Author Topic: Best Fall Foliage: Where and when?  (Read 3729 times)


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Best Fall Foliage: Where and when?
« on: September 04, 2015, 09:11:51 AM »
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 10:50:18 AM by spartana »


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Re: Best Fall Foliage: Where and when?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2015, 09:23:25 AM »
This map predicts foliage:

Not sure about the best places but it's beautiful here in NH at the right time

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Re: Best Fall Foliage: Where and when?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2015, 09:33:08 AM »
I think you have the right idea by starting farther north and working your way down.  The Blue Ridge Parkway in NC/VA is nice, along with the Skyline Parkway in VA.  There are a few public campgrounds along each.  Some close, but I think it is usually around Oct 31st.  Awesome thing about the mountains is that the color follows the elevation, so you can almost always find a nice area by going up or down.  A lot of people get tied up with the "peak" which is heavy with yellows, but I enjoy the late colors as well. Usually a lone oak burning red after all the others have dropped their leaves.  Sounds like a great trip, enjoy! 


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Re: Best Fall Foliage: Where and when?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2015, 09:41:09 AM »
It really depends on the weather, some places will be stunning one year and meh the next.  You want a wet growing season, followed by a dry fall with cool nights (without frost) and warm days.  This causes the trees to develop the most brilliant colours.


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Re: Best Fall Foliage: Where and when?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2015, 09:41:31 AM »
Stay off the interstates and drive via state roads, and you'll see a lot. I've lived in the Northeast most of my life, and always found the best foliage in Vermont, with New Hampshire a close second. There are lots of great places in upstate New York, Western Mass, and Pennsylvania Dutch country, too. Stick to the higher elevations and valley views for the best viewing. Take your time, spend a day in a few small towns, and you'll have a good experience.

Let's say you start somewhere near Portland or Augusta. Head West to Montpelier and then on to Burlington. Spend a day in Burlington. Follow Rt 7 down to Rutland, then you can decide to head West into Saratoga Springs, NY and West on 29 into the Adirondacks. Or keep going South into Stockbridge, MA. Stockbridge is a great, little town. Say hello to Arlo Guthrie and visit his farm if you're a fan. If you're a foodie, keep going South from Stockbridge into Great Barrington. Spend a day or two at either or both of these towns.

Head West into upstate NY. Hudson, NY is a hipster paradise with tons of fun things to do, walk along Warren St and browse antiques, laugh at the celebrities in town, enjoy a book and a beer at the Spotty Dog Books. See a show at the Basilica or Club Helsinki, or if the timing is right the Hudson Opera House. Have lunch at Bruno's, run by a good friend of mine and her sister. They make everything from scratch daily using mostly local ingredients.

From Hudson take I-84 West, then pick up Rt 209 at Milford. Drive south through the state forest and through the Del Water Gap. Head into Stroudsburg, PA and make your way West along the mountain routes with great views of the valleys. Optionally take Rt 81 south into Hershey and spend the day at the park or enjoy a car show on the weekend.

From there you can head West on I-76 and into Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Skyline Drive in Virginia is gorgeous and runs for hours along the mountains, worth a day or two in the park for sure. You're on your own from there. Hope this gets you a few interesting routes, sounds like a fun plan!


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Re: Best Fall Foliage: Where and when?
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2015, 09:05:24 PM »
Route 50, through West Virginia. Gorgeous.


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Re: Best Fall Foliage: Where and when?
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2015, 11:02:42 PM »
On your way south, take Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway, then cut across on normal highways to the Cherohala Skyway, then take the Interstate (either I-40 or I-24 via Chattanooga) to Nashville and follow the Natchez Trace Parkway most of the way to Louisiana.

(Or skip the latter two things and head south to the coast through Atlanta after finishing the Blue Ridge Parkway -- by then you'll probably be sick and tired of fall foliage anyway. The mountains are great, but the southern Atlantic coast and Gulf coast are certainly worth visiting too. Let me know if you want more specific recommendations about that.)

It varies from year to year, but the peak of leaf season in NC/TN/north GA is around the end of October. I'm sure Smoky Mountains National Park (as well as other places, such as Brasstown Bald, the highest point in GA) has cameras and/or status reports on the foliage.


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