Brilliant, long-lasting peak color is showing up across New England. Learn more about this year’s forecast in our latest New England fall foliage report.
By Jim Salge
Oct 10 2019
Mist, peak fall foliage and blue skies – The ideal fall foliage combination!
There are highly colorful leaves showing up all around New England, and not a minute too soon: The season’s big leaf-peeping weekend is upon us — and leaf peepers there will be.
On Columbus Day weekend, Vermont will see more visitors than during any other weekend in the year. New Hampshire expects 300,000 out-of-state visitors over the three days; in Maine, tourism levels will rival that of summer (and that state’s motto is literally Vacationland).
New England’s fall tourists are not only impressively numerous, but also different from the ones who come during the rest of the year. The autumn visitors are more spread out, as they venture into small towns and villages and take in more of the local culture and events. They are seeking the simple and nostalgic while also trying to find the ultimate autumn scene.
And we’re here to help, with our latest tips on where to see amazing fall colors.
The first thing to know about the leaves this weekend is that there’s beautiful fall color to be found in every New England state. Connecticut, Rhode Island, and eastern Massachusetts are just starting to turn but have some bright areas, while western Massachusetts and the three northern New England states all have very bright areas and plenty of peak color.
The second thing to know is that the colors seem to be lasting a long time this year. The leaves were healthy heading into fall, we’ve had adequate rainfall since the start of autumn, and there hasn’t been a lot of wind to knock them down. For example, one of our picks for peak color two weeks ago was Pittsburg, New Hampshire, way up on the Canadian border — and there’s still great color to be found there now.
Given these two factors, this might be our most colorful holiday weekend in a decade!
For those looking specifically for peak color, we have some great areas to check out. In Vermont, the hills and mountains of the Green Mountains will have more advanced colors than the river valleys and the shoreline of Lake Champlain, so driving Route 100 will be a sure bet.
In New Hampshire, the colors are coming on strong in the Monadnock Region, while the White Mountains and the Great North Woods are in their prime. This should be peak weekend along the Kancamaugus Highway, and terrific color is holding in all the notches.
Maine’s western mountains as well as the Crown of Maine are at peak this week. Following the Appalachian Trail will bring you through peak, and side trips off the route —to places like Grafton Notch and Coos Canyon —promise to provide amazing scenery and photo ops.
Eastern Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have pockets of color, especially in cooler valleys and on higher hills. This is a prime weekend for visiting wetlands in this region, as the swamp maples are blazing bright red.
While the coast of Maine has lots of color, places like Acadia National Park are still a week or so away from peak, as is New Hampshire’s Lakes Region and the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Still, they have plenty of spots with great foliage, since even small differences in terrain, elevation, slope, and so forth can create microclimates and variability in the progression of fall colors.
As always, be sure to visit NewEnglandFoliage.com for our weekly top foliage picks, as well as our live peak foliage map and everything else you need to plan your foliage trip in the region. And when you do find some color, please share it with us: Tag your Instagram photos with #MyNewEngland for a chance to be featured on our feed.
We’ll see you out there!