By Travel New England
It is that time of year again. The days are getting shorter. The shadows are getting longer. There is a chill to the evening air. We are once again moving into fall in New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, and VT); and with fall comes Mother Nature’s annual show – fall foliage. The hills and valleys, lake shores and riverbanks are about to come alive with vibrant oranges, yellows, and reds as the trees start to get ready for winter.
For those of you who wonder, it is the length of the day that triggers this annual event. Shorter days in late summer and early fall signal deciduous trees to stop producing chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what gives leaves their green color. As the production of chlorophyll decreases and stops the green color fades and other pigments already present in the leaves show.
If you are planning a visit to new England this fall to do a little “leaf peeping” your are probably wondering when is the best time. The date to keep in mind would be Columbus Day Weekend – October 6 through 8 for 2012. Columbus Day Weekend is when the leaves are typically just pre-peak, at peak, or slightly post-peak depending on where you are in New England. As a general rule, the leaves change earlier in Northern New England (ME, NH and VT), and later in Southern New England and along the coast. So on Columbus Day Weekend, Northern New England should be at or just slightly past peak and providing spectacular scenery. Massachusetts should also be at peak, while Connecticut and Rhode Island and Cape Cod should be slightly pre-peak. No matter how you slice it, the colors everywhere should be great.
But where to go to view the fall colors? Almost anywhere will reward you with beautiful color, but there are some places generally recognized as “go to” places for fall foliage viewing. Route 100 in Vermont and the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire are fairly universally believed to provide some of the best fall foliage viewing anywhere on the planet. Suffice it to say that in New Hampshire anywhere in the Lakes Region or the White Mountains and White Mountain National Forest will reward you with great foliage. The same is true of the Green Mountains and Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont.
There are many wonderful places in Maine for great foliage viewing, but you may want to think about a fall visit to Acadia National Park where the fabulous fall colors go all the way down to Maine’s rugged and picturesque rocky coast.
In Massachusetts consider taking a drive along the Mohawk Trail, one of the oldest roads in the United States that runs from Greenfield to Williamstown. You will find plenty of great fall scenery along the way.
Moving into southern New England, the Connecticut State Route 169 Byway is great for fall foliage viewing and in the little State of Rhode Island you may want to consider a drive through the Blackstone River Valley.
These are just a few ideas of where to find great foliage, but the truth of the matter is you will find it pretty much anywhere in New England. Mother Nature does all of the hard work, you just need to grab your camera and hit the road. That great fall scene could be just around the corner…
About the Author
This article was written by Travel New England. You can visit their website for more great fall foliage drives (http://www.travel-new-england.com/new-england-fall-foliage-drives/), and be sure to check out their Fall Foliage Report and Map for the latest foliage conditions.
Picture credits: The picture of fall foliage along the Ellis River in Jackson, New Hampshire is courtesy of Travel New England.