Fall Leaves

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by oldowl, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Does anyone have an educated guess as to when the fall leaves will be at their peak in north eastern USA? I plan on spending a week or so in Vermont and western New York area. Also, where are some of the better places for fall colors?
  2. Hi Gary - fall color in New England is always something of a guessing game. Northern Vermont (By the Canadian border) can peak as early as late September. The color progresses southward and southern New England can peak as late as mid-November. If you are considering western New York around the lakes district or next to Champlain, my best guess would be the early part of October. Here are a few websites where you can check peak dates: for NY: http://fallgetaways.iloveny.com/INDEX.html
    VT: http://www.foliage-vermont.com/
    This has been an unusually warm and dry summer in much of New England. This means the color may be less vivid than on better years. My favorite places for fall color (other than my own backyard or nearby) - in Vermont: Stowe, Newport, Quechee and my absolute favorite is to drive Route 5 from White River Junction to the Canadian border. In New York: I love following Route 9 north of Lake George to the Canadian border. There are many side roads leading to incredible views if you have the patience to keep looking.
  3. Local TV news weather reports are usually quite accurate, especially in tourist oriented areas. They generally tell which areas are approaching peak color and those that are at peak.
  4. As others have said, even relatively close regions of Vermont can vary considerably. You need to consult a website, such as the ones Irene cites, to get a picture of how things are developing. The best of these give both status and predictions. In general, in Vermont, the Northeast goes first, and the area East of the Green mountains is earlier than that to the West. One of the longest and latest places for foliage is the lower Champlain Valley, If you find yourself late for some areas, head west and check out the lake.
  5. Outside of its decaying rust belt cities, virtually every acre in NY is lovely.

    Compare that with the Great Plains, which is largely devoid of scenery.

    October is your best shot, but it is hard in August to be more specific. It's timing is iffy just like the cherry blossoms in DC.

    Good luck!
  6. Thanks, I appreciate the help. I’ll check those web sites.
  7. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    All the stuff about "hard to tell" and variability of timing is true, and to that you can add that some roads/small areas do well one year and not the next. So flexibility is the key, yes? Looking up the progress on a foliage map and then scurrying in the direction of "peak" is a sensible thing, right?
    But there is a problem, and that is that decent accommodation is hard to come by without a reservation, especially at weekends. Its just as easy to spend valuable vacation time struggling to find a good hotel/motel/b&b in the areas you find to be good as it is to find those areas to start with. Personally I think my time in such areas is too precious to be spent trying to sort out lodgings on the hoof and realising that you can't photograph what you've come to photograph because you need to find somewhere to sleep/eat. So I always pre-book, months in advance usually.
    So looking up what happens "on average" is something I do, and I use it to plan a generalised route which allows me to work out where I need to stay. I generally plan a fairly contorted route, often visiting the same general area more than once to give me a second bite if it turns out that I've been too early first time. And then I drive from those bases till I find decent subjects, which in general I do. I have a fall foliage trip pretty much every year and I can only think of one year when the overall result from my two weeks has been close to poor. Playing the averages can work so long as you're prepared to drive around till you find what you need.
  8. The most comprehensive and active forum on Vermont foliage I have come across is this one. Heck, they are already posting, in August!
    Vermont books and guides worth checking out:
    I would treat answers from the tourist offices or chambers of commerce with a big grain of salt. After repeatedly being misinformed by them, I finally confronted a staff. She sheepishly confessed that they were instructed to say, "It's peaking." to bring in business. Regardless of locations or time.
  9. But there is a problem, and that is that decent accommodation is hard to come by without a reservation, especially at weekends. Its just as easy to spend valuable vacation time struggling to find a good hotel/motel/b&b in the areas you find to be good as it is to find those areas to start with.​
    In another thread, I said:
    As an independent solo traveler, I like to stay at B&Bs. In addition to saving money, I get to know a local personally, who can also provide some insider tips. And if I should return, I can get trustworthy info from them. "What's the foliage like this year? Is it peaking?"
    This (not so) new kid on the block works for me, several times in the US. Their search engine is terrific with budget, location, size etc. filtering. Their review and ranking system is similar to eBay's. A renter can communicate directly with a property owner, without going through a broker. Awhile back when a customer complained about a rental, they took responsibility and came up with a guarantee. IOW, they stand heads and shoulders above their (traditional) competitors. If they should ever go public, I would invest in them.
    Disclaimer: Aside from being a satisfied customer, I have no association with them.

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