September 14, 2016 — Today is the official start of Maine's fall foliage season. The 2016 Fall Foliage Report from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry reports very little color change in the forest. Northern Maine is also reporting less than 5 percent color change.
Typically, northern Maine (zones 6 and 7) reach peak conditions the last week of September into the first week of October. The rest of the state's progression of color will start occurring from north to south in mid-October. Coastal Maine typically reaches peak conditions mid-to-late October.
"Our weather conditions going forward will determine the upcoming foliage season. We are already experiencing warm days followed by cool nights without a killing frost. In addition our days are getting shorter with less sunlight intensity, which begins the process of the changing colors. Our summer drought conditions can delay the onset of color by a few days; however, we should see a typical foliage season. Our forests are healthy and disease free," according to Gale Ross, Maine's fall foliage spokesperson.
Celebrate the beginning of the foliage season at one of the more than 100 events taking place as part of the September Great Maine Outdoor Weekend. The weekend-long event features outdoor activities all over the state for all ages and adventure levels. Or, check out antique cars at the 23rd Annual Car Show in Old Orchard Beach, Sept. 16-17. Hike or bike your way into Maine Huts & Trails on Sept. 17 for the 4th Annual Harvest at the Hut, a farm-to-hut harvest dinner.
Start your fall foliage touring in Aroostook County by taking the Fish River Scenic Byway(Route 11) from Portage to Fort Kent for views of wildflower meadows, Eagle Lake and Maine's highest peak, Mt. Katahdin. The route is heavily forested, creating optimal fall foliage views. Wildlife flourishes in this region, including moose, eagles, landlocked salmon, and brook trout. If you enjoy fishing, don't forget to bring your pole. In Aroostook State Park, hike Quaggy Jo Mountain which features the best foliage views in the park.
Leaf peepers can visit the state's official foliage website at www.mainefoliage.com to sign up to receive weekly reports by email, and can share their photos from throughout the state as the progression of color begins. Our Facebook page will also include statewide events taking place throughout the foliage season. For more information about fall activities and events in Maine, go to www.visitmaine.com.
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