September 13, 2017 — Today is the official start of Maine's fall foliage season. Maine's leaf bearing trees will show off their usual colors of yellow, orange and red in the upcoming weeks. The 2017 Fall Foliage Report from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry reports spotty color change in the forest. Northern Maine is reporting less than 30 percent color change with very low, less than 10 percent, leaf drop. This year marks the 58th year the department has been reporting foliage conditions.
Typically, northern Maine (zones 6 and 7) reaches 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.
"While Maine did experience a dry summer, our weather going forward determines the foliage outlook. We are still experiencing warm days followed by cool nights, which is what is required to set us up for a glorious season," according to Gale Ross, Maine's fall foliage spokesperson.
Celebrate the beginning of Maine's foliage season at the Bethel HarvestFest & Chowdah Cookoff with chainsaw carving, local talent and a chowder competition this Saturday. Or, check out antique cars at the 24th Annual Car Show in Old Orchard Beach, Sept. 15-16.
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 heavily forested route provides panoramic foliage views and the ideal chance to catch glimpses of wildlife including moose, eagles, landlocked salmon and brook trout. For active peepers looking to experience the foliage in a unique way, explore St. John Valley from the seat of a bike with a ride that features historical landmarks and river views.
Autumn enthusiasts 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 include statewide events taking place throughout the foliage season, and our Instagram account (@mainefoliage) will also feature colorful fall shots. For more information about fall activities and events in Maine, go to www.visitmaine.com.
Thanks to its lakes, coastline and mountains, Maine may well be the perfect destination for a family vacation.
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