They call it ‘Fall’ we call it ‘Autumn’ but all who have seen the spectacle of the changing season in New England and New York State agree that it is ‘the’ time to be there. Last October The US National Forest Service had thousands of enquiries about the best viewing time for the colourful foliage at different locations throughout the United States.
If you plan to visit New York State, information on the conditions in each region can be had by calling 001 518 474 4116. Reports are updated to provide the latest information each Wednesday afternoon throughout the season. There is New York web site which carries a weekly foliage report complete with colour map depicting the progression of fall colours across the state, along with a state-wide events listings.
Touring the back roads at this season of year can be a joy and you find every thing from little country stalls selling corn dolly decorations and cider to some that handle the autumn festivals on a large scale.
I visited a pumpkin farm near Peconic on Long Island that had set up a Halloween and Thanksgiving Supermarket. The children loved it, hay rides were on offer and the farmer and his wife proudly posed next to life size figures from the ‘Wizard of Oz.’
For the locals autumn has become a popular time for weekend getaways and week-long holidays and travellers spend an estimated $5 billion state-wide during September, October and November.
Although Vermont and New Hampshire are the best known (and most crowded) areas for the Fall foliage, the same types of vistas can be seen throughout the mountains of New York State, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Virginia and into North Carolina. The mountains through these states have the same kind of trees but they typically turn later than the more northern ones and because these states don't advertise the colours as much, the roads and motels are less crowded.
If you time things right, you can actually make the colours last for almost two months by "following the Fall" southwards.
Autumn in New York State