either hit route 100 and head north back to Jeffersonville
      as you travel down route 100 and you get past Little River state Park keep an eye open for Ben & Jerry’s and a tour there usually includes free ice cream. Continue down to route two follow that to the West and North annual be traveling into Richmond Vermont. In the center of town there is a Richmond Congregational church which is also called the Richmond round church. you can make your way onto route 117 two route 15 and follow that backup taking bridge and back into Jeffersonville.
      if you can and have another day free take a look at going South by East to gratin state Park which is East of route to and North of route 302 there’s some lovely hikes in their and once you’re in the state forest area they can direct you to the overlook above kettle pond which is a favorite of photographers.
      if you still have time free consider heading south into Middlebury along route7 it’s a college town and from there you can catch route 125 up and over the northern green mountains and then head North on route 100 look for route 12 or 12 A to your East and Northfield Vermont. The town of Northfield is known for the college of Norwich University but it also has five covered bridges and if you’re like me and love covered bridges this is the place to be when the colors are changing. The image that I posted in the comment of this page ( is of the slaughterhouse covered bridge and that is one of the five covered bridges of Northfield Vermont. I hope this helps give you some ideas at least to get started with.

  10. Sorry Jeff. We are arriving in Hartford on Oct 3rd and We are flying home to Louisiana out of Burlington, Vermont on that Saturday, October 11th. After leaving Hyannisport on the 5th we are making our way up to Sterling Ridge Resort in Jeffersonville for the remainder of our trip. Hoping to see some of New Hampshire on the way up. We’d like to see Maine also but not sure what to focus on there without it being too far from our cabin. From reading your posts it looks like not much color first week of October in CT and Mass. How about the rest at that time? Thank you so much for all of your time answering all of us leaf peepers.

    • Well like a lot of folks you want to go for the big three, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. But to do this you need another week or three.
      I think you’ll be much happier if you work on Vermont and maybe a little of NH. I’ll reply tomorrow with a suggestion for NH but my ideas for Vermont stand.

    • Ok Angie, now we have your dates so we can firm things up a bit. BTW after you stay at this resort let me know how it was. Value for your buck and amenities and so forth. Now I would say driving up the highway (Route 93) to 89 is the best way to get up there (Google says 5.4 hours) so there is your first day. If you get in early enough, then see if there are any walks you can take to get familiarized with the area. (Something relaxing).

      This summer is more like earlier years as far as temps go (we’ve only had 4 days at or slightly exceeding 90 around Boston unlike 13 days last year) But August hasn’t arrived yet and that is when we usually get 4-7 days in the 90s. But if these temps are an indicator of anything and in Sept we go early into the 40s and 50s at night then we could get some early color changing. (keep reading my blog updates and on Facebook to see what is happening.)

      So! trips I would be looking at are, for NH over into Sugarhill NH. You can take 302 over to Route 112 and the 116 North to 117 and into Sugarhill. (On route 117 is Polly’s Pancake Parlor and is a must stop for a meal I usually get there around lunch. As a side note Route 112 goes into Woodstock with several nice places for Lunch and the beaver pond is along that route (here is an article to read about the Beaver pond).

      South of Montpelier on Route 12 is a scenic area around the town of Northfield and Norwich University. They also have 5 Covered bridges. and back to New Hampshire with a run along the Kancamagus highway which is a classic ride taken by everyone. I would do this earlier rather than later due to the Columbus Day holiday traffic on Friday through Sunday.

      As far as the traffic goes as long as you are heading south and not north at any point on Fri-Sat you should be ok.

      Let me know if there are more questions.. Have you picked up a gazetteer yet? If you visit this page on my website you can order them and bring them with you.
      Gazetteers are great for planning and they include everything that you might be interested in locating while you are exploring…

      P.S. Just thought of a few mountains that have gondola rides… Cannon mountain and Loon mountain… too many ideas going through my head.. :-) A view from the Flume Gorge parking lot on a misty rainy day in early October

  11. Jeff, glad I found this site, we’re doing our annual vacation later this year in hopes of seeing some “COLOR”. We’ll be driving up and arriving around Oct. 5th. based out of N. Prov. R.I., we have no time line other than being back in FL recharged and ready for work on Oct. 19th. Any suggestions for extended day trips while we’re up?

    • Well I’m assuming you will take 2-3 days to drive back? So I will assume the 16th is your last day. So lets say 6 to 16 Oct. Basing yourself that far south you will be spending a while on the road (unless fall does start early like in 2012 and we were getting color early north to south at roughly the same time.. (very unusual)
      I’m going to give you some reading to do and have a pad of paper so you can write down questions for later.
      First is this page on this site. This way you can explore several states with routes and info on the locations.
      Second page is for purchasing some Gazetteers if you don’t already have them.
      Third page is from my planning archives and everything on the right hand column of this page will help with narrowing down your search. Lastly here is another

      I realize it’s nice to have me detail it all out for you but you need much of what I’ve already written.. :-) So after you read these 30+ articles (I’m not kidding) you will know what to ask about when and where in your journey. That way I can surgically answer what you don’t know and may not be in these articles.


  12. Jeff- will let you know about the resort. Some are suggesting we start in Jeffersonville, VT on Oct 3rd and finishing in Hartford on the 11th because we may miss peak in the northern New England states. What is your opinion?

    • Well I made the following assumptions.
      A. Hartford was set due to airline reservations
      B. Hyannis was set for reservations or other reasons
      If you don’t have to land in Hartford the by all means land in Burlington VT and start up there then flow south with the color finishing the last 3-4 days in Hyannis and then drive to Boston or Hartford and fly home. The color starts up north and then flows south. There is on a little color comparably on the Cape so the biggest reason to go there is to relax since most everybody has gone home from the cape.. Very quiet and great if you want the beaches to yourself.. or nearly so.
      Sorry if I misunderstood…

  13. Well as it stands right now we fly in to Burlington on the 3rd and fly out of Burlington on the 11th. To see more states we thought we’d change our flight to arrive inHartford and work our way up. No hotel arrangements have been made yet except sterling Ridge for the entire week. We were going to just revise the amount of days there and stay in other states while making our way. But with your suggestion, we may make our way down instead of up. Wanted to stop in Hyannisport to see the Kennedy Compound by boat tour.

    • Well Angie, there is nothing wrong with your plans, they are, after all, your plans. If you want to drive down to the Cape to take the boat tour, then you should do so! Because this is your vacation and no one elses. I just need to understand what are the things you want to accomplish. So, based on this current info, if you fly in on the 3rd to Burlington you will be able to enjoy your time up in the North East Kingdom of VT and into New Hampshire but to do Hyannis you will still need to drive the 5 hours to get there or most of a day. Just allow the time to get there and then drive back. I’m guessing that you may be hitting several travel sites and getting many different viewpoints to see what every other person says…
      opinions on when and where the fall foliage will be are like buttons AND everybody has a bunch of them. (including me)

      The locations I outlined below are usually safe for your time period but it all depends on what mother nature hands us. If we get a week of rain?? All the color comes to a screeching halt until we get sunny days again so it pays to pay attention to what you see the weather doing in this part of the country.
      BUT! remember there is nothing you can do to guard against a rainy period throwing my plans and every single other persons “opinion” of schedule…
      I always tell folks do things and explore and don’t hook everything on finding PEAK fall foliage. Because if you miss the peak then you might be unhappy… And one more secret, ready… Anything between 50% and 100% is incredible! so if you don’t hit peak, your jaw will still be sore from hanging open half the day! The picture on this page in the comments was not peak! it’s nice but I added contrast to make the color stand out. it was rainy and misting as I took that from my car window.
      Also peak is not a single day but if we are lucky it’s 5-7 days leading into and another 5-7 days exiting and anywhere in the window will be very pleasant, ok?
      There is no way I or anyone can pick a day and say that on the corner or Routes 117 and 18 on Tuesday the 3rd of Oct you will find peak… It may very well be there waiting for you but if you read my articles I spend days driving back and forth to see how the colors are developing. I will see some really nice color along one stretch of road and then for the next 6 miles it’s all green and then you come around a bend in the road and all the trees for as far as the eye can see are in all the shades of the rainbow and then some… You go another 1 miles and guess what… ALL GREEN… that is the way of it. sometimes a single tree gets it signal early and it’s a week or two ahead of the rest around it. So you find it glowing in all it’s peak color and the trees up and down the road are just tinged with color… This is very common.

      I don’t want to discourage you, I want you to come to New England with vacation plans, and I want to give you guidance so that you have the best chance of find color… But mostly I want you to have a great vacation. Explore all that New England has to offer and if we can knock your socks off with incredible color, BONUS! :-)

      So where does this leave us?
      If you can change the exit plan for burlington, I would make it Boston (Logan) or even RI. so you don’t have to drive all the way back to VT. (yes there will be a charge for leaving the car at a different airport) but if you can’t do that then enjoy the colors as you drive back north because you will drive from down on the Cape with no color back into the thick of it as you head to Burlington…

      And I still stand with the locations that I gave you because they are still good for central VT and NH to points north 3-8 Oct (assuming 8-11 down south).

  14. Oh no Jeff. Once we make it down south from Jeffersonville, we will fly home from south. We wont be going all the way back up to depart home. We will just change our departure flight from Burlington to maybe Hartford.

    • Well don’t worry, you won’t hurt my feelings and sometimes if you find someone more “local” than me is good because they know their back yard better than me. I paint with broad brush strokes based on years of driving all over and getting a feel for how the colors work. But if I lived in Saint Johnsbury (for instance) I would expect me to know that area and how it turns intimately.
      I may have said before talk to the resort folks and get their opinions when it’s get closer to Oct. They will have the benefit of seeing things on a daily basis. They in Jeffersonville will know if things are running early or late (you can always let me know what they are saying as I can update and bounce it off friends in that area.

      And yes your friend was right about starting in the north…

  15. Hi Jeff, I am planning to do some trip on Labor Day weekend. I have already covered Texas, California, New York, Florida and Vegas. I am in St.Louis, MO and looking for some road trip. Which place can you suggest best for me?

    • Hi Charu, if you are looking for some general ideas on a road trip, I’m sure I can come up with something. Like up route 7 in Vermont and down Route 100. That would be an all day drive or even two if you get out of the car. But if you are hoping for serious fall colors on that drive then you will want to wait until mid September.
      While I’m leaning towards some early color this Sept (if mother Nature cooperates…) I don’t think we’ll see serious autumn foliage colors until after the middle of Sept.
      Let me know your goal and I’ll come up with a few suggestions.

        • Hard to say but I generally send people RI in mid to late October so if you had a chance to move it, you would have better color. I’ve shot weddings so I know the answer to that but I just don’t have a positive feeling about that late date… sorry

          But!!! if any place in New England is going to have some color left over that would be it.. Talk to your local photographer there and make sure he/she knows your wishes for fall colors and see what they tell you.

    • Well with those dates I would say take a drive from Boston and down into Rhode Island. Tiverton and Compton is a very pretty area. Maybe coming across into CT and up the NE corner (known as the Quiet corner) Route 69 goes through Pomfret CT with beautiful old homes and farms. After that day drive you could drive to Mystic Seaport in CT with tall ships and pizza… What?? Remember the movie “Mystic Pizza” Just a thought… :-) Then a day exploring Boston and the Freedom trail. All the trees in Boston should be turning, so as you explore the history of Boston you should get to see fall colors at the same time.

      You could also take the train (commuter rail) from North Station to Salem. Each weekend in October Salem will be putting a party on in preparation for Halloween. You could take in a haunted tour through Salem learning of the fun ghost tales and history of Salem. If the weather is nice it would a nice part time to visit. The reason I say take the train is because driving to Salem is the last thing I would put you through. People will be coming to celebrate Halloween the world over and it makes for horrible traffic issues.

      Ok those are a few off the things you can do during this time and now you may be asking about why I don’t mention specific foliage views. Those change from year to year and if I send you in search of places in the above areas, then you will find all the fall colors you can want in the search to areas to visit. Do remember to get a good map book for any area you visit. (look on the side of the webpage and you will see an amazon link to some wonderful books called gazetteers from Delorme).
      They may be topographical but they usually will list secondary and tertiary roads as well as everything to see along the way. Remember to bookmark this page because clicking the link takes you to Amazon and I don’t want you to have trouble finding your way back. :-)

  16. Hi there my husband and I are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary on the weekend of the 20th Sept. We live in Toronto and can travel in Canada or the USA. Where would be our best fall colors destination at the this time? Thank You! Liz

    • Hi Liz, Well with a date of 20 Sept I think southern Canada would be your best bet. Maybe Montreal and points south… I’m thinking or hoping that the color will be across the border to Moosehead lake a week later by the 26th or the 27th.
      Congrats BTW and best wishes!

I'd love to hear what you think!