Upstate NY fall foliage peeping

New York State’s colorful foliage season is officially under way as the first significant signs of spectacular fall colors are beginning to appear in the Adirondacks and Catskills regions, according to observers for the Empire State Development Division of Tourism’s I LOVE NEW YORK program.

In the Adirondacks, observers based in Old Forge, in Herkimer County, expect 15 percent color change by the weekend with shades green, gold and burgundy of average brilliance. To the north, in Franklin County, foliage spotters in the Mt. Arab/Tupper Lake area expect 10-15 percent color transition with leaves of muted brilliance. Look for touches of mustard, copper and some isolated crimson leaves to provide an impressive early-stage foliage display. In northwest Warren County, spotters in based in North Creek are expecting up to 15 percent color change in elevations above 2000’, including in the Upper Hudson River Gorge, Blue Mountain, North Creek and Newcomb. In Indian Lake, in Hamilton County, spotters expect 15 percent color transition by the weekend with the maples and birches showing red and yellow leaves of less than average brilliance.

In the Catskills region, leaf peepers in Saugerties, in Ulster County, expect pockets of up to 20 percent color change by weekend, with bright shades of yellow and gold starting to appear against a mostly green backdrop.

The rest of the state reports 10 percent or less color change.

New York State’s Advantage

Why do people from all over the world head to the spectacular New York State foliage display? Unlike the rest of the country, the northeastern U.S. is particularly blessed with a great variety of broad-leaved trees, which help give the region’s foliage a spectacular color range. Also, New York State has almost as many acres of such trees as the rest of the Northeast combined.

New York State’s vast area means that you can enjoy peak conditions several times during the season in different parts of the state. The change in color from the bright greens of summer to the brilliant hues of fall follows a predictable pattern: It begins high in the Adirondack and Catskill mountains in late August and early September, and spreads out and down across the hills and valleys of the state, ending on Long Island and in New York City in early November. It takes about two weeks for the colors to complete their cycles in any given area, with peak brilliance lasting three to four days in any one spot.

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