September 23, 2020 – Maine’s leaf-bearing trees will show off their brilliant colors of yellow, orange, and red in the upcoming weeks. This week’s Fall Foliage Report from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry (DACF) reports less than 30 percent color change for central, coastal, and southern Maine. Forest rangers in the higher elevations report high color (less than 70 percent) in the forest.
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.
“With the cooler fall-like temperatures and the earlier than usual statewide frost, which included the coastline this past week, the fall colors have emerged rapidly. Colors will accelerate daily as the entire state starts going toward peak conditions in October. However, forest rangers are reporting low leaf drop (less than 30 percent) throughout the state,” according to Gale Ross, Maine’s fall foliage spokesperson.
With warmer, beautiful weather expected this weekend, it is a great time to plan an outdoor adventure and kick off the official start of fall. Take a trip Downeast to check out the Bar Harbor Fall Colors Craft Fair this Saturday and Sunday, or head to the mid-coast to get out on the water on a Shipyards & Lighthouses Cruise at the Maine Maritime Museum.
For agricultural fair enthusiasts, the traditional, much-anticipated Common Ground Fair will take place this year virtually, with live programming, educational opportunities, and merchandise for sale Friday through Sunday.
This week’s foliage report takes you to The Maine Highlands region of the state, with an exceptional opportunity to view the changing leaves with Katahdin, Maine’s highest peak, as the backdrop. Pack the car for a safe and socially distant adventure along the Katahdin Woods & Waters Scenic Byway to take in the National Monument. Expect views with scenic vistas, untouched wilderness, and a high likelihood of spotting wildlife, including the majestic moose.
During these unusual times, please be safe while exploring Maine this fall. For travel and visitor information as it relates to COVID-19, go to visitmaine.com/travel-with-care.
Autumn enthusiasts can visit the state’s official foliage website at www.mainefoliage.com to sign up to receive weekly reports by email and are encouraged to share foliage images from regions throughout Maine as the progression of color unfolds. Be sure to tag your pictures with @mainefoliage on Instagram and use #MaineFoliage. Our Facebook page will also include safe ways to enjoy fall this year. For more information about visiting Maine safely this fall, visit maine.gov/covid19.
Thanks to its lakes, coastline and mountains, Maine may well be the perfect destination for a family vacation.
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