Peak Fall Foliage in New England

When planning your fall foliage vacation in New England, you’ll want to plan your trip for the time known regionally as peak foliage. Peak foliage is the time of year when the colors of the area’s trees are at their most vibrant. Depending on the species, this is when the highest proportion of the leaves in an area are a fiery-bright yellow to light orange, offering visitors a spectacular panorama unlike anything they’ve ever seen.

Vacation During Peak Fall Foliage Season

A variety of factors contribute to peak foliage season in New England. Included are the amount of rain that the area has received in preceding weeks and months, elevation, the amount of sugar in the leaves, the air temperature leading up to fall, and the number of daylight hours.

Luckily, many tourist organizations and government agencies have compiled area information into a number of fall foliage maps and keep an updated log of foliage conditions so visitors can plan the perfect weekend getaway. That said, there are a number of other things to consider when planning your fall foliage vacation so that your leaf-peeping weekend goes off without a hitch.
1.  Peak foliage in New England generally starts in northernmost Maine and moves southward—the higher the latitude, the earlier peak foliage occurs.
2.  Peak foliage in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont generally occurs between the last week of September and the second week of October.
3.  Peak foliage in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island generally occurs around the second to third week of October.
4.  Fall foliage reports, maps, and hotlines can be helpful in finding the most up-to-date fall foliage information for the area you’re planning to visit.
5. If you’re able to get out and explore, you have the best chance of seeing peak foliage. Rent a car and take one of the recommended fall foliage day trips or strike out on your own leaf-peeping adventure.
6.  Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path. Foliage conditions differ between major byways and backroads. Get out of the car to see foliage by bicycle or on an area hike. You’ll be glad you did.
7.  Flexibility with your travel dates offers you the best chance to view peak foliage.
8.  Plan a variety of activities for your fall vacation in New England. Visit historic villages and towns, attend area events, stop at roadside fruits stands, and hit the antique trail. There’s much more to New England in fall than the bright colors of the countryside.
9.  Book your New England hotel room in advance. Fall foliage is a big draw to the region. Those who don’t plan their accommodations in advance are often left in the cold.
Follow the tips listed above to assure that you hit peak foliage season for the area you plan to visit, and you’ll be enjoying the bright, majestic landscapes of the New England fall in no time.
To learn more about planning a trip during peak foliage, or to book a hotel room in one of New England’s finest inns, lodges, or resorts, contact the New England Inns & Resorts Association today.